Make-Ahead Sausage, Mushroom, and Polenta Bake


Learn how to make polenta into a lasagna-like casserole with this cheesy baked polenta recipe. This make-ahead meal can be frozen for up to a month.

Make-Ahead Sausage, Mushroom, and Polenta Bake
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
50 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage

  • 1 medium fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped* (optional)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

  • ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions (6)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary

  • ½ cup whipping cream

  • ¼ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 4 cup chicken broth

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

  • 1 ½ cup cornmeal

  • 2 cup shredded smoked provolone cheese (8 ounces)


  1. In a large skillet cook sausage, jalapeño pepper (if desired), and the 2 cloves garlic over medium-high heat until sausage is brown, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Stir in marinara sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

  2. In another large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green onions, the 2 cloves garlic, and rosemary. Cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in whipping cream, wine, and salt. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally.

  3. For polenta, in a large saucepan bring broth, the water, and Italian seasoning to boiling. Slowly add cornmeal, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally.

  4. Meanwhile, grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Spread half of the sausage mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

  5. Working quickly, spread half of the polenta over sausage mixture in dish. Top with mushroom mixture and half of the cheese. Quickly spread the remaining polenta over top as evenly as possible. Top with the remaining sausage mixture and the remaining cheese. Cool completely.

  6. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap, then with foil. Freeze for up to 1 month.

  7. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight (casserole may still be a bit icy). Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap; re-cover with foil. Bake about 1 1/2 hours or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


* Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

495 Calories
30g Fat
32g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 495
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 1504mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 5.9mg 30%
Calcium 282.7mg 22%
Iron 3.1mg 17%
Potassium 680mg 14%
Folate, total 84.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.9mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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