How to reheat polenta? (3 methods)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to reheat polenta?” and discuss how to make polenta, what is the shelf life of polenta, how to store polenta and what to do with leftover polenta.

How to reheat polenta?

Polenta can be reheated in the oven, the stovetop and the microwave. Reheating leftovers before eating is important to reduce possible microbial contamination of the food, as heat can destroy microorganisms (1).

Therefore, reheating can improve the safety of leftover consumption, if done in a proper method. To reheat food, an internal temperature of 74 °C (165 °F) should be reached, which can destroy the vegetative form of most pathogens (1).

This temperature cannot destroy microbial spores, which can develop during storage and reach a number considered unsafe for consumption. Therefore, reheating is required after each storing period, regardless of long or short (2).  

How to reheat polenta in the oven?

To reheat polenta in the oven, place the polenta in an oven-safe dish, cover it with aluminium foil and add a small amount of liquid to the polenta to avoid drying. Stell the oven to a medium temperature and heat the polenta till the temperature of 74 °C is reached in the inner part of the food.

How to reheat polenta on the stovetop?

To reheat polenta on the stovetop, place the polenta in a cooking pan, add a small amount of liquid or oil and cover the pan. Turn the heat to a minimum and cook till the temperature of 74 °C is reached in the centre of the polenta.

How to reheat polenta in the microwave?

To reheat polenta in the microwave, place the polenta in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a foil or a plate and reheat to a medium-high power level till the internal temperature of the polenta reaches 74 °C.

How to make a polenta?

To make a polenta, follow the instructions (adapted from 3):

  1. Place a large cooking pan on the stovetop
  2. In a large cooking pan, add 1 litre of cold filtered and salted water
  3. Add 300 g of cornflour and stir
  4. Turn the heat to a high heat and keep stirring till the water boils
  5. As soon as the water boils, turn the heat to a minimum
  6. Continue to stir continuously for 45 minutes. The viscosity will increase considerably
  7. Turn the heat off and pour the polenta into a glass dish

Polenta can be served with sauce, meat, and cheese and added with fats or eaten as a side dish.

How to store polenta?

To store polenta, it is necessary to wait till the polenta cools down to a temperature of 21 °C (70 °F) to place it in the refrigerator or freezer. This should occur in a time interval of 2 hours. After this time, the leftovers must be stored at 4 °C (40 °F) or below (1, 2).

After cooking, place the polenta in a shallow container or divide it into small portions to accelerate cooling. Close the container or the containers and place them in the refrigerator or freezer.

What is the shelf life of polenta?

The shelf life of polenta is 3 to 4 days when stored in the refrigerator and 3 to 4 months when stored in the freezer. However, freezing and thawing of polenta, as well as long storage, can lead to negative effects on the overall organoleptic properties and quality.

Polenta should not be left out for longer than 2 hours after cooking (2).

Other FAQs about Polenta that you may be interested in.

Can polenta be frozen?

Can you freeze cooked grits?

What is the difference between cornflour and cornmeal?

What can you do with leftover polenta?

To use leftover polenta, you can make a fried or baked snack or patties. Follow the instructions (adapted from 4):

  1. Mix the leftover polenta with butter, grated parmesan cheese and pepper using a fork, till a homogeneous mass is formed
  2. Form thin polenta patties with your hands and use maize flour to reduce sticking into hands
  3. Place the patties on a non-sticking oven-safe dish and roast for 15 minutes at 180 °C (350 °F), turning the patties over in the meantime

Alternatively, you can fry the patties on both sides, using a skillet covered with butter or oil, till they are brownish-yellow.


In this article, we answered the question “How to reheat polenta?” and discussed how to make polenta, what is the shelf life of polenta and what you can do with leftover polenta.

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Zeppa G, Bertolino M, Rolle L. Quantitative descriptive analysis of Italian polenta produced with different corn cultivars. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2012 Jan 30;92(2):412-7.


Miele NA, Di Monaco R, Formisano D, Masi P, Cavella S. Polenta-based snack development: from maize flour to final product by assessing structural, mechanical and sensory properties. Journal of food science and technology. 2018 Jul;55:2569-78.