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Recipe Ideas - Baba's Nachynka (Ukrainian Baked Cornmeal)

When you think cornmeal, you probably don't think of Ukrainian food. But this cornmeal recipe from my Baba is her take on a traditional Ukrainian Nachynka (but we just call it Baba's Baked Cornmeal).

The secret to making the cornmeal light and fluffy is to cook it on the stove before baking it in the oven. It's usually served as a side dish with meat and veggies. The best way to describe Nachynka to those who've never tried it is a mix between polenta and cornbread, but better.

Baba's Nachynka (Ukrainian Baked Cornmeal)

What You'll Need:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk or cream


  1. Add the butter and oil into a pan and add chopped onion. Sauté until the onion is tender, but not brown.
  2. Add the cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Fry mixture for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Yes, it will froth up! Yes, you want that to happen!
  4. Add water gradually, about 1/2 cup at a time, while stirring over heat.
  5. Beat the egg, add the milk, and beat together lightly. (I recommend doing this before you start cooking, it's a pretty quick and constant process once you get started)
  6. Stir in the egg and milk mixture a little bit at a time to the cornmeal, stirring constantly. You don't want to make scrambled eggs, you want it to combine.
  7. Once combined, pour it all into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350° F for about 30-45 minutes or until golden.
  8. Serve warm with dinner as a side, or enjoy with stews or chili! Or, just like lots of Ukrainian food, it's good with a dollop of sour cream!

Have a traditional family recipe you adore? Share pictures/recipes in the comments or by tagging us on Instagram!

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