Braised Mushroom Carrot Polenta, a simple braised vegetables and polenta recipe served with a herbed wine reduction sauce. Simple, classic, and so easy!
This Braised Mushroom Carrot Polenta recipe is our new favorite comfort food dish. It’s simple enough to enjoy for a weeknight dinner at home, but tasty (and photogenic) enough to be a crowd-pleasing main dish for weekend guests.
👉 Here are three reasons why you should make Braised Mushroom Carrot Polenta for dinner tonight!
- It’s a plant-based way to enjoy the flavors of a roast. You don’t need meat to indulge in the delicious flavors of a roast—there are so many vegetables that can take center stage and be just as delicious as meat. And this Braised Mushroom Carrot Polenta proves that mushrooms and carrots can do just that.
- It’s as easy as 1-2-3. This dish is ready in about 50 minutes, with only 10 minutes of prep time. The ingredients you need are no-fuss and it’s perfect for a busy evening meal!
- You can make it your own. There are so many ways that you can adjust this recipe according to your preferences and what you have on hand. We love mixing in different herbs, spices, and cooking wines. You can also mix in other vegetables, pair it with a green salad, or serve as a side along with just about anything!
Are you ready for this simple braised vegetables over polenta in a red wine reduction sauce? Let’s do it!
This recipe features delicious flavors from the cooked veggies and herbed wine reduction sauce. Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make it:
- Polenta: The key ingredient! You’ll need 2 cups of polenta to bring this recipe together.
- Mushrooms, carrots, and garlic: the veggies we used for this dish. You’ll cook them with some olive oil and the wine sauce before combining them with polenta.
- Red wine, thyme sprigs, and dried oregano: for the red wine sauce.
- Vegetable broth, salt, and pepper: you’ll cook the polenta with these ingredients for the perfect flavor.
- Optional: add some cheese, nutritional yeast, or herbs to the polenta for a flavor boost.
- Recommended tools: dutch oven or large soup pot, environmentally-friendly cookware, knife set
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Cook mushrooms and carrots with wine sauce
First, heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add carrots and mushrooms, cooking until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add salt, pepper, wine, thyme, and oregano and cover, cooking until you can easily spear the carrots with a fork or knife.
Turn up the heat and cook for about 10 minutes until the wine is reduced to a thick sauce.
2️⃣ Step Two: Make the polenta
Next, it’s time to make the polenta.
Add polenta and vegetable broth to a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until polenta is thick.
Remove from the heat, then stir in salt, pepper, and any herbs or cheese until well combined.
3️⃣ Step Three: Assemble the polenta and veggies
Finally, it’s time to serve the dish!
Place polenta in a bowl or on a plate and top with braised mushrooms and carrots, and the wine reduction sauce.
Top with fresh herbs and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
Polenta is a porridge-like dish that is made from stone-ground yellow corn kernels. It originated in northern Italy, and is similar to grits in taste and texture. You can enjoy polenta as a side dish, or make it the main part of the meal like we did in this recipe.
The mild flavor of polenta pairs well with just about anything. You can mix your favorite spices and seasonings into polenta, and enjoy it in place of potatoes or rice with dinner. Polenta is commonly mixed with cheese for extra creaminess, or you can add some nutritional yeast to keep it plant-based. Many vegetables taste delicious when combined with polenta—we love it with mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, peas, and even broccoli. It pairs well with plant and animal proteins!
🌿 How to serve
We love making Braised Mushroom Carrot Polenta for dinner on busy weeknights, or cooking up a batch to share with friends and family on holidays. Here are a few ways to get creative with the recipe to make it your own:
- Add a flavor twist: Experiment with different herbs, seasoned salts, and cooking wines! It would taste delicious with sage or rosemary!
- Boost the vegetables: Pair with a green salad or mix in other seasonal vegetables to make it a more complete meal.
- Experiment with polenta pairings. We mixed the polenta with vegetable broth, salt, and pepper in this recipe. You can also add cheese for a creamy texture (or nutritional yeast if you’re plant-based). Chives would also help add some extra flavor.
🧊 How to store
If you plan to have leftovers, this mushroom carrot polenta is pretty easy to store using the tips below:
- Refrigerator storage: Store braised vegetables and polenta separately in an airtight glass container for up to four days. Reheat over the stove in a small pot or pan. Add a bit of water or broth to polenta while heating so it is smooth.
- Freezer storage: We do not recommend storing this polenta dish in the freezer.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
If you’re anything like us, chances are that you strive to make your kitchen as eco-friendly as possible. Here are some ways to give back to the planet with this recipe:
Make it while the veggies are seasonal. The best time to make this recipe is when mushrooms and carrots are in-season. That’s most of the year in California, but you can find out when they are in season near you here. Their warm flavors make it the perfect dish to make during the winter months!
Re-purpose veggie scraps. Any scraps that you accumulate from the carrots, mushrooms, and herbs can be set aside and used to add flavor to homemade vegetable broth. If you don’t plan to make broth, then you should throw them in your compost bin.
Use sustainable toxin-free cookware. Choosing environmentally-friendly cookware is key to cooking safely and sustainably!
🍲 More vegetarian comfort food recipes
Loving this simple braised vegetable and polenta recipe? We’ve got you covered:
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Braised Mushroom Carrot Polenta
Braised Mushrooms and Carrots
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound mushrooms sliced
- 1 pound carrot cut into 1” slices
- 2 whole garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cups red wine
- 3 whole thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups polenta
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook mushrooms and carrots with wine sauce: Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms and carrots, cooking until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add salt, pepper, wine, thyme, and oregano and cover, cooking until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. When vegetables are soft, remove lid and turn up heat to medium-high. Cook until wine is reduced but a thick sauce remains, about 10 minutes.
- Make the polenta: Add polenta and vegetable broth to a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until polenta is thick. Remove from heat, then stir in nutritional yeast (if using), salt, pepper, and any herbs until well combined.
- Assemble the polenta and vegetables: Place polenta in a bowl or on a plate. Top with braised mushrooms, carrots, and the wine reduction sauce. Top with fresh herbs and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Tools needed: large soup pot or dutch oven, environmentally-friendly cookware, knife set
- Recipe notes: For a flavor twist, experiment with different herbs, seasoned salts, and cooking wines
- Leftovers + storage: Store braised vegetables and polenta separately in airtight glass containers for up to four days. Reheat over the stove in a small pot or pan; add a bit of water or broth to polenta while heating so it is smooth.
- Nutrition: Nutrition information for 1 cup cooked vegetables and 1 cup cooked polenta (no cheese). This recipe is high in fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Pair with a green salad to boost your vegetables for a complete meal.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in December 2018 and updated for clarity in November 2021.