Chicken Tomato Polentarole

Casseroles spell warm comfort food for fall and winter – and here’s a gluten-free version!
I simply replace the wheat-dough crust with polenta, and let the layers of chicken and sauce underneath do their magic. It’s one of Ilian’s very favorite meals, and I will be posting other versions of it – Michigan winters are loooong 😉

The process is fairly simple: While the chicken is baking, I cook tomato sauce, shredded carrots and zucchini, corn, and beans with spices, and prepare a pot of polenta.
Then everything is layered in a baking dish, topped with cheese for those who can do dairy, and after a short broil – voila! Dinner is ready.
It is enough for 2 days, so it’s one of my go-to dishes to prepare for the weekends.

Chicken Tomato Polentarole

  • Servings: 2 dinners for a family of three
  • Print


  • 1 lb chicken breast or boneless thighs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBsp dried thyme
  • 2 TBsp canola oil
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce or San Marzano tomatoes (crush with fingers)
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) corn
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp tarragon
  • (- optional for non-dairy-allergic people: 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar)


  1. Oil baking dish with canola oil, add 2 tsp salt and 1 TBsp dried thyme. Add chicken and move meat around until evenly coated in oil and spices. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cut into small pieces.
  2. Place tomato sauce or crushed San Marzano tomatoes in a large skillet with shredded vegetables, beans, corn, and spices (salt, rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic, ginger). Simmer on medium heat until vegetables are soft, ca. 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in polenta, 1/4 tsp salt, and tarragon. Reduce heat to low, whisk continually for a minute, then whisk very frequently for the next 4 minutes. Let cook another 5 minutes with occasional whisking.
  4. In baking dish, layer chicken, tomato-veggie sauce, and polenta. If you can eat dairy, sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  5. Broil for 3 minutes. Let cool until comfortable to handle, enjoy!

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