Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale

by on February 6, 2007
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale

You know I really like a recipe when I make it two days in a row. I first made this dish for dinner last night, and though I liked it and my husband thought it was “outstanding,” I still wanted to tinker with the recipe. It was good, but I thought it could be incredible. So this morning I got to work, making a couple of small changes, and boy am I glad I did. A good recipe got even better—and I got an amazing lunch!

Like Rustic Red Kale and White Bean Soup, this recipe is a devious attempt to get you to eat your leafy greens. Kale and portabella mushrooms are sautéed with garlic and then mixed with a creamy “cheese” sauce before being baked between two layers of polenta. (Fans of my Eggplant Parmesan will recognize the sauce from that recipe.) Despite the long list of ingredients, this dish is pretty easy to put together, especially if you use packaged polenta and jarred marinara sauce. You’ll probably spend the most time preparing the kale, but you can even cut out that task if you substitute bagged spinach instead.

Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale

Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you use packaged polenta, slice it into 18 thin slices. If you make your own polenta, spread the cooked polenta out on a baking sheet and use a spoon or your moistened hands to spread it no thicker than 1/4 inch. When it has solidified, either cut it in half and use each half as one layer or cut it into an even number of pieces that you can fit together to fit your baking dish.
Serves: 6
  • 1 18-ounce package prepared polenta or 1 recipe of Quick Microwave Polenta
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large portabella mushroom, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups, chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 bunch kale (about 8 ounces after trimming), center rib removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (may substitute spinach or other greens)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheese sauce (below)
  • 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or in a jar)
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • vegan soy parmesan
"Cheese" sauce:
  • 1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. cashew butter or tahini
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Place the cheese sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Set aside.
  3. Sauté the onions and portabellas in a non-stick skillet until the mushrooms begin to exude their juices. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
  4. Add the kale, basil, and 1/4 cup water. Sauté until the kale is wilted and tender and the water has evaporated. Add the cheese sauce and cook, stirring, until thickened. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove from the heat.
  5. Cut the polenta into 1/4-inch thick slices. Line the bottom of the baking dish with half of the slices, overlapping slightly if possible. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the polenta, and then spread the kale mixture over the sauce. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the kale and top with the remaining polenta. Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top and sprinkle with soy parmesan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Makes 6 servings—if you can resist eating the whole pan yourself!
You can lighten this up a little by using low-fat silken tofu and fat-free soymilk.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe Calories: 182 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 26g Sodium: 691mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 7g

Kale and portabella mushrooms are mixed with a creamy vegan cheese sauce before being baked between two layers of polenta in this vegan polenta lasagna.

Leave a Comment

Thanks for visiting my site! All comments are read and appreciated, and if you have a question, I will try to respond within a couple days. Note: If you are leaving a comment for the first time, it will be held for moderation. Be patient and it will appear as soon as I have a chance to approve it.

Want to have your photo alongside your comment? Sign up for a Gravatar!

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SusanV August 3, 2009 at 8:43 am

Here are the 70 Comments that were lost when the blog was moved to Wordpress:

Anonymous said…

Susan, did you read my mind? Lately I’ve been on a polenta and kale kick, but wanted to cook polenta with a creamy sauce. I looked at your eggplant parm recipe the other day, and thought the cheese sauce would go really well with polenta. So, you pretty much made my dream dish! Sounds and looks amazing! Thanks!


8:25 PM, February 06, 2007
* Melissa West said…

Wow! What a creative combination! Love the leafy greens.

8:40 PM, February 06, 2007
* Linda said…

ive never had polenta. this looks so delicious. i can’t wait to get going with it! i wish i had more energy tonight, i’d start now!

8:41 PM, February 06, 2007
jenna said…

Hmm. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten polenta. It looks perdy good, I’m so keen to try it. Polenta. It sounds delicious.

12:01 AM, February 07, 2007
* Frances said…

Tried this tonight but we had to use spinach instead. We don’t get any soy cheeses here in NZ but it still tasted really good. We didn’t even cave in to the temptation of using our organic cheddar. I’m not a very good chef and my vegan meals can taste a little….well how do I put this delicately…like the bottom of a mulch bin but your blog is helping me be a bit more confident with my cooking.

3:45 AM, February 07, 2007
* Tracy said…

Mmmm – that looks delicious!

7:09 AM, February 07, 2007
Gluten FreeVegan said…

yummm…know what to do with the extra Kale I have now! Thanks!

9:04 AM, February 07, 2007
* UP Nurse said…

I love kale…love polenta, but just can not “do” mushrooms (it is a texture thing). Work without the mushrooms?


11:07 AM, February 07, 2007
Anonymous jai-bee said…

that looks outrageously good.

12:11 PM, February 07, 2007
Anonymous Kim said…

This recipe looks amazing! I have Quick polenta “firming” up in the fridge right now. Will be making this tonight with kale and baby portabellas. Hope it turns out well! Will post again with the results…

1:09 PM, February 07, 2007
* SusanV said…

BJ, feel free to leave out the mushrooms altogther, or substitute a vegetable you do like, perhaps chopped carrots.

4:31 PM, February 07, 2007
* helios said…

Oh my goodness that looks good.
Hmm…. may have to add it to next week’s menu. Keep the amazing recipes coming! One of your recent soup postings also looks amazing.

6:03 PM, February 07, 2007
* Noel & Celeste said…

This is in my oven right now!
It smells delicious; and it was truly easy!

Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!


6:05 PM, February 07, 2007
Anonymous Kim said…

…Had this for dinner tonight and it was very tasty! It should make great leftovers tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

6:45 PM, February 07, 2007
Anonymous Mark said…

Certainly a delicious and utterly creative recipe, but….

…hardly fat free. Let’s see:

1) olive fat
2) silken tofu fat
3) soy milk fat
4) cashew/tahini butter fat

With all due respect to your great work in general, can you really call this recipe fatfree vegan?

Best (still), Mark

10:48 PM, February 07, 2007
* SusanV said…

Mark, while not all of the recipes on this blog are technically fat-free, I should have noted that this one is one of the higher-fat recipes. Though the soymilk and tofu (both of which are available in low-fat versions) provide an insignificant amount of fat, the nut butter and olives do raise the percentage of fat calories to about 30%. I’ve added the nutritional breakdown so that people will be clear on how much fat is in the recipe, and I’ve added a “higher-fat” tag. Thanks for pointing this out.

8:21 AM, February 08, 2007
Anonymous said…

Susan, another great idea – any thoughts on vegan replacements for the yeast ? I don’t want to use soy cheese because of the sodium. Thanks –

3:17 PM, February 08, 2007
* ByTheBay said…

Hey, it’s a vegan version of my Polenta Lasagna with Kale and Feta! Rock on!

3:58 PM, February 08, 2007
* SusanV said…

Evan, isn’t that funny? I’ve been craving polenta lately–glad to hear I’m not the only one.

Frances, I’m impressed that you’ve already had time to try it. I’m sure your vegan cooking is getting better all the time!

Kim, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I’ve found that the leftovers make a very good lunch.

Anonymous–I’m not sure what to use instead of the yeast. It gives it a sort of cheesy flavor. You might try a teaspoon of lemon juice instead for a little bite. And instead of parmesan, you could try ground up almonds. Good luck!

4:52 PM, February 08, 2007
Anonymous Melissa said…

I’m drooling! Thanks for posting this!

12:56 AM, February 09, 2007
* Harmonia said…

I sooooo have to try this! YUMMERS~!

Hope to see you in Veggin Out when you have a chance!

Happy Weekend!

8:04 AM, February 09, 2007
Anonymous said…

Tried this tonight with spinach I’d cooked and packed from earlier this summer, added a large shredded carrot and some chopped celery. Yuuum! I didn’t tell my family that it was vegan till after they’d eaten it (oops:)) but I really really dig the cheese sauce. I’ll be using that for sure in my apartment at school this week. Ooh the possibilities!

7:35 PM, February 09, 2007
Anonymous said…

I used frozen spinach that I’d had from our garden this summer, and added a big grated carrot and some celery. YUM! I loved this cheese sauce. I just recently tried playing around with nutritional yeast and trying to find a good cheese sauce that I can make in my apartment at school, and this is by far the best I’ve made. Thanks!

7:37 PM, February 09, 2007
* Catherine said…

Hi Susan,

I like the polenta idea for lasagna. Do you prefer it to noodles

8:33 PM, February 09, 2007
Anonymous KathyF said…

This looks superb!

Incidentally, do you know the only way I can find kale here is already chopped and bagged? It’s annoying, but many produce items are presented already prepared like this. I think supermarkets here assume the British people are incapable of wielding a knife!

1:27 AM, February 10, 2007
* Urban Vegan said…

What a great idea…it combines everything tht I love.

11:54 AM, February 10, 2007
Anonymous said…

To Susan:
I am SO impressed with your recipes! I’m getting my degree in nutrition with an art minor and I absolutely love hearing about the healthy recipes you’re modifying AND viewing the stunning pictures you take too! I’m going to try this polenta lasagna tonight. I can’t wait! I’m not even a vegan but I think it’s so important to mix a variety of healthy foods in your diet. Your beet choco. cake looks delicious too! What’s your favorite recipe? Thank you for creating such a great site!!

1:17 PM, February 10, 2007
Anonymous said…

This dish was just fantastic! We made it a few days ago and are still enjoying the tasty leftovers.

4:19 PM, February 10, 2007
* SusanV said…

Hi EO–If you haven’t noticed yet, I just posted a list of favorite recipes for the first half of last year. I don’t know what my one favorite recipe is, but this polenta lasagna would have to be in the running!

7:35 AM, February 11, 2007
* Andria said…

Hi Susan-

This recipe looks phenomenal! But since I’m cooking only for myself, what size baking dish did you use?

7:13 PM, February 11, 2007
* SusanV said…

Andria, I used an 8×8-inch square pan, but you can also cut the recipe in half and use a smaller pan. That’s what I did for the second batch I made.

7:31 PM, February 11, 2007
* Elizabeth said…

This is a fabulous recipe. I saw the eggplant parmasen recipe last week and planned to make that, but then I saw this recipe, and it looked awesome too. So…I made my own creation – polenta lasagna parmesan with portabellas, zucchini, kale and eggplant! I followed everything in this recipe, but cut the polenta in half and only used that on the bottom of the dish. I added zucchini to the sauteed veggies and topped the whole thing with broiled eggplant and breadcrumbs from one piece of whole spelt bread. Thank you for this great recipe!

1:16 PM, February 12, 2007
Anonymous said…

Made this tonight for dinner and DH loved it! I made it with spinach instead of Kale and reduced the Cashew butter by half to lower the fat content some. Also left out the olives for the same reason and we still thought it was absolutely delicious!

Thank you for the recipe, it is definitely a keeper!


11:35 PM, February 14, 2007
* Lady Librarian said…

I’ve lurked here for months, but the coincidence of finding this recipe and getting kale and portobello mushrooms in my veg box this week was too much. It was delicious, thank you so much (although I did cheat and use powdered vegan cheese to make the sauce, sssh!). It nearly wasn’t vegan, my husband spotted a caterpillar amongst the kale just in time!

11:45 AM, February 15, 2007
* Melanie said…

Hey Susan,
I was planning to make this for dinner and bake it later, but it smelled so good I had to eat it for lunch! I added about 3/4 c. of frozen pumpkin that had been lurking in the bottom of my freezer, it added a nice orangey color without any pumpkin flavor- I love sneaking in veggies like that! Thanks for the great recipe!

12:24 PM, February 15, 2007
Anonymous said…

This recipe was truly amazing. Not sure if someone suggested this yet, but when I made the polenta, I put half of it into the pan that I cooked the lasagna in so it worked out really well. Thanks so much for this! 🙂

6:10 PM, February 26, 2007
Anonymous Lindsey said…

Suzan, I just want to tell you that I think you are just amazing. This is such a superior vegan website. (I’ve been to all of ’em). Your passion and hard work really shows. I am in awe of how it is possible that you are a wife, mother, an incredible cook, and yet still have time to keep up such an incredible site. I went out to purchase the ingredients for the crustless quiches and the poletna lasagna. Your site has been inspiring me for some time now, and I just wanted to tell you a big THANKS! YOu Rock!

2:14 PM, July 17, 2007
Anonymous elphaba said…

Thanks for a very tasty recipe. I made it but I made some changes since I gave myself the requirement to use what I had in the pantry now.

–I used 8 oz of sliced crimini mushrooms (the little white button mushrooms) and I don’t think it detracted much but I’m sure it would have been better to use portabella
–I used a 10 oz pkg of frozen chopped spinach instead of the kale. I defrosted spinach in the microwave and pressed water out of it but since I know it still had more water than fresh Kale would have, I didn’t add the extra 1/4 cup of water when I added the kale to the onion/mushroom mixture.
–I used a large bunch of basil (about 1 cup chopped) instead of the dried basil. I was glad I had it in the fridge since I didn’t have Marinara sauce but made my own using a can of tomato sauce plus dry sherry, some of the basil, some fresh thyme I also had and some extra water to make 1 and 1/2 cups. I added the rest of the basil when I added the garlic to the kale/onion/mushroom mixtore. I also added one fresh jalapeno, seeds and core removed, chopped along with the basil to this mixture. (can’t live without my jalapenos, YUM)
-Cheese sauce turned out well to my surprise. I used soft silken tofu (all I had) instead of extra-firm.
– I used water instead of vegetable broth in the cheese sauce. Note to myself: it probably would have “set up” better if I hadn’t used the water since I was using soft tofu.
– I used 2 tbsp of peanut butter instead of cashew butter and I didn’t even sense a peanut taste in the final results. I had heard of using peanut butter instead of tahini in hummus but now I know it works well as a substitute in other recipes as well, at least this one.
– 3 tsp of dried minced onion (some of this was to enhance my homemade marianara sauce) since I didn’t have onion powder
– I used an 18 oz cylinder of pre-prepared polenta cut into little slices. I don’t think the 1/4 inch spec in the recipe is quite right for this if you really want to cover the bottom. I think the directions should say to slice as thin as is feasable.
– I used parchment paper instead of spraying with oil to keep from sticking and was glad I did since the polenta didn’t quite cover every spot.
– I used a toaster oven instead of a regular oven. This may have been the reason that I think the 25 minutes oven time at 375 didn’t seem quite enough. I think next time I will make that 35 minutes. The polenta was very warm but I would have liked it to be hotter.
– my version was a tad runny, probably because of the soft tofu in the cheese sauce but definitely a keeper. I’m going to buy some extra firm tofu and use next time.

Overall comments: I definitely plan to make again. I love recipes like this that are very forgiving and allow you to make modifications. I think I will make a kale and sweet potato version or something like that. Thanks very much!

6:56 PM, July 21, 2007
Anonymous said…

que rica comida, esto si que es alta cocina¡felicidades! me das más animo para seguir siendo vegana!

12:48 PM, July 25, 2007
Anonymous sophia said…

wow, this is fantastic. very fancy taste and presentation without too much effort. i had no nutritional yeast so i added an extra tablespoon of tahini, and i also used firm tofu because that’s all i had, and the sauce was creamy, cheesy and delicious. substituting shredded carrots for the mushrooms turned out perfectly. thanks so much.

9:59 PM, August 19, 2007
* Eh… Not so much said…

Ooooh, this sounds great! Can’t wait to try it! And a bonus microwave polenta recipe too. HUZZAH!

12:36 PM, August 24, 2007
* ~M said…

Hi Susan,
This was SO good. I used de la Estancia Argentine (gf) polenta, which has a higher protein count and less starch than normal polenta. It also cooks in just 1 minute, but is not instant. Definitely check it out. Although my fiance is not a mushroom fan, my dicing (as opposed to chopping) coupled with your cheese sauce made this dish a success for him. He even said that your vegan cheese is easier to clean off the pots and pans than normal cheese. Next time I will add additional vegetables to stretch the dish and make me feel less bad about eating so much of it – perhaps a layer of roasted vegetables. I plan to use up the rest of the silken tofu in one of your mousse recipes, maybe putting in a bit of peppermint extract. Take care and thanks so much for the polenta-kale-portabella goodness!

