Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragout

This dish is one of my favorite things to shop for at the farmer's market! Specifically for the mushrooms. Have fun picking out an assortment of wild mushrooms you've never heard of on the advice of your local mushroom farmer!

Seriously you can get whatever mushrooms you want for this dish – but if you are really getting wild out there just make sure to tell your vendor how you plan to use them so that he can make appropriate recommendations. Some mushrooms that I have used for this dish are oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, king trumpet mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, hen of the woods, and many others. If you do not have access to a farmer’s market you can usually find a chef’s mushroom sampler at a specialty grocery store. Otherwise this dish can be just as well prepared with cremini, shitake, and portobellos. The mushroom world is your oyster!

You’ll get excited about “Meatless Monday” when you have hearty and flavorful dishes like this one on hand! The polenta is creamy and cheesy, the mushrooms are meaty, and satisfying.

Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragout

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 1.5 cups polenta
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • 24 oz assorted wild mushrooms cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion minced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese plus extra for serving
  • 4 oz pine nuts toasted
  • olive oil
  • unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. Bring 8 cups of vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Whisk in the polenta. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the polenta thickens and pulls away from the sides. 

  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the whole rainbow chard leaves and boil until the stems are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Squeeze any extra water from the leaves and then slice into half inch thick ribbons.  Set aside

  3. In a large frying pan over medium head warm a few tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent and the mushrooms are tender. Add the sliced rainbow chard to the pan and stir until warmed through and well coated in the pan juices.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and remove the pan from the heat. 

  4. When the polenta is finished cooking stir in the cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup butter or olive oil  until melted and well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. Spoon the polenta into a bowl, and then top with the sautéed mushroom mixture, and toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!