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Easy Vegetarian Canapés: Mushroom & Polenta Bites (Gluten-Free)

Mushroom-topped polenta appetizers on a black slate.
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One of our favourite vegetarian canapés! Impressive looking and full of flavour, but very easy to make! A polenta base and fried mushrooms sitting on top of cream cheese and sweet caramelised onion chutney, make a wonderful combination of both flavours and textures! Add our Easy Mushroom Polenta Canapés to the menu of your next party! These gluten-free canapés are sure to impress!

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Tips & Tricks For Making Vegetarian Canapés

  • Make sure you let the polenta bubble for at least 5 minutes before spreading it onto baking trays. You want it thick and sticky. If it’s too thin, it will stick to the baking tray and won’t be crispy when cooked. However, note that if you’re using cornmeal instead (medium cornmeal works very well here – we tried Natco Medium Cornmeal), it will cook and thicken quicker. The same goes for quick-cook polenta! Polenta makes a wonderful base for gluten-free canapes!
  • Fry the mushrooms until all the water that may have been released into the pan, has evaporated. Adding too much extra moisture to the polenta bases will make your canapes soggy. Replace the chestnuts with wild mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms to make these polenta appetizers extra special!
  • If you don’t fancy red onion chutney, replace it with red pesto, or sundried tomato paste. Both are equally delicious.
  • You can replace rocket (arugula) with watercress or lambs lettuce. Adding some greens on top really lightens up the dish. We love the peppery greens in this recipe to balance out the sweetness of the chutney and the creaminess of the cheese.
Baked polenta rounds topped with cream cheese, red onion chutney, mushrooms and arugula on a wooden table.

Want to Make Vegan Canapés?

We tried to make these gluten-free canapés vegan last January when we were cooking plant-based meals all month. And it was rather easy to do without compromising on flavour.

  • Replace the butter with a vegan spread.
  • Replace parmesan with 2 big tablespoons of nutritional yeast (Engevita is our absolute favourite).
  • Make sure you use vegan stock.
  • Use blobs of vegan cream cheese (we love Violife Original Soft Cheese and Tesco Free From Soft Cheese) instead of regular cream cheese.

Method: How to Make Mushroom Polenta Canapés?

Heat oven to 200°C Fan. Line an 18x24cm baking tray with baking parchment (we recommend Bacofoil Baking Parchment – don’t be put off by the price, there’s 50m of it!).

Place the polenta/ cornmeal in a large pan. Pour the hot stock over the polenta and, stirring vigorously, heat on medium heat, until it comes to a boil. Let the polenta bubble for 7-8 mins, stirring continuously. Note that if you’re using cornmeal, it will cook quicker. It should be thick and come away from the sides. Remove it from the heat and stir in grated parmesan, butter and mixed herbs.

Spread the mixture onto the lined baking tray. Place the tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the polenta base is set and browning at the edges.

Once cooked, invert the polenta on another piece of baking parchment and carefully unpeel the baking parchment from the top.

Leave the base to cool down completely.

In the meantime, heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the quartered mushrooms and fry until the water has released and evaporated. Leave the mushrooms to cool.

Once the polenta base is cool, using a small cookie cutter, stamp out 15 circles of polenta. Spread half a tsp of caramelised onion chutney on each of the circles. Mix the cream cheese with a pinch of salt and a generous pinch of black pepper, Pipe it onto your canapes. Then top with 3-4 mushroom quarters and some rocket! And here you have it, lovely vegetarian and gluten-free canapes!

More Easy Canapes Recipes

Make an impression at your next party by adding a couple of other easy canapes alongside these polenta bites. How about two of our other favourites below:

A trio of easy canapes on a wooden table.

Recipe Card

Mushroom-topped polenta appetizers on a black slate.

Easy Mushroom Polenta Canapes

One of our favourite vegetarian gluten-free canapes! Impressive looking and full of flavour, but very easy to make! A polenta base and fried mushrooms sitting on top of cream cheese and sweet caramelised onion chutney, make a wonderful combination of both flavours and textures! Add our Easy Mushroom Polenta Canapes to the menu of your next party!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Canapes, Snacks
Cuisine American, British, Mediterranean
Servings 15 canapes
Calories 54 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 100 g polenta or cornmeal
  • 400 ml vegetable stock hot
  • 20 g parmesan finely grated
  • 10 g butter
  • 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 100 g chestnut mushrooms quartered
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp caramelised onion chutney
  • a handful of rocket

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 200C Fan. Line an 18x24cm baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Place the polenta/ cornmeal in a large pan. Pour the hot stock over the polenta and, stirring vigorously, heat on medium heat, until it comes to a boil. Let the polenta bubble for 7-8 mins, stirring continuously. Note that if you're using cornmeal, it will cook quicker. It should be thick and come away from the sides. Remove it from the heat and stir in grated parmesan, butter and mixed herbs.
  • Spread onto the lined baking tray. Place the tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the polenta bases are set and browning at the edges.
  • Once cooked, invert the polenta on another piece of baking parchment and carefully unpeel the baking parchment from the top.
  • Leave the base to cool down completely.
  • In the meantime, heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the quartered mushrooms and fry until the water has released and evaporated. Leave the mushrooms to cool.
  • Once the polenta base is cool, using a cookie cutter, stamp out 15 circles of polenta. Spread half a tsp of caramelised onion chutney on each of the circles. Mix the cream cheese with a pinch of salt and a generous pinch of black pepper, Pipe it into your canapes. Then top with 3-4 mushroom qureters and some rocket (arugula).

Notes

You may choose to bake the polenta base a day in advance, and then assemble the canapes on the day of your party!

Nutrition

Calories: 54kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 46mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Canapes with Mushrooms, Canapes with Polenta, Easy Canapes, Mushroom & Polenta Panapes, Mushroom Canapes, Mushroom Canapes with Polenta Base, Polenta Canapes, Simple Canapes, Vegetarian Canapes
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2 Replies to “Easy Vegetarian Canapés: Mushroom & Polenta Bites (Gluten-Free)”

  1. 5 stars
    Your recipes are so interesting and new always. I will try this as we love mushroom in any form. YUMMY

    1. Thanks! Really hope you like them 🙂

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