Polenta Budino with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

a bowl of cooked berries with cornmeal polenta and ice cream
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 
Weeknight Gourmet Dinners by Meseidy Rivera ($21.99, Page Street Publishing, 2020). Photo: Meseidy Rivera.



  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 12 cup light brown sugar
  • 14 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 12 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks


  • 1 lb frozen rhubarb
  • 1 lb frozen strawberries
  • 14 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Ice cream, for serving


Prepare the Budino:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Lower the heat and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the granulated and brown sugars and honey until well combined. Remove from the heat and add the butter and lemon zest.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and egg yolks until well combined. Add the mixture to the polenta and whisk vigorously until well combined. 
  3. Transfer the polenta to a casserole or shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap, laying the plastic wrap directly over the polenta. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the Compote:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, granulated sugar, honey and lemon juice. Mix well, cover and place over medium heat. Let it cook for 5 minutes to thaw and juice the frozen fruit.
  2. Uncover the fruit and stir, then increase the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and set the compote aside to cool.
  3. To serve, stir the polenta to loosen it, then serve with the compote and ice cream.


  • The budino and compote can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When serving the budino, stir to loosen it, then top with the compote.

Everyone needs sweet cornmeal pudding in their life, and polenta budino is here to deliver. Polenta is cooked with milk, cream, eggs and sugar to make a rich, creamy cornmeal pudding. This recipe uses quick-cooking polenta so the budino cooks in a matter of minutes. I serve it with a strawberry and rhubarb compote. The sweet cornmeal pudding balances out the tart strawberry-rhubarb compote.

Weeknight Gourmet Dinners

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Meseidy Rivera

Meseidy Rivera wants to break down the walls of “gourmet” as something that can only be done by professionals to be just another way of cooking using ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily think to put together.

She is the founder of The Noshery. A graduate of Platt College Culinary Institute, she has worked as a culinary assistant to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Her recipes have been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, BuzzFeed and more.

lives in Chattanooga, TN in a tiny house, although she constantly pulls inspiration from her Puerto Rican roots.