Polenta Pesto Lasagna

I’m not sure what happened to me this week, but I’ve been extra inspired to try out new recipes. Sometimes I don’t post any recipes because I’ve been living off salad beasts and egg burritos, other times, I have so much I want to cook and share! This is one of those times, so I’m just rolling with it πŸ™‚

Inspiration is a funny thing. It ebbs and flows, and should certainly be taken advantage of when you find it in abundance.

I’ve also been slacking on recipes for my veggie friends lately. It’s kind of been chickenpalooza over here, and I’ve been endeavoring to get back into plant-based meals. So for all my veggie friends, please accept this as a token of apology,

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and follow up with some brownie batter bites for dessert πŸ˜‰ 

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Polenta is an awesome gluten-free noodle substitute, and this recipe uses polenta for lasagna noodles. Anytime you’d usually make a recipe with pasta, try serving it atop polenta instead– it totally works! Polenta rounds also make a fancy appetizer topped with your favorites  (like some fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil). I love the polenta flavor varieties out there (this one is sundried tomato), and that it’s inexpensive even at my beloved Whole Paycheck.

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To start, make your favorite pesto, or pick up your favorite store-bought variety. (<– the Trader Joe’s pesto is amaaaazing)

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Next, slice polenta into lasagna-sized flat “noodles.” One tube gave me 5 noodles, which was the perfect size to layer 3 layers (with 1 1/2 pieces on the top two layers).

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I topped with freshly-made pesto, using the basil from our herb garden, and also mixed some spinach into the pesto for a bold green color + boost of nutrients: 

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+ shredded goat gouda:

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and baked to perfection.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a whirl!

 

Polenta Pesto Lasagna
Serves 2
A savory gluten-free twist on a favorite pasta dish!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. -1 sleeve of polenta (18 oz) in your favorite flavor
  2. -pesto (can be homemade or store-bought)
  3. -1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Slice the polenta lengthwise into thin, lasagna-shaped "noodles)
  3. Place 2 noodles on the bottom of a standard loaf pan, then top with some pesto and shredded cheese. It will probably only go 2/3 the length of the loaf pan. Just go with it
  4. Top those noodles, pesto and cheese with 1 1/2 slices of polenta
  5. Add more pesto and more cheese
  6. Top with the last 1 1/2 noodles and more cheese
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 350, until the cheese is browned and bubbly. There may be a pool of oil underneath your lasagna from the pesto. No worries
  8. Let the lasagna set for 15 minutes, then slice in half to make two large servings
  9. Enjoy with a grilled protein and/or a salad!
Notes
  1. Vegan? Try Daiya cheese. It's a favorite of mine and melts beautifully
  2. Feel free to add in some ground protein of choice. Seasoned tempeh or ground turkey sausage would be fantastic
The Fitnessista http://fitnessista.com/
Hope you love it <3

xoxo

Gina

Any awesome pesto recipes to share?

Remember, we have less than a week in August! Check out the workout calendar if you’re looking for some ideas <3

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32 Comments

  1. Lisa on August 28, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I’ve felt the same way with my recipes this week, maybe it’s because I went a little too hard on the indulgences over the weekend πŸ˜‰ but this week I’ve been getting a lot more creative in the kitchen. Not that I’m complaining about that fact.
    I’m kind of sad to say I’ve never tried polenta but this looks so awesome. I love the idea of pesto as a lasagna sauce instead of the usual tomato base.

  2. Kendall Covitz on August 28, 2013 at 11:05 am

    It’s pinned and will be the next thing I make!! Thanks!!

  3. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on August 28, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I LOVE polenta! I used to eat it a lot growing up, so it brings back a lot of wonderful childhood memories for me! I’d never thought to make a lasagna out of it though, but this sounds fantastic! I’m pinning and can’t wait to try it!

  4. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on August 28, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I agree, I tend to go in phases with my recipe developing skills! When you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll.

