Polenta Bake with Butternut Squash

polenta-bake-butternut-squash

Here’s a great rainy day meatless meal that feels like comfort food but is still healthy as can be. We’re using precooked polenta which comes in a log shaped package for you to slice or dice.  If you also buy pre-cut butternut squash, this dish is as easy as pie to assemble!

All this needs for balance is a big green salad with a pungent vinaigrette. Something like this one would be lovely.

Polenta Bake with Butternut Squash

Ingredients

1 log (24-oz.) precooked polenta
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 jumbo onion, cut into .25-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. of butternut squash, peeled and  cut into 3/4-inch pieces (or buy precut!)
1 1/4 cups low-fat (1%) milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cut polenta log crosswise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 4 slices. Lay 6 of the polenta slices side by side in an 8-inch square ceramic or glass baking dish. Cut remaining 2 slices into 1/4-inch dice and set aside.

2. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash; cover and cook 15 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, checking and stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in 2-cup measuring cup, stir milk, cornstarch, salt, pepper and 4 Tbsp. Parmesan together until well combined. Add to skillet and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Bake polenta slices in baking dish 10 minutes, or until heated through. Spoon squash and sauce mixture over polenta slices; top with diced polenta and remaining 2 Tbsp. Parmesan. Put dish back into the oven and bake another 5 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

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