Make Ahead

Polenta Strata--A Great Way to Use Leftover Polenta

November 24, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes one 8 inch square baking dish – can easily be doubled
Author Notes

There are a number of ways to serve polenta; this is a spicy alternative to bread strata; a recipe that was inspired out of my mission to use up the leftover polenta and our garden fresh roasted Anaheim peppers.

Strata is a layered comfort food casserole made with bread, cheese and eggs, the twist with this recipe = polenta, roasted Anaheim and homemade salsa (recipe below), your favorite store bought salsa work just fine. Also, I have easily used spinach and even broccoli in place of roasted Anaheims.

This recipe requires a sit of anywhere between one hour to overnight, allowing the flavors to absorb before baking. It is served warm, most commonly for brunch, but makes a nice side dish, too!

What You'll Need
  • 1-3/4 cup cubed leftover polenta
  • 1 cup sliced roasted Anaheim peppers, or your choice of pepper
  • 3/4 to 1 cup salsa –- recipe below or your favorite store bought.
  • 1-1/4 cup shredded cheddar and a jack cheese mixture; set aside 1/2 cup for topping
  • 3 large beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped juicy tomatoes
  • 1 whole jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, or Italian parsley, if you prefer - chopped
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Prepare the pan with butter or cooking spray.
  4. Add ingredients in layers to the pan; beginning with Polenta.
  5. Add roasted peppers.
  6. Spoon in the salsa; making sure it soaks down and throughout.
  7. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture; making sure it is mixed throughout.
  8. Pour beaten egg over the top; let it soak down and throughout.
  9. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  10. Add the last 1/2 cup of cheese and bake 10 more minutes.
  11. Let the strata sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into.
  1. SALSA
  2. Combine all ingredients together.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • robin lewis
    robin lewis
  • QueenSashy
  • Lucia from Madison
    Lucia from Madison
  • boulangere
  • gingerroot

19 Reviews

robin L. March 23, 2014
i bet it's even better w/the actual anaheim peppers. next time i won't be so lazy!
lapadia March 23, 2014
robin L. March 23, 2014
This was delicious! I cheated and used Trader Joe's chunky homemade-looking mild salsa (their refrigerated section) and their fire roasted red peppers (jarred), and two logs of ready-made polenta (I doubled the recipe). I made it the night before. Served it as a vegetarian option (main dinner was turkey chili). Perfect as a breakfast dish, too (had the leftovers this a.m.). Yum. Will definitely keep this recipe, and maybe one day will make my own polenta and salsa. Thanks!
lapadia March 23, 2014
Hi Robin! So happy to hear back and thrilled you found the recipe a keeper :). Love your tweaks; at times I have also used some of the same TJ items mentioned, they are good products to use.
robin L. March 20, 2014
woops, never mind! i hadn't read all of the author's notes. i can make it the night before!
lapadia March 20, 2014
Hi! Would love to hear back once you have made this :)
robin L. March 20, 2014
any make-ahead suggestions? thanks.
QueenSashy April 8, 2013
I love this. My grandmother used to make a similar dish, she would also add ham and cornichons. An instant save!
lapadia April 9, 2013
Wow, thanks QS! This dish is versatile and your grandmother has an interesting flavor combo!
Lucia F. April 8, 2013
This sounds so good!
lapadia April 9, 2013
Thanks so much, LM!
boulangere April 7, 2013
You had me at polenta!
lapadia April 7, 2013
Yes! I ♥ polenta!
lapadia April 7, 2013
I HEART polenta!
boulangere April 8, 2013
I'm a great scavenger, so leftovers are among my favorites.
gingerroot December 1, 2011
This sounds fabulous, Lapadia! Can't wait to try it.
lapadia December 1, 2011
Hi GR! Thanks...I love how this dish adapts to whatever veggie you have available, would love to hear back when you try it :)
hardlikearmour November 30, 2011
Love the idea of polenta in place of bread!
lapadia December 1, 2011
Thanks! This is a comfort food dish, great for breakfast/brunch and even a great dinner side...