The Creamiest Polenta with Herbed Mushrooms

Am I allowed to sigh because it’s Monday? We had a great weekend, and I don’t want to be at work today!

Vertical image of a bowl of polenta and mushrooms with white text and a green background


The weekend was full of relaxing, bike riding, dog walking, throwing the tennis ball, pheasant hunting, couch napping, and lots and lots of cooking and eating.

Vertical image of a bowl with creamy polenta and baby bellas with rosemary and a spoon.

I love the extra time I have during the weekends to cook huge, tasty meals. This weekend, I made a delicious rice salad, roasted potatoes, and sauteed squash, among many other dishes. And to finish off the feast, I baked sweet and tart vegan whoopie pies for dessert!

In a perfect world, it would be great to throw dinners like that together during the week, but I normally just can’t find the time.

Vertical image of a black bowl of polenta with a metal spoon on a napkin.

For our regular weeknight dinners, I usually have less than an hour to throw something together when I get back from my run or bike ride after work.

This may sound like plenty of time, but when you try to make it look nice and take photos after cooking, it can feel a bit rushed.

Vertical image of a spoon in cooked cornmeal with mushrooms on top.

So, I usually stick to simple and easy recipes, like this polenta and mushroom dish. It takes about 45 minutes total to cook it.

The beauty of this meal is that the cornmeal only needs about five minutes of steady stirring, after which you can cover it and stir just every ten minutes or so. No constant stirring and standing over the stove for a long period!

Vertical image of a pot with cooked cornmeal and a whisk on a white cloth.

The mushrooms, sauteed in sherry and fresh rosemary and thyme, cook while the cornmeal is simmering away. So there is no extra time needed to cook a hearty vegetarian meal.

It’s foolproof and definitely delicious!

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Horizontal image of a pile of sauteed baby bellas on creamy polenta in a black bowl.

Creamy Polenta with Herbed Mushrooms

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This creamy polenta is so easy to make. Serve with mushrooms sauteed in sherry and fresh herbs for a hearty vegan dinner.



For the Polenta:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine (Earth Balance is my preferred brand)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

For the Mushrooms:

  • 1 pound small baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For the Polenta:

  1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Whisk gently while adding the cornmeal in a steady stream. Turn the heat to medium and continue stirring until the cornmeal has thickened substantially, about 5-7 minutes. You should be able to scrape it away from the bottom of the pan for a second before it falls back together.
  2. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook the cornmeal for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. The stirring is important to cook the mixture evenly without burning it.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the margarine and nutritional yeast, then stir until combined.

For the Mushrooms:

  1. While the polenta is cooking, wash and quarter the mushrooms. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to release their moisture, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the sherry and herbs, stir well, and let cook until most of the moisture has boiled off, about 4-5 minutes. Stir every now and then.
  3. When the mushrooms are done, add some freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Serve the polenta and top with mushrooms and some extra fresh herbs.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Comfort Food
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: polenta, cornmeal, mushrooms, herbs, vegan, gluten-free

Vegan Comfort Food in Less Than One Hour

Crunched for time to make dinner on a busy weeknight?

Vertical image of a bowl with a serving of cooked cornmeal and mushrooms on top.

You really need to try this creamy vegan polenta, topped with herbed baby bellas sauteed to perfection. Everything cooks in less than an hour, and you don’t need to stand over your stovetop for the entire time.

So go change out of your work clothes, open a bottle of wine, and stir the pot every 10 minutes – you deserve to relax while dinner is cooking!

For more meatless meals to cook throughout the week, take a look at all of our vegan or vegetarian recipes.

If you make this and love it, share it with your friends, and send us a message in the comment section below with your rating. We’d love to know how the recipe turned out for you.

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 13, 2014. Last updated: July 14, 2021 at 16:01 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

11 thoughts on “The Creamiest Polenta with Herbed Mushrooms”

  1. I keep seeing polenta all over the place and somehow I’ve STILL never tried it. Like, what? This looks so yummy, I’ll have to give it a go!

  2. hey! can you make a note about the butter being a vegan version? I have been getting some questions since I featured it on Finding Vegan. Thank you!

  3. The mushrooms are fantastic! And paired with the polenta…just plain awesome. I did have to take a shortcut though due to time constraints. I used the premade polenta, cut medallions, sauteed them in avocado oil, placed late and spooned the mushrooms over the top. Next time I will add a glass of on the side. Thank you.

  4. I added garlic to the mushrooms and a bit of truffle oil to the polenta for extra flavor; loved it! thanks for the recipe!


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