We’ve had a very mild winter so far, but we finally got some snow on Saturday. I don’t mind the snow as long as I am looking at it through my window:) I spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking and baking. I was in the mood for some good old comfort food and remembered a Baked Polenta Pie recipe I bookmarked from Bev Cooks. Bev’s recipe has Italian sausage in it so I decided to switch things up and create a vegetarian version of her recipe.
Baked Polenta Pie is similar to lasagna, but instead of noodles, you get a thick layer of creamy polenta as the base. I layered the pie with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, and of course loads and loads of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. You bake the pie until bubbly and do your best to not burn your tongue when it comes out of the oven. Your house will smell so delicious you won’t want to wait to dive in.
We didn’t talk during dinner, not because we didn’t have anything to say, we were just too busy devouring our Baked Polenta Pie. It was everything I had dreamed about and more. The gooey layers of polenta, tomato sauce, roasted vegetables, and cheese all melted together to create an amazing dish. If you are looking for a comforting recipe that will warm you up and fill your belly in the best possible way, make this Baked Polenta Pie. It does not disappoint. And P.S.-it is just as good reheated the next day. I love it when leftovers come to the rescue, especially when they taste this good.
Baked Polenta Pie
To make the tomato sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1/8 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Dash of crushed red pepper
- Pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the polenta pie:
- 1 small zucchini chopped
- 1 small yellow squash chopped
- 1/2 small eggplant chopped
- 1 small red pepper chopped
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season vegetables
- 1 cup polenta
- 3 cups milk we used skim
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, fennel seed, basil, oregano, and red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper and let simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.
- While the sauce is simmering, roast the vegetables. Place zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and red pepper on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables are done roasting, set aside to cool and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- In a large pot, bring the milk, butter, sugar and salt to a light simmer. Slowly add the polenta to the pot, whisking constantly. Once it starts to thicken, trade the whisk out for a spoon and stir until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot. Add half of the Parmesan cheese to the polenta and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with the other half of the parmesan.
- Evenly spread the roasted vegetables on top of the polenta. Spread the tomato sauce over the vegetables and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.
Have you tried this recipe?
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If you like this Baked Polenta Pie, you might also like:
- Baked Polenta with Mushrooms, Gorgonzola Cheese, & Tomato Sauce from Eat, Live, Run
- Grilled Polenta Cakes from Two Peas and Their Pod
- Roasted Vegetables with Creamy Polenta from Two Peas and Their Pod
This looks delicious! Can it be made/assembled ahead of time, and refrigerated until ready to bake?
Yes, you can assemble it ahead of time and bake it later.
This is fabulous! I am trying to build up my supply of meatless main dishes for both my family and for special events at our church. (We have several ladies who prefer a vegetarian menu.) I tested this last week, and it was a hit with everyone who ate it. The polenta is super easy to do, the roasted vegetables are amazing, and the tomato sauce is thick and delicious. Thanks, Maria, for sharing this!
I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe.
Making this now! Can smell the deliciousness as I type this comment! Thanks for the recipe!
Enjoyed this very much, but your pictures look like vegetables and sauce are integrated rather than layered. The polenta was definitely a bottom layer on mine. Also the pan size of 2 qts was maxed out and bubbled over quite a bit. Did you make modifications that were not listed?
The polenta is the bottom layer and we used a 2 quart dish. Everything we did is reflected in the recipe.
I’ve made this twice to rave reviews. I love it. I’ve added roast garlic in with the other roast vegetables and some fresh basil, either to the sauce or on top of the polenta layer. This is a great recipe and makes a great meal to serve company. No one minds the lack of meat.
A big pan of this just finished cooling. It’s for dinner later this week, but I thought it fit to grab a bite. SO TASTY! I added a thin layer of sausage to it.. but honestly, the roasted vegetables are my favorite part. thank you!
Can you substitue grits for polenta? If so, which is healthier to make?
My Italian hubby uses white wine instead of the milk to make polenta. Wonder if that would work here. It’s so good!
I made this tonight and it was delicious! It’s about 20 degrees outside where I am, so it was perfect for a very cold night. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
I made this pie today. It was really delicious! Thank you very much!
I am so happy to have found your blog via Pinterest! Your recipes have all turned out fantastic. My husband & son are both good veggie eaters but usually balk when it’s time for a meatless meal. All the recipes I’ve tried from here get rave reviews from them (and me!) Thank you for helping me prove to them that vegetarian & vegan food can be both good for you & delicious!
My question: do you have a serving size/calorie count breakdown of your recipes?
I am glad you are enjoying our recipes. We don’t offer nutritional information at this time. Maybe someday!
I use the tomato sauce as my go to tomato sauce base. I think it is the fennel seed but it is so easy and so good. I do two things differently, I round the measurements for the spices for a bit more kick, add twice as much garlic and add one peeled/chopped carrot that I cook with the onion. I cook the sauce with a bay leaf and then let the sauce cool and puree and then use the next day. This was a great start for me and I make this polenta pie for vegetarians a lot.
Love this recipe. It’s in our regular rotation now!
I was wondering… Has anyone out there ever frozen this to be baked at a later time?
This is one of my go-to recipes now. It’s so easy, comforting and so so so delicious! I’m making it for family tonight and plan on doubling the recipe. I can’t wait for them to try it! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This looks like the perfect accompaniment to our rainy weather.
This was easy and delicious!
Might want to change the recipe to read “1 cup uncooked polenta” ….
Wanted to report that my 4 kids loved this! thanks!!!
Ooh, this is delicious! It was in my “Food” board on Pinterest for a month or two before I tried it tonight.
I added some ground beef just for kicks, used finely ground cornmeal, and I used a bit less cheese than pictured. The biggest change I made was using canned tomato sauce. The sauce recipe looked delicious, but I took a short cut for time’s sake. It still turned out really tasty and I’ll definitely be making this again in the future!
Yay! Glad you liked it!
My great grandma always made this as leftovers growing up. We would have fresh polenta the first night with a tomato stew and baked polenta (what you call polenta pie as leftovers). So we would get three meals from one night of cooking!
This is really good. Used 4 cups water for polenta and 1/2 oz parm, no butter. Grilled veg on BBQ. Used butternut squash for “yellow” squash. (Maybe use mushrooms instead of peppers.) Made own tomato sauce with fire roasted tomatoes and red wine. Used 13×9 pan. Topped in 2 oz mozza.
This looks amazing! Do you think it would freeze well?
Instead of making the polenta, can I use the kind sold in a tube? I’m thinking I would just slice it down for the bottom of the pie. would that work?
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