Recipe: Mini Polenta Pesto Pies

Recipe: Mini Polenta Pesto Pies

  • posted on: August 27, 2014
  • posted by: 21 Acres
Share with friends Share
  • FacebookTwitter

Hello! Madeline here, 21 Acres intern.

Pesto, sauteed mushrooms, and caramelized onions: I think it’s hard to go wrong with this combination.

polenta pies
Another recipe from my cookbook I wrote and photographed in high school.

These flavorful little bundles are a great appetizer or snack. Polenta is the perfect backdrop to caramelized onions, crimini mushrooms, and pesto. I love using precooked polenta to save time, but you can easily make your own, too.  The spinach adds a pop of color and nutrition, and the breadcrumb topping is simply awesome! I hope you try them.

Mini Polenta Pesto Pies

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (olive works too)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 10 oz crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tube (18-oz) precooked polenta (or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (homemade if possible!)
  • ½ cup fresh chopped spinach
  • 1-2 pieces bread of choice
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent and starting to brown. Add in the mushrooms and cook until they have released most of their water. Add the salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized and the mushrooms are nicely browned. Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until it is crumbs. Add the melted butter. Then, slice the curved ends off the polenta, and then slice the remaining log into 8 even slices. Place each slice into a half-cup ramekin, and top each slice with one teaspoon of pesto. Top with a few leaves of spinach, and then evenly distribute the mushroom and onion mixture into the ramekins. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the ramekins, and  bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.


Thanks for reading! 

Did you make this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!