Creamy, buttery Pesto Polenta with Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas …a delicious bowl of late summer comfort food. This simple pesto polenta is made in under an hour, uses just one sheet pan and one pot, and is a great way to use up those garden herbs. The polenta is creamy, perfectly buttery, and swirled with pesto. The wild mushrooms and chickpeas are slowly roasted together with fresh thyme and garlic. When spooned over bowls of creamy polenta, it makes for a simple, healthy-ish, and delicious dinner that’s great for any night of the week.

This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes.

overhead photo of Pesto Polenta with Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas with 3 bowls in photo

And just like that, September hits, my oven is on, and I’m roasting mushrooms.

It’s crazy how much I love this time of year. I live for these golden September days, and my creativity thrives once fall really sets in. I know it’s only early September, but I’m slowly ready to start incorporating a bit more “coziness” into everyone’s kitchens.

It’s all getting started with this polenta, which I personally think is the perfect cozy…ish, transitional recipe to welcome the cooler days ahead.

overhead photo of raw mushrooms and butter

One of my favorite parts about this recipe?

It’s so quick and easy to make. It uses just one sheet pan and one pot, and allows the oven to do all the work for you! Love a more hands-free recipe.

overhead photo of Mushrooms and Chickpea on baking sheet before roasting

So here are the details on how I like to prepare this colorful, delicious dinner.

Your first step is to get the mushrooms and chickpeas roasting in the oven. After a lot of trial and error, I found the perfect method for getting insanely flavorful mushrooms and perfectly crisp chickpeas…slow roasting.

Start by tossing the mushrooms and chickpeas with olive oil, plenty of fresh thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. You’ll want to make sure to coat everything well in olive oil to ensure the mushrooms turn golden and the chickpeas are crisp. The key here is to first roast the chickpeas at a lower oven temperature. Then crank the heat up for the final few minutes of cooking. This chars the mushrooms on the edges and gets the chickpeas golden and crispy.

While that’s happening, make the polenta on the stove. If you’ve never made homemade polenta, I’m excited to introduce you to it. It’s delicious and so easy to make.

I like to use instant polenta to keep the cooking process quick and effortless. Simply boil water, whisk in the polenta, and allow to cook for a few minutes until it’s thick and creamy. It’s that simple.

The most important ingredient when making polenta – the butter. If there’s one thing my mom taught me about cooking polenta…if you really want it to taste delicious…add butter! Yep, she’s pretty smart.

overhead photo of Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas on baking sheet

So, I turned to one of my favorites, Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.

What I love about this butter is that it quickly melts into the polenta, flavoring it with hints of sweet cream, savory olive oil, and flaky sea salt. It’s the perfect balance and really helps to highlight the flavors and creaminess of the polenta.

Beyond delicious.

Since I wanted to keep the recipe full of healthy ingredients, I stirred in green kale…a superfood powerhouse. If you don’t love kale, spinach is an equally great alternative.

overhead close up photo of Pesto Polenta with Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas

By the time everything is finished roasting, the polenta will be ready. Now it’s time to serve everything up. You know me, I have to go a little above and beyond, so here’s exactly how I plate this dish.

Spoon the polenta into your favorite bowls…I’m all about making things extra pretty. Swirl a few spoonfuls of pesto over the polenta, then add burrata cheese. You might not think the cheese is necessary. But if you really want to do this dinner right, trust me, add the burrata.

Next, spoon those thyme-roasted mushrooms and crisp chickpeas over the polenta. Finish with a pat more of butter…you must do this, it’s just too good not to. And a pinch of flaky sea salt.

The perfect bowl of polenta – topped with golden roasted mushrooms, crisp chickpeas, and just a little burrata too. It does not getter better.

My suggestion to you? Once that first cool afternoon blows in, plan to make this. It’s such a great bowl to cozy up to when the weather cools off.

overhead photo of Pesto Polenta with Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas with spoon in bowl and 2 bowls in photo

If you make this Pesto Polenta with Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

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The Recipe

Pesto Polenta with Thyme-Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas

This simple pesto polenta is made in under an hour, uses just one sheet pan and one pot, and is a great way to use up those garden herbs.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 0 6

Ingredients

Creamy Polenta

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Position the oven rack in the upper 1/3 of
    the oven.

    2. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine the olive oil, mushrooms, chickpeas, thyme,
    garlic, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
    Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Increase the heat to 475
    degrees F. Toss the mushrooms and chickpeas, then return to the oven and
    continue baking another 5-10 minutes until crisp on the edges. Watch closely.

    3. Meanwhile, make the polenta. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil
    over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta, stirring until the polenta is
    soft and thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter with olive oil, kale, and 2
    tablespoons pesto, stirring until the kale has wilted, about 3 minutes. If the polenta thickens too much, thin with additional water.

    4. Divide the polenta between bowls and break the burrata over the polenta. Spoon the mushrooms and chickpeas over tip. Drizzle with addition pesto. Enjoy!

horizontal photo of Pesto Polenta with Thyme Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas and butter in photo

{This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}