Italian-Style Beef with Polenta

Italian-Style Beef with PolentaRecipe
Photo: John Autry
This hearty meat sauce with cheesy polenta is a nice change from spaghetti.


Serves 4
Total time: 40 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 40 Minutes
Total: 40 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 487
Fat 15.5 g
Satfat 7.2 g
Monofat 5.3 g
Polyfat 0.6 g
Protein 29.3 g
Carbohydrate 80.9 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 73 mg
Iron 3.2 mg
Sodium 695 mg
Calcium 266 mg


1 cup dry coarse-ground polenta
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of kosher salt
2 cups water
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil


1. Place first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan. Gradually add 2 cups water and milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/3 cup cheese.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes. Stir to crumble. Remove beef; drain. Wipe pan; coat with cooking spray. Add onion, pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beef and sauce; simmer 8 minutes.

3. Divide polenta evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 cup beef mixture; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese and 2 tablespoons basil.