Instant polenta is a variety of polenta that has been pre-processed or parboiled to reduce the cooking time for the consumer. Polenta is a type of coarsely ground yellow cornmeal that is cooked in a similar manner to porridge or rice.
Instant polenta is generally made to be cooked in 15 minutes or less. In contrast, traditional polenta takes around 40 minutes to be fully cooked. All varieties of polenta are cooked in boiling water or another liquid until the grains expand, creating a smooth, creamy porridge-like texture. Both instant and traditional polenta work well as a breakfast porridge or as a base for thick soups and stews.