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How to Make Cornmeal Mush (It's Easy)

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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

Rate Cornmeal mush


Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

2 min

10 min

12 min




  • 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 stir.

You can also place a dollop of jam, raisins or even chopped apples in it. Don't stop there though, adding spices such as 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

Scroll to Continue

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 this will 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.

More breakfast ideas

  • How to make milk toast
    If you love cinnamon toast then you will love this comfort food called milk toast. You may remember it from your childhood. Here's how to make it and bring back those happy memories.

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?

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on August 27, 2020:

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.

Carolyn Lenarth on August 27, 2020:

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.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on May 03, 2020:

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


Mary Wickison (author) from USA on May 03, 2020:

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 from Newton, West Virginia on May 02, 2020:

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!

Daisy on April 08, 2020:

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!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on January 31, 2020:

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!

Judy Ann on January 30, 2020:

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.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on December 15, 2019:

Hi Sue,

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

Sue on December 14, 2019:

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!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on January 09, 2019:

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.

Mrs J on January 08, 2019:

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.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on December 20, 2018:

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.

Cocoa Bean on December 19, 2018:

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

SR Corporation from Wari, Dhaka on October 22, 2018:

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

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on January 29, 2018:

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 from Sahuarita, AZ on January 29, 2018:

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!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on April 05, 2017:

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.

Thank you! on April 04, 2017:

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.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on November 14, 2012:

hello Ruth,

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

Ruth Clark from Arkansas, USA on March 24, 2012:

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

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on March 24, 2012:

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

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on March 23, 2012:

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

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