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How to Make Cornmeal Mush (It's Easy)

Updated on June 20, 2020
Blond Logic profile image

Mary loves cooking from scratch using natural ingredients. Here she shares some of her favorite recipes and products.

How To Make Cornmeal Mush For Breakfast

Have you ever had cornmeal mush? Although the name doesn't sound appealing, it may soon become one of your favorites for breakfast. It's the hot cereal made from cornmeal and makes a nice change from oatmeal or cold cereals first thing in the morning.

Starting your day with a warm bowlful of cereal, be it mush, oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat, keeps you satisfied until lunchtime rolls around. No more quick, calorie-laden, mid-morning snacks when you start the day with one of these three. In some countries, it will be called creamy polenta and is served alongside meats and stews. If you've ever had grits, made from hominy, it is similar.

Below you will see just how easy it is to make cornmeal mush or polenta in almost no time at all. Why not treat yourself and your family to a warming bowl and discover for yourself, the satisfying rich corn taste.

Yellow Cornmeal

Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal (24 Ounce (Pack of 4))
Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal (24 Ounce (Pack of 4))
This is about as natural as you're going to get. Much of the corn grown in the US and elsewhere is genetically modified. The corn used in this cornmeal is not. As consumers, we need to make our own choices for ourselves and our family. I always try and seek out non-GMO foods when ever possible. Besides that, I also feel the taste is better. It isn't overly processed and I feel better about that also. I guess you could say, it is good for the body, the soul and the planet.

Rate Cornmeal mush

4.3 stars from 6 ratings of Cornmeal mush

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 12 min
Yields: 4


  • 3/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 2 1/2 Cups Boiling water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
boiling mush
boiling mush


  1. Mix together cornmeal and cold water, in a medium saucepan. This is the time to make sure you remove as many lumps as possible. Notice the color change as it cooks. ****Be Warned! As this boils it will splatter and it will burn if it hits your skin. It's almost volcanic!****
  2. Stir in boiling water and salt.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.
  4. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking for 10 minutes. As you cook, the your mixture will become smoother in texture as the corn absorbs the water.

How to Serve Cornmeal Cereal or Polenta

Pour the hot cornmeal mush into a cereal bowl, top with sugar (brown or white) or honey if you prefer. You can also add a knob of butter for extra richness. Mix this into the mush. If it is still a little thick for your liking add milk and mix.

You can also place a dollop of jam, raisins or even chopped apples in it. Don't stop there though, adding cinnamon or nutmeg would also add to the variations of this healthy breakfast cereal. Any flavorings or additions that you might use for oatmeal can be used here.

This is good wholesome food and a great way to start any day. Nothing artificial in there.

Kids love this and it is much healthier than most of the popular breakfast cereals on the market.

Fry sliced mush
Fry sliced mush
Fry until golden
Fry until golden
Drain on paper towels
Drain on paper towels

Fried Cornmeal Mush & Toppings

Although I am writing about using it as a warm cereal, it also can be fried once it has been allowed to set. This can be done by pouring the cooked mixture into a greased loaf pan or shallow baking dish. Refrigerate this overnight to allow it to firm up. The next morning it can be sliced, dredged in flour and then fried.

***Remember that splatter guard***

Drain on paper towels to remove the excess oil.

This can be served with syrup or jam.

Although the above method is the way most people eat it, growing up, in our house it was fried without the flour, and fried until crispy. This was then drained on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. It was like a big corn chip! I can still remember hoping that if my mother gave my sisters first choice, that they wouldn't take the crispiest ones, they were always my favorite.

When I have spoken with my friends, they said, in their families, they used maple syrup on their fried mush.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Mary Wickison

Have you eaten mush before?

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    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 weeks ago from Brazil

      Hi Carolyn,

      I'm glad to hear you too have fond memories of it. I hope you enjoy it once again and keep the tradition going with your family.

    • profile image

      Carolyn Lenarth 

      4 weeks ago

      Yes I have eaten there when I was a little girl my mother would fry it just as you said we put butter and maple syrup. I was just telling my friend the other day about that. It is so delicious I love it! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      So glad you found it and now you can make it for your family.


    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Daisy, now you've made me hungry!

      I love most things made with cornmeal it has such a satisfying and homey taste.

