Vegetarian Meals

Polenta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Smoked Cheese

I simplified this recipe to make it easier for a weeknight meal. Polenta can seem intimidating if you’ve never made it before, but I promise there is nothing to fear! This dish is easy to make, great for both kids and adults, and also makes for some fun leftovers (if you don’t eat it all!).


Polenta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Smoked Cheese

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  • 330g (1.5 cups) quick cooking polenta (I used this*)
  • 1 litre (8 cups) of chicken stock or vegetarian stock (you can use half water/half stock if you're worried about the salt)
  • 500g portabello mushrooms
  • one bag of spinach (asparagus would also go nicely!)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 75-125g (1/2-1 cup) of grated smoked cheddar (the one I used is pictured below)



sautée your shallot in the butter and oil using a large, lidded frying pan


once shallots are golden, stir in the chopped mushrooms. Sautée the mushrooms until they just begin to soften


add a few spoonfuls of stock to the mushrooms and shallots before adding as much spinach as you can fit into the pan while still getting the lid over it (the spinach will wilt away to nearly nothing, so be generous!)


bring your stock to a boil in a separate pan


turn the heat down to a simmer, and pour the polenta into the stock in a slow, steady stream whilst mixing vigorously with a fork (consider using an oven mitt or cloth to cover your mixing hand; if this splashes on you it will burn!)


quick cooking polenta should cook within a minute or so, but be sure to taste it to make sure it isn't gritty


turn off the heat, and mix the cheese into the polenta


dish the polenta up first and then top with the mushroom/spinach mix. Be sure to spoon on some of the liquid from the spinach/mushrooms!

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I ended up making too much polenta for just the kids and me (Jason had late meetings today so I made a half batch of mushrooms/spinach, but forgot to half the polenta) so I spooned the remaining polenta into mini muffin tins. They will make a great entree for Pete’s lunch tomorrow dipped in some marinara sauce (I’ve already had one and they are delicious!!). I may even try to freeze some to see if that works. I’ll keep you posted!



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