Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Italian Sausage
I’ve been seeing a baked polenta with red wine mushroom recipe circulating across Instagram and Pinterest lately. It looks absolutely amazing so I decided I’d try my hand at baked polenta myself!
Polenta is really just fancy Italian grits. In my opinion, it’s a much a finer meal than traditional grits which is what allows it to easily take on a creamy texture. If you’re already a grits lover or love creamy mashed potatoes, you will surely love polenta, too. I actually prefer polenta over both those options.
The star of this recipe may be the Violife Parmesan cheese, though. Violife is relatively new to my Whole Foods but has already found a regular home in my fridge. There’s one other brand of vegan parm out there that I love, but Violife’s version is now my one true Parmesan love.
I’d recommend this recipe as a side dish at any dinner party or potluck. It only requires two dishes to make (one pot and the baking dish) and all the ingredients are easy to find, plus inexpensive.
If you want a creamy, savory, and easy dinner idea, definitely give this polenta recipe a go!
1.5 cups dry polenta meal
4.5 cups water
4 tbsp vegan butter
2 tsp salt
generous pinch of pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup chopped vegan Italian sausage (I used Upton’s Breakroom’s)
1/4 cup roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes
1.5 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Violife Parmesan cheese
3/4 bread crumbs
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Bring the 4.5 cups of water to a boil along with thh. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and add the polenta, stirring frequently to prevent burning. The polenta will probably bubble once it starts to thicken. If it does this, lower the heat slightly and gently stir to release excess steam.
Once the polenta has fully thickened and there is no excess water, add the butter, stirring to evenly combine and melt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and shredded parmesan. Separate into thirds. In a 6 cup baking dish, evenly sprinkle 1/3 of the bread crumb-parmesan mixture on the bottom.
To the polenta, add the sausage, sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and pepper, folding together to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Gently spoon the polenta mixture into the baking dish until about 3cm from the top (there will probably be leftover polenta, which you can bake, as well, or eat as is!). Sprinkle the remaining bread crumb-parmesan mixture on top of the polenta and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will keep for up to one week.