8:15 PM, October 07, 2007
* Jennifer said…

This recipe is fantastic! Thanks for sharing it. I will definitely be making it again (hopefully with kale next time, I took the easy way out and used bagged spinach).

10:11 PM, October 20, 2007
Anonymous Keight said…

This was amazing. My husband (who hated the last vegan “cheese” sauce I made – fondue) asked for another piece the second he finished his first one! yay!

I’m new to vegan cooking. ;oD

Because the flavors go well with corn, I’m thinking of trying it with a chili layer (tomato sauce with chili powder and spices, and some beans) and modifying the cheese sauce using another recipe I have for a more “nacho”-y cheese. Spicy chili lasagne! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

9:50 PM, January 16, 2008
Anonymous said…

Man-oh-man was that ever delicious! This made for a great Valentine’s Dish for my partner and me tonight (and for leftovers). I modified it some – most notably by doubling the recipe and using eggplant slices as the bottom layer in lieu of polenta (and using the full 18 oz. on the top)… I also added hot pepper to the cheeze mix and sub’d dried shitakes for the portabella as that’s what I had on hand. I used the rehydrating water as my veggie broth in the cheeze mix. Absolutely DE-LISH! The partner was super-happy with it, too! Thank you so much for yet another divine food inspiration! – Katie

7:38 PM, February 14, 2008
Anonymous said…

So wonderfully rich taste. Perfect. It made my day.

10:37 PM, March 30, 2008
Anonymous Lena said…

I just made this and not only does it smell yummy, it TASTES yummy.

For some reason, it didn’t firm up. I DID double the recipe and sometimes, recipes don’t like that.

Any suggestions?

6:21 PM, May 11, 2008
Anonymous said…

I’m not vegan at all but this was amazing! I made my home made tomato sauce with olives and used a bechamel sauce which turned out fabulous! I also sprinkled breadcrumbs mixed with parmasan on top =)
Looking forward to trying your other creations!

9:44 PM, July 17, 2008
* Lindsay said…

Made this a few times. This time MY OVEN WAS BROKEN AND I GRILLED IT (the polenta). so good.

I used the prepared polenta tube from whole foods and brushed them each with olive oil and spice while the cheese sauce simmered. I even threw 2 tomatos on the grill and blended them to make a fresh sauce. MMMMM! Thank you! Love the blog- finally vegan stuff that doesn’t call for a cup of olive oil to be delicious! On the same page as me 🙂

10:39 PM, September 14, 2008
* lydia said…

I just tried this recipe last night. I doubled the the amount of polenta to fill a 8X8 baking dish. I used pre-packaged polenta and cut slices as thin as I could manage, but it worked out. I added a bit more maranara sauce to cover the added space. I replaced the kale with spinach and it tasted great! We had leftovers for lunch.

12:36 PM, October 28, 2008
* Will said…

I have made the polenta version several times before, and it’s great. But this week, I tried a new variation – making a double batch of it, but with normal lasagne noodles.

Instead of mixing all the filling together, I made the mushrooms, reserved them, then used the same pan to cook the kale, chopped a bit smaller than I usually chop it. I mixed in about 1/4 of the cheese sauce with the kale, then cooked the rest on its own.

I then made a lasagne with alternating layers, with the creamy sauce, olive oil, and tomato sauce on the top. The result was amazing.

So for folks who eat real pasta, give the recipe a try with lasagne noodles.

3:06 PM, November 22, 2008
Anonymous said…

I just made this recipe this weekend and it was delicious. I will pass this on to my mom who I’m trying to convince to eat healthier. Thank you very much!

8:05 PM, January 05, 2009
Anonymous said…

This recipe is my new favorite! I made it for a Saturday-night dinner with my lacto-ovo boyfriend, and then served it to my omnivore parents on Sunday night. Everyone raved about it, and I’m already planning to make it again ASAP. This cheesy sauce is DELISH!! I can imagine it over noodles for an Alfredo-type dish.

Thanks for the amazing recipe!

12:06 AM, February 23, 2009
* banana said…

Hi Susan!

I made this with some modifications. I omitted the olives (I ran out), made homemade polenta, used a soy free cheeze recipe, skipped the parm and added more sauteéd onion. This was super delish and my parnter enjoyed it too.

Thank you Susan!

8:32 AM, March 19, 2009
Anonymous banana said…

Hi Susan!

Your blog is great! I made this delish dish with some changes and it turned out very yummy, even with the soy-free cheeze recipe I used.

Thanks! This was a very comforting meal.

8:37 AM, March 19, 2009
Anonymous said…

A vegan friend recommended this blog about a year ago and I’ve tried a bunch of your recipes, this one is by far my favorite so far!! So delicious! It’s really hard to resist eating the whole pan in one sitting.

2:59 PM, March 25, 2009
Anonymous said…

This recipe is fantastic! Easy and delicious!

10:11 PM, March 28, 2009
* MamaDog said…

This looks rockin’! I’m totally new to cornmeal anything so I have questions. I’m a little confused.

