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In this vegetarian polenta casserole recipe, the choice of cheese is as important as which wild mushroom you use. Morel or hen of the woods (maitake) mushrooms give a more “meaty” experience, while chanterelle or cremini mushrooms will have a milder flavor. The polenta recipe calls for rich, nutty Taleggio or fontina cheese, but you can also use a good-quality washed rind cheese like Brie or Gouda.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2015


Recipe Summary

1 hr 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in cornmeal and salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape onto a clean cutting board and spread into an 8-inch-wide slab.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in wine (or broth), rosemary, sage and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  • Cut the cooled polenta into 12 pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Arrange half the strips in the prepared dish. Top with half the mushroom mixture, half the Taleggio (or fontina) and half the Parmigiano. Top with the remaining polenta, mushroom mixture and cheeses.

  • Bake until brown and bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces to serve.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Uncover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before finishing with Step 5.

Any type of cornmeal can be used for polenta, but we like medium- or coarse-ground cornmeal for its great texture. It's usually labeled “cornmeal,” but some brands are labeled “polenta.” Look for it near whole-grain flours. Store it airtight in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts

about 1 cup
335 calories; protein 14.9g; carbohydrates 28.7g; dietary fiber 5.3g; sugars 2g; fat 17g; saturated fat 7.3g; cholesterol 38.6mg; vitamin a iu 405IU; vitamin c 1mg; folate 21.7mcg; calcium 276.5mg; iron 14.9mg; magnesium 66.4mg; potassium 612.6mg; sodium 478.3mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1 high-fat meat, 1 fat