  5. Sara J on August 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Thank you! This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try.

  6. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on August 28, 2013 at 11:30 am

    You know I’m not really that big into lasagna noodles so this would be a great substitute! I really don’t know why I don’t eat polenta more often. It’s so good. I’m impressed with all your recipe creations lately!

  7. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on August 28, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Omg this looks fabulous! And easy! I’ll definitely be making this next week. Thanks!

  8. katie on August 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I have never cooked with polenta.. excited to try this recipe thanks!

  9. katie on August 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I have never cooked with polenta.. excited to try this recipe thanks!

  10. Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Goodness gracious…this looks AMAZING.

  11. Liz @ Southern Charm on August 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Yum!!! I’ve been playing with adding arugula to my pestos since it’s in season right now and we are given loads of it in our boxes from the Farmer’s Market. I LOVE the peppery kick πŸ™‚

  12. Jackie on August 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Can’t wait to try TJs pesto!

  13. Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen on August 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I love polenta! This is a genius idea, and so easy! I have to try this soon πŸ™‚

  14. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on August 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    This looks like a fun new version of lasagna I’ve not tried before. I do like using zucchini mixed into my lasagna to sub out some noodles.

  15. Jennifer on August 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Gina, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing your creativity and willingness to try new things – running group, polenta lasagna, keep it coming! Feeling in a food/exercise rut and loving your inspiration.

  16. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on August 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve never heard of polenta before. Ill have to look out for it next time I go food shopping.

  17. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on August 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    This looks too delicious to be true! πŸ™‚ I LOVE pesto, and I just discovered polenta rolls. This is definitely going in the dinner rotation next week!

  18. Ashlee@HisnHers on August 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I love polenta because its so EASY! I bet roasted tomatoes would be delicious on top. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  19. Andrea @ The Fit Scoop on August 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I love polenta! I used it last night to make an Italian beef casserole. You’ve inspired me to post my recipe today πŸ™‚

  20. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats on August 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    oh that looks so good! what a great idea

  21. Frannie on August 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Looks delicious! Be careful with the polenta though – it may not be gluten free. I am a biochemist and one of my research students did a study on gluten free grains for a specific type of preparation. We used polenta for one of the grains, and it got red flagged by our gluten test! It turns out that the corn kernel exterior does have a gluten-analog and if the polenta is not processed properly, it will still have about 5 ppm gluten, which was the limit of our test! Always look for certified stuff if you are Celiac’s!

  22. Erica on August 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    UMMM YUMMMM!!! I totally need to try this. What a fun recipe. Yayy for creative weeks in the kitchen

  23. Liesl @ Fitnessinthekitchen on August 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Ah a blast from the past. I have made lasagna with polenta before, but it was a traditional marinara version. This looks amazing too! And goat cheese, yes please.
    Polenta is an amazing cheap ingredient that I often forget about. Thanks for the reminder to add it to my TJs list next time.

  24. Kim @ BusyBod on August 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Pinning and will definitely try! A big thanks on behalf of your veggie and GF readers <3

  25. Julianna @ Julianna Bananna on August 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    this looks delicious!

  26. Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves on August 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    What a genius idea to use polenta in lasagna! I love the corn flavor of polenta, and I love pesto, so this is perfect!

  27. Jackie W on August 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I love this idea. Is the benefit of the pre packaged polenta in its’ convenience? I love homemade polenta, and might try refrigerating mine to get it firm for this recipe πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on August 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

      i think so? i’ve never made poenta because of the constant stirring required.. i should give it a try!

  28. Annie @ herightfit.com on August 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Gah! I love polenta!

  29. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on August 29, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Using polenta as pasta is a great idea!!! I must try it out soon πŸ™‚

  30. Jess on August 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Wow looks amazing!

  31. Crystal on August 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Omg, I love polenta, and this looks so simple and yummy! We’ve got some sundried tomato pesto in the fridge…I may have to make this for dinner tonight!

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