If I use the Quick Microwave Polenta recipe do I skip the step of browning the slices? Or, in the essence of time, health and simplicity, do you think it would work to put the polenta mixture into two 8″ square baking pans to firm up in the fridge – then use 1 as your lasagne pan, add lasagne ingredients, then top with 2nd polenta?

On a side note, are you planning on creating a hard copy cookbook at any point? The blog is great, but sure would be nice to have a pretty vegan cookbook on the shelf and to give for gifts.

12:53 PM, March 30, 2009
* SusanV said…

MamaDog, you don’t need to brown the polenta, so your idea about putting it into two 8-inch baking pans is right on target.

I’m working on a book, and I’ll be sure to announce it all over the blog once it’s finished. 🙂

1:43 PM, March 30, 2009
Anonymous Sarah said…

I just served this to my omnivorous DH for supper. “Very good” was his rating.

It’s comfort food, kind of like shepherd’s pie. It’s the sort of thing you’d want on a cold, rainy or snowy day in the fall or winter when you’re feeling a bit run down.

This recipe is very forgiving. I was majorly absentminded and I A) forgot the marinara sauce, the olives, and the parm, and B) I cooked it at 275 instead for 375.

It’s foolproof: it turned out delicious and I will make it again for sure.

6:22 PM, April 09, 2009
Anonymous kim g. said…

We made this for dinner the other night when we had a friend over who’s non-vegan and can be picky, and we all loved it! Thanks for another great recipe!

8:19 PM, April 09, 2009
Anonymous said…

How well does this freeze? I cook for one, and would be hard pressed to eat it all before it spoils!

10:17 PM, April 14, 2009
* SusanV said…

I haven’t tried freezing it, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t freeze just fine.

10:21 PM, April 14, 2009
* Theresa Roach said…

My family just got a boat load of kale from a friend and we had no idea what to do with it! We had to toss the food eventually, but next time, I’m making this.

2:47 PM, April 16, 2009
Anonymous J said…

This was absolutely delicious, and not hard at all to make.

I recently found this website, this was the first dish I made…I’m so excited about the results!


11:32 AM, April 20, 2009
* Jenny said…


Your website was recommended to me when I started a vegan diet in January. I’ve been a daily visitor since. I love your recipes! I forced my parents to eat my food when they visited for Easter and while I fed them recipes I knew were good, I had to try this one. They loved it! And this is coming from the Mom who taught me to make an awesome meat lasagna (my husband loved it and didn’t think we’d ever find a substitue) that I’d been missing lately. Can’t wait for the leftovers of my other meals in the fridge to disappear so I can make it again.


9:50 PM, April 22, 2009
* David said…

My sister and 2 college aged daughters are vegetarians. My wife and I are not, but we love to experiment with lots of things. I just discovered your website, and the Polenta lasagna screamed to me. Made it last night without the cheese sauce at all (didn’t have the ingredients) Instead, just put a little fat free sour cream as a next to last layer and topped with some marinara. Everyone RAVED about it. The Polenta was an enormous surprise!!! Can’t wait to try out many other recipes. also, didn’t use kale, but stirfried spinach, regular mushrooms, onions and some zuccini…then put in a little egg white to firm it up for that layer of the lasagna.

7:52 PM, April 29, 2009
* Braelin said…

YUM! This is my very favorite recipe from this site- LOVE it! Thanks for posting it, this has become one of the dishes that I crave now… yummmm…it reheats really well for lunch leftovers too.

4:02 PM, August 04, 2009
Anonymous Azahara said…

Amazing! I loved this, and I wasn’t even a lasagna lover back in my omnivorous days. I too made some modifications: used quick microwave polenta, omitted the parmesan, opted for spinach -kale is quite difficult to find here in Spain- and made a cauliflower sauce instead of the “cheese” one.
The result was fantastic. I didn’t eat the whole pan myself, but I definitely had more than one serving!

9:10 AM, January 06, 2010
Anonymous said…

this was our second recipe to make from this website (made the refried black bean soup last night). LOVED both! the kids enjoyed the black bean soup, but my partner and i (both vegetarian) absolutely ADORED the polenta lasagna!! fantastic! couldn’t get the kids to try the “circle” stuff (polenta), however.

8:44 PM, January 19, 2010


2 Azahara January 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

Amazing! I loved this, and I wasn't even a lasagna lover back in my omnivorous days. I too made some modifications: used quick microwave polenta, omitted the parmesan, opted for spinach -kale is quite difficult to find here in Spain- and made a cauliflower sauce instead of the "cheese" one.
The result was fantastic. I didn't eat the whole pan myself, but I definitely had more than one serving!


3 Anonymous January 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm

this was our second recipe to make from this website (made the refried black bean soup last night). LOVED both! the kids enjoyed the black bean soup, but my partner and i (both vegetarian) absolutely ADORED the polenta lasagna!! fantastic! couldn't get the kids to try the "circle" stuff (polenta), however.


4 Meridith March 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Just tried this tonight – beyond delicious! I made my own polenta (first time) and your recipe made it quick and easy. The cheese sauce is really delicious (I 1/2 the tahini to reduce the fat I figured I wouldn't know the difference).

Thank you for yet another great recipe!!!!


5 Nichole H. May 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I made this tonight and it was amazing. I love the cheese sauce! This is the first vegan cheese sauce I’ve made that doesn’t have a funny aftertaste. I used spinach instead of kale and extra tomato sauce. I will be making this regularly for sure. Thanks so much for this great recipe!!


