Overnight Polenta Porridge with Sautéed Mushrooms

I first heard of this technique from Chef Bruce Kalman, who swore by soaking polenta overnight and then cooking it over a double boiler. I tried it out and the resulting polenta is probably the creamiest and most tender version I've ever made. It immediately became my go-to way to prepare the dish, and has become a favorite for breakfast. In this recipe, the polenta is topped with spicy sauteed mushrooms and a poached egg for a breakfast bowl that puts all others to shame.

The best part is you can go sweet or savory with the polenta. While I top this one with an egg and mushrooms you could also go sweet and top it with nuts, fruit and honey depending on what mood you're in (I'm always changing between sweet and savory for my morning cravings). It's also super easy to reheat if you have leftovers. I just throw it back over the double boiler and whisk in a few extra tablespoons of milk.

Overnight Polenta Porridge with Sautéed Mushroom

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes, plus overnight soaking


2 1/2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup polenta

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces mixed mushrooms, roughly torn

4 sprigs thyme

1 Serrano chile, thinly sliced

2 eggs, poached or fried


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, polenta and salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning, set up a double boiler with a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water. Transfer the soaked polenta and milk to the heatproof bowl. Cook, whisking constantly, until the polenta has thickened and is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic directly over the polenta to prevent a skin from forming and keep warm.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining butter and the olive oil, followed by the mushrooms, thyme and chile. Season with salt and cook until golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust for seasoning.
  5. Divide the polenta between two bowls and top each with the sautéed mushrooms. Place a poached or fried egg over each, then serve.