This mushroom polenta recipe is my favorite kind of comfort food. It's hearty & rich, but the zingy chimichurri makes it all feel fresh & bright.
It’s getting to be that point in winter where what I crave more than anything is spring. Slowly but surely, the days are getting longer, and I’m starting to daydream about warm weather, trips to the farmers market, and all the fresh bounty spring and summer have to offer. Still, Chicago is freezing, and when it comes time to eat dinner, nothing sounds better than comfort food.
I can’t imagine a more perfect meal for this moment than this Mushroom Polenta with Chimichurri. The polenta’s vibrant yellow color reminds me of the sunny days to come, and the zingy chimichurri makes the dish feel fresh and bright. At the same time, the creamy polenta and savory mushrooms are hearty and comforting – just the thing for a cold night. Flavorful, simple, and delicious, this recipe is meant for winter days when you’re longing for spring.
How to Make Mushroom Polenta
This mushroom polenta recipe consists of three basic components – the polenta, sautéed mushrooms, and chimichurri. You can make them all in advance, but even if you don’t, it comes together pretty quickly.
First, cook the polenta using my “instant” polenta method. If you’re familiar with cooking polenta, you know that it can require up to an hour of standing over the stove, stirring constantly. To streamline the process, I pulse the cornmeal in the blender before I cook it. This way, it cooks into a smooth, creamy porridge in 30 minutes flat.
Then, mix up the chimichurri. Just mince the parsley, and stir it together with the other ingredients!
Finally, sauté the mushrooms. Heat a glug of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring only occasionally, until they soften and become brown around the edges. To highlight their savory umami flavor, season them with a splash of tamari and rice vinegar, and add fresh tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Tip: using a mix of mushroom varieties makes this dish extra flavorful and fun to eat!
Assemble bowls with the creamy polenta, mushrooms, and chimichurri, and serve with more chimichurri on the side. Enjoy!
Mushroom Polenta Recipe Variations
This basic template would work with any number of variations. To boost the protein content in this dish, top it with a handful of roasted chickpeas. If you have basil on hand instead of parsley, use pesto instead of chimichurri, or swap any combination of roasted broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts for the mushrooms. If you’re not in the mood for polenta, serve the mushrooms and chimichurri over farro, quinoa, or couscous. I also wouldn’t say no to a little grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese on top.
Let me know what variations you try!
More Vibrant Comfort Food Recipes
If you love this recipe, try one of these veggie-forward comfort foods next:
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Pasta Pomodoro
- Homemade Pesto Mac and Cheese
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
- Best Vegetarian Lasagna
- Assemble hot polenta in bowls. Top with sautéed mushrooms and drizzle generously with chimichurri. Top with microgreens and roasted chickpeas, if desired. Serve with additional chimichurri on the side.