This Creamy Mushroom Polenta Will Bring Eastern Europe Home

Posted on June 6, 2016

Creamy Mushroom Polenta in the Pressure Cooker
For two years, we lived in a rural Eastern European village. We ate polenta. A lot of polenta. For something so straightforward, something with a main ingredient as cheap and basic as corn meal, the dish tastes blissful. Creamy, buttery, cheesy heaven—or just heaven.

Upon returning stateside, we practiced and practiced our polenta skills. As you would guess, we’ve got nothing on our adopted Romanian “bunica.” She prepared hers on the stovetop, vigorously stirring with a well-worn wooden spoon, and just crushed it.

Our polenta deserves praise too. We have the best luck in the electric pressure cooker. It is a magical device that generously compensates for our culinary shortcomings. When the polenta is ready, though, we still serve it with a wooden spoon because, you know, tradition. And, we can pretend that we had to work much harder than we did. Pofta mare!

Creamy Mushroom Polenta in the Pressure Cooker


  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Half of a yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • Four cups of chicken stock
  • One cup of polenta
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter


Turn the pressure cooker onto the Saute function and add olive oil. When hot, add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until onion becomes translucent. Add chicken stock, polenta, salt and pepper. Switch the machine to the Pressure function. Cook on High for 10 minutes. Turn off machine, and release pressure (or wait 30 minutes for it to depressurize). Mix in Parmigiano Reggiano and unsalted butter. Serve with a parsley garnish.

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