Iain Bagwell
Total Time
45 Mins
Makes 6 servings

This simple casserole makes a comforting weeknight dinner as the weather turns cooler. Using ready-made polenta saves you the step of making it from scratch, and our quick tomato sauce can be cooked in just 25 minutes. All you need is a fresh green salad and a loaf of crusty Italian bread to round out the meal.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 2- to 3-qt. saucepan set over medium heat, then add tomatoes and oregano and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and chile flakes, and stir to combine. Cover pan, lower heat to medium, and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it firms up, about 5 minutes. Cover pan and cook until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes more. Add tomato sauce and simmer 10 minutes.

Step 3

While sauce is cooking, pour remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. oil into a 9- by 13-in. baking pan and tilt to coat bottom. Add polenta slices to pan and turn to coat with oil, then arrange slices lengthwise in 3 slightly overlapping rows. Broil polenta about 4 in. from heating element until golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4

Pour sauce over broiled polenta, then arrange mozzarella slices over the top. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Chef's Notes

Prepared polenta is sold in most major supermarkets; look in the Italian-food aisle (where pastas and sauces are sold) or in the refrigerated section.

Ratings & Reviews

skreis73's Review

February 08, 2014

boos33's Review

December 10, 2013

anonymous12's Review

February 14, 2013
This recipe is amazing!! I loved it and can't wait to make it again. I had never used prepared polenta before. It was very easy to do. Just had to ask where to find it in the market. Only change I made to the recipe was that I doubled the red chili flakes because I used a sweet pork Italian sausage and I like things a little spicier than recipes normally call out.

cswalsh's Review

February 03, 2013
Great dish and super easy. I prepared it just as written and it was a hit with us as well as our 7 and 4 year old. The only thing I added was fresh basil on top when I took it out of the oven. I am hoping the leftovers will be good as well. This was a nice change from the usual pasta bake.

1CouplesKitchen's Review

January 29, 2013
This was a delicious, hearty meal. We made our own Polenta using a super simple Giada De Laurentiis recipe and added in garlic powder and Parmesan to that. Also, instead of using the 5 1/2 tbsp of oil and broiling them, it is much easier to use a non-stick pan and a tiny bit of butter and just brown them up in the pan (making sure to flip, so both sides get that crunch). I also added garlic powder and a tiny bit of sugar to the tomato sauce. We used a venison sausage and didn't have to worry about removing casings, which saved time. You can read our whole review at One Couple's Kitchen!

mlr8575's Review

July 18, 2012
I made this using chopped up Italian Style smart sausage (a lower calorie vegetarian sausage) and shredded cheese. I used about half a cup of reduced fat shredded cheddar and half a cup of mozzerella... Aside from that I didn't make any major changes to the recipe except that I cut it in half. I did have a lot of trouble getting my polenta rounds to crisp up. They never got brown and crispy and I broiled them probably three times as long as it said. Finally just gave up and poured the sauce on. It was still amazing and I bet I saved at least 100 calories per serving with my adjustments.

MaryJJ's Review

May 23, 2012
This was quite good. We'll be using a lower fat meat next time but it sure tasted good. I think next time we'll add more peppers for more veggies. I bought bulk polenta corn meal instead and it was much cheaper than the tubes of prepared polenta. A little more work but it'll be fresher.

daw5855's Review

January 27, 2012

shilosmith's Review

January 10, 2012

dotnowellreilly's Review

July 21, 2011