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Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Recipe

This hearty and warming Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms recipe is a perfect comfort food for the cold seasons. Combining the earthy flavors of wild mushrooms with the creaminess of polenta and cheese, and the freshness of spinach, this dish provides a beautiful blend of tastes and textures that are sure to impress your guests.

Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Recipe

Photos of Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Recipe

Wild mushrooms might not be a staple in your pantry, but they are a key ingredient in this recipe. They are usually available in most supermarkets or at farmers' markets. Their unique, earthy flavor greatly enhances the depth of taste in this dish. Similarly, a log of prepared polenta might not be something you usually have in your kitchen, but it can be easily found in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store. Gruyere cheese is a type of Swiss cheese that is known for its sweet, slightly salty flavor which perfectly complements the other ingredients.

Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil: Used to sauté the mushrooms and shallots.

Mixed wild mushrooms: They add an earthy flavor.

Large shallot: Adds a subtle, sweet flavor.

Baby spinach: Provides freshness and color.

Thyme: Enhances the earthiness of the mushrooms.

Nutmeg: Adds a warm, spicy flavor.

Butter: Used to make the roux for the sauce.

All purpose flour: Thickens the sauce.

Chicken stock or low sodium broth: Adds depth of flavor to the sauce.

Cream: Adds richness to the sauce.

Prepared polenta: The base of the gratin.

Gruyere cheese: Adds a creamy, slightly salty flavor.

One reader, Enoch Reeder says:

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This polenta gratin with spinach and wild mushrooms recipe is a game-changer! The combination of earthy mushrooms, creamy polenta, and flavorful spinach is simply divine. The dish is easy to prepare and delivers a burst of rich, comforting flavors. It's a definite winner for any dinner table!

Enoch Reeder

Techniques Required for Making Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms

How to prepare the mushrooms: Clean the mushrooms by brushing off any dirt with a damp paper towel. Trim the stems and slice them into even pieces for even cooking.

How to wilt spinach: In a large skillet, add the spinach and a splash of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and any excess liquid has evaporated.

How to make the cream sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock and cream, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

How to arrange the polenta: Slice the prepared polenta into even rounds. Arrange the polenta slices on top of the spinach in overlapping concentric circles, pressing them slightly to submerge into the cream sauce.

How to broil the gratin: Preheat the broiler. Uncover the polenta and place the dish about 6 inches from the heat source. Broil for about 2 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

How to make ahead: The unbaked gratin can be assembled and refrigerated overnight. Simply follow the recipe until step 13, cover the dish, and refrigerate until ready to bake.

How To Make Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms

Soft, luscious, and incredibly tasteful, this low-fat polenta gratin packs a healthy punch with its tender spinach and wild mushrooms, for a richer meal!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 53 minutes
Total: 1 hour 3 minutes



  • 2tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • 12ozmixed wild mushrooms,(5 cups), sliced
  • 1large shallot
  • 8ozbaby spinach,(8 lightly packed cups), prewashed
  • ½tspthyme
  • pinchnutmeg,freshly grated
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1tbspunsalted butter
  • 1tbspall purpose flour
  • ¾cupchicken stock,or low sodium broth
  • ½cupcream
  • 18ozprepared polenta,(1 log)
  • 3ozgruyere cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes until lightly browned.

  3. Add the shallot and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, thyme and nutmeg and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spread the spinach evenly in a 2-quart baking dish.

  5. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour over moderately high heat. Add the stock and cream and whisk for about 5 minutes until thickened.

  6. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour over the spinach.

  7. Arrange the polenta slices on top of the spinach in overlapping concentric circles, pressing to submerge the polenta slightly. Sprinkle the Gruyère on the polenta.

  8. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

  9. Preheat the broiler. Uncover the polenta and broil 6 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes, or until golden.

  10. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  11. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

 Make Ahead: The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight.


  • Calories: 416.88kcal
  • Fat: 15.52g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.06g
  • Trans Fat: 0.06g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.88g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.43g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.69g
  • Fiber: 5.23g
  • Sugar: 3.24g
  • Protein: 10.45g
  • Cholesterol: 36.56mg
  • Sodium: 463.79mg
  • Calcium: 161.53mg
  • Potassium: 550.53mg
  • Iron: 3.27mg
  • Vitamin A: 242.57µg
  • Vitamin C: 8.98mg

Technique Tip for Achieving the Perfect Consistency in Polenta Gratin

When preparing the polenta for this gratin, ensure that it is sliced evenly. This not only ensures uniform cooking, but also gives a pleasing aesthetic to the final dish. Additionally, when broiling the gratin, keep a close eye on it to prevent the gruyere cheese from burning. The goal is to achieve a golden, bubbly top. If it's browning too quickly, you may need to adjust the rack's position in the oven or reduce the broiling time.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Polenta Gratin Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the vegetables and ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use store-bought polenta: Save time by using pre-made polenta instead of making it from scratch.

Multi-task: While the gratin is baking, use that time to clean up the kitchen or prepare a simple side salad.

Organize ingredients: Before starting, gather all the necessary ingredients and utensils to avoid last-minute searches.

Substitute Ingredients For Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Recipe

  • extra virgin olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar high smoke point and mild flavor, making it a suitable replacement for extra virgin olive oil in this recipe.

  • mixed wild mushrooms - Substitute with cremini mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms have a similar earthy flavor and texture, making them a good substitute for wild mushrooms in this recipe.

  • large shallot - Substitute with red onion: Red onion can be used as a substitute for shallots, providing a slightly milder flavor but still complementing the dish well.

  • baby spinach - Substitute with kale: Kale can be used as a substitute for baby spinach, offering a hearty texture and robust flavor when cooked.

  • thyme - Substitute with rosemary: Rosemary can be used as a substitute for thyme, providing a similar earthy and aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • nutmeg - Substitute with allspice: Allspice can be used as a substitute for nutmeg, offering a warm and slightly peppery flavor to the dish.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free substitute for unsalted butter, adding a hint of coconut flavor to the dish.

  • all purpose flour - Substitute with gluten-free flour: Gluten-free flour can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour, making the recipe suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

  • chicken stock or low sodium broth - Substitute with vegetable stock: Vegetable stock can be used as a substitute for chicken stock or broth, providing a flavorful base for the dish.

  • cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free substitute for cream, adding a rich and creamy texture to the dish.

  • prepared polenta - Substitute with grits: Grits can be used as a substitute for prepared polenta, offering a similar corn-based texture and flavor to the dish.

  • gruyere cheese - Substitute with fontina cheese: Fontina cheese can be used as a substitute for gruyere, providing a creamy and slightly nutty flavor to the dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Polenta Gratin

  • Skillet: A skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It usually has low sides and a long handle, making it perfect for cooking the mushrooms and shallots in this recipe.
  • Saucepan: A saucepan is a deep cooking pan with a long handle and a lid, used for making sauces, boiling liquids, or reheating food. It's essential for preparing the creamy sauce in this recipe.
  • Baking dish: A baking dish is a deep, oven-safe dish used for baking or roasting. It's necessary for assembling and baking the polenta gratin.
  • Whisk: A whisk is a kitchen tool used for blending, whipping, and stirring ingredients. It's essential for making the creamy sauce in this recipe.
  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is a versatile, all-purpose knife used for slicing, dicing, and chopping ingredients. It's crucial for prepping the mushrooms, shallots, and spinach in this recipe.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for cutting and chopping ingredients. It's essential for prepping the vegetables and mushrooms in this recipe.
  • Oven: An oven is a kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and heating food. It's necessary for baking the polenta gratin to perfection.
  • Broiler: A broiler is a part of the oven used for cooking food with high, direct heat. It's essential for browning and crisping the top of the polenta gratin before serving.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms

  • To store leftover polenta gratin, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When reheating, cover the gratin with foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to crisp up the top.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the polenta gratin. Wrap the cooled gratin tightly with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Label the package with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat frozen gratin, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the wrapping and bake the gratin in a preheated 350°F oven, covered with foil, for about 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Uncover during the last 5-10 minutes to allow the top to crisp up.
  • Alternatively, you can freeze individual portions of the polenta gratin for quick and easy meals. Cut the cooled gratin into single-serving portions, wrap each portion tightly with plastic wrap, and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat individual portions, unwrap the frozen gratin and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. For a crispier top, you can briefly broil the reheated portion in the oven.

How To Reheat Leftover Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover polenta gratin in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the top to crisp up slightly. This method ensures that the gratin heats evenly and the polenta regains its creamy texture.

  • If you prefer a quicker reheating method, you can use the microwave. Place a single serving of the polenta gratin on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir the gratin halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating. Keep in mind that microwaving may cause the polenta to become slightly softer than when reheated in the oven.

  • For a crispy top, you can reheat the polenta gratin under the broiler. Preheat your broiler to high and place the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Transfer the leftover gratin to an oven-safe dish and place it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy. Keep a close eye on the gratin to prevent burning.

  • If you have a toaster oven, you can use it to reheat individual portions of the polenta gratin. Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place a slice of the gratin on the toaster oven tray. Heat for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly crispy on top.

  • Lastly, you can reheat the polenta gratin in a skillet on the stovetop. Place a slice of the gratin in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until warmed through. This method will result in a crispy exterior and a creamy interior, similar to when the gratin was first prepared.

