Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple vegetarian dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comforting and delicious! Vegan-Adaptable and Gluten-free.
Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is vegetarian and gluten-free! | Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan
Mmmmmmmmm…..what is better than a comforting bowl of Mushroom Polenta?

This recipe for Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic, and Sage is cozy and comforting, perfect for the cooler months of spring or fall, when wild mushrooms are ready for the picking.

This can be made with wild mushrooms like chanterelles or morels if you have access to them –or tame, store-bought mushrooms, like shiitake, maitake, portobello, cremini or even simple button mushrooms. Add cheese for extra richness or keep it vegan!

Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan

In late spring I seek out morels, and in fall, I opt for Chanterelles.  Both grow wild here in the Pacific Northwest. Chanterelles live among the trees, in the dense and foggy forests of Douglas Firs and Western Hemlocks.

Woody and earthy with a hint of fruitiness, their texture is meaty yet tender. Both morels and chanterelles are difficult to cultivate, so most of the fresh chanterelles and morels you see at farmers’ markets and grocery stores, truly are “wild”.

And this is what makes wild mushrooms so special. Somehow you can’t help but feel the woody forest they came from.

Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan

To me, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of mushroom polenta, no matter what the season.

Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan

For extra heartiness, you could top it with a poached egg, a piece of fish or chicken, or even something really meaty like a tender lamb shank or braised beef short rib.

Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is vegetarian and gluten-free! | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles
The reason I love this recipe, is the flavors are so simple that it really allows the unique flavor of wild mushrooms to shine.
Wild Mushrooms are delicious with pasta and risotto, in quiches, omelets or lasagna, where they are not overwhelmed by too many other ingredients. They can get lost easily so I try to make them the focus of whatever I am making with them.
When paired with a creamy bed of soft polenta, to me they are the perfect comfort food. A simple easy weeknight meal that feels so elegant and luxurious.
For the fastest cooking, I use a finer grain of cornmeal.

How to cook chanterelles:

 

  • I have found that the best way to cook wild mushrooms is either to sauté them or simply roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and serve with simple ingredients so their flavor and texture are highlighted.
  • If using chanterelles…make sure they are a nice golden apricot color. They should be firm to touch and have no dark or wet parts on them.  Their gills should look clean and intact.
  • Try not to get them wet. When buying Chanterelles, try to pick chanterelles that look clean and that have less of a pocket at the top and this will make your job of cleaning them much easier.
  • Then use a brush (like a basting brush) to gently brush away any debris.
  • Using a mixture of olive oil and butter is ideal and gives the best flavor.
The nice thing is they are growing in popularity, so they are becoming much easier to find. They are not inexpensive, but worth a splurge at least once a year.

What is creamy polenta:

  1. Creamy Polenta is basically an Italian dish made from ground cornmeal. It’s cooked on the stovetop into a “porridge” and seasoned with olive oil or butter, cheese (optional) and herbs. It’s creamy and comforting- Italian comfort food.
  2. It can become a base for meat, fish, vegetables or in this case mushrooms.
  3. Creamy polenta can easily be made vegan!
  4. You can also make polenta in an instant Pot!

This basic Creamy Polenta recipe works well in other applications too … for example serve with braised short ribs, or pan-seared prawns, grilled Salmon or halibut or even as something as simple as roasted veggies.  It’s a good recipe to tuck away because it goes with so many things.

Once your polenta is cooked.. now it’s time to have fun. Experiment with different cheeses and add a little butter.  If you are vegan you could try adding olive oil and nutritional yeast which will give a nice richness.
I added goat cheese (because it was what I had on hand).  Any meltable cheese would work. Some of my favorites with creamy polenta are parmesan, romano, cheddar, gorgonzola, and smoked gouda. You can even use sour cream or mascarpone.

Then taste for salt. Because cheeses have different saltiness, the amount of salt you will need will vary. If you used a flavorful stock you may not even need much salt. But most likely you will need a little.

And here is a lovely ingredient that will elevate your polenta.  White Pepper!

After you have stirred in your olive oil or butter or cheese and your polenta is creamy and seasoned to your liking, place it in bowls with a generous amount of sautéed mushrooms over top. If you are feeling extra luxurious, drizzle a little truffle oil just before serving. Then inhale.
Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan
Mushroom Polenta – a simple comforting weeknight meal that is vegetarian and comes together so easily!
I hope you love this as much as I do!
Let us know in the comments below!
xoxo
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Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. | #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles

Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian Main, gluten-free,
  • Method: stove-top
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY vegetarian dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! |


Ingredients

Scale

Polenta

  • 4 ½ c veggie or chicken stock (or sub water with 1 tsp salt, or sub 2 cups of the stock with milk)
  • 1 cup polenta (ground corn meal)

___

  • 1/2 cup cheese-optional (goat cheese, white cheddar, parmesan, romano, vegan cheese) or leave it out!
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mushrooms

  • 2 cups wild mushrooms (chanterelles or morels) or sub button mushrooms, cremini, miatake, shittake or portobellos)
  • 12 tablespoons oil or butter (a mix is nice)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 23 tablespoons wine- totally optional (cooking sherry is nice- sherry wine, not sherry vinegar!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage  (or sub rosemary or thyme)
  • finishing salt
  • Garnish- a drizzle of truffle oil ( optional- but worth it! )

