ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms, Chickpeas, and Olives

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 45 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: about 1/2 cup polenta and 1 cup mushroom mixture)

Look for stone-ground polenta or grits for this dish. Admittedly, they take a bit longer to cook, but the results are worth it, adding a creamier texture and hearty, nutty flavor to the dish.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces sliced wild mushrooms (about 7 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large red onion, vertically sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 mixed olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup stone-ground polenta or grits
  • 2 ounces grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), divided
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutrition Information

  • calories 251
  • fat 6.6 g
  • satfat 2 g
  • monofat 2.5 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 10 g
  • carbohydrate 35 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 8 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 510 mg
  • calcium 159 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare medley, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms, garlic, onion, and thyme; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add wine and vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add broth, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, olives, and chickpeas; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 6 minutes or until slightly thickened.

  2. To prepare polenta, bring 3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to low; cook 30 minutes or until thick and creamy, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 ounce cheese.

  3. Divide polenta evenly among 6 shallow bowls. Top evenly with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 ounce cheese and parsley.

Cook's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit