Polenta & Vegetable Bake

Polenta & Vegetable Bake

18 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

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.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1½ cups prepared marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 14 ounces prepared polenta, sliced lengthwise into 6 thin slices
  • 1½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with ¾ cup cheese, top with the eggplant mixture and sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese. Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 201 calories; 9 g fat(3 g sat); 4 g fiber; 23 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 88 mcg folate; 14 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,883 IU vitamin A; 21 mg vitamin C; 242 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 599 mg sodium; 394 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (78% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Calcium (24% dv), Folate (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1.5 starch, 1 vegetable

Reviews 18

November 04, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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
May 14, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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.
May 13, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
August 23, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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.
April 22, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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
January 21, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Great dish-wrong oil Olive oil does not like high heat, so canola oil is a better option.
October 23, 2011
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By: visualizestacy
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
February 12, 2011
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By: jordanhorowitz
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.
February 04, 2011
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By: wonderdogg44
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!
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