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Cheesy Polenta Casserole with Italian Sausage

This delicious layered cheesy polenta casserole is comfort food at its best! The perfect combination of smooth and creamy polenta with spicy Italian sausage. Be sure to make plenty because leftovers are great. Polenta is similar to cheesy grits, a classic American dish from the South.

January 19, 2022

Polenta Casserole ready to be served

What is Polenta?

Polenta is made from coarse stone-ground cornmeal and sometimes called “Italian grits.” Like the Southern American classic grits, polenta is a hearty porridge with a grainy texture. This delicious and straightforward dish is from Northern Italy and is very versatile. It is an excellent foundation for a casserole, fried and served sweet for breakfast or served as a porridge with beans and vegetables or meat and gravy. 

Italian Recipe Exchange

This Cheesy Polenta Casserole recipe comes from our adopted Italian family in Perugia, Italy. We hosted two Italian foreign exchange students during their 4th year in high school. The first student was in the 1999 -2000 school year. Four years later, we hosted his younger brother!

 

It was a remarkable cultural experience, and more importantly, we gained a family in Italy. The educational exchange was very profound for the students, but our family benefited greatly. The oldest son loved grocery shopping with me, and we exchanged many recipes. Their mother was from Brescia, so I gather this recipe was from her family since polenta dishes generally come from the northern part of the country.

Recipe Steps

1

Cook polenta until it leaves the sides of the pan.

Adding polenta layer to the casserole dish
2

Smooth thickened polenta into a casserole dish.

Adding the sausage layer to the polenta casserole
3

Spoon browned Italian sausage over polenta.

Adding the tomato sauce layer to the polenta casserole
4

Add the tomato layer and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Cheese layer to the polenta casserole
5

Add the mozzarella cheese layer.

Cheesy Polenta Casserole
6

Bake and serve.

Print
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Polenta Casserole in a casserole dish

Cheesy Polenta Casserole with Spicy Italian Sausage

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This delicious layered cheesy polenta casserole is comfort food at its best! The perfect combination of smooth and creamy polenta with spicy Italian sausage. Be sure to make plenty because leftovers are great. Polenta is similar to cheesy grits, a classic American dish from the South.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Polenta* see note

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal or corn grits
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

 Sausage and Tomato

  • 1 lb hot or sweet Italian sausage
  • 28 ounces of diced tomatoes with juice (2 14-oz cans)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese sliced or grated or 8 0unces of fresh mozzarella cut into 1/4 inch slices


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º. Butter a 2.5-quart ovenproof casserole dish.
  2. Make Polenta – Combine the broth, butter, sugar, and salt in a heavy saucepan and simmer. Slowly add the corn grits in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Lower the heat and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and leaves the pan side, about 10 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and press the polenta mixture into the casserole dish.
  3. Make Sausage – Heat a medium-size skillet and sauté the sausage, breaking up with the back of a spoon. Cook until brown, crumbly, and thoroughly cooked. Layer sausage over polenta with a slotted spoon
  4. Layer Tomato over the sausage, followed by seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Place under broiler for 2 minutes, if desired, to brown cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

*Fast-track this recipe by using ready-made, shelf-stable polenta. It is available in the Italian Food section.

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

 

Let me know your thoughts on this post!

11 responses to “Cheesy Polenta Casserole with Italian Sausage”

  1. I loved this recipe! So delicious and can be made as an appetizer also, which will be gobbled up as soon as you bring it out and serve it
    Very easy to make especially if using the fast track tip – add a salad and you’ve got a complete delicious meal
    I guarantee everyone will love it!






  2. Made this for dinner tonight. So easy and so delicious! Great meal for pleasing a wide variety of pallets!






  3. Have made this and it’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing the history behind this wonderful recipe.






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Karen the Supper Sanity Home Chef

Welcome to Supper Sanity

Hello, I’m Karen, a very passionate meal planner. As a mother of three, I have been planning family menus for years. When I was diagnosed with a digestive condition, I found it necessary to follow an eating regime that eliminated many ingredients. That made meal planning a health necessity. I’ve learned a lot and want to share my resources to simplify meal planning, shop efficiently and cook affordable homemade meals. If you wish to try new recipes, plan healthier meals, and enjoy a great dinner with your friends and family, Supper Sanity can help.

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