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.
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!
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.
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:
- Swap the veggies. Replace the sautéed mushrooms with roasted broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
- Switch the sauce. Use pesto or marinara instead of chimichurri. Top off the dish with shaved pecorino or Parmesan cheese!
- Add extra protein. Top the polenta with a handful of roasted chickpeas or creamy cooked white beans.
- No polenta? No problem. Serve the mushrooms and chimichurri over couscous, farro, or quinoa instead.
Let me know what variations you try!
More Vibrant Comfort Food Recipes
If you love this recipe, try one of these healthy comfort foods next:
- Best Vegetarian Lasagna
- Stuffed Shells
- Easy Baked Ziti
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Butternut Squash Risotto
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
- 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.