Italian Polenta Casserole

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr

Based on a recipe from Good Housekeeping. This Italian casserole delivers comfort with creamy polenta and a hearty tomato ragu studded with spicy sausage and eggplant.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, cook sausage and ground beef on medium-high 5 to 6 minutes or until browned, stirring and breaking up meat with side of spoon. With slotted spoon, transfer meat mixture to medium bowl.
  2. To same Dutch oven, add onion; cook on medium 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with their puree; heat to boiling on high, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add eggplant and meat; cover and cook 5 minutes on medium. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer or until eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In microwave-safe 4-quart bowl, with wire whisk, combine water, broth, cornmeal, and salt. Microwave on High 15 to 20 minutes or until cornmeal mixture is very thick. After first 5 minutes of cooking, whisk vigorously until smooth (mixture will be lumpy at first); whisk 2 more times during remaining cooking time. Remove from microwave, whisk in Romano.
  4. Spoon 2 cups hot polenta into each of two 1 1/2-quart shallow casseroles. Spread polenta over bottom and up sides of casseroles. Spoon filling over polenta. Spread remaining polenta around casserole edge to form a rim. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons additional grated Romano, Parmesan, or Asiago.
  5. Bake one casserole 30 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes for easier serving. (Freeze the other one for later.).
  6. Makes 8 servings (in 2 casserole dishes).
  7. Note: if you want to lower the fat content, use turkey Italian sausage. Make sure to use quality sausage - I've used my favorite, our freshly made Merguez, and good sausage really makes a difference.
Most Helpful

5 5

This recipe rated five stars with just a couple of adjustments to suit my taste. I added 4-5 TBS of tomato paste to the ragu, use 6 cloves of garlic, added some needed salt, and made the polenta with milk instead of water - a personal preference for the creamier texture. It is a great, filling, and fairly inexpensive dish. Thanks for sharing. I'd recommend a nice chianti with this dish.

5 5

I've made this recipe twice and loved it both times! I drain the meat and saute the onions and garlic in EVOO. I use 5 garlic cloves and cook the polenta on the stovetop using the recipe's measurements. It is a bit labor intensive but it's worth the effort. Delicious!