Baked Polenta with Oven Roasted Mushrooms

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Make the most amazing creamy, golden baked polenta with oven roasted mushrooms in a jiffy with this fabulous vegan, gluten-free recipe. This baked polenta recipe is so easy! Just get your mushrooms ready on a baking sheet, and while they are roasting, cook the polenta over the stove, then transfer it to the oven with the mushrooms to finish baking. When you’re done, you’ll enjoy this hearty polenta skillet recipe, which you can serve right out of the skillet–no extra cleanup required. The oven roasted mushrooms add a rich savory quality to the earthy polenta bake. Get it on the table in under an hour (most of that time is letting the oven do the work!). With just 7 ingredients (not including pantry staples) you can put together a truly awesome meal that is excellent for busy weeknights, special meals, holidays, and potlucks. What to serve with polenta? This recipe is hearty enough to be the main event, but you can also consider it a side dish to accompany protein-based dishes, such as lentil patties or lentil loaves. I like to serve it with a crisp vegetable salad to finish off the meal.

Polenta vs Grits

What is the difference between polenta and grits? What is polenta? Well, they are both made from ground corn, but grits originated with Native American food traditions that crossed over into American Southern food culture. Grits are made from dent corn and it is usually white (but can also be yellow or blue if special corn varieties are used). Grits is usually ground more finely and has a stronger corn flavor. Polenta originated in Northern Italy and is made from flint corn that is yellow (sometimes it can be a white corn variety). Polenta is usually ground to medium-coarse texture and has a milder corn flavor.

Is Polenta Gluten-Free?

Yes, polenta is made from corn, so it is naturally gluten-free. The only issue might be cross contamination in the food production system. If you are concerned about gluten, look for a gluten-free certification symbol on packages.

Is Polenta Healthy?

Yes, polenta is a healthy, nutrient-rich grain product that is part of healthy, traditional diets. Some polenta may have parts of the grain removed, so it may not be considered a whole grain.

Dried flint corn for sale at the Ojai farmers market. I used this corn in this recipe for polenta, but you can use store bought polenta too.

For this recipe, I was lucky enough to find flint corn grown by a local farmer in Ojai. I ground it myself, so it was 100% whole grain! If you are fortunate enough to buy dried flint corn, you can easily grind it in a high-powered blender for a few minutes until it reaches a medium ground texture.

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Baked Polenta with Oven Roasted Mushrooms

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

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Description

This healthy, delicious baked polenta with oven roasted mushrooms is so easy to make! Featuring only 7 ingredients (not including pantry staples), you can make this hearty vegan, gluten-free recipe in no time and serve it as the star of your meal.

Ingredients

Oven-Roasted Mushrooms:

  • 1 ½ pounds mushrooms (i.e., shitake, oyster, chanterelle, maitake, crimini)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)

Polenta:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups polenta, dried
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces vegan parmesan, shredded or shaved (i.e., Follow Your Heart or Violife; or make Cashew Parmesan cheese here)
  • ½ cup plant-based milk or creamer, plain, unsweetened

Toppings: (optional)

  • Thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Course sea salt

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Slice mushrooms into large pieces (do not chop into small pieces, as the mushrooms will shrink) and arrange on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt (optional), black pepper, and fresh thyme. Toss with tongs to distribute well.
  5. Place in the oven on the lower rack and bake for about 45-50 minutes, until tender and browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. (You will be cooking the polenta in the oven while the mushrooms are roasting. See step 9).
  6. While mushrooms are roasting, prepare the polenta.
  7. Pour water into a large (20-inch) skillet or sauté pan (you can also use a medium Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add the polenta, olive oil, salt (optional), and black pepper to the boiling water and stir with a whisk until smooth and bubbly (about 3 minutes). Remove from stove.
  9. Place the skillet (or sauté pan or Dutch oven) with polenta on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until tender. (You can bake the polenta in the top rack of the oven while the mushrooms finish roasting on the lower rack.) Remove polenta from oven and stir in vegan parmesan cheese and plant-based milk or creamer with a whisk, until smooth and creamy. The mushrooms should be done roasting by now (remove from oven and set aside). When mushrooms are out of the oven, brown the polenta by setting the oven temperature to broiler setting and returning polenta to oven top rack for about 4-5 minutes to reheat and get slightly golden on top.
  10. Remove polenta from oven. Arrange with mushrooms on top. May garnish (optional) with more fresh thyme, freshly ground black pepper, and course sea salt.
  11. Serve immediately in skillet (or sauté pan or Dutch oven).
  12. Makes 6 servings.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked polenta, oven roasted mushrooms, roasted portobello mushrooms, polenta

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For other plant-based side dishes, check these out:

Sautéed Asparagus with Fava Beans
Instant Pot Mexican Black Beans with Epazote
Instant Pot Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Chicory with Pistachios and Pomegranates
Easy Brown Rice with Cumin

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