Mushroom Ragout and Creamy Polenta

mushroom ragout served on top of creamy polenta garnished with basil and vegan cheese
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This quick and easy mushroom ragout with creamy polenta is the perfect meal on a cold weeknight. In just 30 minutes, your family has an allergen free, healthy and hearty meal.

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What is polenta? Polenta is ground up corn, or corn meal, that is cooked into a porridge. It originated in Northern Italy and is a fantastic alternative to pasta noodles. I love to use it as a yummy, gluten free base for a hearty ragout.

I used to make the meal all the time when we were newly weds, but when my kids developed their allergies, it became difficult to safely pull together. A while back, though, I started making my own Italian turkey sausage, to ensure that the meat was soy free for my daughter. And of course Kite Hill brand makes a cream cheese that is safe for my entire family, free from dairy, soy, cashews and pea protein. However, it does contain almonds…. feel free to substitute with a brand that works for you and your family, or see the recipe modifications section for other options.

I make this with lean ground turkey, but this can easily be made vegan but substituting the turkey with protein crumbles that fit your needs, or doubling the mushrooms (which I’ve also done before and is delicious).

Start by preparing the seasoning: combine dried parsely, italian seasoning, paprika, fennel seed, pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder, along with red pepper, if using. In a large skillet, warm 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add in the protein and seasoning, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring periodically, until cooked through. Remove the protein from the pan and set aside. Warm 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the skillet, and add the onions. Saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften- about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add back in the protein and the canned tomatoes, stirring to combine. Bring the ragout to a soft boil and allow to simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small sauce pan add in your cooked polenta. You can either cook you own polenta, or buy pre-packaged polenta if that’s all you can find. If using pre-cooked, you’ll want to mash up the polenta with a potato masher first. Over low-medium heat, add in broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring to combine. Once the polenta is warm, stir in the cream cheese. Continue to stir the mixture, adding additional broth or cream cheese as needed to reach desired consistency (it should be the texture of mashed potatoes). To serve, scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of polenta onto dish and pour ragout over the top. Garnish with fresh basil and shredded cheese that fits your needs (I used Follow Your Heart mozzarella as it is top 9 free, safe for the entire family and still tastes good).

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Yield: 8 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Mushroom Ragout and Creamy Polenta

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, or other protein substitute
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed 
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups cooked polenta
  • 1/2-3/4 cup broth
  • 1/2 cup dairy free cream cheese (I use Kite Hill, but contains almonds)
  • 1/4 cup dairy free mozzarella or parmesan cheese + more for garnish
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Mushroom Ragout and Creamy Polenta Instructions

  1. Prepare the seasoning: combine dried parsley, Italian seasoning, paprika, fennel seed, pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder, along with red pepper, if using. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, warm 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add in the ground turkey or protein of choice and seasoning, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring periodically, until cooked through. Remove the protein from the pan and set aside.
  3. Warm 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the skillet, and add the onions. Saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften- about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add back in the protein and the canned tomatoes, stirring to combine. Bring the ragout to a soft boil and allow to simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. In a small sauce pan add in your cooked polenta. You can either cook you own polenta, or buy pre- cooked and packaged polenta. If using pre-cooked, you’ll want to mash up the polenta with a potato masher first. Over low-medium heat, add in 1/4 cup broth, stirring to combine. Once the polenta is warm, stir in the diary free cream cheese and mozzarella/ parmesan. Continue to stir the mixture, adding additional broth or cream cheese as needed to reach desired consistency (it should be the texture of mashed potatoes).
  5. To serve, scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of polenta onto dish and pour ~1 cup ragout over the top. Garnish with fresh basil and shredded cheese that fits your needs.

Recipe Modifications

  • Vegan Cream Cheese. If you cannot find a cream cheese that meets your dietary needs, you can substitute with the dairy free cheese of your choice. You will want to increase to ~3/4-1 cup

Happy Allergen Free Cooking!

mushroom ragout over creamy polenta garnished with basil and dairy free cheese, baguette on the side

Did you make this mushroom ragout and creamy polenta? Tag me on Instagram- I love to see your creations. Don’t forget to comment and let me know how your meal turned out!

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