Filed Under: 20 Minute Supper Club, Baking, Dinner, Less than 20 Minutes, Vegetables

Casserole-Style Baked Polenta with Sausage, Kale and Mushrooms

Rich and creamy, this casserole is full of fall’s splendid flavours. It’s also versatile, as it can be eaten right away or cooled and sliced into wedges to reheat as needed.

November 16th, 2012

Recipe and Styling by Paula Bowman

Instant Polenta is a precooked cornmeal. Look for it labeled as “Quick cooking” or “Instant“ in the grocery aisle where you would find cornmeal.   Substitution: Whole grain, medium grind cornmeal can be used in place of the quick cooking polenta. It yields a creamier polenta but takes about 15-20 minutes to cook. Use the same quantities of water and cornmeal and stir until thickened.   Time Saver: For a quicker version, polenta can be eaten, after step 3, without baking, while polenta is very soft. Spoon polenta onto plate and top with mushroom mixture and garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing baking dish
  • 2 oz turkey sausage, casings removed, any dinner sausage can be substituted
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chopped kale, (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 5 cups water, plus more for cooking kale
  • 1 1/4 cup quick cooking polenta
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a medium baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

  2. Set a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1-tablespoon olive oil and sausage. Cook, breaking sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked through. Transfer to a large bowl and return skillet to medium heat. Add remaining 1-tablespoon olive oil and 1-tablespoon butter to skillet with mushrooms, onions and red pepper flakes and cook until mushrooms are golden brown and onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add kale and stir for 30 seconds. Add 2-tablespoons water to skillet, cover, stirring occasionally until kale is softened, about 4 minutes. It may be necessary to add 1 to 2-tablespoons more water to skillet, if the pan dries out. Transfer kale mixture to bowl with sausage and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Meanwhile, as mushroom mixture cooks, set a saucepan filled with 5-cups of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Season water generously with salt and freshly ground pepper and add polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in goat cheese, 1/4-cup Parmesan cheese and remaining 1-tablespoon butter and season to taste with more salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed.

  4. Pour half of polenta into prepared baking dish and spread to cover bottom. Spoon two-thirds of mushroom mixture over polenta in an even layer. Spread another layer with remaining polenta, followed by a scattered layer of the remaining mushroom mixture. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4-cup Parmesan cheese and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Casserole-Style Baked Polenta with Sausage, Kale and Mushrooms
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.