Polenta, cheese and mushroom nibbles gluten free

I have an interesting recipe today. These rustic polenta disks with button mushrooms and crunchy speck (or bacon) were indeed really tasty!

I have used quick cook polenta this time (and you know I rarely do!) as I had people coming over for dinner and very little time to make a starter so I needed to take a shortcut.

It worked and we had them with a glass of white wine. The main meal was fish so we carried on with the white wine.. perhaps too much of it!

These are great nibbles you can share with friends or have them just as snacks. This recipe makes 4 polenta disks.

  • Prep Time : 25 minutes
  • Cook Time : 40 minutes
  • Yield : 4


  • quick cook polenta – 70 g – 1/2 cup
  • water – 220 ml – 7 fluid oz
  • hard cheese (like cheddar) – 4 slices
  • fresh button mushrooms – 200 g – 2 cups
  • speck, bacon or parma ham – 4 slices
  • olive oil
  • garlic clove – 1
  • chopped parsley – 1 tbsp + a few extra leaves to decorate
  • salt


Wet one sheet of parchment paper under the tap, wring it well and lay it on a baking tray then brush it with oil.

Bring the water to the boil, add salt then add the cornmeal whilst whisking all the time. Cook for about 8 minutes (or according to packet instructions) over a medium heat. Stir at all times.

Spoon out the polenta into 4 heaps distant from each other. Wet another sheet of parchment paper, brush it with oil and cover up the polenta with it.

Press well with your hands to flatten the polenta then carefully remove the second parchment paper.

Cook them at 180C or 350F for about 20 minutes or until the disks look nice and golden. Let them cool down then carefully remove them from the paper with the help of a knife. Make sure they have cooled down well before removing the paper to avoid breaking them.

Clean the mushrooms.

Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil with the garlic clove then remove the garlic. Add the mushrooms, salt and cook them for a few minutes until soft.

Put a few slices of cheese on top of each polenta disk, then add the mushrooms, chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

Put them back in the oven for about 5 minutes with the speck slices or until the cheese has melted and the speck looks nice and crunchy. Serve warm with and extra drizzle of olive oil. Decorate with parsley leaves.


8 thoughts on “Polenta, cheese and mushroom nibbles gluten free

  1. These lovely polenta nibbles and a glass of wine or two …… What a fab way to spend an evening with friends!


  2. Dear Alida,
    A delicious idea and so full of flavor. I like the polenta topped with the cheese and the mushrooms…Very good appetizers or for a snack anytime of the day! I am getting hungry just thinking about this one…Thanks for sharing and hope that you are over the flu…
    Have a great rest of the week…Ciao!
    Dottie 🙂


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