Orange Polentina

4.0 (40)
Orange Polentina

Italians enjoy cornmeal or polenta in countless preparations. Polentina is a creamier, porridge-like version, often served for breakfast. An orange-infused dollop of tangy mascarpone cheese and yogurt is a rich, delicious topping. But feel free to skip the mascarpone and double the yogurt to save calories. To keep it quick, we use instant polenta or regular fine cornmeal. If you have time, the recipe will work with stone-ground cornmeal. It will take longer to cook, 15 to 20 minutes, but will reward you with rich texture.

Yield: 4 servings, about 3/4 cup each
Active Time: 20
Total Time: 20


  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup instant polenta or fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon (optional)


  1. Zest the orange to get 1 1/2 teaspoons; set the zest aside. Remove the rest of the peel and white pith with a sharp knife. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Set aside for garnish.
  2. Combine water, milk and salt in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta (or cornmeal) and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain an even bubble and whisk until the polentina thickens, 1 to 5 minutes (depending on what type you’re using). Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine mascarpone, yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon of the orange zest in a small bowl.
  4. Whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons honey and the remaining 1 teaspoon zest into the polentina. Divide among 4 bowls and top with a dollop of the mascarpone topping. Garnish with the reserved orange segments and sprinkle with tarragon, if desired. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the topping (Step 3) for up to 2 days.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 353
fat 14 g (8 g sat, 0 g mono)
cholesterol 41 mg
carbohydrates 51 g
protein 9 g
fiber 4 g
sodium 219 mg
potassium 71 mg

Nutrition Bonus Vitamin C (30% daily value), Calcium (18% dv).

Carbohydrate Serving 3 1/2

Exchanges 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 low fat milk, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 2 fat

From EatingWell January/February 2010