Provençal Stuffed Mushrooms and Grilled Polenta

Fragrant herbes de Provence bring a touch of the Mediterranean to meaty crimini mushrooms… Perch them atop a grilled round of chèvre and basil polenta, then drizzle with a fresh basil purée. Provençal Stuffed Mushrooms and Grilled Polenta makes a gorgeous starter course for an elegant dinner party, or a substantial vegetarian main dish.

Provencal Stuffed Mushroom Topped Grilled Polenta on a bronze ceramic plate with a glass and a bottle of white wine.

The cuisine of Provence is defined by its landscape – gnarly olive trees on rocky slopes; rosemary, fennel, thyme and sage growing wild alongside bay laurel and juniper. Olive oil and olives, anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and garlic – lots and lots of garlic – characterize this wonderful cuisine. Tapenade, ratatouille, Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew Provençal, and Provençal Beef Tongue Sandwiches are representative of the cuisine, and among my favorites to prepare and enjoy.

Pantry Items to Keep on Hand:

Keeping a well-stocked pantry makes cooking Provençal-inspired dishes so much easier!

  • good olive oil
  • garlic
  • anchovies or anchovy paste
  • capers
  • good canned tomatoes
  • dried thyme leaves
  • dried sage
  • dried bay leaves
  • herbes de Provence

Fresh Ingredients:

With a few fresh ingredients on hand, you will have even more options!

  • rosemary
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • sage
  • bay
  • lemons
  • fennel bulb

Provençal Stuffed Mushroom and Grilled Polenta really combines 2 different dishes – a Provençal stuffed mushroom and a chèvre and basil grilled polenta. While the finished dish takes a little while to complete, much of that time is not “active” time.

When I grill polenta, I always start with it well-chilled. The polenta requires about 30 minutes on the stove, it is then spooned into a suitable pan, and either refrigerated for several hours or popped into the freezer for about an hour. Chilling firms up the polenta, and allows it to hold its shape as it goes from pan to grill to plate. Keep this in mind when planning your prep for this recipe!

Grilled Polenta

  • broth or stock
  • cornmeal – You’ll want to use medium or coarse grind cornmeal to make polenta. You do not have to use “Polenta” cornmeal. That is a marketing strategy, and you’ll pay more for it.
  • butter or olive oil
  • chèvre – Also known as goat cheese, it’s lovely in this polenta. You can substitute another creamy, melting cheese. Parmesan or romano are good options as well.
  • fresh basil

Provencal Stuffed Mushrooms

  • mushrooms – Cremini, button, or portabello mushrooms are good options. Keep in mind the size is important. If you’re doing an appetizer portion, decent-sized cremini or button mushrooms work well. If you want to do a main dish portion, a portabello is perfect.
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • shallot – Red onion is a good substitute.
  • crushed red pepper – This is an optional ingredient if you like a little heat!
  • herbes de Provence – Herbes de Provence is an essential ingredient for French and Mediterranean cooking. The basic recipe includes fennel, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. Other recipes include (or omit) basil, bay leaves, savory, chervil, sage, oregano, mint, and lavender. I love to make my own homemade spice blends, but you can find it in most grocery stores and online.
  • piquillo peppers – Piquillo peppers are sweet chile peppers with no heat. They are fairly easy to find, but you can substitute roasted red bell peppers.
  • panko or regular bread crumbs
  • scallions
  • egg
  • grated parmesan

Basil Drizzle

  • fresh basil leaves – You’ll need 1 to 2 cups.
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • a couple grinds of good salt

Grilled Polenta

  1. Prepare the polenta – To a medium saucepan, add broth/stock and salt. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, and whisk in the cornmeal by slowly sprinkling it in. This helps to avoid lumps. Once the cornmeal is incorporated into the broth/stock, cover the saucepan. Cook 30 minutes on low heat. Mixture should be at a simmer, not a boil. Stir occasionally.
  2. Finish the polenta – Add the olive oil or butter, and fresh ground pepper. Stir to combine. If you have time, allow mixture to cool before folding in the chevre. That allows some of the crumbles to stay intact rather than becoming part of the polenta. Spread in 9 x 9 baking pan. Chill.
  3. Grill the polenta – Heat grill to medium high. Cut polenta into desired shape. Grill until you have a nice crust and visible grill marks. Remove and keep warm.

Provencal Stuffed Mushrooms

  1. Prepare – Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently clean the mushrooms, and remove the stems (a melon baller is great, or just snap them off). Chop them. Prep the remaining stuffing ingredients.
  2. Make the stuffing – Heat olive in a saute pan. Add garlic, chopped mushroom stems, and shallot. Saute until shallot is translucent, and mushrooms are soft and releasing their liquid. Add the crushed red pepper, herbes de Provence, chopped peppers, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Stir and sauté 2 to 3 additional minutes. Remove mixture to a mixing bowl allow to cool. Add well-beaten egg and scallions to cooled mixture. The egg allows the mixture to hold together.
  3. Stuff the mushrooms and bake – Brush mushrooms with olive oil. Place them upside down in a baking pan (I like my stoneware). Place an appropriately sized scoop of stuffing on each mushroom cap. Top with a sprinkle of grated parmesan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Basil Drizzle

  1. Make the basil drizzle – To a blender or food processor, add fresh basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Purée. Add more olive oil to achieve desired consistency.

To Serve

  1. Assemble – Top each polenta round with a stuffed mushroom. Drizzle with basil puree. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve. Enjoy!

I love piquillo peppers, but they can be difficult to find. Roasted red bell peppers are a perfect substitution.

A “bunch” of basil really varies in amount. You want to be able to drizzle the basil oil, so try to gauge the amount of olive oil beforehand, and add as needed so as not to end up with a watery consistency.

