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Spinach and Mushroom Pesto Polenta

What you need: 

1 cup spinach, chopped
1 (6 1/2) ounce can mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
2 tablespoons pesto
5 cups water
2 cups corn grits/polenta
salt and pepper, to taste

What you do: 

1. Mix together first four ingredients. Heat them together in a medium sized pan for a few minutes, until hot. Put mixture aside in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot and slowly add the corn grits. Be careful; this bubbles up and will burn you! I speak from experience! Mix frequently with a big wooden spoon until it's really thick; this takes about 1/2 hour. Keep stirring, or it will burn.
3. Once the polenta is thick, add the spinach mixture to the polenta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Put the polenta into the bowl and allow it to set up about 10 minutes.
4. Unmold and cut into thick slices. You can fry these in olive oil if you want them slightly crispy, or you can serve them the way they are.
They are also really good topped with tomoto sauce or vegan cheese.
Source of recipe: I made it up.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 
30 minutes
Recipe Category: 


I started by sauteeing an onion to add more flavor and mixed everything else in with it before adding it to the polenta. I made a sauce with cashews, water, sundried tomatoes and salt to put on top. This was a hit!


To prevent burning and what not, this can also be made in a crock pot. Smear the walls of the slow cooker with 1 Tbl. vegan butter. Add water polenta and salt to slow cooker (including 2 extra tbs vegan butter). Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 9 hours (or 3 to 4 hours on high), stirring occasionally. Add in the cooked veggies or whatever you like towards the end.


This is awesome.  I pressed the polenta into a pie plate and baked it after it was done.  I'm serving it over garlicky spinach.  Mmm!!  Oh, and I used fresh mushrooms and fresh spinach.


This recipe sounds really good. I have a question though: Is the spinach fresh or cooked already?


Two more comments:

- Using a large pot will prevent injury from those little heat bubbles that spray up. Use a long spoon and maybe wear an oven mit for protection
- Make sure you wash your pot immediately or the polenta will be stuck in there in gross clumps


This was my first experience with polenta and it was fantastic! My non-vegan boyfriend and our non-vegan roommate both really enjoyed it and are excited to have leftovers this week.

I fried these up in Safflower Oil (definitely necessary, they were kind of slimey before I did that) and topped them with some Daiya Italian Blend Non-Dairy Cheese Alternative. Without the "cheese" they tasted a little bland to me.

They tasted very Italian with the tomatoes and pesto, the "cheese" only added to this. DELICIOUS.

A few things:
- It only took 10-15 minutes for the polenta to thicken up, but it may take longer with corn grits.
- I recommend putting the mixture into a baking pan or casserole instead of a bowl to set so the slices can be more precise
- Let the polenta cool entirely or it won't be completely set, then fry/grill... you may also be able to bake it

I agree with Icoe, I'd love to make this with fresh mushrooms and some garlic next time.


I followed the recipe exactly except that I used sundried tomato paste. I also used quick cooking polenta so that made the process much easier! I cut it up and fried it, and served it with baked beans, really good comfort food  ;)b


What a pain in the caboose polenta is to make (says the girl w/ burns on her arms).  I would probably make it more often, if not.  This was a yummy version.  I used a jar of wild mushrooms in brine that I had on hand, but honestly they are kinda gross, and I think they messed it up a bit.  I would like to try making this again, but w/ fresh mushrooms and a little garlic.  I also used an envelope of dry pesto mix, and fresh would have been better.

If you haven't had polenta before, I recommend frying or grilling the slices before serving.  Makes it really nice!

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