Southwest black beans polenta casserole is a gluten-free, vegetarian casserole made with black beans, polenta, peppers, cheese, and more. An easy, healthy, freezer friendly dinner recipe!
- 3 1/2 cups cooked polenta (see notes for cooking instructions)
- 1 Tablespoon butter or light olive oil
- 6 –8 ounces shredded cheese, divided (see notes for dairy free)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
- 1/3 cup onion, finely diced *
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 can (10 ounces) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles, drained (see notes for substitutes)
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed (2– 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 –1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Optional Garnishes/Toppings– chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, sliced jalapeños
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9×13 pan with olive oil or nonstick cooking oil spray and set aside.
- In a large pot, cook the polenta according to package instructions. When polenta is almost done cooking, stir in butter and 4 ounces of shredded cheese until creamy.
- Next stir in the minced garlic, onion (see notes below), salt, and chili powder with the polenta. Mix thoroughly.
- Transfer polenta mixture into the 9×13 pan and spread until even, reaching each corner. If polenta is too runny or moist, parbake it at 350F for 15 minutes, then add the rest of your layers and bake again.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the black beans, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and black pepper. Evenly distribute the black beans on top of the polenta.
- Layer the tomatoes and green chiles over the black beans.
- Finally, add the remaining shredded cheese evenly on top of the tomatoes and green chiles. Add more than 2 oz, if desired.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
- Then cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 5 -10 minutes or until the center of the casserole is baked through and edges are golden brown.
- If desired, broil until the edges and cheese are browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Add optional toppings when platting.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Substitutes – 4 ounces canned green chiles added to a 10 ounce can of regular diced tomatoes (drained) can be substituted for Rotel. Dairy Free Shredded Cheese may be substituted for regular shredded cheese. Texture and taste will vary.
Polenta Cooking Tips – For cooking coarse ground polenta, bring 3 1/2 to 4 cups of broth to a boil. Slowly add in 1 1/4 cup polenta, whisking while adding it to the pot so it doesn’t clump. Reduce and cover for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. If using quick cooking polenta like Delallo’s Instant Polenta (cooks in 3 minutes) follow package instructions. You can also buy precooked polenta, crumble into a saucepan over low-medium heat and stir in non dairy milk or broth until heat until combined and creamy.
Flavor Tip – Saute onion and garlic until fragrant before mixing with polenta
Meal Prep – Assemble the casserole (do not bake unless you are par baking the polenta before adding the toppings), cover and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and thaw overnight. Bake covered at 350 F for 30 minutes or until the casserole is cooked through. If desired, uncover and broil until the edges and cheese are browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Main
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: mexican-italian- american
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 268
- Sugar: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 761.5 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 23.3 g
- Fiber: 6.3 g
- Protein: 13.3 g
- Cholesterol: 35.1 mg
Keywords: polenta casserole, southwest black beans, gluten free dinner, vegetarian casserole