Instructions

  1. Make the Polenta: Heat the stock in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to low and gradually whisk in the cornmeal to the hot liquid while whisking vigorously to avoid any clumping.
  2. Bring to a simmer, cover and let simmer gently on low heat for 10 minutes, then give a good stir.  (Start the mushrooms below!) Cover again, simmer 10 more minutes, give another good stir. If using fine cornmeal, this should be close to done, if using a coarse polenta, you may need to cook a tad longer until grains fully open.
  3. When the polenta is tender and cooked through, add your choice of olive oil, or butter, optional cheese, white pepper, stirring until fully incorporated. TASTE and adjust salt. Turn off heat, cover until ready to serve.
  4. MUSHROOMS: While the polenta is simmering, saute the mushrooms.  Heat oil over med heat, add shallots, garlic and mushrooms, cook 6-7 minutes until mushrooms release their liquid, lowering heat if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Let the liquid cook off and allow the mushrooms to brown a little. At this point, you could splash with a little wine, letting this cook-off too- optional. Add the sage leaves right at the end and cook for one minute. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Serve the mushrooms atop a bed of delicious creamy polenta.
  6. Drizzle with Truffle oil if you want.

Notes

I also love adding wilted baby spinach to this for extra nutrients. Feel free to add the spinach to the mushrroms towards the end, letting it gently wilt. So tasty!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 351
  • Sugar: 2.9 g
  • Sodium: 1027.2 mg
  • Fat: 11.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.9 g
  • Fiber: 4.2 g
  • Protein: 13.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 22 mg

Keywords: mushroom polenta, creamy polenta, creamy polenta with mushrooms, vegan polenta recipe, polenta with mushrooms, how tomato creamy polenta, creamy polenta with wild mushrooms, polenta recipes, vegetarian polenta recipes

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia,

    Fabulous, easy and delicious vegetarian recipe. Made it tonight for dinner and it went well. I have never cooked with Polenta before so it was a new experience. Am always looking for easy vegetarian/vegan meals will be sharing this recipe with family and friends. Thank you.

  2. This was easy and so delicious! It filled me up, and I’m only beginning to develop a list of good vegetarian dishes. This made the list! Maybe even for company!

  3. Just had this for lunch with grilled asparagus…the polenta was soooo creamy and good…hubs and I just loved it! I have had mixed results with polenta, in the past…will only use this recipe from now on.

  4. I have been pandemic cooking for almost a year now, searching the Internet for the best of the best recipes. Sylvia, your recipes are by far the best!! This polenta recipe was out of this world, but honestly, every single thing on your site rocks it! I’m so glad I found you!!

  5. While I prefer chanterelles or morels. They were not available. I used king oyster and portobello and it came out great. Nice fall recipe!

  6. I would love to try this out but I’m not a fan of mushrooms (!). The polenta, garlic and sage sound like a great base but is there anything you think could be a good substitute for the mushrooms?

  7. I love this recipe, it was delicious. I made it along with roasted vegetables. I really appreciate that you provide this website, and particularly like that you provide possible substitutes. Looks like your other recipes are winners too, can’t wait to try them. Thank you from North Vancouver Canada!!

  8. I followed the directions carefully, but the polenta/liquid mixture just stayed in a complete liquid form. I ended up tossing the whole thing out.

    1. I’m so sorry this didn’t work for you. Sounds like the heat was too low and maybe it didn’t get simmering before it was covered? Sorry about that. I will make the directions more clear.

  9. Made this for dinner and added the spinach as you suggested in your notes- so comforting and delicious! My boyfriend loved this too.

        1. Hi Caitlin. Polenta in a tube is firm polenta, this recipe is soft polenta- more like a porridge. So totally different application.

  10. You make me want to go vegan. I love your recipes especially because You can adapt them to your dietary preferences. The pictures are amazing

  11. Congratulations on your exciting news! I LITERALLY just read this recipe in my Cook’s Illustrated and am planning to make it today. What a coincidence when I then saw it on your site!

  12. Lovely post, but there are lots of chanterelles in across the country. Here in Maine we picked three pounds yesterday in 90 minutes (plus king boletes and hedgehog mushrooms). And remember…a friend never lets a friend use truffle oil. Especially on delicate chanterelles. Other than that, your recipe looks spot-on. With yesterday’s schrooms all cleaned, and the garden full of sage, you helped me find tonights dinner. And I loved the info on white pepper. Thanks.

  13. Lovely post Sylvia but I have a few comments to share. First, chanterelles can be found from coast to coast. We spent twenty years picking them in the pacific northwest and recently decided to retire in Maine. Yesterday, here in Maine, we picked three pounds of chanterelles, a half pound of hedgehog mushrooms (a type of chanterelle) and a few lovely king boletes. And in Maine, mid-September is late for chanterelles. They can by found in early July and through the summer months. And I question anyone ever using truffle oil. Most chefs think it should be banned from the planet as there are more terrible ones out there than good. Also, it’s flavor can greatly overpower the lovely floral apricot scent of the chanterelles. Your recipe is spot-on and keep the truffle oil away from this dish where the star should be the chanterelle. Thanks for the post and terrific pictures.

  14. Confession: I’ve never cooked polenta, ever. But seeing this recipe, so wonderfully uncomplicated yet delicious, made me realise I HAVE to try polenta. So tomorrow is polenta-day 🙂

  15. i just bought my first bag of chanterelles and this sounds like the perfect recipe! Thanks for the vegan options for polenta too 🙂