fbpx

Cheesy Mushroom Polenta with Bacon

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

Cheesy mushroom polenta with bacon is a family favorite! These savory Italian grits are a perfect accompaniment to a variety of entrees.

Make dinner exciting again! Serve rich creamy polenta as a side dish, instead of rice or mashed potatoes. It can also be enjoyed as a decadent one-bowl meal! This delicious mushroom polenta is the ultimate comfort-food recipe. Assemble this popular Italian dish in just 35 minutes!

PIN CHEESY MUSHROOM POLENTA NOW TO MAKE IT LATER!

Cheesy Mushroom Polenta with Bacon served in a dark-brown bowl with a metal fork.

CHEESY MUSHROOM POLENTA INGREDIENTS

  • Thick-sliced bacon
  • Bacon drippings or butter
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh Italian Parsley
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic clove
  • Polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal
  • Chicken broth or chicken stock
  • Shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • OPTIONAL: Corn kernels (canned/drained or frozen/thawed)
  • OPTIONAL: Grated parmesan cheese (garnish)

ITALIAN RECIPES TO MAKE ASAP

If you love this restaurant recipe for cheesy mushroom polenta, you’ll also enjoy these delicious Italian staples:


A flat-lay image of ingredients for Mushroom Polenta displayed on a maple board.

MUSHROOM POLENTA RECIPE

Cheesy mushroom polenta with bacon is a treat for the tastebuds! For more texture, add kernels of corn with the broth. It’s optional, but a great choice! 

Here’s how to make this easy recipe, step by step.

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F.

  • STEP 1: In a large heavy skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon slices to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan. Finely dice half the bacon. Roughly chop remaining half, which will be used as a garnish. Set it aside.
  • STEP 2: Chop parsley leaves. Set them aside.
  • STEP 3: Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Do not rinse under water. Mushrooms are like sponges. They need to be protected from excess moisture.
  • STEP 4: Gently hand tear mushrooms into pieces. Place them in a mound on a small baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Toss to disperse oil and spices. Spread them in an even layer on the tray. Oven roast mushrooms for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp but still juicy.
4-image collage showing how to make the best mushroom polenta, step by step.

HOW TO MAKE POLENTA

  • STEP 1: Chop onion. Press or mince garlic.
  • STEP 2: Add garlic and onions to the heavy skillet with bacon drippings. Sautée over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until the onion is golden and fragrant. 
  • STEP 3: Add broth and corn kernels to the skillet. Bring to a boil.  
  • STEP 4: Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly. Cook polenta for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thick and smooth. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle in the finely-diced bacon and half the Italian parsley. Stir briefly to incorporate. 
4-image collage showing how to make creamy mushroom polenta step by step.

HOW TO GARNISH CHEESY POLENTA

Serve this cheesy polenta family style as a side dish, or in individual ramekins. Garnish the polenta with oven-roasted mushrooms, chopped bacon and parsley. If desired, lightly sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. 

Cheesy Mushroom Polenta with Bacon served in a bowl on top of a plate with spoon.

EXPERT TIP FOR POLENTA

As it cools, polenta solidifies quickly. If not served right away, or if it’s been refrigerated, you may want to return it to a softened, more creamy texture.

HOW TO MAKE POLENTA CREAMY AGAIN: In a saucepan, warm the polenta with a bit of chicken broth or water. Stir until creamy. If needed, add more liquid to achieve a soft porridge-like texture.


WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER POLENTA

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy polenta! If you’re lucky enough to have some leftovers from this recipe, you’re in for a real treat! Here’s how to use leftover polenta:

  • GRILLED POLENTA BRUSCHETTA: Remove mushroom garnish. Transfer polenta to a tiny baker lined with parchment paper. Smooth into an even layer. Cover with foil. Refrigerate. When solid, slice the polenta. On the stovetop, grill in a non-stick pan until lightly brown. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the surface. Sprinkle diced cherry tomatoes (mixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper) over the top.
  • FRIED POLENTA BALLS: Remove the mushroom topping. Add panko bread crumbs and a bit of whisked egg to the leftovers. Scoop the polenta into small bite-sized balls, or cube the polenta into tiny squares. Fry in vegetable oil until golden. Serve with a side of warm marinara sauce for dipping.
  • MUSHROOM POLENTA WITH BACON FOR BRUNCH: It’s the perfect side dish for fluffy scrambled eggs! Or try topping a square of polenta with an over-easy egg with a bursted yolk.
  • POLENTA SQUARES: Remove the mushroom garnish. Cut solidified polenta into 1-inch thick squares. Brush both sides with olive oil. Place them on a baking tray. Broil for 7-10 minutes until slightly brown. Add the polenta squares to individual serving bowls. Spoon beef ragu or homemade chili over the top.
Cheesy polenta in a bowl topped with oven roasted mushrooms, parsley and bacon bits.

I WANT WHAT SHE HAS

Beautiful cooking tools bring so much happiness to the kitchen! They make meal prep a joyful experience. See something on this page you’d like to own?

Below are affiliate links for purchasing the items on Amazon.

CHEESY MUSHROOM POLENTA > RATE THIS RECIPE! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This mushroom polenta is deeply savory and crazy good. My family says it’s the best polenta recipe! If you agree, give it a 5-star rating in the comments!

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
Cheesy Mushroom Polenta with Bacon served in a dark-brown bowl with a metal fork.

Cheesy Mushroom Polenta with Bacon


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 side dish servings 1x

Description

Cheesy mushroom polenta is deeply satisfying and so delicious. With the addition of crumbled bacon it’s the ideal Italian comfort food! Make this savory side dish, or hearty meal, in 35 minutes. It’s the best polenta recipe!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 7 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or salted butter
  • 12 cremini mushrooms (or more, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 1 cup polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal*
  • 5 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 cup (packed) shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup corn kernels (canned/drained or frozen/thawed)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese (for garnishing)

*Note: Polenta is found at natural food markets, Italian markets, and large grocery stores. However, polenta and coarse yellow cornmeal are interchangeable. Use what you have on hand.


Instructions

CHEESY MUSHROOM POLENTA

Multi-task to get this recipe done faster! The mushrooms can be grilling in the oven while the polenta is cooking on the stovetop.

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F.

  1. Finely dice half the bacon. Roughly chop the remaining half, which will be used as a garnish. Set it aside.
  2. Chop parsley leaves. Set them aside.
  3. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Do not rinse under water. Mushrooms are like sponges. They need to be protected from excess moisture. Gently hand tear mushrooms into pieces. Place them in a mound on a small baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Toss to disperse oil and spices. Spread them in an even layer on the tray. Oven roast mushrooms for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp but still juicy.

HOW TO MAKE POLENTA

  1. Add garlic and onions to a heavy skillet with 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings or butter. Sautée over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until onion is golden and fragrant.
  2. Add broth and corn kernels to the skillet. Bring to a boil.
  3. Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly. Cook polenta for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thick and soft. Add cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle in the finely-diced bacon and half the Italian parsley. Stir briefly to incorporate.
  4. Serve this cheesy polenta family style as a side dish, or in individual ramekins. Garnish the polenta with oven-roasted mushrooms, chopped bacon and remaining parsley. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Notes

HOW TO MAKE POLENTA CREAMY AGAIN: As polenta cools, it solidifies quickly. If this dish was not served right away, or if it’s been refrigerated, you may want to return it to a softened, more creamy texture. Here’s how to do it: In a saucepan, warm the polenta with a bit of chicken broth or water. Stir until creamy. If needed, add more liquid to achieve a soft porridge-like texture.

  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Mushroom Polenta, Cheesy Polenta, Cheesy Mushroom Polenta

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

CHEESY MUSHROOM POLENTA > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

When was the last time you enjoyed polenta? What do you think of this cheesy mushroom polenta recipe? Would you serve it as a side or main entree? Join the conversation!

9 thoughts on “Cheesy Mushroom Polenta with Bacon”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares