Creamy, Dreamy Mushroom Polenta (high-protein!)
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Whether you want a special weekend breakfast, or you’re cooking up a lunchtime Mediterranean feast for friends, our creamy polenta with mushrooms makes a great main dish that’s sure to bring the wow factor!
We are heading over to Italy for the inspiration for this dish. To get started, our base comes in the form of polenta.
This gluten-free yellow cornmeal is a really versatile ingredient. It can form a creamy texture as we’re using it in our recipe, or it can become firmer when baked.
There are loads of delicious recipes using polenta out there, but this one is a stunner!
Mushrooms and polenta – what’s not to love!
So let’s take a look at what we’re serving on this bad boy. We’ve got mushrooms up first, the meaty, meat-free veg that really punches that umami flavor when it comes to dishes like this.
We’re hitting it with the basil, fresh thyme, olive oil, and black pepper not to forget the gorgeous sundried tomatoes – that flavor is going to be Bellissimo!
The part that truly ramps it up, however, is our mushroom sauce using low-calorie cream cheese, which is going to envelop those mushrooms like you won’t believe and get your taste buds singing.
We’ve saved the best until last by topping this crown with an absolute jewel, a stunning soft-boiled egg! That gooey golden yolk is just going to be perfection!
Could this mushroom polenta recipe get any better?
Whereas many carbohydrate sources are the simple kind that gives you a quick hit of energy and then burns up fast, polenta is a complex carbohydrate. That means it takes longer to break down in your body.
Releasing the energy slower means not spiking your blood sugar and so you’re less likely to crash after and suddenly feel hungry again.
Polenta is not only gluten-free, but it can also make a great low-calorie option – just be careful if you’re watching your calories that you make healthy topping choices.
Mushrooms might be meaty, but we promise they’re meat-free!
Mushrooms are not only a great source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants, they’ve been shown to have a great impact on weight loss when used as a substitute for meat.
These fabulous fungi can be rich in vitamin D and have properties linked to lower blood pressure and a boosted immune system.
The question remains though, which type of mushrooms will you use? We’re recommending cremini mushrooms or portabello mushrooms for our dish.
But why stop there? You could experiment to find that spot-on earthy flavor, that will turn this into your favorite meal.
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What’s the secret to making polenta?
See what’s available at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Why not try white button mushrooms, or shiitake mushrooms next time?
It’s always a good idea if you haven’t used an ingredient before to follow the package instructions. We’re going to make our mushroom polenta in a saucepan over medium heat.
Give it a good stir with a wooden spoon, but go slow. It comes together nicely in around 10 minutes.
You’re looking for a smooth and consistent texture – but watch that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan!
Now a great benefit, besides the fact that it’s such an easy recipe, is the amount of protein it’s going to give you.
This dish is just 421 calories per serving, which is a great amount if you’re having it as a main course, especially with a fab 19 grams of protein in there too!
Protein is great for helping with weight loss or building muscle, whichever goals you’re aiming for.
Try our creamy mushroom polenta to stop hunger in its tracks!
This easy and quick mushroom polenta recipe is made with healthy ingredients that are not only really nutritious but are going to help you feel fuller for longer.
Having protein at every meal is a great tool to help you eat less and avoid feeling hungry.
We don’t need to tell you how great eggs are when you’re trying to up that protein intake. But if you want to get that soft-boiled satisfaction make sure you time it just right!
We’re going to give it just 6 minutes and 30 seconds – Ready! Eggy! Go!
If you’re looking to lose weight we’ve got even more high-protein recipes in our weekly meal plan. People who follow a vegetarian diet obviously don’t eat meat for protein, but that’s ok!
The great part is, that vegetarian protein is also really useful when trying to build muscle, so whatever your goals are we can fuel you with inspiration!
On to the recipe!
- ½ cup polenta (finely ground)
- ⅓ cup low fat cream cheese
- ⅔ cups milk of choice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 thyme sprigs
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 handful basil, fresh
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 9 oz mushrooms (crimini or portobello)
- 1-2 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar
- Black pepper to taste
- 1.5 oz pickles/gherkins
- In a medium pot over medium heat add the polenta, low fat cream cheese, milk, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, thyme sprigs and a dash of salt. Mix to incorporate the cream cheese into the liquid and cook until it begins to boil.½ cup polenta, ⅓ cup low fat cream cheese, ⅔ cups milk of choice, 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 thyme sprigs
- Turn heat to medium-low and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring once in a while to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan. Cook until the polenta is tender, creamy but consistent (not liquidy).
- Meanwhile, cook the egg in boiling water for 6 minutes and 30 seconds for a very jammy egg or 7 minutes for a slightly firmer egg.2 eggs
- Meanwhile, slice mushrooms and reserve. Chop as finely as you can the sun dried tomatoes (almost like a paste) and the basil leaves.2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil, 9 oz mushrooms, 1 handful basil, fresh
- Place tomatoes and basil in a small bowl with water and a dash of salt and mix. Reserve until needed.2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil, 2 tbsp water
- Heat a large pan over high heat. Add olive oil and sliced mushrooms and cook until reduced and golden brown. Then add the vinegar, some salt and black pepper per taste.1 tsp olive oil, 9 oz mushrooms, 1-2 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar, Black pepper to taste
- Add black pepper per taste to the polenta. Pick out the thyme sprigs.Black pepper to taste, 1 thyme sprigs
- Serve polenta topped with mushrooms and jammy egg. Finish with the basil and tomato topping.½ cup polenta, 2 eggs, 1 handful basil, fresh, 9 oz mushrooms, 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- If you'd like a little 'crunch' to the dish add a small portion of pickles/gherkins (mini or normal size!)1.5 oz pickles/gherkins
Mushroom Polenta FAQ!
Is polenta healthy for breakfast?
Polenta is a healthy choice for breakfast, and it is traditionally used as an alternative to oats for porridge in Italy.
Just like oaty porridge, rich polenta makes a great base to build up a delicious flavor. Check out our berry polenta porridge to see what we mean!
You can also use polenta to make great savoury options, and you don’t have to stop at breakfast. It can also make the perfect side dish at dinner too!
Following a vegan diet? Swap out the cream cheese for a suitable alternative and leave off the egg to change this into a creamy vegan polenta with mushrooms.
Top ways to make your polenta pop!
If you’ve got some leftover polenta in the cupboard after this recipe, we’ve got some top ways to make it super tasty in the future!
- Add some red wine to your mixture of sauteed mushrooms to make an awesome reduction.
- Glaze your mushroom mixture with balsamic vinegar to make them taste even more amazing!
- Wild mushroom polenta with a kick of garlic? (Just make sure they’re from the supermarket!)
- Feeling fancy? Try drizzling some truffle oil over your creamy mushroom polenta!
Or if you want something a little different?
- In Romania, they serve polenta porridge with a side of sour cream.
- If mushrooms aren’t your thing why not try a combo of roasted cherry tomatoes and goat cheese?
- Or keep it classic and create creamy parmesan polenta
Whichever way you go we’re sure your creamy polenta will end up totally banging! And if you want even more meal inspiration you’ll love our compilation of 55 vegetarian lunch ideas.
Dang, what a divine lunch! Thanks friends!
Good to hear, Ben!! I found this one surprisingly good as well!