Fried Polenta Squares with Creamy Mushroom Ragu


You won't be able to resist this hearty, heart-warming side dish from Beth Kirby of Local Milk.

Prep Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
4 servings


  • 4 cups water

  • 1 cup polenta

  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms (like shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, hen of the woods), cleaned and sliced

  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice

  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 sheet Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil


  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta. Once it begins to thicken, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes until creamy and thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in the Parmesan and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until melted and cheese is no longer visible. Remove from heat.

  2. Line an 8x11 inch baking dish with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil and carefully pour the polenta into the baking dish, using a spatula to smooth it to an even thickness, about 3/4 inch. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days until firm.

  3. While the polenta chills, make your ragu. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent browning. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms start to release their liquid. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook another 5 minutes until they begin to soften more.

  4. Add flour, stirring, until it is no longer visible, about 1 minute. Add in the wine, cream and sugar, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt if desired. Simmer until thick and creamy and the mushrooms are nicely coated, about 15 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup minced parsley. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

  5. Slice your polenta into squares -- whatever size you desire. Wipe down your skillet, coat it with nonstick cooking spray, and heat it over medium-high. Fry the squares in the pan until golden brown and warmed through. To serve, top the squares with warm mushroom ragu.


Line your baking pan with Reynolds Wrap(R) Aluminum Foil for perfect polenta every time!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

448 Calories
19g Fat
47g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 448
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 949mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 28mg 140%
Calcium 222mg 17%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 495mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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