Cheesy Italian Polenta Bake

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I was searching the internet for a recipe with ground beef. I didn’t feel like the normal meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, or tacos. I wanted something new. I wanted to cook and experiment. I saw a recipe for a polenta lasagna and it inspired my creation.

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My version is much easier and healthier since its not completely doused in cheese (which can be looked at as a bad thing as well I guess, cheese is amazing!). But don’t worry it is still quite cheesy. I didn’t have a tube of polenta so I figured I’d make my own. I had never done it before but I have no clue why not. It is SO simple. Like probably the easiest thing I’ve ever made, no joke.

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Cheesy Italian Polenta Bake

Polenta:

3 cups water

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1 TB butter

3 TB grated parmesan cheese

Meat mixture:

1 tsp olive oil

1 lb lean ground meat

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 tsp garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 cups frozen vegetables

1 cup drained diced tomatoes, pureed or premade pasta sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

First, make your polenta. Put all ingredients, besides butter and parmesan cheese, into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir frequently until thickened and pulls away from bottom of pan. Mine took about 10 minutes to finish. When its very thick, turn off heat and stir in butter and parmesan cheese. Done. See, SO easy and quick!

Spray an 8 X 8 baking dish and spread polenta evenly on the bottom. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. While that’s baking, prepare your meat mixture.

Place oil, meat, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning in frying pan over medium heat. Cook until meat is cooked through and onion is tender. Add frozen veggies and heat until defrosted. I used peppers and green beans but broccoli and zuchini are always good with Italian as well. If you use fresh veggies, just throw them in the pan at the same time as the meat and onion. Stir sauce in meat mixture.

Take polenta out of oven. Top with meat mixture then top that with the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for another 20 minutes.

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Top with more grated parmesan and enjoy!

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Italian is my favorite type of food but I can only eat pasta, sauce, and sausage so many times in a week. This was just as good, and the family agreed! This would also be a great gluten free Italian option. And for all you vegetarians, the original lasagna was actually made with a meat substitute but I think it has plenty of veggies and staying power on its own that you could just omit the meat.

I heated up the leftovers for myself for lunch the next day and gave Alyssa something else. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well for me. Alyssa said it wasn’t fair I got to eat the leftovers so I ended up having to split them…

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 485

Fat: 22 g

Sodium: 688 mg (29%)

Carbohydrates: 34 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugars: 4 g

Protein: 38 g

20 responses »

  1. Wow, that looks like a fantastic recipe and I had no idea polenta was that easy to make. I might have to whip up some in the next few days to give it a try- thanks for posting this meal!

  2. hmmmm…gluten free…may have to try that tonite…looks like something I can make ahead and pop in to reheat…good option for a finishing up the Fl room nite…wait til you see it…gave the trim a coat of paint…not quite done but close…and the floor makes it look more like a Fl room…cleaning all of those windows is no small feat!!…will be ready for you when you get here…I hope…oh the skylight is getting replaced too…LY…my little girls were adorable last nite…all 3 of you!!

  3. Yum! That looks so good– I love polenta, but rarely think to include it on our menu for the week. This is a great way to use it! And we love Italian food, too… mmmmm.

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