Creamy Mushroom Polenta

This mushroom polenta recipe is my favorite kind of comfort food. Topped with a zingy chimichurri, it's rich and satisfying, but still bright and fresh.

Mushroom Polenta

I make this mushroom polenta recipe when I’m craving something comforting, but still light and fresh. For that reason, I think it’s perfect for this time of year. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for spring. Warm weather, sun, trips to the farmers market, and picnics in the park… Sadly, Chicago weather is not quite there yet. So for the next few weeks, while it’s still chilly and we still have the occasional snow, this mushroom polenta recipe will continue to hit the spot.

It starts with a base of creamy polenta. Then, I layer on sautéed mushrooms. Meaty, juicy, and deeply savory, they add amazing texture and flavor to the dish. Finally, I finish it off with a big drizzle of chimichurri. This bright, herb-y sauce lightens up the rich polenta and mushrooms, giving them the fresh, spring-y finish that I’m looking for right now.

The whole thing comes together in under an hour, so it’s doable on a weeknight, but you can also prep the components ahead of time to make it even quicker to prepare. If you do, a heads up: the polenta will thicken in the fridge. Stir in a little water or vegetable broth to loosen it up as you reheat it. Then, add the mushrooms and the chimichurri, and enjoy!

Bowl of polenta with mushrooms and chimichurri

How to Make Mushroom Polenta

Ready to make this mushroom polenta? Here’s what you need to do:

First, cook the polenta using my “instant” polenta method. Typically, polenta takes around an hour to cook, and it requires frequent stirring to prevent clumping. To streamline the process, I pulse the cornmeal in the blender before I cook it. With this simple trick, you can cook smooth, creamy polenta in 30 minutes flat!

Then, mix up the chimichurri. It’s easy to stir together by hand. No food processor required!

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 umami flavor, season them with a splash of rice vinegar and tamari or soy sauce. Tip: Use a mix of mushroom varieties to make 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.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Creamy cornmeal porridge in a saucepan

Mushroom Polenta Recipe Variations

I love this mushroom polenta recipe as written, but it would work well with all sorts of tweaks and twists. Have fun making it your own! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

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 healthy comfort foods next:

mushroom polenta

Mushroom Polenta

rate this recipe:
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves 4
This easy mushroom polenta recipe is healthy, comforting, and delicious! For extra crunch, top the creamy polenta with a handful of roasted chickpeas. Vegan and gluten-free.

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.

19 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Angela
    03.12.2022

    I love finding amazing variations of polenta recipes and can’t wait to give this a try!

  2. Gwen
    06.01.2021

    5 stars
    So happy to find a deviation from the typical red sauce and parmesan to top polenta.
    This was fresh, innovative and delicious. The chimichurri sauce was an unexpected but flavorful finish to the dish. I used just porcini mushrooms and added a small amount of pancetta left in the fridge. Nice compliment!
    Would definitely recommend this recipe.
    Husband raved about it, unusual……..

  3. Hi, Jeanine and Jack,

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

    Nicki

  4. Kim from Kimtracyprince.com
    10.29.2013

    Delicious thanks!

  5. Bonnie from veghot.com
    04.17.2013

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

  6. Jessica Ann
    01.09.2013

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

  7. 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.

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

    -Shannon

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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!

  15. Jacqui from sogoodandtasty.blogspot.com
    02.07.2012

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

  16. 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.

  17. Sarah from snixykitchen.wordpress.com
    02.07.2012

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

  18. 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 🙂

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.