Polenta With Garlic and Mushrooms

This polenta with garlic and mushrooms is so rich and satisfying, thanks to plenty of cream, cheese, and buttery sautéed mushrooms, that you won’t even miss the meat.

A white bowl filled with polenta with garlic and mushrooms and sage garnish.

Soupy, starchy, comforting. Food to soothe and strengthen.–Nigel Slater

Polenta With Garlic and Mushrooms

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 3
Print RecipeBuy the Greenfeast: Autum, Winter cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  • For the polenta
  • For the mushrooms


Make the polenta

In a deep-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Rain in the polenta, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring, making sure to get deep into the corners of the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring almost constantly until very thick, about 40 minutes. If the polenta begins to sputter or stick to the pan, reduce the heat to low.

Make the mushrooms

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil, and then add the 6 tablespoons of butter.

When the oil starts to fizz, add half of the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until soft and honey-colored, about 8 to 10 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, turn them once.

Once cooked, using kitchen tongs, move them to a dish and repeat with the remaining mushrooms. Don’t wash the skillet just yet.

Finish the polenta

Stir in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter, the cream, and the Parmesan into the polenta, and then pour in enough boiling water to give a soft texture that will fall easily from the spoon.

Tester tip: If the polenta needs to be rewarmed, do so over a very gentle heat.

Set the skillet used for the mushrooms over medium-low heat, and toss in the garlic, letting it brown lightly in the leftover butter, about 1 minute.

Return the mushrooms to the skillet, add the chopped parsley and sage, if using, and cook just until everything is heated through.

Spoon the polenta into a serving dish, top with the mushrooms and garlic, and serve.

Print RecipeBuy the Greenfeast: Autum, Winter cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This recipe for polenta, garlic, and mushrooms is decadent comfort food at its best. It's SO rich and lovely, and the mushrooms give a nice textural contrast, plus buttery, delicious flavor. We decided that while we couldn't eat this rich recipe every day, it would be perfect for special occasions and the occasional day when we just need its comforting deliciousness.

The polenta had a lot of time to cool down while the mushrooms cooked—the boiled water helped a bit, but I needed to very gently heat them in order to make them hot again and next time, I think that I'd add melted butter and warm cream. In the future, I would also consider cutting some of the larger slices of portobello in half to make it a bit easier to eat, but otherwise, this recipe was delicious as written.

Also, while stirring the polenta for 40 minutes sounds like a long time, I made it fun with an audiobook and a glass of wine, making the time go by very quickly.

I had two initial thoughts when I started this recipe—the mushrooms are going to be so greasy, and no way I'm making this again if I have to stir it constantly for 40 minutes. I was wrong about both of these. I will only be using this method to make polenta from now on; it was airy, buttery, cheesy, luxurious.

The mushrooms did cook in a ton of oil and butter; I might suggest pulling back on that. There was actually so much left after cooking the garlic that I spooned it into a cast iron to cook a dry aged steak to serve with the polenta. The mushrooms weren't greasy, though. I've always been taught to not feed your mushrooms too much oil while cooking because they'll soak it up like a sponge, but these mushrooms turned out so incredibly meaty.

I'm already planning on making this again for my vegetarian friends, it's going to make a fantastic party dish!


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish