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Breakfast Polenta Casserole

Breakfast Polenta Casserole

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This breakfast polenta casserole features bacon (or sausage!), spinach, and cheese for a decadent but simple start to your day!

I love this breakfast recipe for a variety of reasons, but one of the best ones is that it combines ALL of the breakfast items. Can’t choose between eggs, sausage, bacon, greek yogurt, vegetables or something cheesy? Boom, here are all of them. And they’re combined into this casserole dish of excellence perfect for breakfast, brunch or meal prep!

I would describe this breakfast polenta casserole as medium-labor-intensive and I don’t always have time to make it in the morning. But the great news is this can be assembled the night before and then popped in the oven the next morning. When you get to the step where you pour it in the casserole dish, instead of baking, set aside and let cool completely. Don’t put the cheese on it. Once its cooled, cover it with aluminum foil and store it in the fridge. It can last up to 3 days pre-made in the fridge!

When ready to bake, remove aluminum foil, cover in cheese and then re-cover. I recommend leaving your breakfast polenta casserole on the counter at room temperature while your oven preheats. Depending on how much it warms, you may need to add 5-10 minutes to the baking time.

In that same vein, this recipe also reheats very well. It makes 4 pretty large servings so around here we will often split it over the course of a couple days. This also means it makes a great option for the ever elusive breakfast meal prep. Just divide it up between four containers and you are all set!

I often eat this by itself although it could be paired with a crisp salad or fruit salad for brunch. Or, it goes well with  a toasted piece of crusty bread and butter. I have also enjoyed it with marinara drizzled on top.

breakfast-polenta-casserole-with-white-cheese-and-piece-cut-out-on-spatula

Breakfast Polenta Casserole

Course Breakfast
Keyword baked polenta, breakfast casserole, breakfast polenta, breakfast recipe, brunch recipe, casserole, polenta, polenta casserole, simple breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large yellow onion (about 1 cup after dicing)
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon (or 2-3 links breakfast sausage)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry yellow cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 6-oz container greek yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 (if serving immediately / not refrigerating).

  2. Lightly grease a 9 x 9 square baking pan.

  3. Medium dice the yellow onion and set aside. Roughly chop bacon into bite-sized pieces.

  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Cook bacon for 5-10 minutes, (turning once or twice) or until crispy. Cook your bacon a little crispier than you normally would as it will soften during the rest of the cooking process.

  5. Add onions to the pot, and cook for another 7 or so minutes, until translucent. Stir often to scrape up any browned bits.

  6. Add milk and chicken broth to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil.

  7. Lower the heat to a simmer, and whisk in the polenta and garlic. Cook for 20 minutes, whisking often. It will get too thick to whisk after a while so have a spoon ready to stir with as well.

  8. Stir in the spinach and greek yogurt. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  9. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste (I almost never need to add salt at this point). Stir in the eggs.

  10. Pour evenly into your greased 9x9 pan. If planning to bake immediately, go to step 11. If planning to refrigerate overnight, go to step 12-13.

  11. If baking immediatey, sprinkle the top evenly with cheese. Cover in aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes covered; remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes uncovered. Divide into 4 servings and serve.

  12. If refrigerating overnight, let the polenta cool completely in the pan. Don't add the cheese yet. Once it is cooled, cover in aluminum foil and place in the refreigerator. You can wait up to three days to bake it.

  13. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450. Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and re-cover. Bake for 20-30 minutes covered (you may need to add more time depending on how cold your casserole still is); remove aluminum foil, and bake for another 5-7 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and divide into four servings.

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