Instant Pot Creamy Polenta with Garlicky Greens

Instant pot Herb Polenta with Garlicky Greens and shaved Parmesan

Prep the ingredients and turn on the instant pot. Lower the lights in the living room, get ready with a feel good movie and pour a glass of wine or whatever your heart desires. Your instant pot will beep now. Serve yourself a ladleful of this delicious polenta and top it up with greens. Head over to couch and wrap yourself up in a throw. Press play and dig-in! 

I discovered Polenta only a couple years ago! I was 3 months pregnant and ate 4 servings of it with a straight face – I COULD NOT get enough. Creamy, salty, cheesy, warm – everything was just right about it! 

Ever since I have been trying to recreate it at home because the store bought ready-made version looks pretty meh. Traditional recipes by Italian grandmas were so tempting that I spent 45 mins, a couple of times in my kitchen, to recreate the goodness. But, can’t do it anymore. Needed to find an effortless way to make this! Enter: Instant pot.

Comforting and easy. Perfect for the winter, weekday lunch or dinner. This recipe is made with minimal ingredients that can be found in the pantry and fridge. 

I can guarantee that you will be surprised at the complex flavor profile with such minimum effort. The first bite just warms up your tastebuds and coats the inside with just a slight salty comfort feeling. Then as the bite progresses, you taste the juiciness from the greens and sautéed garlic. And the parmesan leaves the perfect end taste, making you dig back in your bowl for more! 

Bonus: Cornmeal is gluten free and low in fat and calories! Being a good source of fibre, it is also great for kids as well as babies, as their digestive system is starting up in full force. 

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Instant pot Herb Polenta with Garlicky Greens and shaved Parmesan

Instant Pot Herb Polenta with Garlicky Greens

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


Warm, cheesy polenta cooked to perfection with minimal effort and topped with garlicky greens and parmesan!


  • 1 cup yellow corn grits (not the instant one)
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 big bunch of chard (rainbow, swiss)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup mixed fresh herbs, chopped
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan


  1. In the inner pot of your Instant pot, add the yellow corn grits and water. Season with salt and pepper and close the lid. Turn the knob to sealing position and put on Steam mode for 9 mins.
  2. Separate the chard leaves from the stem. Coarsely chop the leaves and set aside. Finely chop the stems and mince garlic.
  3. In a pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and the stems. Toss around for 2-3 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Now, add the leaves and cook until the rawness is gone but they are still vibrant and green. 
  4. Once the Instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure. Take out the inner pot (so that it is off the heat) and whisk vigorously. It will be a little thin, but note that as it cools it will thicken. If you want it thinner, then add a little water. Once it has reached your desired consistency, add the grated parmesan and mixed herbs.
  5. Pour the polenta into a bowl and top it with the prepared greens and shaved parmesan.
  6. Dig in while it is hot 🙂


  • If you cannot find chard, any green that has a stalk (preferably large and firm) works well. I have used a mix bag of pre-cut greens from Trader joes before and also only spinach as well. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe.
  • Mixed herbs like tarragon, chives, and basil work well. You don’t need a variety – even one is good too! 
  • I buy yellow corn grits from the bulk aisle bins at whole foods. If you’re buying a packet, the Bob’s Red Mill medium grind is really good.
  • Category: Quick and Easy
  • Method: Instant pot
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: polenta, yellow corn grits, instant pot polenta, instant pot meals, quick meal, winter recipe, kid friendly quick meals

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