6 Torria May 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I made this recipe last night as well as the oat bars! Oh my goodness! I’ve been talking about this lasagna all day! 🙂 I followed your instructions and I loved the cheese sauce it was also my first attempt at cheese sauce and polenta. My daughter even had seconds and she is definitely NOT into polenta 😀 I had it after my Sunday leftovers ( hey I had to taste it, LOL) took it to work for lunch and had it again for dinner tonight! Yep, almost half the pan is gone! Thanks for such great recipes!!


7 Joy May 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Any ideas for substituting the tofu? I read about mashed white beans in another post but was looking for something creamier and I don’t usually eat soy. Thanks!


8 Magda June 17, 2010 at 10:31 am

Mmm.. made this last night and it was delicious. Hubby liked it too! Looking forward to having it for lunch today. Made it all from scratch which made it a little more intensive than I was bargaining for. Used Alton Brown’s method of baking the polenta which worked wonderfully and made the marinara from Russell James’ Salsa Finta: http://therawchef.com/therawchefblog/salsa-finta-almond-polpetta. The marinara was amazing, especially once it baked into the lasagna.

Joy – if I had to substitute, I would use almond milk for the soy milk and soaked cashews for the tofu. Soaked/blended nuts are pretty creamy.


9 Anonymous July 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I’ve made this dish a couple of times and it’s always been a super-duper hit! Fabulous job Susan!

Question: I’m not particularly fond of olives…any recommended substitutes?


10 SusanV July 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Glad you like it! The olives are just there to add flavor, and if you don’t like the flavor, I would just leave them out.


11 LuckyGirl December 3, 2011 at 11:12 am

I didn’t have any olives so I splashed some sherry vinegar into the kale mixtures. Turned out great!


12 Beth July 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I just made this, well, I made the idea without listening at all, but it was awesome. http://chef.blogs.smugmug.com/2010/07/11/wrong-sized-food-is-fun/#ffv


13 SusanB July 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Awesome recipe! This one is going to become a staple! Thanks!


14 Pat H August 27, 2010 at 9:25 am

Loved this lasagne! Made it with broccoli rabe instead of kale, made my own polenta (first time), used green olives (all I had on hand) and a little extra tomato sauce. The cheese sauce was great – one of my biggest challenges is eliminating cheese…thanks for the recipe.


15 Simona November 28, 2010 at 7:33 am

Wow! I made lasagna polenta yesterday and this is one of your best recipes! One of the best way to have kale !


16 Eileen December 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I have made this twice, once with kale. Then for my daughter’s future in-laws visiting from the other side of the country- who are gluten intolerant. It turned out great. I made it the 2nd time with Swiss chard as I had an abundance of that, and it was perfect. Thank you for a really great recipe!


17 AC December 15, 2010 at 10:22 pm

OMG YUM, the “cheese”/mushroom/kale mixture is to die for, delicious!!


18 MIA December 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Susan does it again!! This is the best non-cheese cheese sauce I’ve ever had! I added yellow bell pepper and baby zucchini (they were to cute, I had to buy them) in addition to the mushrooms and, in my case, spinach. I think I may have not had quite enough veggies for the cheese sauce, as mine was more saucy than the pics, but who cares? It was so good!! I was pleasantly surprised my cheese loving carnivore significant other was so enthusiastic about this. It was also quite easy and fairly quick to make. Recommend x 10000.


19 braelin February 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

This is my absolute favorite recipe from this site (and I’ve made a lot). If you have’t tried it yet… do!


20 Julie February 7, 2011 at 9:54 am

Would the “cheese” sauce work for an alfredo? Hubby is semi-lactose intolerant. (Can eat cultured milk products i.e. yogurt, hard cheese)


21 SusanV February 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

It should be great as an alfredo sauce. I hope he enjoys it!


22 Pamela February 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm

this was really one of the best meals I have ever eaten! I kept it vegetarian though instead of vegan (I can’t not have cheese) but it was amazing and wonderful and I am so happy I have leftovers for the week, although I could probably overeat and eat the entire pan.


23 Andrea Pemberton February 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

I made this dish for dinner last night. My (omnivore) husband and I both ate two servings each. TO. DIE. FOR. I did make a couple minor modifications to the recipe in that: 1) forgot the olives, 2) didn’t have any faux-parm, so skipped that, and 3) the polenta recipe didn’t seem to make enough for a top and bottom layer, so I put marinara on the bottom of the dish, put the kale/mushroom mixture on that, then one layer of polenta, and then a layer of the sauce. It was so good, as we put the leftovers in the fridge last night my husband said, “MMMMMMM, I’m already thinking about my lunch tomorrow…” DELICIOUS!!! Will make again soon.


24 Svetlana March 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

A keeper for me and the sauce was delish!Yam!


25 Abby April 14, 2011 at 7:51 am

Hi Susan,

Just wanted to let you know that I tried a version of this recipe last night and it was delicious. I used collard greens and spinach and a medley of mushrooms – portabella, oyster and shitake. Also used commercial polenta, rawmesan and parmesan cheese…it was very delicious and all inspired by you!!! Thanks:)


26 Dax Hulahoop July 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Hey lady! I made this last night for my meat eating boyfriend and he loved it!
I used almond milk instead of soy, Doubled the yeast… And used hummus instead of straight tahini .. forgot the basil. Next time I think I will make the polenta from scratch… (the hummus substitute was perfect)
Love your blog – will be cooking your recipes again.
Bonjour from Toronto Canada, Jessica


27 Anita September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Finally had a chance to make this tonight. It was great! Definitely a keeper for our family. Question: How do you think this recipe would turn out if I prepared it ahead of time and refridgerated it? If I did refridgerated it, how much time would I add to the baking time?


