Cornmeal, Spinach, and Mushroom Casserole

  • Yield 6-8 servings

This is a fun casserole to serve to guests, because its layers look really pretty when sliced. It’s a great way to get your spinach, too. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce (from a jar or homemade) along with a nice crisp salad.

Cornmeal Casserole[1]


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large clove garlic, crushed
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
6 large tomatoes, 3 sliced and 3 diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 cups water
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup low-fat grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Canola oil spray


  1. Have all of your ingredients ready before you begin, because once you start working with the cooked cornmeal, you will have to work fast—it hardens quickly.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté until the water is out of the mushrooms. Add the wine, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, and thyme. Cook on high, stirring constantly until half of the liquid has evaporated (about 5 minutes). Add the spinach, stirring constantly until the spinach wilts into the mixture. Add more wine if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large pot, add the water and broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and then slowly whisk in the cornmeal, stirring constantly until it becomes a porridge consistency. Add the parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Work quickly when assembling the casserole. Spoon half the polenta into a canola oil-sprayed 9” x 13” baking dish. Smooth out the top of the polenta with a spatula. Spread the spinach, tomato, and mushroom mixture on top of the cornmeal evenly, using a slotted spoon to avoid spooning in too much liquid. Sprinkle cheese over the mixture. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese on also. Pour the remaining polenta mixture over all, and carefully spread out to the sides of the casserole dish. Layer the top of the casserole with the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Recipe courtesy of The Ultimate Cancer-Fighting Cookbook.



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