30-Minute Polenta Lasagna Recipe

This unique spin on lasagna created by chef, recipe developer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli has three things going for it, two of which you can easily glean from the name, 30-minute polenta lasagna. First, there's the fact that it takes only about a half-hour to make the meal. Second, there's the fact that it uses polenta instead of traditional lasagna noodles.

What's the third thing to note here? This lasagna is delicious, that's the note. Despite being made without traditional lasagna noodles, this dish still has the lasagna taste you'll love thanks to the generous serving of mozzarella cheese, the plentiful sauce, and the ground beef — see, beyond the polenta switch, this recipe remains a classic. It's only faster because you don't have to wait the 45 minutes or hour that it takes for lasagna to bake.

And just like you expect with traditional lasagna, this meal is as good, if not even better, as a leftover, so do go ahead and make yourself a pan for dinner tonight even if it's more food than you need — you'll appreciate your efforts over the coming days.

Gather your ingredients for polenta lasagna

As noted, aside from swapping out traditional lasagna noodles with polenta, this is a pretty traditional lasagna recipe. So, beyond that polenta, you'll need a pound of ground beef, a couple of tubes of polenta, sliced into discs, some ricotta cheese, plenty of shredded mozzarella cheese, a bit of salt, some pepper, and lots of marinara sauce.

Prefer not to eat beef? "This would be delicious with plant-based ground meat or [with meat] omitted if someone is vegetarian," says Carli. The only other thing to note? "Be sure to use polenta tubes instead of homemade polenta," Carli says, as homemade polenta will fall apart too easily.

Cook the beef and prep the cheese

Start this recipe off the same way you start so many: by preheating the oven to 350 F.

Next, in a medium-sized nonstick skillet or a greased pan over medium heat, add the ground beef. Break up any larger clumps with a wooden spoon and stir the meat regularly, cooking it until it's no longer pink anywhere, which will take about five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the ricotta, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Then add a cup of mozzarella cheese and stir well again.

Layer in the polenta and fillings

Now it's time to start assembling the lasagna itself. In a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish, add a layer of polenta slices, covering the bottom of the pan. Now top those slices with half of the marinara sauce, spreading it out evenly. Then top that with half of the cooked beef, followed by a layer of half of the ricotta mixture.

Now repeat all of those steps with a second layer of polenta, more sauce, the rest of the beef, and then the rest of the ricotta mixture.

Bake your polenta lasagna

Your work is almost done! Top the lasagna with the rest of the mozzarella cheese, then pop the baking dish into the hot oven and let it cook for 20 minutes.

Once cooked, let the lasagna sit for five minutes or so, then serve and enjoy it. And remember that those leftovers will keep for up to four days in the fridge and will taste great with a bit of reheating.

30-Minute Polenta Lasagna Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
Despite being made without traditional lasagna noodles, this dish still has the lasagna taste you'll love. Let's learn how to make it.
Prep Time
Cook Time
polenta lasagna in a pan
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 (18-ounce) tubes polenta, sliced
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, add beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, add ricotta, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and stir well.
  4. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, add a layer of polenta slices. Top with half of the sauce. Top with half of the cooked beef. Top with half of the ricotta mixture.
  5. Repeat second layer of polenta, sauce, beef, and ricotta mixture.
  6. Top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 957
Total Fat 37.7 g
Saturated Fat 19.2 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 126.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 111.1 g
Dietary Fiber 6.6 g
Total Sugars 7.5 g
Sodium 908.7 mg
Protein 40.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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