28 SusanV September 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Glad you liked it! If you take it straight out of the refrigerator and into the oven, it will probably need an extra 5-10 minutes. But I think it would do fine.


29 Leigh December 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm

This is incredible! Made it tonight–first recipe I’ve made from your site. Total success!


30 Marshmallow Cutie December 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hello! This recipe is delicious! A friend made it for lunch last week and I’ve been craving it ever since. What size/type of pan would you recommend baking this dish in? Many thanks!


31 Marshmallow Cutie December 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

Oops! Please disregard request for the pan info. I see it now. I guess I was too busy licking my chops in anticipation and did not notice it right in front of me. Thank you!


32 Pat Kopp February 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Hate to be a pain but do you have a substitute for mushrooms…many thanks…Pat.


33 Susan Voisin February 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm

You could try using chickpeas instead of mushrooms and increase the seasonings a little.


34 Laina February 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

Hi Susan,

I’m making this right now and was wondering what you do with the left over mori-nu tofu? Is there another recipe you use it in? I hate to waste it. Can’t wait to taste this. 🙂


35 Laina February 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm

This is so good, I ate it for lunch and again for supper!!! I added some green bell pepper and some cannelllini beans to the mixture. So delicious!!!

I was trying to remember another recipe that uses a partial amount of mori-nu tofu, but can’t remember one at the moment. Can you think of another recipe to use the remainder of the tofu?

Thanks for all of your delicious recipes. You make healthy eating tasteful and beautiful!!!

Laina 🙂


36 Susan Voisin February 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Laina, I usually use the leftover tofu in smoothies or salad dressings. It’s also good cubed in miso soup.


37 Laina February 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

Ok, thanks! 🙂


38 Kathy February 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

This tastes really good! I used WholeSoy unsweetened plain yogurt in place of the tofu and soy milk and it came out just fine.


39 Brenda June 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

I made this over the weekend and could not stop eating it! A big thumbs up.


40 Tammy September 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Thank you for a wonderful recipe! Had this last night and the whole family enjoyed it. My husband said it was the best vegan meal I’ve cooked so far. I’ve been a bit hesitant to make ‘cheese’ sauce using tofu – can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on!! Love your recipes, thank you again for making the transition to vegan cooking so easy!


41 Kim November 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I’m allergic to tomato. What could I use for a sauce substitute?


42 Susan Voisin November 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm

You could use just about any sauce that you can eat. This would probably be good with just some extra “cheese” sauce.


43 Casey November 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

This was delicious! Well should I say still is…I’m eating it as leftovers for lunch this week. Thanks Susan 🙂


44 Megan January 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm

So good! I’ve made this before per the recipe, but tonight I made it with a loaf of “quinoa polenta” I found at the store. Also added some white beans for extra protein. Quite delish! Thanks for your great recipes.


45 Susan Voisin January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I’ve never heard of quinoa polenta, but I’ll have to look for it now. Thanks for mentioning it!


46 Berit February 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Hi Susan,
Thank you very much for posting this fantastic recipe! 😀 I used GF lasagna plates instead of polenta (as I realised that I’d forgotten to get the latter in the store..) and eggplant instead of mushrooms, which worked out great. An omnivorian couple who came for dinner absolutely loved the dish, and asked where I’d gotten this delicious recipe from! I’ll send them a link to your inspiring blog 😉

I served the lasagna with a puy & rocket salad, with vinaigrette from this recipe http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/11/cheap-caviar-1/ .


47 lizzie February 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

i made this last night and it was SO GOOD. my boyfriend doesn’t like mushrooms, so i used zucchini and carrots instead, along with subbing the kale with a chard/spinach/mustard greens mix and skipping the vegan parm out of convenience. the base of this dish is just so good, i feel like it could be made so many ways! this is about to become a staple. thanks!


48 Lexi February 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it the other night and it is so delicious! I used kale from our local produce man and felt really healthy and great eating this meal, which lasted me for days. Thank you for sharing your recipe, I look forward to making it again!


49 Claudia March 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Hi Susan!
I don’t have silken tofu. But I have Daiya cheese
Do you think I could use that? Maybe adding the broth, milk, and cornstarch?


50 Kristin July 15, 2013 at 9:49 am

Susan, I’ve been making your recipes pretty much daily for the past six months, and they’ve nearly always gotten rave reviews. This one, though, has been dubbed by Boyfriend as “the best thing you’ve made since we started this.” (or possibly, “the best vegan dish I’ve had”. Can’t remember exactly, but you get the point). Definitely a huge winner, either way!

I did have a question, though. I made your microwave polenta and it did end up with some lumps. Not a complaint, I just consider those concentrated areas of polenta-y goodness, but I did wonder, do you use the really fine ground cornmeal or the more course grind? I used the fine, and wondered if that might have made the difference.


51 Susan Voisin July 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

I’m so glad to hear how much your boyfriend liked this! For the polenta, I used Bob’s Red Mill brand, and I would say it’s on the coarse side. I’m not sure how much difference that might make, but I’m glad to hear that the lumps didn’t ruin the whole dish.


52 Kristin July 18, 2013 at 6:49 am

That did it! I used the course-grind cornmeal (I can never seem to find stuff labeled “polenta” that isn’t quite cost-prohibitive, so just get the cornmeal at the Latin market) for the next batch of quick polenta and it worked beautifully. Thanks, as always!


53 Ginny July 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I made this amazing dish tonight using swiss chard. Having just had braces put on my teeth, I needed something soft, but satisfying, and this was the perfect comfort food (that I will make again.)


54 Avra August 1, 2013 at 8:05 am

This looks amazing and I’m dying to make it! One Q before I begin: I’m not sure what extra-firm silken tofu is – on-hand I have both extra-firm tofu and silken tofu – which should I use for the cheese sauce? Thank you!


55 Kristin August 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi Avra,

I had the same question when I started making Susan’s (and other vegan) recipes. I was terribly confused about what extra-firm silken tofu might have been. The kind this recipe refers to is the shelf-stable kind in the aseptic packages like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LKZ84C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=fatfreevegank-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000LKZ84C

It’s different than the refrigerated kind of tofu that’s packed in water. Hope the link comes through when I post, and hope you enjoy this great recipe!


56 Avra August 2, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Thank you so much for filling me in, Kristin! While I’m definitely going to invest in some mori nu in the future, I was dying to make this tonight – knowing I had no work and to celebrate the end of the week. I used the extra-firm tofu I had in the fridge and…OMG this lasagna is heaven in an 8×8 pan! Love love love it! For the fifth time/recipe now Susan has done it again! So happy to know about this blog. Hats off to you, Susan!


57 Lisa March 5, 2014 at 9:31 am

I just made this and ate half the pan in one sitting. So tasty. I can’t wait to make this for a church potluck. My gluten free friends will love this.


58 Sara November 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Hi Susan, this is one of my favorite recipes on your site and I make it all the time! I was wondering if you have any tips to make it serve 20. I’ve doubled the recipe before and baked it in a 9×13 pan, but I need to make an even larger one for a holiday party. I also need it to be easily transportable because the party isn’t at my house. If you have any advice, I would really appreciate it! Thanks!


59 Susan Voisin November 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I’m so glad you like it! I think doubling it is about as far as you can go and still be sure it cooks all the way through, so I suggest making 2 9×13 pans. Anything bigger and it probably won’t get done in the middle without burning the edges.


60 Sara November 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Thank you! I was worried that it wouldn’t get right if I made it in a giant pan, so I think your suggestion to do two 9×13 pans is perfect. I know everyone at the party will love this as much as I do 🙂


61 Erin January 25, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Hello!!! I’m a flexitarian and my roommate is vegan. We have roommate dinners once a week, alternating who cooks. I made this recipe this week and it was AMAZING!!! We both loved it so much! I brought the left overs to work and had my coworker try it. He’s a meat eater and gluten-free (which this recipe is totally gluten free too!)…. He thought it was really really good and he doesn’t usually even like lasagna!
Thank you!!!!


62 Debra Drew February 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm

I tried this tonight, but instead of using tofu for the sauce, which has a chalky taste I’m not fond of, I made a batch of OMG Walnut Sauce from “My Beef With Meat”. It uses walnuts which are lower in fat than other nuts, and I added some yeast seasoning. It made a great tasting dish!


63 Jerri March 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

I made this and also added shaved broccoli. This recipe is amazingly delicious! Am going to try it next time with still warm polenta layers. I think it will hold it together better!


64 Leah April 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm

I’m so excited to try another one of your amazing lasagnas! Any thoughts on how to make this eat-to-live friendly? Thanks, Susan!


65 Laina September 27, 2015 at 11:58 am

Hi Susan,

I’m browsing your recipes this fine Sunday morning.

I’ve made this recipe a few times before and LOVE it – it’s a favorite! But I was wonding what I can sub for the mori-nu tofu. I usually have some on hand, but don’t and the HFS isn’t close. Do you think upping the cashews would work or do you have another idea?

Thanks a bunch!!! 😋


66 Susan Voisin September 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm

I think extra cashews would make a really delicious sauce.


67 Sara December 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm

I made this a few weeks ago and it was DELICIOUS! Even my very picky and “health food”-leery husband loved it. I did use pre-cooked tube polenta (sliced), frozen spinach instead of kale, ground oats instead of cornstarch, pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) in place of cashews, and 1 chopped zucchini in place of the mushrooms (because it was going to go bad). I heartily recommend that substitution! Also, a whole jar of Rao’s “Garden Vegetable” tomato sauce made this dish simply irresistible. I plan to save this recipe forever and make it for other guests. Thank you!


68 Laina December 30, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Hi Susan!

I so love Italian food and because I make this so often, I got to wondering if you have a category for Italian recipes.

As always, thanks so much for continuing your blog. The photos are spectacular and the recipes more than satisfy the taste buds!!! You make vegan eating so doable and flavorful!

Thank you, thank you, yhwnk you!!! 😃


69 Mary McC March 9, 2016 at 8:23 am

THANK YOU so veryvery much for your specificity on the amount of kale…I am so annoyed by recipes that just say ‘1 bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped’ which is especially unhelpful when the ‘bunch’ comes from my gatden. This looks delicious!


70 Karen March 24, 2016 at 2:55 pm

I made this the other day, and I have to say, this is my favorite vegan recipe I’ve made in 30 years! So good. I brought it to work and shared it with non-vegans and it was a hit! Can’t wait to try your other recipes.


{ 9 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: