Baked Polenta with Mushrooms

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 45m

Serves 4

In the time it takes to heat up frozen lasagna, you can make a from-scratch layered polenta dish that's every bit as satisfying. It needs nothing more than a simple green salad as an accompaniment.


  • For Polenta:
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 7 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • For Mushrooms:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

  • 6 ounces fontina cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)


FOR POLENTA: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the sage. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan.

FOR MUSHROOMS: In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add half the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and sage and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms, 1 tablespoon each butter and oil, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and sage and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

TO ASSEMBLE: Butter an 8 x 12-inch baking dish. Pour 1/2 the polenta into the baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with 1/2 the mushrooms, followed by 1/2 of the fontina and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining polenta, mushrooms, fontina and Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

 To contrast with the cheese here, look for a wine with both good acidity and well-delineated fruit flavors. The earthy red-berry flavors and refreshing tartness of a Bourgogne Rouge, the basic red wine of Burgundy, will be perfect.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 2946

nutrition information per serving

565 calories; 35g total fat; 73mg cholesterol; 1439mg sodium; 44g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 23g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.