Savory Mushroom Stew with Creamy Polenta

Posted on: January 27, 2023. Updated on: June 30, 2023.

by Carolina Gelen

This is the season for comfort food, and this saucy roasted mushrooms over creamy polenta is one of the most comforting meals you’ll make this season. The recipe starts with savory roasted mushrooms turned into a hearty umami stew. If you’re feeling frisky, don’t hesitate adding more vegetables to the mix, think carrots, red peppers, maybe some cabbage.

The second element of the recipe is a creamy, restaurant-style polenta. If you’ve never cooked polenta before, don’t worry, it’s hard to mess it up, I’d say it’s as easy as making an oatmeal porridge. The full recipe is available on my newsletter.

Saucy roasted mushrooms over creamy polenta is one of the most comforting meals you’ll make this season. The recipe starts with savory roasted mushrooms turned into a hearty stew. If you’re feeling frisky, don’t hesitate adding more vegetables to the mix, think carrots, red peppers, maybe some cabbage. The base liquid for the stew is any stock (or even bone broth) you might have in your kitchen: chicken, beef, vegetable, it’s your choice. I used a homemade onion-heavy stock that paired beautifully with the mushrooms.

The second element of the recipe is a creamy, restaurant-style polenta. If you’ve never cooked polenta before, don’t worry, it’s hard to mess it up, I’d say it’s as easy as making an oatmeal porridge. My main tip is to constantly whisk and taste the polenta. I never time the process, it’s easier to taste it and check if the grains are fully cooked and keep on whisking. To step it up a notch, for the silkiest polenta mix in some butter, cream and cheese. If you’re looking to make this plant-based, vegan alternatives for butter and cream will definitely do the job here. I included a video below in the recipe section as a visual guide for everyone. As always thank you for being here and enjoy!

Savory Mushroom Stew with Creamy Polenta

4.3 / 5. from 47

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4.3 / 5. from 47

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Servings: 4
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 60 min
Total: 1hr 20min

Click here to download PDF

Ingredients

Mushroom Stew

  • 500 g or 1 lb mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, oyster, etc.
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup any stock or bone broth, plus more as needed
    • I used an onion-heavy vegetable stock
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A handful cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

Creamy Polenta

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cream, plus more as needed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Tear the mushrooms into smaller chunks and arrange them in a single layer (making sure they’re not overlapping) on a baking sheet. Generously drizzle the mushrooms with a few glugs of olive oil (about 5 tablespoons), balsamic vinegar (about 2 tablespoons), soy sauce (about 3 tablespoons), and a pinch of salt. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the mushrooms get nice and toasty. All ovens are a little different, so make sure to check on your mushrooms halfway through cooking to prevent them from overcooking or browning too fast.
  2. While the mushrooms are roasting, add a few glugs of oil to a deep pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. In the meantime, crush the cumin seeds, Aleppo pepper, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a knife. Add the spices and chopped garlic to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove off heat until the mushrooms are done.
  3. Place the pan back over medium heat. Add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the cornstarch all over the mushrooms and toss to coat. Slowly drizzle in the stock, while constantly stirring. Season with salt, soy sauce and a drop of vinegar if needed. All stocks are different, so when it comes to seasoning, I prefer to leave that up to you to figure out what your base needs. Pro tip: a dollop of any miso will elevate the broth. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mushroom stew has thickened.
  4. For the polenta, bring 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Season the water with a big pinch of salt. Once the water is simmering, slowly pour in the cornmeal while constantly whisking. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the polenta, while constantly whisking to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. If the polenta gets too thick to whisk, switch to a wooden spoon. Taste a teaspoon of cooked polenta: if it’s still grainy, continue cooking, if it’s soft, thick and porridge-like, turn off the heat. Add the butter, and whisk to melt and incorporate. Slowly drizzle in the cream. Add more cream until the polenta reaches the desired consistency. Season with more salt to taste. If using, grate a handful of Parmesan in the polenta and mix to combine.
  5. Serve right away.
  6. To reheat the polenta, simply microwave it or cook it in a saucepan with a splash of milk, cream and water.

Carolina Gelen

I speak 5 languages, but my favorite way to communicate is through the universal language of food. I translate food to be more approachable and accessible for the everyday cook. I didn't grow up with a lot, so I’ve always loved thrifting and finding a good sale. That also shapes my approach to cooking: I try to make most of my recipes as affordable as possible, and that is what my SCRAPS newsletter is about. Every two weeks I will send an exclusive recipe to your inbox. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website.

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12 thoughts on "Savory Mushroom Stew with Creamy Polenta"

  1. Maria Rios says:

    Quiero la receta, please!!

  2. Juan Donis says:

    It looks amazing, I am looking forward to try it

  3. Katie says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was honestly delicious! It’s definitely going to be a staple for me, thank you so much for your creativity! For me, the mushrooms took waaaay less (circa 15 minutes) in my UK fan oven. Delicious!

    1. Carolina says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sarah L. says:

    Mushrooms roasting in soy, balsamic, and miso bring so much depth to the flavors. And that creamy polenta is a perfect pairing! This was a delicious, comforting meal to our family. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  5. Gaynell says:

    I made this tonight for dinner. I added cubed tofu towards the end of the cooking process. What a delicious and enjoyable dish! I’ll be making this often. Thank you!

  6. audrey says:

    Picked up the last mushrooms here in the center of France last week end (trumpets of death and bolets) before the firt frost and I didn’t know how to cook them differently for change !
    thank you for the appetizing idea

    1. Carolina says:

      so happy to hear that! keep me posted if you try it 🙂

  7. natasha says:

    i have dehydrated mushrooms at home! would i just rehydrate and then roast them?

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Natasha,

      Yes that should work. Enjoy!

  8. Antonia Mor says:

    Delicious 🤤