Polenta Lasagna Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Polenta Lasagna

Use either homemade or store-bought nonfat marinara sauce. For best flavors, select robustly flavorful beans such as cannellini or runner beans.


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4 cups water
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1 ¼ cups polenta or cornmeal
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¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

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Vegetable Filling


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1 large eggplant
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1 large red bell pepper
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2 cups diced mushrooms
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1 cup diced onion
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2 cloves garlic, minced
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2 Tbs. minced fresh basil
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2 Tbs. minced fresh oregano
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½ cup cooked beans
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4 oz. grated nonfat mozzarella or mozzarella-style soy cheese
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3 cups nonfat marinara sauce
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¼ cup grated Parmesan-style soy cheese.


1. To make polenta, in large saucepan, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta. Stir with whisk, and cook until polenta is thick, about 10 minutes. Season with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Pour polenta into two 8x8-inch baking pans until 3/4-inch thick. (You will need two layers of polenta.) Alternatively, pour polenta into 1 large pan and, when cool, cut polenta into two layers to fit size of 8x12-inch lasagna pan. Smooth and level surface with spoon. Let cool, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F.

4. To roast eggplant, using a knife tip or fork, punch several holes in eggplant, and roast for 45 minutes, or until flesh is soft and skin is charred. Alternatively, grill or broil eggplant. Cut in half and, with spoon, scrape soft flesh from skin and chop coarsely. Increase temperature to 450°F.

5. To roast pepper, place on baking sheet, and cook, turning, until skin chars and flesh softens. Remove from heat, peel, seed and cut into strips. Set aside.

6. Unmold polenta, taking care not to break. If using two 8x8-inch pans, cut the pieces so they fit in 8x12-inch lasagna pan. Reserve single piece of polenta for top layer.

7. Reduce heat to 350°F.

8. To make vegetable filling, in saucepan, combine mushrooms, onions, garlic and 1/4 cup water, and cook over medium heat, covered, until onions are soft. Uncover, and cook until liquid evaporates.

9. Transfer to large bowl, and stir in eggplant, pepper, basil, oregano, beans and soy mozzarella-style cheese. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce in bottom of lasagna pan. Top with layer of polenta, add layer of filling, spreading it evenly, then another layer of polenta. Add remaining marinara sauce. Top with Parmesan-style cheese. Cover baking dish, or make double layer of parchment paper under aluminum foil to cover dish.

10. Bake for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated through. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Wine Suggestions
Many of the ingredients in this polenta, including marinara sauce and eggplant, will pair well with Zinfandel. Try Cline Contra Costa County Reserve Zinfandel.

Nutrition Information: 

16 g
Total Fat: 
1 g
Saturated Fat: 
60 g
450 mg
10 g
17 g

Comments on this Recipe

Soo yummy, used regular cheese instead of soy, came out beautifully.

This looks great! For some years now I have been making a polenta dish similar to this but instead of the"Italian" version it has been a bit more "Mexican". I use fresh salsa instead of marinara sauce, and of course beans and cilantro. A favourite of the family and so quick to make.

I would like to see a recipe for that salsa-polenta dish!

Is there a difference between using cornmeal, and using products labeled 'polenta'? I couldn't find anything in my supermarket actually labeled as polenta, so I tried making it just using course-ground cornmeal. Is there any difference? Thanks!


Jackie - I believe Polenta is a much finer grind of corn. I find it to be sweeter and softer than cornmeal.

Delicious and satisfying. I look forward to playing around with this recipe to incorporate different and seasonal vegetables. Yum and yum!

Thanks Rosemary! I did find that the cornmeal had a little bit of a bitter taste, for lack of a better word. So that sounds right - definitely appreciate the feedback!

Delicious recipe. The only problem i had was that it came out quite mushy - i didnt use instant polenta. Not sure if I should have reduced the water amount (maybe 3 instead of 4c?) b/c i used regular cornmeal, or should refridge longer? Any advice on how to firm up slow-cooked polenta better? In any event, will try again!

I took the recipe one step further and basically cleaned out my fridge of veggies, adding much more than what is in the recipe. Very yummy. I froze the leftovers this recipe does great frozen!

Is polenta good for you?

Fran: the extra moisture probably came from the veggies and other ingredients. I just made a variation of this and drained a lot of fluid out before placing in the oven. Still waiting to see the result, but I doubt it was the polenta that made it mushy. I used zucchini, baby bella mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes as my filling. (along with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses).

looks tasty, my friends mum made a polenta dish for me yesterday i dont know the name of it but it was polenta and broccoli and served with a tomato sauce and shaped like a bake. does anyone italian know what its called?

I'd like to make this for Xmas but will not have time Xmas day. Can I freeze it after baking and then heat it up Xmas day. Has anyone tried this?