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Ole Polenta Casserole

With plenty of ground beef and cheese, this layered bake goes over big on the dinner table. Adjust the amount of hot pepper sauce to suit your taste.—Angela Biggin, Lyons, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 45 min. + standing
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and dill weed
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • For polenta, in a small bowl, whisk cornmeal, salt and 1 cup water until smooth. In a large saucepan, bring remaining water to a boil. Add cornmeal mixture, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 15 minutes. Divide mixture between 2 greased 8-in. square baking dishes. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, herbs and hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until thickened.
  • Loosen 1 polenta from sides and bottom of dish; invert onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and set aside. Spoon half of the meat mixture over the remaining polenta. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan cheese. Top with reserved polenta and remaining meat mixture.
  • Cover and bake at 350° until heated through, 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 5 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 345 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 874mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 25g protein.
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  • 1Heart4Jesus
    Jul 22, 2020

    Planning on making this soon. Looks and sounds delicious. One thing good cooks do at times, is forgetting to mention seasoning the meat, in this case it would be the ground beef. When browning meat, I use a little salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Makes all the difference!

  • Maria Wendy
    Jul 22, 2020

    Buenísima receta

  • Donnis
    Mar 28, 2019

    Not enough flavor It was just ok 3 recipes out of cheese cook magazine and none were good enough to remake ??

  • 2124arizona
    Jul 9, 2017

    This tasty casserole with the polenta layer in it is a keeper!!

  • vewebber58
    Oct 15, 2011

    Yummy! The sauce is so flavorful and good. I made it ahead and allowed more time for it to cook. Loved it!