If you have leftover stuffing, you can freeze it in a zip bag for another day…

What kind of mushrooms should I use?

The mushrooms you choose to stuff should be determined by how you wish to serve them. I love this dish as a starter course for a dinner party (typically 6 to 8 people). Alternatively, you may wish to use a small portobello mushroom atop a larger square serving of grilled polenta – 1 each – for 3 to 4 people. If you’re stuffing larger portobellos, you may want to double the stuffing ingredients.  

Can I make this dish in advance?

Yes. The polenta can really be made days in advance. Grilling polenta is much easier if it’s well-chilled. The mushrooms really need to be served hot, so you may wish to prep the stuffing when you do the polenta, and refrigerate it until closer to serving time (an hour or so). After stuffing the mushrooms, bake them 20 to 25 minutes. While the mushrooms bake, grill the polenta.

Can I substitute a different cheese in the polenta?

Chèvre is so delicious with polenta, but you can certainly substitute your preferred cheese. I find chilling the chèvre well, makes it easier to break into chunks. Add to the cooled polenta to keep some of the pieces intact.

4 Provencal Stuffed Mushrooms on and Grilled Polenta on a bronze-rimmed plate with basil drizzle over top.

Polenta is one of my favorite bases for so many hearty recipes. It is inexpensive, filling, and gluten-free. It is a perfect “vehicle” for all sorts of different flavors, and is lovely both soft (like mashed potatoes) and firm (as in my grilled polenta). Have you tried polenta? I would love to hear your experiences with it!

🌽 More Polenta Recipes:

Grilled Pork Chops with Hatch Green Chile Polenta – Beyond Mere Sustenance

Hatch Green Chile Polenta with Baked Eggs – Beyond Mere Sustenance

Pork Ragu With Basil Polenta – Beyond Mere Sustenance

Grilled Green Chile Polenta With Citrus Shrimp – Beyond Mere Sustenance

Truffle Mushroom Polenta Gratin – Ciao Florentina

Easy Chicken Stew (Grandma’s Recipe For Chicken Stew) – Ciao Florentina

Sautéed Chicken With Shishito Pepper Sauce Over Cheesy Polenta – Fearless Dining

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

Provencal Stuffed Mushroom and Grilled Polenta

Provencal spices, garlic, olive oil, roasted pepper, toasty bread crumbs stuffed mushrooms atop a creamy basil and chevre flecked grilled polenta… all drizzled with basil oil. This is a lovely starter course for several, or main dish for 3 or 4…
5 from 2 votes

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Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Provencal
Servings 4 servings
Calories 440 kcal

Ingredients
  

Grilled Polenta

  • 4 cups broth or stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 4 ounces chevre see notes
  • handful fresh basil - chopped

Provencal Stuffed Mushrooms

  • cremini - button, or portabello mushrooms, stems removed see notes
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • 1 shallot - finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper - optional
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • ½ cup chopped piquillo peppers - about 5 see notes
  • ½ cup panko or regular bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • several grinds pepper
  • 2 scallions - finely chopped
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • ¼ cup parmesan - grated

Basil Drizzle

  • 1 bunch basil leaves - 1 to 2 cups
  • ½ cup olive oil - +/- see notes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a couple grinds of good salt

Instructions

Grilled Polenta

  • To a medium saucepan, add broth/stock and salt. Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Reduce heat, and whisk in the cornmeal by slowly sprinkling it in. This helps to avoid lumps.
  • Once the cornmeal is incorporated into the broth/stock, cover the saucepan.
  • Cook 30 minutes on low heat. Mixture should be at a simmer, not a boil. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the olive oil or butter, and fresh ground pepper. Stir to combine.
  • If you have time, allow mixture to cool before folding in the chevre. That allows some of the crumbles to stay intact rather than becoming part of the polenta.
  • Spread in 9 x 9 baking pan. Chill.
  • Heat grill to medium high.
  • Cut polenta into desired shape. Grill until you have a nice crust and visible grill marks. Remove and keep warm.

Provencal Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Gently clean the mushrooms, and remove the stems (a melon baller is great, or just snap them off). Chop them.
  • Heat olive in a saute pan. Add garlic, chopped mushroom stems, and shallot. Saute until shallot is translucent, and mushrooms are soft and releasing their liquid.
  • Add the crushed red pepper, herbes de Provence, chopped peppers, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Stir and saute 2 to 3 additional minutes. Remove mixture to a mixing bowl allow to cool.
  • Add well-beaten egg and scallions to cooled mixture. The egg allows the mixture to hold together.
  • Brush mushrooms with olive oil. Place them upside down in a baking pan (I like my stoneware).
  • Place an appropriately sized scoop of stuffing on each mushroom cap. Top with a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Basil Drizzle

  • To a blender or food processor, add fresh basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, and salt.
  • Puree. Add more olive oil to achieve desired consistency.

To Serve

  • Top each polenta round with a stuffed mushroom.
  • Drizzle with basil puree.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal): 440 calories; 16 g protein; 43 g carbohydrates; 19 g fat. This recipes is impossible to calculate with any accuracy at all. It is intended to be flexible. As a guideline, I used 4 servings (as a main dish), but it still depends on how you portion it, how much basil drizzle it gets, etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 1grams | Calories: 440kcal

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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16 Comments

  1. I’m looking for ways to convert my husband from a polenta hater to a polenta lover. This looks like a good place to start. Provencal flavours run throughout my cooking – such a healthy cuisine too, celebrating seasonality, freshness and frugality.

    1. Polenta is such a versatile dish… I use it as a base often – in place of potatoes, rice, etc. The stuffed mushrooms can of course be served on their own, but when combined with grilled polenta, it really is special!