Easy CornMeal Porridge

11.7.22 | Recipe by Renz

A delicious Caribbean breakfast staple made from cornmeal, this traditional porridge is a combination of cornmeal boiled in milk and Caribbean spices. Check out this recipe on how to cook cornmeal porridge, a flavorful and hearty breakfast option.

A spoonful of cornmeal porridge over a bowl serving.

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Porridge for breakfast is usually the meal of champions. The most important meal to get you started for the day. It is a comforting dish and probably one of the most popular breakfast items.

It's the Caribbean replacement for hot cereals in the morning.

We have a variety of porridge options, like rice and cream of wheat porridge, but one of the more popular ones is cornmeal porridge.

The internet is laden with Jamaican cornmeal porridge recipes, but to be honest, our Trinidadian cornmeal porridge recipe is not different at all.

When you sit down behind a bowl of creamy cornmeal porridge, know that you going to be full for a while. It's flavorful and filling and definitely part of a complete Caribbean breakfast.


What is porridge?

Porridge in general is basically a grain boiled in milk or water. It can be made with numerous grains. It's a popular breakfast meal.

Cornmeal is one of the popular grains used in the Caribbean. We use it to make. variety of items from breakfast to dinner options.

We also make porridge from green bananas, ground barley porridge, rice and cream of wheat.

The grain is usually, simmered down in milk along with fresh spices till thick.

A hot bowl of porridge is not just a hearty meal for adults but is often used as a starter baby food as they transition from liquid to solids.

Ingredients needed for hot cornmeal porridge

This is an "easy as pie" delicious recipe for porridge made using cornmeal that can sustain you till lunch and is full of flavor.

Ingredients for making cornmeal porridge.

When we were growing up I loved waiting on my mom to finish making the porridge simmer in the pot. The smell of all the spices was enough to make me excited.

There isn't much you need for porridge. These items are regular staples you would find in a pantry in a Caribbean home with some simple ingredients. .

  • Water.
  • Cinnamon stick.
  • Yellow cornmeal - it can be any grain you want. I prefer to use fine versus coarse cornmeal.
  • Ground nutmeg.
  • Bay leaves.
  • Salt.
  • Milk. - I personally use whole milk to make my porridge, but if you want to use coconut milk, you can make your own and use this instead.
  • Condensed milk.
  • Vanilla extract (optional).


Medium saucepan.

How to make cornmeal porridge?

The first thing is to take your cornmeal and make it into a smooth paste with a mixture of water. This water should be warm.

This would help with mixing the cornmeal with water. Doing this part is important to help remove any lumps from the mixture.

Making the cornmeal sap by mixing the dried cornmeal with water till combined.
Making the cornmeal pap for the porridge.

We call this thick mixture cornmeal pap.

On the stove in a deep pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil on medium-high heat.

We will now add to the boiling water, the cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaf, and salt.

A pot of boiling water with spices of bay leaves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Then let's add in the cornmeal mixture paste you made initially and lower the stove down to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Continue the mixing, all while removing any lumps that may form.

Add milk and the condensed milk. You can also add in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the end, but not too much.

Boiling pot of cornmeal porridge with milk and spices.

Simmer till warmed through and thickened to your liking.

Serve with a little ground cinnamon on top.


If you want to make a healthier version of this, instead of whole milk, you can substitute and use a milk of your liking like coconut milk, or oat milk.

If you prefer to not use condensed milk, you can sweeten your porridge with a sugar of your choice. The only difference the use of brown sugar would have over white sugar is that the brown would alter its color of it a little.

A bowl of cornmeal porridge, with a drizzle of cinnamon.

Are cornmeal and corn flour the same?

If you cannot find cornmeal I would not really substitute using corn flour here.

I use corn flour to make pastelles and explain the difference between the two in more detail in that post.

But to get that heavy cornmeal taste you would want for porridge, cornmeal of any grain is the best option.

Why is my porridge lumpy?

Nobody wants lumpy porridge consistency, right? So the trick is to make sure you make that cornmeal paste with water prior to putting it on the stove.

You do not HAVE to use hot water, but it definitely helps you to get that perfect cornmeal porridge.

Making it into a paste helps the cornmeal to start swelling while the water boils and makes it easier to mix together.

Some people like their porridge thick.

Some people like their porridge solid.

And some people like their porridge thin.

If your mixture happens to be too lumpy you can add some more milk or even extra water to loosen it up a bit.

Make sure and add a little at a time while mixing. 

What do you serve cornmeal porridge with?

Some people like to top their bowl of cornmeal porridge with crackers, hard dough bread, or even some nuts.

You might even find it with some of their favorite fruit. Fresh fruits like banana slices or some fresh mango would be great.

I much prefer mine to be plain, with a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg on the top. Just take a teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle.

Two bowls of cornmeal porridge with spoons and cinnamon sticks.

Storing cornmeal porridge

This can be made ahead and is pretty easy to store.

In fact, sometimes I triple up this recipe and make a big batch for meal planning so that I can have an easy option for breakfast for the week.

You can store portions in individual glass containers so that you only warm-up what you are going to eat at that time.

Make ahead and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.

Reheating leftover porridge

Now if there are leftovers, I know you wouldn't want to make this delicious porridge go to waste.

Reheating porridge is good in the microwave or on the stovetop. The best method is the stove.

It can be heated in the microwave, but the best method is to add to a pot on the stove and heat it until boiling. to ensure it's warmed through. You can add a little water to the pot just to get it moving as it will thicken up sitting in the fridge.

A full spoon of cornmeal porridge over a bowl of porridge.

Get some more breakfast Caribbean recipes:


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