Mexican Black Bean and Polenta Casserole

With Spicy Chile Butter

Some days just call for meatless casseroles. A kind of casserole that will become a regular in your family table, you wouldn’t even notice the lack of meat in meals. Super easy to make ahead, and healthy! 

Black beans and polenta casserole with spicy chile butter is a wholesome, gluten-free, vegetarian casserole. This meatless meal is made with southwest black beans, polenta, chopped spinach, and more. You gotta love those handy dandy real food ingredients. They fill up your bellies without costing you a fortune. 

That’s enough talk. Now, let’s get cooking!

Black Bean and Polenta Casserole

Nicole Kearsley
This meatless meal is simple and easy and very fabulous vegan dinner. So satisfying because of the high-protein, high-fiber ingredients.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan
Servings 2 Servings


  • 5 ounces Spinach Chopped
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1/4 cup Green Chiles
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Polenta
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 1 bunch Cilantro Fresh
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt & Pepper To taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C). Working over the sink, squeeze the excess water out of the chopped spinach. Add the spinach to an 8 x 8 baking dish or cast iron pan and spread evenly over the bottom.
  • Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain the green chiles. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the black beans, green chiles, cream cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cream cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Pour the black bean mixture over the spinach in the baking dish and spread evenly.
  • Rinse the saucepan and return it to high heat with 2 cups water. Once boiling, slowly whisks in the polenta. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low and whisk the polenta until it begins to thicken about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Pour the polenta over the black beans and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Bake the casserole in the oven until hot throughout, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the butter and as much or as little of the chile-garlic sauce as you’d like. Mix well with a spoon and place chile butter in the refrigerator until the casserole is ready.
  • Chop half of the cilantro leaves and tender stems.
  • Top the black bean and polenta casserole with the chilled chile butter. Scoop into shallow bowls and garnish with the chopped cilantro.


BALANCE THE FLAVOR: Simply add a little sweet chili sauce to balance out the flavor.
MAKE IT THICKER: Simply cook polenta with less water/broth to make it thicker.
*EASILY DOUBLED: This recipe can be doubled easily for batch servings!
**SPINACH NOTE: You can use a variety of greens for this like swiss chard or collards. 
***ON POLENTA: Polenta can be made from a variety of cornmeal products. In this recipe, yellow cornmeal produced the best results.
****SERVING: This recipe yields 26 grams of protein per serving.
Keyword plant based, vegan
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