      I'm glad this has brought back happy memories for you.

    • Cynthia Hoover profile image

      Cynthia Hoover 

      5 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      So thankful I stumbled upon your recipe! I remember my grandmother making this for me when I was little. I was just never sure how to make it myself. I will be giving it a try this weekend. Thank you for the easy to follow instructions!

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      I remember having the fried mush in grade good, my favorite! (That was over 7 decades ago!) Also, my Mamaw made us garlic cheese grits. We would never ever think to put sugar, or anything sweet with our mush, grits or our cornbread...just not done. I've had people say it's a Kentucky or Southern thing. Going to chow down on some fried mush tonite! Thanks!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 months ago from Brazil

      Oh Judy I hope it turns out well for you and your family. Besides the fried mush, my grandmother used to make vinegar dumplings. It was a war time food but my grandfather liked it. I have tried to make it but only with mixed results.

      I think it's important that we keep some of these simple recipes going.

      I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

    • profile image

      Judy Ann 

      8 months ago

      I have great memories of my Mother making fried cornmeal mush. Im still blessed to have both of my 90 year old parents. Unforunately my Mother has firgotten how to make it and sad to say Ive not made it for my was a Grandma thing growing up. My brother is coming to Michigan from Mississippi and hes requesting it so its cooling as I type. Cant wait to try it. Thank you for sharing.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      9 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Sue,

      You're welcome. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and rekindle some fond memories.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Mom used to make this for us when I was a kid. She is no longer with us so I think I will make it in her memory. Thanks for posting!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      20 months ago from Brazil

      Thank you for your observation. I have altered the text to make it clearer. You will want to pour it into a bowl after the 10 minutes cooking time. The extra 10 minutes makes the cornmeal, less granular as it absorbs the water.

      Because you will be adding milk, that will cool the temperature down sufficiently to eat it. However, if you are giving it to a child, I would still recommend checking it before serving.

    • profile image

      Mrs J 

      21 months ago

      What are you supposed to do after turning the cornmeal mush to low? I have made hot cereals for years & usually the last step is remove from heat & let sit for x amount of minutes. It seems like the final step before serving suggestions is missing.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      21 months ago from Brazil

      I am a fan of oatmeal but it can get tiresome day in day out. I like to have cornmeal mush to break up the routine. Depending on where you live you may find it called cornmeal, polenta, or ground corn. Because corn is widely grown around the world, it's likely to be available. Where I live, it is in flakes but it still works perfectly.

      Hope you give it a try.

    • profile image

      Cocoa Bean 

      21 months ago

      Wow I've never heard of cornmeal mush! Such a clever idea! It's like oatmeal but not :)

    • srtvbd profile image

      SR Corporation 

      23 months ago from Wari, Dhaka

      Thank you so much for the recipi of this yummy food..before you no one has posted this recipi,really its so helpful to me

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      Just this morning I made a bowlful of 'cornmeal mush'.

      It has been some time since I made fried, I need to rectify that. I hope you do get a chance to make it, I think your family will enjoy it.

    • Lauren Flauding profile image

      Lauren Flauding 

      2 years ago from Sahuarita, AZ

      I’m a big fan of hot cereal, but I’ve never tried a cornmeal variation. Also, thanks for the tip on slicing and frying leftover mush- I’ll definitely be trying that!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      3 years ago from Brazil

      I'm so glad you found the article and can now share one of your childhood favorites with your own friends and family.

      Our grandparents grew up at a time when there was little and yet they were still able to create lasting and loving memories.

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment.

    • profile image

      Thank you! 

      3 years ago

      I am so excited that this came out as I expected! My grandmother used to fix this for me - cornmeal mush and sausage. She has passed and no one knew how to make it. I have looked at so many different recipes and they all call for things I know was never in her kitchen (she was born in 1911). Thank you for allowing me to share this and for enjoying a long time favorite.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      7 years ago from Brazil

      hello Ruth,

      Thank you for the vote up. It is always a good tummy warmer! Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      My mother used to make this. I had forgotten about it until now. Thanks for bringing back a good memory. Voted up, of course.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Oh, I am glad I am not alone in my love for it. It is truly a warming comfort food.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Yay, I love cornmeal mush! I haven't made any in ages. I think I'll change that soon!


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