Italian Polenta Bake

7 Dec

Print the recipe card!  italian polenta bake

Give polenta a try!  It’s something different /easy to make and requires basic ingredients that can be stored.  You can add anything you like to it from mushrooms to broccoli to herbs and cheese, or you can choose to keep it plain and simple as a base for something else.  This recipe is a keeper at my house — I think you’ll like it too!  Here are some other ideas for using polenta in your meals: 

Whether served soft, cooled/sliced or later grilled the great thing about polenta is how versatile it is — which is probably why it’s been around as long as it has!  Also, {in my opinion} you can’t compare grocery store polenta with what you can make at home.  If you haven’t tried it homemade you should, it’s much better!

Prep time: 40 minutes

**the recipe I like for polenta (and step by step instructions) can be found in the Chicken Cacciatore with Herbed Polenta post.  The only difference in the polenta I made here is that I left out the herbs.

Ingredients:

(the two blurred cans in the back are sugar and corn meal, both which go into the polenta)

1 recipe polenta

2 cups freeze dried sausage crumbles

1 1/2 cup water

1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

2 cups Marinara sauce

1 (6.7 oz) jar roasted red pepper tapenade (*see note)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Prepare polenta according to instructions.  While waiting for polenta to cool in a loaf pan, rehydrate the freeze dried sausage crumbles with water, allowing to sit for 20 minutes before draining any extra water.  Once the polenta is cooled, cut into 1/2 – inch to 3/4- inch slices.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non stick spray and lay slices of polenta over the bottom of the baking dish.  Combine the sausage, marinara sauce, tapenade and Italian Seasoning and pour the sauce mixture over top of the polenta.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 375 (*see note).

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Notes:

  •  There are lots of ways you could change this dish up — the sausage could be left out and replaced with extra canned tomatoes and mushrooms if you wanted to make it vegetarian.  Also, if you planned this in your three month plan, shredded cheese on top (as the original recipe calls for) would also be good.
  • Tapenade can most likely be found in the specialty sauce area of your grocery store.  It’s a condiment used to spread on either crackers or bread.  This one was just a little bit spicy and added a lot of flavor.
  • This meal could be converted to a sun oven meal without trouble I’m sure since it just needs to be cooked until hot.

4 Responses to “Italian Polenta Bake”

  1. PlicketyCat December 9, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Polenta is a great gluten-free alternative for many dishes. However, if you purchase commercially prepared polenta or polenta mix, read the label carefully if you must follow a strict no/low gluten diet since some of them do contain durum flour and/or other wheat derivatives. Also keep in mind that polenta corn meal, so anyone with corn sensitivities should proceed with caution.

    Dealing with our food allergies and sensitivities, especially with shelf-stable storage foods, has made me even more diligent about reading labels and recipes carefully.

  2. Ashley P. December 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Oh I am SO trying this it looks so yummy! :)

  3. Becky January 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    where is the Polenta recipe?

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