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.
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.
Cheesy Italian Polenta Bake
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
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.
Top with more grated parmesan and enjoy!
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…
Fat: 22 g
Sodium: 688 mg (29%)
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 38 g