March 20, 2013

Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce

Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Mushrooms | Fork Knife Swoon

The Honey is not a picky eater. He generally eats – and enjoys – just about everything I cook, and patiently indulges my recipe experimentation and culinary pursuits, even if it means eating a lot of leftovers. However, mushrooms are the only ingredient he really protests, so for our meals together I tend to avoid them, and eat my fill when we go out or when he’s not around.

I decided to indulge in a mushroom-centric meal this week, as he’s been away on business, and whipped up this rich, creamy Parmesan Polenta with a luscious topping of sauteed portobello mushrooms in a quick tomato sauce. I love the depth and earthiness that mushrooms bring to a dish like this, but for a fungus-phobe, you could certainly replace the mushrooms with any other quick-cooking veggie of your choosing, for an easy, comforting weeknight supper.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A quick, meatless recipe for Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce.
Recipe by:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Yield: 2 Servings
For the Polenta
  • 1 cup dry polenta (Italian cornmeal)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated (plus more for serving)
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
For the Mushroom and Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tsp good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the vegetable stock and milk in a stock pot over medium-high heat, until just boiling. The mixture will be steamy and just beginning to bubble. Slowly add the polenta and whisk to combine, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and stir in the Parmesan, until fully melted. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. When the polenta is cooked (see note below), remove it from the heat, and cover until the mushroom sauce is ready to serve. Stir the polenta before dishing it into bowls.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and the garlic and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, mushrooms and thyme, and stir to combine. Cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then season with the salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook uncovered, until the mushrooms are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Spoon over the bowls of polenta, and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.
Note from Laura
Some dry polenta brands cook more quickly than others. Check the package directions, as some will be ready in a minute or two, and others can slowly simmer for up to 20 or 30 minutes.


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  • Reply
    May 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    This was delicious (and quick and easy to make)! I followed the recipe relatively closely (just subbed in some chicken stock for some of the veggie stock to use up an already opened container, and approximated measurements for my veggies, balsamic and spices), but I think it would be pretty hard to mess up this recipe! The balsamic in the tomato/mushroom sauce is the perfect compliment to the creamy polenta. This is definitely going into our dinner rotation. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Emmett Federowicz
    July 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    “Mushroom” describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.”-“`

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  • Reply
    Mushrooms Canada
    March 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Oh this looks and sounds fabulous!! It’s nice you get the chance to indulge a little sometimes…thanks for the great recipe!