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Jan 27

Mushroom & Sausage Ragu with Polenta

This was very rich and filling and it seemed like a very sophisticated dish for something so simple to put together. Definitely good for company! I want to start challenging myself to cook with some ingredients I haven’t used before, so when I found this recipe using polenta I thought it would be a good place to start. If you haven’t cooked with it before, polenta is a coarse corn meal, and if you can boil water, you can cook polenta! I would definitely recommend sticking with the hot Italian sausage in this recipe, because it gave the ragu a nice kick. I love sautéed mushrooms and the combination with the tomatoes and sausage in the sauce was delicious and a nice complement to the rich, creamy polenta.

The original serving size for this recipe in Cooking Light was 1 cup polenta with 1 cup ragu (4 servings). I love food, and I can generally eat pretty hearty servings of most dishes before I start to feel full, but there was no way I could possibly eat that large a serving of such a rich meal. I decided to make the recipe serve 6 instead, and I think you’ll find 2/3 cup of each, polenta and ragu, will be plenty filling.


Mushroom & Sausage Ragu with Polenta

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz hot turkey Italian sausage, removed from casings (I used the Jennie-O brand and 2 links were exactly 8 oz)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • 4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • ½ tablespoon light butter


  1. Add 1 ½ t olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add sausage to the pan and brown while breaking up meat with a spoon. When browned, remove sausage from pan.
  2. Add 1 T oil to the same sauté pan and swirl to coat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add sliced mushrooms and sauté 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute, stirring constantly to combine. Stir in sausage, 1/8 t of salt and can of tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. White tomato mixture is simmering, pour broth and water into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add polenta and stir well. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes or until thick (mine was thick in a little less time), stirring occasionally. Once polenta is thick, stir in cream cheese, butter and 1/8 t of salt until thoroughly combined. Serve 2/3 c ragu over 2/3 c polenta.

MyWW SmartPoints per (2/3 cup polenta with 2/3 cup of ragu) serving: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Green: 7 SmartPoints/ Blue: 7 SmartPoints/ Purple: 7 SmartPoints

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
7 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

259 calories, 26 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 12 g protein, 2 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

Adapted from Cooking Light

8 comments on “Mushroom & Sausage Ragu with Polenta”

  1. Thanks for sharing your leftovers. It was yummy!

  2. This was DELICIOUS!!!

  3. wow. This was really good and different. I had never used polenta before, but will use again. And I found instant polenta, so this was a quick meals. thanks.

  4. Can you tell me the points if I leave out the cream cheese? (Lactose intolerant)

  5. So, I was nervous about trying this because I have been chicken about trying polenta. Let me tell you, it was hard to find in the uncooked section at the grocery store (the produce man kept trying to sell me that stuff in a tube), but I finally did. I am glad that I tried it! This recipe was great and the flavors all went together very well. I ended up cooking all four of the sausages that were in my pack, and as a result added another can of tomatoes. Perfect and husband approved!

  6. Love it, it’s definitely important to know how to do this properly and efficiently, clients LOVE these.

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