Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach

I don't know what has taken me so long to make polenta. I love the stuff; it is right up there with my favorite breakfast, grits. No idea what grits are? Go down to North Carolina and you'll quickly learn what grits are, along with hush puppies, the REAL way to prepare BBQ, and that Southerns don't skimp on butter or desserts. But back to polenta, it is actually quite similar to grits in texture and preparation; the main difference between the two is that each are made from different types of corn. So, basically there is no difference. Want to make creamy grits with sauteed mushrooms and spinach, be my guest!

Me, I wanted to make polenta to switch up usual grits consumption. And I couldn't be happier that I did. This dish is very easy to make, despite the somewhat daunting list of ingredients. Even though the list might seem long, I bet you have most of these ingredients already in your pantry or refrigerator. And with a dish that has a great presentation and even better flavor, it's amazing that it is started and prepared in less than 30 minutes. Quick, easy, and delicious--winner, winner, chicken polenta dinner.

Do yourself a favor and get out of your usual dinner rut and try this recipe. Try it with grits, switch up the vegetables that you saute, use different spices and herbs; no matter how you prepare this dish, I'm confident that you will be a fan.

Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach (adapted from Skinny Jeans Food)
(2-3 servings)

For the polenta:
1 cup water
1 cup milk*
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

For the sauteed vegetables:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
8-ounce bag baby spinach, cleaned and dried
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

To make the polenta, add the water and milk to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, making sure not to dump it in or clumps will form. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes, whisking frequently until the polenta has completely thickened. Remove the polenta from the heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese, butter, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Next, add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until they have browned. Add the balsamic vinegar and water to the pan and saute the ingredients together. Add the spinach leaves, one handful at a time, sauteing them until they have wilted. If more liquid is needed, add a little more water. Season the vegetables with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.

To serve, pour polenta into a shallow bowl and top with sauteed vegetables; sprinkle with fresh thyme if desired.

*Non-dairy milk, such as almond or soy milk, works fine in this recipe. If you choose to use dairy milk, the higher fat percentage milks will make a creamier polenta. If you aren't worried about calories, I recommend using whole milk.

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Info (for recipe made with 2% milk)
Servings Per Recipe: 3
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 308.8
Total Fat: 15.4 g
Cholesterol: 30.7 mg
Sodium: 345.5 mg
Total Carbs: 32.4 g
Fiber: 6.6 g
Sugars: 5.9 g
Protein: 14.5 g



  1. I have a confession to make - I have never tried polenta! I know...its weird. This yummy dish just reminded me how badly I need to make it one of these days! Thanks for the great recipe :-)

    1. I feel like polenta is something that a lot of people haven't tried or made. It's so simple and delicious that I figured I would do my part in sharing a recipe that featured this ingredient. Hope you give it a try soon, Kristi!

  2. You are right. We do know our grits in the Carolinas! What a great recipe this is. Cannot wait to try it out.

  3. To be honest, I never tried cooking polenta myself, but this looks yumee, will give it a try.
    You have a new follower. Please check out my blog and follow back if you likey :-))


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10 11 12
Blogging tips