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Polenta with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

by Lorena

Polenta is one of my favourite things in the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s baked, fried or in its very creamy, sexy version. This time I bring you the creamiest polenta with parmesan cheese and finished with butter. And we top this polenta with mushrooms and caramelized onions. Doesn’t get any better than that, my friends! So grab a spoon and let’s get going 🙂

This recipe was first posted on the blog on April 2017 and there are a couple differences between then and the version I made now. First of all I used thyme last time and I LOVE IT! I just couldn’t find any this time so added a few tiny basil leaves. So go for the thyme if you can :). When it comes to the mushrooms I sliced them the last time and now I cut them in quarters. You can choose whichever you prefer, it doesn’t make much difference other than on texture; the quarters feel more meaty ;).

If you love polenta you can always try the over version I have on here! It’s a creamy polenta with roasted cherry tomatoes and leek that’s also served with a poached egg. I mean, how can you not love that! These are great ideas for meatless Mondays for sure. Great comforting, satisfying and delicious dishes.

It’s always special to go back and revisit old recipes because you remember what context you made them in. For this polenta with mushrooms and caramelized onions I was living at Javier’s mom house after moving back from London and I remember clearly enjoying it for lunch with her. This was in April and by May we had already moved back to our old flat so that memory is really precious in my mind.

polenta with mushrooms

Polenta with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Low
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 3 people


For the mushrooms

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 400 g white button mushrooms
  • to taste salt

For the caramelized onions

  • 250 g white onion
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • tiny pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

For the polenta

  • 150 g polenta
  • 900 ml milk
  • 40 g parmesan cheese recién rallado
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • to taste salt


For the mushrooms

  • Wash the mushrooms and cut off the end of the stalk. Slice them thinly or cut the in quarters, whichever you prefer.
  • Heat a pan to medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil. Put only enough mushrooms as to cover the base of the pan as we want them to become nice and golden. Leave them still so they can develop some colour, and then flip. It might take them some time to colour as first they need to release water.
  • When you finish a batch, reserve and then reheat before serving.

For the caramelized onions

  • Cut the onion in thin slices; if they are thick they take longer and the caramelization tends to not go all the way through.
  • Put the onions in a pan on low heat with the olive oil, thyme and a tiny pinch of salt. Let it cook slowly. First it will go soft and transparent; that means it’s cooked. From here on, it will start to caramelize from the sugar that’s naturally in it.
  • If you see that it’s starting to get unevenly golden or that there’s lots of sugar stuck on the pan and could burn, add a bit of water and move the onions around to retrieve the sugar stuck on the pan. They will continue to cook once all the water has evaporated. Continue this process until the onions reach a light brown colour.
  • Remove the thyme sprigs and add the teaspoon of sugar and a bit of water to evenly coat the onions and then let it evaporate completely. Reheat before serving.

For the polenta

  • Mix the polenta with the cold or room temperature milk using a whisk. Turn on the heat to medium and whisk constantly as polenta can stick to the bottom of the pan and burn; specially once it has started to boil.
  • Once it has thickened enough, try it. If it still has solid grains left, add a bit more milk and keep cooking. Otherwise, add the parmesan cheese and whisk until melted
  • Taste it and adjust the level of salt (the parmesan has salt, so that’s why we wait until after adding it to add more). Finish with the butter and serve hot.
  • If you’re going to reheat the polenta afterwards, make sure to put cling film on top touching the surface of the polenta so it doesn’t form a crust. You’ll definitely need more milk to thin it down while reheating.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

1 comment

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