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Warm up on a chilly fall day with this delicious Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara!
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It's been a hot October here in Texas, but I'm hopeful the weather will cool off soon.
I've had it with temps in the high 80s ... if not worse!
When it comes to fall food, I definitely crave comfort food ... the heartier, the saucier, the cheesier, the better!
I love anything that will warm me to my bones, and this Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara fits the bill perfectly.
Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara
This yummy recipe features homemade polenta (use store bought if you're in a time pinch), layered with a vegetable filled sauce and lots of cheese.
It's a rich dish that's full of flavor, yet so simple to make!
Although I love making Marinara Sauce from scratch, one of my favorite tricks on busy nights is to add my favorite sauteed vegetables to a jar of pasta sauce. Prego Farmers' Market sauces have an irresistible taste that's perfect for this!
We ate tons of Prego when I was growing up, and I still love it to this day! These delicious pasta sauces are made with the kind of ingredients that you would find at your local farmers' market, like vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
Everything is picked at the peak and made the way you would with olive oil, black pepper, and oregano.
I love pairing Prego Farmers' Market with my favorite Italian dishes, like this Polenta Marinara.
How to Make Polenta with Marinara Sauce
The sauce for this Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara is so simple to make.
You'll start by sauteing colorful yellow peppers and hearty mushrooms until tender. Then, stir in a jar of Prego Farmers' Market Classic Marinara. To finish the veggie-packed sauce, add spinach and fresh basil. Yum!
I love Prego Farmers' Market Classic Marinara all on its own—it's so flavorful—but it's also the perfect base for this sauce.
You could pair this delicious sauce with pasta, but I like serving it over polenta.
Have you ever made polenta? It's so delicious (the perfect pasta alternative), and it's simple to make.
Basically, you combine broth and cornmeal, then cook it until it's thick. Use a long handled spoon, since the polenta tends to bubble up, and make sure your heat isn't too high.
Finish the polenta with a little butter and parmesan, then chill it until firm. If you're short on time, pop the polenta in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.
Once the polenta is chilled, you'll cut it into pieces. Then it gets topped with your delicious veggie-filled sauce and a generous helping of mozzarella cheese.
It only takes a few minutes to bake, and then it's time to eat!
Your family will love this rustic Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara ... just look at all that sauce!
And it's perfect for guests, too. Serve it with a salad for an easy meal you can make tonight.
Baked Polenta with Veggie Marinara
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large orange bell pepper, sliced
- 8 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (23.5-ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) bag spinach, roughly chopped
- 4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Bring broth to a boil in a large pot. Slowly whisk cornmeal into broth.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, then cook (stirring frequently) until polenta begins to pull away from the bottom of the pot when you stir it (about 15 minutes).
- Remove polenta from heat, then stir in cheese, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Pour polenta into the 9 x 9-inch pan, smooth the top, then refrigerate until chilled (about 1 hour).
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add peppers to oil and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
- Stir mushrooms into peppers and cook until browned, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in marinara sauce.
- Heat sauce until warmed, then add spinach and basil, and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch (or similar size casserole dish) with nonstick spray.
- Turn polenta out of pan onto a cutting board, then cut into 6 pieces.
- Place polenta in pan, overlapping if necessary. Top with sauce and then sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Bake until hot and cheese is browned in spots, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve hot, topped with additional basil. Enjoy!
Love this Vegetarian Polenta?
If you liked this marinara topped polenta, then you'll enjoy these recipes, too!
- Polenta Cakes with Stir-Fried Spring Vegetables
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Polenta
- Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake
What is your favorite fall dinner?