Baked Polenta Recipe with Mushrooms & Tomatoes
Creamy Baked Polenta Recipe
I get really excited about fall recipes. Slow cooking, baked casseroles, and comfort foods are my jam.
However, I’m a firm believer that comfort foods don’t always have to be heavy on the hips.
Today’s colorful Layered Baked Polenta Recipe is a dazzling blend of fresh harvest produce stacked with layers of polenta… And a little cheese.
It’s cozy and inviting, yet won’t bust your diet. That’s a win-win in my book!
This easy polenta recipe is similar to vegetable lasagna, with polenta taking the place of traditional pasta.
Therefore, this recipe is both vegetarian and gluten free!
Is Polenta Gluten Free?
Yes. After all, polenta is just coarse ground corn.
So as long as:
- You use pure polenta
- The corn has been processed in a gluten free facility
- And you do not add any other ingredients with gluten
Polenta is gluten free.
A note on the processing facility… If you (or your loved one) is not extremely sensitive to gluten, a gluten-free facility may not be that important. Check the packaging for details.
Gluten-Free Polenta Lasagna
That’s right, today we’re making gluten-free, vegetarian polenta lasagna that is well balanced and relatively low in calories.
And guys… It tastes amazing!
The polenta is the base of the dish, creating two distinct layers. Stacked with the polenta we’re adding: ricotta cheese, a quick homemade tomato sauce, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and mozzarella cheese.
The layers are very instinct as you stack them. Yet in the oven, they bake into glorious molten bands of deliciousness, mingled together into a cozy dish that is hard to resist!
Our Layered Polenta Bake is fabulous fresh out of the oven. However, it also makes a marvelous leftover, so it’s great for Weekly Meal Prep.
You’ve got to give this a try!
The Right Dish For Layered Polenta
In order to stack these layers thick and deep, you need the right pan!
I love using the Pyrex Deep Collection.
Pyrex Deep is up to 50% deeper than standard baking dishes, so you can layer the polenta, vegetables, and cheese as much as you like without worry about the fillings running, out of the pan, in the oven.
The extra depth gives you the ability to be creative in the kitchen without limits.
With Pyrex Deep you can Stack It, Pack It, Stuff It, and Love It!
Pyrex Deep comes in three sizes… 9X13 inch, 8X8 inch, and 7X11 inch and are available at Walmart and on Amazon.
The lids are fantastic because they are airtight and slightly raised. That means, even if you stuff your Pyrex Deep to the brim, you can cover it without messing up the top!
Learn more about Pyrex Deep at PyrexHome.com.
Also Find Pyrex Deep On:
How To Make Polenta
Do you want to learn how to cook polenta? It’s so easy!
Cooked polenta in its simplest form, is just ground corn simmered in broth or water.
- Measure. Set a saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the polenta and liquid. This is also a good time to add salt, herbs, or spices.
- Boil. Bring to a boil. Then stir and lower the heat a little and simmer until the polenta is soft and thick, like porridge. This usually takes 15-20 minutes.
The polenta will thicken as it cools. So if you want loose creamy polenta, it should be very thin when you take it off the heat.
Thus, if you want thick polenta that turns firm once cooled, it should cook until it’s very thick in the pot.
You can add cream to the polenta to give it a silkier texture, and adding cheese is always a good idea!
Just remember, the grains must be cooked all the way through. Otherwise, the polenta will have a strange crunchy texture.
Baked Polenta Recipe Ingredients
- Polenta – Dried coarse ground cornmeal. Yellow is traditional, but white cornmeal can be used as well.
- Vegetable broth – To flavor the polenta as its cooking.
- Button mushrooms – This add an earthy layer to the dish.
- Crushed tomatoes – Canned. The base of the tangy-sweet sauce.
- Butter – Just a little to sauté the veggies.
- Onions and garlic – To add zesty flavor to the sauce.
- Italian seasoning – A pantry staple that packs an herbaceous punch!
- Ricotta cheese – This offers a creamy layer to the dish to balance the stronger flavors.
- Mozzarella cheese – The cheesy topper!
- Bell pepper – A colorful layer packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Zucchini – To add even more veggie goodness!
- Salt and pepper – Always.
How To Make: Baked Polenta Recipe
- Chop. Slice and chop all the fresh produce.
- Boil the Polenta. Cook the polenta until it’s very thick in the pan, so it bakes into firm layers. (see above)
- Sauté the Mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms in a little butter, to release their natural juices. That way, all the extra liquid doesn’t go in the pan.
- Simmer the Tomato Sauce. Make a quick tomato sauce to bring tangy sweetness to the dish.
- Layer. Spread and stack polenta, cheese, sauce, and veggies in a Pyrex Deep baking dish.
- Bake. Place the polenta lasagna in the oven and bake until all the layers are hot and bubbling.
Get the Full (Printable) Baked Polenta Lasagna Recipe Below!
More Amazing Polenta Recipes
- Italian Shrimp and (Polenta) Grits
- Roasted Vegetable Polenta Stacks
- Creamy Polenta with Parmesan Cheese
More Lasagna Recipes
- Margherita Baked Polenta
- Classic Sausage Lasagna
- White Vegetarian Lasagna
- Cowboy Chili Lasagna
- Supreme Pizza Lasagna
- Best Paleo Lasagna
- Chicken Broccoli Slow Cooker Lasagna
- Cool Ranch Taco Lasagna
- Keto Chicken Lasagna Cups
Baked Polenta Recipe with Mushrooms and Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups dried polenta (coarse ground cornmeal)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, quartered or sliced
- 28 ounce crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 16 ounce ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 large bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into 15 rounds
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then chop and slice all the produce.
- For the Polenta: Set a medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the polenta, vegetable broth, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat if needed. Simmer and stir for 15-20 minutes, until the polenta is thick and the grains are soft.
- For the Sautéed Mushrooms: Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or sauté pan. Set over medium heat and add the chopped mushrooms. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sauté for 15 minutes, to soften the mushrooms and release all their juices. Stir every 2 minutes.
- For the Tomato Sauce: Set a small saucepot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter. Then add the onions, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle generously with salt. Sauté to soften the onions, stirring regularly, about 5 minutes. Once the onions are soft, stir in the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then taste, and salt and pepper as needed.
- Layer the Baked Polenta Lasagna: Set out a 7 X 11 inch Pyrex Deep Pan. Pour half the cooked polenta in the bottom of the pan. Use a spatula to spread it out into an even layer. Top the polenta with a thick even layer of ricotta cheese. Then spread the tomato sauce over the ricotta. Spread the sautéed mushrooms over the tomato sauce. Then carefully spread the remaining polenta in a second even layer. Sprinkle the chopped peppers over the surface of the polenta. Then arrange the zucchini slices over the peppers. Finally, sprinkle the top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Layers from bottom to top: Polenta, Ricotta, Tomato, Mushrooms, Polenta, Peppers, Zucchini, Mozzarella.
- Place the dish in the oven on the bottom rack. Bake for at least 30 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges. If the top is getting too brown, cover loosely with a piece of foil.
- Allow the polenta to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pyrex Deep. All opinions are my own.