Simple Vegetarian: Polenta and Pinto Bean Pie

After searching for which vegetarian cookbook I got this recipe from, I was able to find it! This bad boy comes from Quick-Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson, and it’s delicious! I’ve actually never had polenta before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. To me, it tasted a lot like a Matzo ball, which I love. So I’ll definitely be adding polenta into our diet a little more regularly; it’s a nice alternative to pasta and rice.

The recipe itself is straight forward and easy. Aside from the 30 minute cooking time, it took a whopping 5 minutes to prepare. It uses pre-cooked polenta which adds to the convenience factor, but I’m sure you could cook-up your own if you have the time. Just a side note, it took my fiancĂ© and I a solid 30 minutes to find the polenta in the grocery store on Sunday. We looked everywhere; pasta section, international section, rice section, refrigerated section. Finally we called our friend that happens to work at that particular Wegmans, and he directed us to it’s proper location (all the way in the corner of the pasta aisle).

It’s also really filling. I made the entire recipe, and there was enough for another large meal (as in TWO dinners!). We added some home-made poor man’s guacamole and a little sour cream and paired it with a salad. I decided to heat up what was left over still from the two dinners for breakfast, and paired it with an egg – not bad! Of course being the failure that I am, I didn’t take a picture of the deliciousness. To be fair though, it’s quite a messy dish once you cut it up and put it on a plate, so I don’t think a picture would have done it justice anyway. You’re just going to have to make it to find out!

I have quite a bit of polenta left over, so I’m going to attempt a polenta-crust pizza. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, but with some onions and peppers on top, I can’t imagine it being horrible. We’ll see!

Polenta & Pinto Bean Pie
– Serves 4 –

16 oz. package cooked polenta
16 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz. of salsa or picante sauce (mild, medium, or hot)
4 oz. can mild green chiles, drained (one small can)
1 Tbsp chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the polenta into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange in the bottom of a lightly oiled 9- or 10-inch square baking dish. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine the pinto beans, salsa, chiles, and chili powder, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and spread over the polenta.
3. Top with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer to lightly brown the top.

Happy quick & easy veggie nomzing!

3 thoughts on “Simple Vegetarian: Polenta and Pinto Bean Pie

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