Polenta with Mushrooms

polenta with mushrooms in white bowl

This polenta with mushrooms is simple, flavorful, and comforting. It’s easy enough to make on a weeknight and luxurious enough to make for date night. 



For the polenta

  • 1/2 cup instant polenta 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, usually found near deli section (sub Asiago or crumbled goat)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt

For the mushrooms

  • 3 tbs good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb sliced mushrooms, such as crimini or a mix of wild
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnishing
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Once water has boiled, gradually whisk in instant polenta and stir for about 3 minutes, until polenta comes away from the sides of the pot. Mix in salt, pepper, cheese, and butter and allow to stand for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
  3. Once butter begins to foam slightly, add mushrooms. Toss once to ensure all mushrooms are coated in olive oil and butter. 
  4. Allow mushrooms to brown, disturbing them as little as possible until most of the water they have released has evaporated and they begin to take on color, about 15 minutes. For best results, most of your mushrooms should come into contact with the bottom of the pan at once. 
  5. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix in your sage and thyme. Allow the herbs a minute or two to wilt and turn off the heat. 
  6. Divide polenta and mushrooms among two bowls, garnish with more thyme, and serve immediately. 


  • If your polenta stiffens up while the mushrooms finish browning, add a little bit of water or milk and stir to loosen.