Tomato 'n' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust

  • KatieG Posted: 03/23/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    This was good, but not great. Fine for dinner but don't think I will be making it again. It was pretty easy to make which was a plus.

  • JanieR Posted: 04/13/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    We enjoyed the casserole, but I wondered if the "crust" should be baked a short while before adding the hamburger mix. It was not firm. Otherwise, I really liked the recipe.

  • CheriZL Posted: 01/11/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Very good! I used Martha White's cornmeal, cooked it the 3 minutes and it was perfect. I wanted a little spice, so I used Rotel tomatoes. I'll definately make this again.

  • Pondolina Posted: 03/29/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    We loved this casserole! I made it just as directed. My husband, mother-in-law, and I all thought it was excellent. Will definitely make again.

  • 92ohpets Posted: 06/08/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    My family really enjoyed this casserole. I'd classify it as "comfort food". Except for the squash, all of the ingredients are things I usually have on hand. I think next time I'll put an additional layer of cheese under the meat as well as on top, and maybe add a little salt to the meat mixture. This recipe is a keeper.

  • No Longer Registered Posted: 07/14/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I found this recipe to be rather tasteless. I loved the fresh tomato and beef mixture, but there was something missing. Extra parsley and cheese may have helped, or maybe even other italian seasonings like basil and oregano. It tasted so plain. I wasn't a fan of the polenta crust, either. If anything, it only added a slightly gritty texture to the dish. Unless I find out something more to add to this recipe, I won't be making it again. :/

  • christineg24 Posted: 07/15/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I read the other reviews before making this dish, so I baked the crust for 15 minutes first. Then I added some salt and pepper to the beef mixture and added a layer of cheese between the "crust" and beef. After baking for 30 min., the crust was still soupy and the beef mixture was nothing special. Family liked the flavor initially but ate only a few bites before giving two thumbs down.

  • AuntPearl Posted: 08/18/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Great recipe! As humble and ordinary as hamburger and zuchini are, my family gave this recipe a hearty thumbs up! Best "squash casserole" we've ever had. I cook it for weekday meals mostly, but wouldn't hesitate making it for something more special, depending what the occasion was. The "Italian Version" is great too; I've made it both ways. Good with a green salad and crusty homemade rolls.

  • taves7 Posted: 03/16/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I liked this casserole. It's labor intensive, but it's a labor of love. I added a lot more spices, including 1/2 t red pepper flakes and 1/2 t or more Italian seasoning. I also increased the Montreal seasoning and added a second zucchini. All good changes. I will make this again!

  • wyldrose Posted: 12/11/09
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    My family and I loved this recipe. I made a little extra of the polenta, unlike the other's who mentioned it didn't firm up, I did cook it a couple of minutes longer in the pan. I didn't have that problem. I did add a couple of extra zucchini plus I added some Itl. sausage with ground meat. Added a little extra cheese, I really liked this recipe.

  • bridgetwalczak Posted: 03/22/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    My husband and I enjoyed the polenta crust in this recipe for a weeknight meal, but (as expected) the tomato/ground beef/veggie mixture was terribly bland. I was surprised that the recipe called for no seasonings added to the tomato mixture, as it definitely needs some. I also found my 11x7 dish to be much too small - use a 13X9 for sure! I may use the idea for this crust again, but I will continue to search for a different filling, or at least some additional seasonings to add.

  • zenbabylina Posted: 10/12/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I really like this casserole. This is a good weeknight recipe and it has made it into regular rotation. I haven't had any problems with the polenta crust. The only change I make is adding more vegetables. I add 3-4 zucchinis and 1 red bell pepper, sometimes I add mushrooms too if I have them in the fridge.

  • JillHP Posted: 11/11/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    This was good, but not great. The polenta was delicious, but the meat mixture lacked flavor. I think the version with Italian sausage would probably be better.

  • beachwriter Posted: 10/31/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    One of the things I like about online recipe sites is the ability to make comments and read those of others. Fortunately, I read through the comments before I tried this recipe. Since so many people commented that the meat mixture was bland without adding something, I added seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I also added extra zucchini and a few sliced mushrooms, and used a larger baking dish. Bottom line: it turned out awful. The polenta crust was mushy, and I just didn't care for the flavor of the whole thing. I ate half of a serving and threw the rest of it out. I agree it might be better with the Italian sausage rather than the beef, but I'm not going to waste money and time to find out.

  • debijean Posted: 04/21/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I have never made a polenta crust... and I found this recipe much too mushy to my liking. My husband thought I should have baked it some first, then add the ground beef topping. I decreased the tomatoes by one can and added salt & pepper. If I make this recipe again, I would definitely add a dash of sugar to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes and add more spices than the s&p.

  • MamaItaliana Posted: 11/18/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    This recipe was good, but a few changes made it even better. I cooked some of the cheese into polenta mixture then let it sit in the fridge overnight. (To be honest I had leftovers in the fridge already.) This makes it less mushy. Then I cooked the beef/veggie/tomato mixture with fresh rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, salt & pepper. This added more flavor. My husband loved it! We would make it again. A nice alternative to pasta.

  • AnneAPrice Posted: 04/07/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Made this for lunch today and it is wonderful! Will make it again many times for my family.

  • Mizboo275 Posted: 02/04/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I added 3 - 4 tbsp of taco seasoning to the meat mixture as I knew it would be bland without some herbs or spices. My polenta came out fine and the dish was tasty an comforting on a cold winter day. I would make again.

  • LovelyCarrie Posted: 04/25/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I really liked this recipe! I had yellow squash on hand so I substituted that for the zucchini, and threw in some mushrooms and green pepper, and added 4 cloves of chopped garlic as the other reviewers noted lack of flavor. Lastly, I used hot Rotel tomatoes. I seasoned everything with some salt, thyme and basil and it was delicious, full of flavor and nice and spicy!

  • bluedragnkittn Posted: 02/13/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Mediocre at best. The polenta crust was amazing. That I liked. The beef mixture was waaaay too bland and acidic from the tomatoes. It could do without the tomato paste and one can of tomatoes. I added a portabella mushroom to the veggies and added sliced avocado on top along with sour cream. In the beef mixture I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, a hit of cayenne pepper and some cumin which made the dish a million times better. As it, it's rather bland and American tasting. This could use a lot more work and a lot more consideration on spices. Tomato is not a viable seasoning alone and is rather lazy. Skip this one or follow the comments on how to improve it. It needs desperate improvements.

  • rockyhillgal Posted: 01/06/14
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    It sounded good but was way too blah. It definitely needs more seasoning of any kind, like browning the meat with taco or other seasoning to taste, or increasing the steak seasoning in the polenta substantially.

advertisement

More From Southern Living