This gluten free polenta vegetable lasagna with kale, butternut squash & mushrooms uses precooked polenta rounds in lieu of lasagna noodles for a weeknight-friendly lasagna!
This post is almost painful to write. Not because this recipe wasn’t a resounding success. Believe me, it was, and if you need extra proof, just ask Ashley from The Fresh Beet. She got to enjoy the leftovers with me last week 🙂 It’s painful because lasagna is by far the warmest, most comforting dish you can possibly make, especially when packed with roasted winter squash and kale. Yet as I’m writing this, it’s 84 degrees, humid, and I’m sitting on my front porch sweating in shorts, a t-shirt and itchy eyes from pollen.
Buuuut, I know it’s still winter in places that aren’t nicknamed “the armpit of the South.” Plus, this recipe was too good not to share, and there’s only a few more weeks where I can get away with using winter squash!
I make a pretty epic veggie lasagna. I wish I could claim it as my own, but I follow the recipe for Green Kitchen Stories World’s Best Vegetable Lasagna verbatum. The truth is in the title. But as epically delicious as it is, I hardly ever make it. Takes way too long!
This version uses three shortcuts. First, I used jarred tomato sauce in lieu of a homemade sauce (Trader Joe’s all the way!). Then, I used prechopped butternut squash rather than hassling with a sturdy gourd and a sharp knife. Finally, instead of cooking whole grain lasagna noodles, I swapped precooked polenta tubes, cut into rounds. While it’s not exactly a 30 minute meal, it’s weeknight doable.
Have you ever cooked with precooked polenta rounds? It’s a great ingredient to have on hand for quick meals and side dishes. Bonus points – it’s a whole grain! If you’ve never seen it before, you can purchase precooked tubes of polenta, Italian grits, usually in the pasta aisle. Here’s some recipe inspiration:
Since it’s technically Spring and starting to feel like it too, swap in asparagus for the squash and spinach for the kale.
- 12 ounces precut butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 teaspoons
- 1 lb kale, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 2 18-ounce tubes of precooked polenta
- 1 26-ounce jar tomato sauce
- 16 ounces organic ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss squash with 2 teaspoons oil, season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes until browned and tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While squash is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add kale, garlic and saute until starting to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and vegetables are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.
- Reduce oven heat to 375.
- Slice the two polenta tubes into 36 rounds total.
- Spread ½ cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place 12 polenta rounds evenly on the bottom. Top with half the kale and mushroom mixture, half the squash, half the ricotta. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with another layer of polenta and the rest of the vegetables and ricotta. Top with another ½ cup of tomato sauce, the remaining 12 polenta tubes, then the rest of the tomato sauce. Top with slices of mozzarella.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until bubbly and the mozzarella is melted and browned. Let sit for 10 minutes for before slicing and serving.
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