Creamy Mushroom Polenta

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.

Mushroom Polenta

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.

Bowl of polenta with mushrooms and chimichurri

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!

Creamy cornmeal porridge in a saucepan

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!

Mushroom polenta in bowls

More Vibrant Comfort Food Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these veggie-forward comfort foods next:

mushroom polenta

Mushroom Polenta

rate this recipe:
5 from 2 votes
Serves 4
This easy mushroom polenta recipe is creamy, comforting, and nourishing. For extra protein and a little crunch, top this dish with a handful of roasted chickpeas. Gluten-free and vegan.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

17 comments

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  1. This polenta looks delicious! I’m a huge fan, but often forget all about it when preparing meals. Will definitely have a go at this though 🙂

  2. Sarah from snixykitchen.wordpress.com
    02.07.2012

    Mmm….polenta with mushrooms is my favorite combination! Now I’m hungry!

  3. Denise from tlt-thelittlethings.com
    02.07.2012

    I think soft polenta makes for an ultimate bowl/plate of comfort food. Love your pictures. I often make something similar, but add a little goat cheese as well. It’s a great combination I think.

  4. Jacqui from sogoodandtasty.blogspot.com
    02.07.2012

    I’ve haven’t had polenta in forever! I need to change that. Love your recipe!

  5. Wow this looks amazing and I love that it is so creamy with little to no dairy in it! Polenta is one of my favorites, but my hubby doesn’t care for it, so I rarely eat it. I need to change that.
    Beautiful photos BTW!

  6. I love polenta with mushrooms! It’s such a wonderful combination. Gorgeous photos, I’m so happy to have discovered your beautiful blog!

  7. I have been dying to have polenta! I’ve never tasted them but this recipe seemed fabulous!

  8. Yey – I have been looking for more polenta recipes and this looks absolutely delicious. Might even convert the other half to polenta yet with this! I am definitely going to try it.

  9. This looks divine! Love creamy polenta with the richness of the mushrooms. Yum! I too need to nail that polenta, I’ve never got it just right.

  10. Floortje
    02.27.2012

    I just made this – never made or ate polenta before in my life – and it was super delicious!! I almost forgot to put the graded cheese on, I think it does add that necesarry savory bite. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  11. My mouth is watering already! Such a wonderful flavour combination, paired with some beautiful photos! Can’t wait to try this one myself…

    -Shannon

  12. Diane S
    03.25.2012

    Oh looking at the rest of the recipes and noticed this one. I also tried this and it is the only polenta dish my husband likes. Again Delicious, made exactly as she said used the cheese. Just right for 2 people.

  13. Jessica Ann
    01.09.2013

    perfect! thanks for the help and for sharing your recipes! Your blog is beautiful by the way

  14. Bonnie from veghot.com
    04.17.2013

    This looks so comforting! I can’t wait to make it!

  15. Kim from Kimtracyprince.com
    10.29.2013

    Delicious thanks!

  16. Hi, Jeanine and Jack,

    Thanks for the great recipe! I tried it tonight, and it was delicious!

    Nicki

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.