Usually, when I think of a casserole, I think fattening, rich, creamy, cheesy, and gooey. I also think easy – all the ingredients in one dish and throw it in the oven. And casserole usually equates to comfort food, at least in my book.
Well, this casserole answers the call, it is delicious and tastes much richer than it is at only 4 Points Plus per HUGE serving. I cut this into 6 servings but you could easily cut it into 8. If you decide to go with 8 pieces, each serving would be 3 Points Plus.
- Like my Everyday Beef + Bean Chili, this recipe uses pre-prepared ‘tube-style’ polenta. If you aren’t familiar with this product, make sure to click on the Chili recipe and read about it in the Notes section.
- Unless you have homemade pasta sauce already in your freezer, save time and use your favorite jarred sauce. I like Trader Joe’s Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce. If you use a different sauce, make sure to recalculate the Points Plus.
- I used Red Onion because I already had one cut for another dish and didn’t want to waste it but yellow onion would work just fine.
- I used my Prepara Olive Oil Mister to lightly spray the bread crumbs at the end, if you don’t have this or a Misto, then mix your bread crumbs with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle on top.
This freezes and reheats great!
- 1 package pre-prepared polenta, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 jar Trader Joe's Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce
- handful basil leaves
- handful flat leaf parsley (mostly leaves)
- ½ small onion (red or yellow)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally into ¼" slices
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Italian seasoning
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- olive oil spray
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Take a 9x13 glass baking dish (think Lasagna pan) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the food processor, combine parsley, basil, onion, garlic and some salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Pulse a couple of times until it looks like this and place into a dish alongside other ingredients.
- Slice zucchini on an angle about ¼" thick so they are easy to layer and cook through. Slice Polenta into thin rounds (don't worry if it falls apart a bit). Arrange the rest of your ingredients for quick assembly. Open your sauce and put in a measuring cup. Get your Italian Seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese ready to go in ramekins. Make sure your salt and pepper is handy.
- You are going to assemble the ingredients into two layers so plan on using about half of the ingredients for each layer.
- First, layer Polenta rounds. Then sprinkle some of the fresh herb, onion and garlic mixture on top.
- Next, layer the zucchini, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
- Spoon approximately half of the sauce onto the zucchini layer and spread with a spatula or spoon. Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan.
- Repeat to finish the second layer, making sure to end with the grated Parmesan.
- Cover casserole with tin foil and bake covered for 40 minutes.
- At 40 minutes, pull Casserole out, remove tin foil and sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Lightly spray with olive oil mister and put back into the oven for 5 additional minutes. If bread crumbs are not brown and crispy, switch oven to Broil for an additional 2 minutes of cooking time.
- Pull out of oven and let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.