This healthful and comforting vegetarian casserole is perfect on a cool night--or any time of year when you want to remember clear, brisk October evenings. Make It a Meal: Enjoy with a glass of Zinfandel and for dessert, Ida's Mandelbrot dipped in a fresh-brewed cup of coffee.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

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  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water and spinach; cover and cook until wilted, stirring once, about 3 minutes. Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil.

  • Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese, top with the eggplant mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

201 calories; 8.6 g total fat; 14 mg cholesterol; 599 mg sodium. 22.9 g carbohydrates; 9.4 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
11/04/2014
Easy Satisfying Dinner This was great! I followed the recipe exactly and my only concern was the amount of liquid (I didn't read the reviews beforehand suggesting to reduce the amount of water. I will probably do that next time). I ended up baking it for a little longer than the recipe called for which seemed to resolve the issue. Really delicious -- my whole family liked it. Pros: easy lots of veggies Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/14/2013
Delicious with a few alterations I made this tonight and it was so great! I am allergic to eggplant so I substituted an 8oz package of fresh button mushrooms (I sliced them). After reading other reviews I decided not to use the 1/2 cup of water especially since I was incorporating mushrooms. I also added one large minced clove of fresh garlic when I added the spinach. I used some dry marjoram probably 1/2 tsp when I sauteed the vegetables as well. I didn't measure salt or pepper just seasoned to my liking. I made it vegan with Trader Joe's vegan shredded Mozzarella. It was SO TASTY! I would highly recommend this as a vegetarian or vegan dish that any meat eater would truly enjoy. It was very hearty I paired it with garlic bread which was a great because it was a bit on the saucy side. I'm so glad I omitted the extra water! GIVE IT A TRY! Pros: Fantastic healthy way to use polenta. Cons: A little watery. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/13/2013
Super easy! Instead of precooking the vegetables all I did was layer the pre-made polenta zuchini eggplant spinach basil sauce and cheese (plus a little salt and pepper) in my backing dish (11x7 so everything cooked faster) and put it in the oven at 375 degrees F for 35 - 40 minutes. No pre-cook of anything and it turned out fantastic; vegetables were cooked perfectly. (I also added browned ground turkey to my sauce which was delish if you eat meat) Pros: Quick Healthy flavorful Cons: none Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
08/23/2012
Delicious and Healthy Italian Cuisine! I made a Kiwi version by using sliced Kumara instead of Polenta and it turned out perfect! I loved it. Like polenta kumara still have lots of vitamins. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/22/2012
Perfect for A Summer Night This recipe was absolutely delicious. I did however make a few changes. I first replaced the eggplant with yellow squash and reduced the amount of basil; you really don't need half a cup. I also recommend reducing the amount of water to about 1/4 of a cup because the water in the vegetables was drawn out and my finished product was sitting in a pool of water. Altogether this recipe was absolutely delish. Pros: Healthy Deliciuos Easy to Make Quick Cons: Some Changes Need To Be Made Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/21/2012
Great dish-wrong oil Olive oil does not like high heat so canola oil is a better option. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was very good. My husband LOVED it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Yum. It was delicious. Used Trade Joe's Organic Polenta that comes in the roll. Worked perfectly. Added squash and mushrooms...didn't use spinach. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was delicious! I also used Trader Joe's organic polenta. Instead of using fresh spinach I simply used a box of the frozen chopped variety. I didn't think I liked polenta but the use in this dish gives it texture and makes you think you have more cheese in the dish than you do! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Delicious fast and easy! I did not have a tube of polenta on hand so I made my own using instant. Great flavors. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
A great tasting dish - added fresh string beans and used Muir Glen Tomato Basil Sauce. Next time I'd add mushrooms - also would only cook it for 10 minutes in the oven Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Great dish! I made a variation on the grill last night and it came out great. I brushed all the veggies with olive oil italian seasoning and salt and pepper and grilled them. Lightly coated the polenta rounds and grilled them on my veggie grill rack. I also used fresh roma tomatoes which I also grilled. I layered everything on a cookie sheet- topped with spinach leaves and then the cheese - left on grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Delicious! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
YUM! I didn't have any zucchini so I used butternut squash instead (cubed like the eggplant and pre-roasted 15 minutes). Added two sliced shallots to the vegetables and some grated parmesan reggiano to the top layer of cheese. This dish will definitely satisfy any cravings for a cheesy Italian entree like lasagna or eggplant parmesan. Pros: versatile satisfying Cons: none Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Fantastic! Warm comforting and wonderfully satisfying! Will definitely make again! Pros: Easy to make and delicious! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/29/2011
Didn't quite come together I like the concept of this dish a lot. It just didn't all come together as I had expected. For one the tomato sauce mixture was way too runny. I'm sure the addition of fresh spinach didn't help. I'm going to try again with this recipe but use several alterations. I would saute the spinach separately and then drain it before mixing it into the sauce mixture. I would add another vegetable maybe mushrooms. I would a little more spice (but maybe my sauce choice was too bland to begin with). I would make my own polenta so that I could coat the dish with a solid layer the slices just didn't make for an easily served dish. Pros: Quick simple vegetarian Cons: Too watery a little bland Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Tasty and Easy I made my own polenta and covered the bottom of the pan with that instead of the slices. I also added an onion 2 cloves of garlic mushrooms and red pepper flakes. I had my serving minus the cheese and it tasted great and was nice and filling! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Delicious Casserole This was really delicious. I used a local organic marinara sauce. I added some onion and mushrooms to the sauteed vegetables. Did not add water when I added the fresh spinach and it worked fine. Used the tube polenta as suggested and was happy with the results. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/29/2011
Good with a few tweaks I made this dish tonight and thought it was quite tasty - with a few changes. First I made my own "rustic" style polenta and poured it in a baking dish too cool and firm up. As I was sauteeing the vegetables I realized that the dish needed a prepared pasta sauce with spices added not the plain tomato sauce I was planning to use. So I had to change things up a bit. To start out with I added onions and garlic to my zucchini and eggplant since I can't fathom making anything vaguely Italian without those two. I added the Spinach and upped the heat to quickly wilt it and evaporate any water. Then I added a can of chopped tomatoes a generous amount of tomato paste and a little water. I added several dried spices (oregano basil thyme margoarm etc from a herb mix) and some salt and pepper. Then it tasted a bit acidic so I put a pinch of sugar. I let it simmer for a bit to meld the flavors. Then per instructions I added shredded mozzerella on top of the polenta poured the vegetable mixture over (gave it a bit of a push down to get the sauce in the nooks around the polenta) and added more shredded cheese and put in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Came out browned and bubbly. Was really very good and I look forward to the leftovers! Pros: Healthy light Read More