Southwest Bean & Polenta Casserole

Casserole sometimes evokes an image of cream-laden comfort food, but this healthy version layers polenta with beans, cilantro, salsa, and a savory cashew sauce.



  • 2 16-oz purchased polenta rolls, each cut into slices about ¼ inch thick
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup prepared gluten-free salsa
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 15-oz cans black or pinto beans (or 1 can of each)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup savory cashew cream sauce, divided (recipe here)


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Mix ½ cup cilantro, salsa and cumin in a medium bowl.
  3. Arrange ½ the polenta slices on bottom of 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
  4. Top with ½ the salsa mixture, 1 can beans, and ½ cup corn.
  5. Drizzle on ½ cup cashew cream sauce. Set aside remaining ½ cup.
  6. Repeat layering, starting with polenta slices, then salsa mixture, beans, and corn.
  7. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown and casserole is bubbly, about 15 minutes longer.
  8. Let stand 5 minutes. While casserole is cooling, warm the reserved cashew cream sauce over low heat in a small sauce pan, or in the microwave, stirring frequently.
  9. Drizzle warmed cashew cream sauce over casserole, sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cilantro, and serve.
Plant-Based Mains Gluten-Free

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *