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Creamy Cajun Mushrooms + Sweet Potatoes over Polenta

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients; it’s mostly just the spices which you can measure out in 2 minutes tops! Polenta is one of our favorites but it does take a while to cook, to make this faster just substitute white rice or pasta underneath.


  • 12 cup Polenta (aka corn grits)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 12 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 12 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 14 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 pound Button Mushrooms
  • 1 pound Sweet Potato
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 15-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 3 Green Onions

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. POLENTA

    Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large pot. Pour polenta slowly into boiling water, while whisking constantly until all polenta is stirred in and there are no lumps.

    Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until polenta starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Polenta mixture should still be slightly loose. Cover and cook for 25 - 35 minutes, whisking every 5 to 6 minutes. When the polenta is too thick to whisk, switch to stirring with a wooden spoon.


    Combine the spices for the Cajun seasoning in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt (that’s: 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon black pepper)

    Cut the mushrooms in ½ and the sweet potatoes into 1” cubes. Place the veggies in a bowl, drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil and add the Cajun seasoning over top; stir to coat.

  • 3. SAUTÉ

    Add the olive oil and butter to a large deep skillet that is NOT non-stick (it helps the mushrooms brown better). Heat the oil and butter over medium-high until the skillet is very hot and the butter is melted; add the seasoned sweet potatoes and mushrooms to the skillet and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are golden brown and the sweet potatoes are starting to get tender.

  • 4. ONION

    Meanwhile, dice the yellow onion into cubes and add to the pan, cook for 3 minutes. Next, add the can of diced tomatoes and stock to the skillet. Stir just until everything is evenly combined, then place a lid on top and allow the stock to come up to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fully tender.


    Finally, add in the cream cheese and turn off the heat. Stir until it’s completely blended in. Slice the green onion and stir most of them in, but reserve a few green tops.

  • 6. SERVING

    Serve the polenta in deep bowls and make a well in the center; top with veggies and sauce. Garnish with the reserved green onion.

Check out our new features!


    omit butter - and instead of cream cheese, use a can of coconut milk or a non-dairy cream cheese instead. You could also omit this ingredient entirely, the spices and tomatoes will be plenty to make a delicious sauce
    use salmon, shrimp, cod
    serve over rice, quinoa, or lentils. Or serve over toasted bread
    look for a pre-mixed Cajun spice blend if that’s easier for you
    try with cauliflower, squash, garbanzo beans, mixed roasted veggies

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Polenta is often a hit with kids, try it if you haven’t! If the soft polenta isn’t a win, you can also press it into a baking dish and let it cool fully. Slice into sticks or squares, then sear them in butter until golden brown on both sides - they’re like fries!

For Toddlers

  • Omit the cayenne if you’re concerned about spice
  • Lift the sweet potatoes from the sauce and mash
  • Add a green vegetable or avocado to the plate to fill out the dish

For Choosy Eaters

  • Sear a few pieces of mushrooms on the side and keep it plain. Lift out the sweet potatoes from the sauce and mash them up - the consistency might be preferred this way
  • OR cut the sweet potatoes into wedges and roast at 425 until tender - like fries
  • Offer a taste of cream cheese on a cracker or toast
  • Add fruit and veggies to fill the plate

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the polenta. Reheat in a pot with a little extra water and whisk over medium heat until it’s soft and hot
  2. Cook the whole meal ahead and reheat over medium heat, stirring often until hot
  3. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to 6 days. You can freeze this meal as well, defrost overnight and heat to serve
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