Random Fact about Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms

Polenta gratin with spinach and wild mushrooms is a delicious and versatile dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish. It's a great way to incorporate healthy greens and earthy mushrooms into your meal, and the creamy polenta and gruyère cheese add a rich and comforting touch. This dish can also be prepared ahead of time, making it a convenient option for entertaining or busy weeknights. Whether you're a fan of polenta or looking for a new way to enjoy mushrooms and spinach, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds!

Is Making Polenta Gratin at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this polenta gratin with spinach and wild mushrooms recipe largely depends on the availability and cost of the ingredients in your area. While wild mushrooms and gruyere cheese can be on the pricier side, the dish's overall cost can be balanced by using seasonal or locally sourced produce. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people may range from $20 to $30, making it a moderately cost-effective option. The rich flavors and nutritional value of the dish earn it a solid 8/10 rating, making it a worthwhile investment for a special family meal or gathering.

Is This Polenta Gratin Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This polenta gratin recipe, while delicious, has some elements that make it less than ideal from a health perspective:

  • The recipe uses cream and a significant amount of cheese, which are high in saturated fat and calories
  • The polenta itself is a refined carbohydrate, lacking in fiber and nutrients compared to whole grain options
  • The dish is baked and then broiled, which can lead to the formation of harmful compounds like acrylamide

However, the recipe does include some nutritious ingredients:

  • Mushrooms are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium
  • Olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace the cream with a lower-fat alternative like evaporated skim milk or vegetable broth
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used, or opt for a lower-fat variety
  • Use whole grain polenta instead of the prepared log, which is likely made from refined cornmeal
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables in the dish, such as adding more spinach or other leafy greens
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to add flavor without relying on excessive fat or salt

By incorporating more whole grains, reducing the saturated fat content, and bumping up the vegetable ratio, you can transform this comforting polenta gratin into a more balanced and nutritious meal that still satisfies your cravings for a warm, cheesy dish.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Polenta Gratin Dish

This polenta gratin with spinach and wild mushrooms recipe is a delightful combination of earthy flavors and creamy textures. The use of wild mushrooms and spinach adds depth and richness, while the creamy polenta and gruyere cheese create a luscious and indulgent finish. The dish is well-balanced and offers a comforting and satisfying dining experience. The recipe's instructions are clear and easy to follow, making it accessible for home cooks of all skill levels. Overall, this dish is a wonderful choice for a cozy dinner or a special occasion, showcasing the beauty of simple, high-quality ingredients.

Enhance Your Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for soaking up the rich flavors of the polenta gratin.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest, adding a bright and refreshing contrast to the hearty polenta gratin.
Balsamic Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tangy carrots roasted to caramelized perfection with a balsamic glaze, providing a delightful balance to the savory flavors of the polenta gratin.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Enjoy Polenta Gratin

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. It's easy to make and pairs well with a grilled cheese sandwich or a fresh salad.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken: This balsamic glazed chicken recipe is a delicious and savory dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion. The tangy and sweet glaze adds a burst of flavor to the tender and juicy chicken.
Mango Coconut Panna Cotta: This mango coconut panna cotta is a light and refreshing dessert that is perfect for a summer treat. The creamy coconut milk pairs perfectly with the sweet and tangy mango puree, creating a delightful and elegant dessert.

Appetizer and Dessert Suggestions for a Polenta Gratin Dinner Party

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal. Filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs, they are sure to impress your guests.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Creamy and indulgent, this spinach and artichoke dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that pairs perfectly with crispy tortilla chips or warm bread. The combination of gooey cheese, tender spinach, and tangy artichokes is simply irresistible.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic dinner at home.
Berry Parfait: Layer fresh berries with creamy yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and healthy dessert option. The vibrant colors and flavors make this parfait a beautiful and delicious way to end any meal.

Why trust this Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of wild mushrooms, spinach, and creamy polenta. The earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the freshness of the spinach are complemented by the rich and creamy polenta. The use of gruyere cheese adds a delightful nuttiness to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile. The careful layering and baking process ensures that each ingredient melds together perfectly, creating a harmonious and satisfying dish. Trust in the quality and balance of these ingredients to deliver a gratifying dining experience.

Share your thoughts on the Polenta Gratin with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
Can I use different types of mushrooms for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a variety of mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, or oyster mushrooms to add different flavors and textures to the dish.
Can I prepare the polenta gratin in advance?
Absolutely! You can prepare the polenta gratin in advance and refrigerate it overnight. This makes it a convenient option for entertaining or meal prep.
Can I substitute the gruyere cheese with a different type of cheese?
Certainly! You can substitute gruyere with other cheeses like fontina, provolone, or even a sharp cheddar for a different flavor profile.
Is it possible to make this recipe vegetarian?
Yes, you can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. It will still be delicious and flavorful.
Can I add other vegetables to the gratin?
Absolutely! You can customize the recipe by adding other vegetables such as roasted bell peppers, caramelized onions, or even sun-dried tomatoes to add more depth of flavor and texture.

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