Chickpea & Baby Portobello Mushroom Marsala Over Creamy Polenta

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This vegan mushroom Marsala is made with tender baby portobello mushrooms and chickpeas simmered in a garlicky Marsala wine sauce and served over a bed of creamy polenta.

Here’s one that’s inspired by a dish I’ve never actually had. I waited tables at a small handful of places when I was in college, and at least two of those places served chicken Marsala.

Now, this is going to sound weird, but despite being a vegetarian, I was always really intrigued in the dish. Okay, maybe not the dish itself, but the sauce. It just smelled really good. All of those restaurants I worked at would hook me up with a meal if I worked a long shift, so I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to ask if I could have the sauce over pasta or something.

In any event, I never got to know what that delicious smelling sauce packed with shiny little mushroom bits tasted like.

It just recently occurred to me that I needed to find out, and to do that I’d need to create my own version. This is really a mish-mosh of eighty or so recipes that I perused in various cookbooks and online, since I’ve never actually had Marsala sauce before. I’m not sure how close I came to the mark, but it was so delicious that I’m going to just go ahead and proclaim success.

One thing I did differently from all the recipes I scoped out was to include garlic. Not a single one called for garlic! I distinctly recall the Marsala sauce of my younger years smelling garlicky. Maybe I just remember it that way because I really like garlic, but whatever. I went and included it, because garlic is good in just about anything, except maybe chocolate muffins (I checked). It was good here.

Since we’re skipping the chicken part of chicken Marsala, I figured we ought to add a little something for protein, and chickpeas seemed perfect.

The Marsala dishes I served years ago usually came with a big scoop of pasta, but I love the combination of savory mushrooms and creamy polenta, so I went with that instead. I’m sure this would be good atop pasta, so feel free to sub pasta for polenta if you’d like, and be sure to let me know how it works out.

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4.5 from 4 votes Print

Chickpea & Baby Portobello Mushroom Marsala Over Creamy Polenta

This vegan mushroom Marsala is made with tender baby portobello mushrooms and chickpeas simmered in a garlicky Marsala wine sauce and served over a bed of creamy polenta. CourseEntree CuisineAmerican, Italian Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 4 Calories 386 kcal Author Alissa


For the Marsala Mushrooms and Chickpeas

  • 2tbsp.olive oil
  • portobello mushrooms,sliced
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 1cupdry Marsala wine
  • 2tbsp.lemon juice,or to taste
  • 1tsp.rubbed sage
  • ½ pepper
  • ¼tsp.salt
  • 2tbsp.chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-14oz.can or 1 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas,rinsed and drained

For the Creamy Polenta

  • 1cuppolenta grits
  • 2-3cupswater
  • 1cupunflavored soy or almond milk
  • ½tsp.salt
  • ¼tsp.pepper


Make the Marsala Mushrooms & Chickpeas

  1. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place over medium heat. Add mushrooms in an even layer. Cook until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add wine, lemon juice, sage, salt and pepper. Stir a few times and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer until sauce is thickened and syrupy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and stir a few times. Cook about 1 minute more, just until chickpeas are heated throughout. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley.

Make the Creamy Polenta

  1. Place polenta grits, 2 cups of water, milk, salt and pepper into a medium saucepan and stir a few times. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a bit of extra water if mixture becomes too thick. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.


  1. Divide polenta among bowls and top with mushroom and chickpea Marsala.

Nutrition FactsChickpea & Baby Portobello Mushroom Marsala Over Creamy PolentaAmount Per ServingCalories 386Calories from Fat 81% Daily Value*Fat 9g14%Saturated Fat 1.2g6%Sodium 787mg33%Potassium 558mg16%Carbohydrates 55g18%Fiber 7.6g30%Sugar 1.6g2%Protein 9.9g20%Calcium 130mg13%Iron 3.8mg21%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Peanut Butter Chia Pudding with Cinnamon Simmered ApplesSmoky Apple Sage Chickpea Veggie Burgers (or Breakfast Sandwiches) »

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This turned out amazing! My sauce also did not really thicken so I added a bit of flour and that did the trick! Additionally I added a bit of white wine vinegar to balance out the marsala. So savory and great depth of flavor- your recipes are becoming a Sunday tradition!


  • I made this tonight. It did not thickenat all and did have a slight bitter taste. I added flour to thicken. Served over quinoa. It was OK. Will make again but use another Marsala recipe. Sorry


  • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

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