Polenta and Veggie Lasagna

This was one of those recipes that spawned from me standing in front of the pantry going “what can I make for dinner with what I have?”. It’s a rather daunting question and there have been many failed meals that ended in last-minute pizza ordering because of this question. That however, was not the case this time around. Using the basic structure of what you could put in lasagna, I managed to whip up this twist on the famous Italian dish and may never look back.

‘Grits’ was always a bad word for me growing up. I would always have visions of white mush that was pushed out-of-the-way at ‘Crack Barrel’. Polenta, however, was a different story. Polenta meant slices of warm and crusty Italian deliciousness fried up on a skillet by itself or layered out under a pile of cheesy breakfast eggs.

I don’t know exactly how to pin my finger on it but there is something so amazingly satisfying about the comfort of vegetables cooked in olive oil and the savory flavoring of warm polenta. From the very first bite, this recipe pulled at my ‘comfort strings’ and left me craving for leftovers for the rest of the week.

Polenta and Veggie Lasagna

  • 1 cup dried polenta
  • 8 ounces chevre cheese (or goat cheese)
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan
  • 1/8 cup Gouda (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1- 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • handful of fresh basil or oregano, for garnish
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and cooked the polenta for five minutes. Once cooked, pour onto a cookie sheet lined with tin foil (to create a “sheet” of polenta). Set aside while you prepare the veggies so that it can harden up (or stick in a 350 degree heated oven for about 10 minutes if you want your polenta a little crispy- this will also help it harden faster!).

In a large skillet (or saucepan), heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook for about five minutes or until they begin to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.

Next, add in the pepper, zucchini, celery, and carrots. Cook for about 15 minutes or until everything has softened up.

In a small bowl, whisk together the stock and tomato paste until well combined. Add to the cooking veggies and bring to simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has become very thick. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble: Grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan. Cut the polenta in half and place a sheet of it snuggly in the bottom of the pan. Using half the goat cheese/chevre, spread a layer of it on top of the polenta. Next, layer on half of the veggie mixture. Repeat with another layer of polenta, chevre, and veggies. Finally, top with gouda, parmesan and fresh basil/oregano.

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until everything is heated throughout.

Serve warm with garlic bread or by itself! Enjoy while watching an episode of ‘Mad Men’ or listening to your favorite David Bowie album.

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  • Allison
    June 7, 2012

    Yum, such an awesome idea! Lasagna used to me my favorite food as a kid, but now I find it kind of boring. This seems like the PERFECT vehicle for polenta though, and looks like such a colorful dish, that now I want to try making your version soon! (Also love that it has goat cheese…)

  • Mrs. Buena Vida
    June 7, 2012

    Oh that looks sooo good!

  • baconbiscuit212
    June 7, 2012

    Wonderful! What a great idea to use the polenta like noodles. Looks really good.

  • TastefullyJulie
    June 7, 2012

    Yum! That looks to die for!

  • VeggieYogi
    June 10, 2012

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!!

  • Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadilla « Vegetarian 'Ventures
    June 14, 2012

    […] begins TOMORROW), I tweaked this recipe to what I had on hand. I used the leftover chevre from the Veggie Polenta Lasagna and the kick of spice from the jalapeno was tamed perfectly from the smooth cheese. Can’t […]

  • Erin's DC Kitchen
    June 22, 2012

    This looks yummy, a fun way to use polenta! I just made a summer vegetable lasagna… I’ll have to try polenta lasagna too.

  • tryingtobelessfat
    June 23, 2012

    That looks yummy, and and all those vegetables would make me feel very virtuous too!

  • Roasted Tomato and Feta Polenta « Vegetarian 'Ventures
    August 2, 2012

    […] or bring out a main (like under a pile of cheesy eggs) or take charge as the entrĂ©e (like in a lasagna and in this recipe […]

  • bubblechild
    August 4, 2012

    I love that this is naturally gluten-free. Thank you for sharing!

  • Allie (@squeakyfingers)
    August 6, 2012

    This sounds lovely. I tried another of your polenta recipes and it turned out great so if I can find a way to lessen the cheese (I am sensitive/intolerant to lactose) I will give it a try!

    • shellywest
      Allie (@squeakyfingers)
      August 7, 2012

      Oh! Well this would completely change the dynamic of the recipe but I would recommend using crumbled tofu to try to achieve a ricotta lasagna texture. Just my thoughts!

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