Dinners Recipes

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Mushroom and Tomato Ragu

Creamy polenta is so underrated in American cuisine. We eat tons of corn products like popcorn, corn on the cob, and cornbread but forget that we’re missing out on one of the greatest dishes EVER. It’s basically the sister of risotto, which we all know and love. I’ve been really into Italian and Mediterranean cooking lately, they use tons of olive oil (which is so good for you if it’s quality like O-Live) and herbs, making for much flavorful dishes. In honor of an easy weeknight meal, I present to you – Creamy Polenta with Crispy, Saucy, Mushroom Ragu. 

What is Polenta?

Polenta is essentially boiled cornmeal – but don’t let that deter you! It’s creamy, salty, smooth deliciousness.

How to Cook Polenta

So there are a few tricks to avoid clumps and the glue factor while you’re making your creamy polenta. 

  1. Boil your water. Once the water is boiling (not before) add a ton of sea salt. You want your water to taste like the ocean.
  2. Have your polenta in something you can easily pour out of. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the boiling water, while whisking (you may want to phone a friend if multitasking isn’t your thing).
  3. Now, you’ve most likely purchased the quick cooking version – which is great! Cover it up for about 10 minutes and stir it about, every two.
  4. Once the polenta is done, stir in O-Live Organic Green and Balanced olive oil, 1 tbs of butter and a heft pinch of salt. Use your muscles!

If mushrooms aren’t your thing, you might want to try this Cuban lasagna.

How to Store Leftover Polenta

Here’s the thing about creamy polenta – you have to eat it when it’s creamy because you’ll never get it that way again. I have good news for you though! If you spread the leftover creamy polenta in a tupperware about a couple inches thick and put it in the fridge overnight, you can cut and pan fry it the next day for breakfast! 

Thank you so much to O-LIVE for supporting me, my dreams and this Creamy, Dreamy Polenta!


Creamy Polenta with Crispy Mushroom Ragu

This creamy polenta recipe is an easy weeknight, plant based meal packed with flavor and texture.
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 462kcal
Author Jordan Elbaum



  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups veggie stock
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 tbs O-LIVE Organic Olive Oil
  • 1 tbs butter

Crispy Mushroom Ragu

  • 3.5 oz shiitake
  • 8 oz canned diced tomatoes drained
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup veggie stock
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch or arrow root
  • Diced garlic
  • Diced shallot
  • O-LIVE Organic Olive Oil


  • Add veggie stock and water to a pot and bring to boil. Then pour the cornmeal into the pot slowly, whisking non-stop to reduce risk of clumping.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. It is done when all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • In the meantime, make the crispy mushroom and tomato ragu. Add olive oil to a medium sized frying pan on medium high heat, add sliced mushrooms. Make sure they’re not over-crowded and let them sit on one side for about 1.5 minutes before touching them. Stir the mushrooms and cook for another 1.5 minutes until golden.
  • Combine ½ cup veggie stock and corn starch in a separate bowl
  • Add garlic and shallots to the pan and cook for another minute stirring frequently
  • Add balsamic vinegar, red wine, salt, diced tomatoes and corn starch mixture and bring to a boil for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Set aside
  • Once polenta is cooked add in salt, olive oil, butter and mix until combined.
  • Split evenly between 4 bowls and top with mushroom tomato ragu.