Polenta with Poblanos and Cheese

February 24, 2011

Although this recipe for polenta casserole calls for canned green chiles, I use poblano peppers that I’ve roasted myself at home. Roasting peppers is actually very simple: all you need is an oven with a broiler element (I use my toaster oven). The roasted peppers can be sandwiched between layers of parchment paper and frozen for use at a later time, so if you end up with a lot of red peppers like I did last year with my CSA box, roasting and freezing is a great way to preserve them for future use. This casserole is great served either as a side dish or a vegetarian main course; it is easy to make and can be assembled ahead of time, making it a perfect weeknight meal. The recipe is from Bon Appetit’s Fast, Easy Fresh cookbook.

Polenta with poblanos and cheese

Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish

To make ahead, complete steps 1 and 2, then cover and chill. Increase baking time in step 3 to 30 minutes.


  • 2  cups whole milk
  • 1  cup water
  • 3/4  cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1  7-ounce can whole green chiles, drained and divided, or home-roasted poblano peppers (about 3)
  • 1  cup frozen corn kernels, thawed and divided
  • 2/3  cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2  cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces), divided
  • 1/2  cup heavy cream (or half and half), divided


  1. Grease 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until polenta is tender and thickens, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan.
  2. Pour half of polenta into prepared dish. Cover with half of chiles and half of corn. Sprinkle with half of cilantro and half of Monterey Jack cheese. Drizzle with 1/4 cup cream. Spoon remaining polenta evenly over. Top with remaining chiles, corn, cilantro, and cheese. Pour remaining 1/4 cup cream over.
  3. Bake polenta uncovered until heated through, puffed, and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving (it will be runny if cut while too hot).

One comment

  1. […] you can do with just 2 peppers, so I picked up a few more at the market. While I love my recipe for polenta with poblanos, I wanted to try something new this time! My Gourmet Today cookbook has a whole chapter dedicated […]

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