Poached Egg Bowl with Spinach Polenta + Crispy Mushrooms

Perfect poached egg bowl with spinach polenta and crispy mushrooms. A great slow sunday brunch or easy weeknight meal. Serves 2.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, i’ts just not that good. Its trying to be good. It has potential. But it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work dissapoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work, went through years of this.We know our our doesn’t have this special thing we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap. And your work will be good as good as your ambitions.”

– Ira Glass.

This is for anyone, who has ever, started anything new. Keep with it. Keep on doing your thing. There is a reason why you started. Remember this.

Eggs are my go-to I’m tired and hungry and its late type of meal. Sometimes I bake them, often I make a simple herb omelet over greens, and other times I mix them up with some grains and veg for something a little more hearty and filling. This poached egg bowl comes together really fast, however it does use a few more dishes than I am usually in the mood for, but a polenta pot requires a good overnight soak – does it not?

Make a big warm and wholesome bowl, sit your butt down and enjoy it, you’ve been working hard.

Perfect poached egg bowl with spinach polenta and crispy mushrooms. A great slow sunday brunch or easy weeknight meal. Serves 2.Perfect poached egg bowl with spinach polenta and crispy mushrooms. A great slow sunday brunch or easy weeknight meal. Serves 2.


A great slow sunday brunch or easy weeknight meal. Serve with some toasted multigrain bread and a big salad for a complete dinner if your feeling famished. No need to go hungry. Serves 2.

Tip: When making polenta, its a fun idea to make a little extra and spread the leftovers out on a oiled plate or cutting board in a thin layer. Allow it to cool and set. The next day slice it into chunks and bake it or fry it lightly to make a quick addition to salads for lunch or dinner.


2 heaping cups mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2-3 cups packed spinach leaves, roughly chopped
3/4 cup instant polenta
2 cups water, depending on how thick you like your polenta*
2 organic, free range eggs
Water for poaching
Salt and Pepper
A few handfuls fresh chervill, roughly chopped
Freshly grated lemon zest, for serving


This recipe has three parts; the mushrooms, the poletnta and the eggs. All it takes is a little bit of organization and the meal comes together in 20 minutes or less. I am a purist when it comes to poaching eggs, no vinegar, no fancy gadgets, just a pot of simmering hot water and you’re good to go. However if you have your own method that works for you, ignore my instructions and do your own thing.

First, get your mushrooms going. Turn your oven on to broil and add a drizzle of olive oil to an oven proof pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a minute or two, then add the mushrooms. Stir in the thyme and cook until just tender, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with a little salt and pepper. Place under the broil to crisp up but be sure to keep on eye on these guys!

With the mushrooms in the oven, bring two small pots of water to a boil (1 with enough water for your polenta, and one with enough water to poach your eggs). Feel free to season your polenta water with a dash of sea salt. Polenta and egg poaching came be tackled at the same time.

Polenta: once water is boiling, stir in the chopped spinach and polenta then reduce heat to a minium and cook stirring almost constantly. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny. Add more water if it seems too dry, before serving stir in a drizzle of olive oil or butter.

Poached eggs: reduce water to a low simmer, crack the egg into a small ramekin and then pour into simmering water. Give the water a swirl with the end of a wooden spoon then leave to egg to cook. 3 – 3 1/2 minutes and its done. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen towl. Repeat for desired amount of eggs.

Assemble: Place polenta in the bottom of a bowl, top with now crispy mushroom shallot mixture, top with your perfectly poached egg. Grate over a little fesh lemon zest, add the chevril and some fresh cracked pepper. You’re done!

*I used instant polenta here because its so quick and easy. Mine was ready in under 5 minutes, but if you are using traditional, slow cooking polenta it will take quite a bit longer. So my best advice is to follow the package directions and adjust your cooking times. Both will work just fine.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Mmm, that looks so good yet simple and comforting. I have always wanted to try polenta but I never buy it cuz it’s not a regular item in my house. But those poached egg and sauteed mushrooms and spinach may it too enticing I may just give in now

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      January 31, 2014 at 6:35 am

      Hi Pauline! Polenta is such a quick and easy way to get in a hearty meal on those busy weeknights! I hope my post inspires you to finally try it :) Thanks for commenting! J x

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    January 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    What a great combination, nevere thought of adding spinach or any greens as a matter of fact to polenta, love it!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    First off, I make a similar recipe but have never thought of the spinach… Great way to add some color and nutrients to an otherwise perfect bowl!

    Also, the quote… I LOVE this photograph. I found your post through FoodGawker, which has been huge for me since starting my blog earlier this month. I have been so frustrated with the fact that my every picture isn’t perfect, I don’t have the right lighting, or the right table, or the perfect rustic backdrop… Then I clicked through and bam, the quote you started off with just spoke directly to my state of mind. It made me smile and look forward to the process and the joy of getting better. Thanks for turning around my day :)

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      January 31, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your comment, it has really just now made my day :) I read this quote and knew I had to share, because it spoke to me the same way it did to you, so I am so happy you found it. Its hard, but I just took a peek at Borrowed Salt, congrats, it looks great! Anyways, hi and glad our paths crossed today :) J x

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    This looks look so comforting and nourishing. I absolutely love your food styling!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for the quote, I needed that too! ;) This is such a great dish, simple, healthy and filling. Eggs are my go to I don’t feel like making anything food too.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    February 2, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Eggs are totally my go-to comfort food, and I adore that quote, it keeps me going…your photos are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    February 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for that quote! Like it. And I really like this meal. I’m a lover of eggs, and I agree, they’re great for a quick and tasty dinner. And with mushrooms and polenta, I must give this a try. Pinned.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Sitting here eating this right now and it is delicious. I used arugula instead of spinach, because that’s what I had, and added a little goat cheese to the polenta, but wow! This is definitely going on my quick, tasty egg recipe list. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      March 13, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Goat cheese and rocket – the perfect combo! So glad your enjoyed it! J x

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    March 15, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I made this today and it was delicious! I omitted the thyme since I had run out and added a little extra garlic and lemon. It was so good! I really like the flavor and texture combinations. Thanks for a great dairy-free vegetarian dish! Excited to make it again!

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    March 31, 2015 at 5:47 am

    how would this dish work with grits instead of polenta?

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      Jodi Kay
      April 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Hi there! To be completely honest I have never had grits but if you like them then I say go for it! why not!

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    Judith Sawyer
    October 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I’m guessing you meant “chervil” rather than “chevril”?? I believe chevril is a cheese and I see green stuff on top of your food, not cheese. Anyhow, this looks fantastic! I couldn’t find instant polenta, so I’m going the long route.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      October 27, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Hi Judith, yes indeed I did mean chervil. Thanks for catching that one! Good for you for going the long route, I’m sure it will be even more delicious!

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    Michelle Stern
    January 15, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    This looks fantastic! I pinned it so that I won’t lose it :-) Polenta is one of my favorites – so I figure I just need to serve it at least 10 more times so my kids catch on! Thanks for sharing – your photos are beautiful too! xo M.

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      January 19, 2016 at 3:24 am

      My goodness thank you, Michelle! Here’s hoping they catch on quick, I just love polenta too. Hope you enjoy the dish! x

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    April 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    oh i love the quote at the start of this post, thankyou! i really needed it at this time

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    July 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    This looks look so delicious. I absolutely love your food styling!

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    Lauren @ The Zero Waste Memoirs
    October 25, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Seriously, the poached eggs in this recipe are just perfect! In fact, I loved this recipe so much I decided to feature it in my recent roundup of recipes using seasonal October produce.

    If you think your followers would enjoy reading it, I’d love if you’d give the article a share. Just trying to spread the goodness that is seasonal eating. Thanks again for all you create! Keep doing what you’re doing!

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      November 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for giving this recipe a go and for letting me know you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for featuring it in your seasonal roundup. Keep doing what YOUR doing! x

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