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Recipe: Mexican Polenta Casserole

Authoradmin
DifficultyBeginner

 

Whoever invented casseroles was a total genius. It’s such a brilliant way to feed a family and the ingredient possibilities are endless! I came up with this Mexican Polenta Casserole recipe out of my true passion for this style of cooking. Layers of polenta, seasoned veggies and meat are accented with plenty of gooey melted cheese and homemade guacamole.

polenta casserole
Yields1 Serving
Prep Time10 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time55 mins
 1 yellow onion, diced
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1 red pepper, chopped small
 1 zucchini, chopped (1 cup)
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 1 pound lean ground beef
 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
 1 (15 ounce can) black beans, drained & rinsed
 2 (18 ounce) tubes of polenta
 4 cups shredded colby jack cheese or cheddar cheese
 sliced black olives
 chopped green onions
 chopped fresh cilantro
 for guacamole:
 2 avocados
 1/3 cup diced red or yellow onion
 juice from 1 lime
 1/3 cup diced cherry tomatoes
 garlic salt & pepper to taste
 for optional heat: diced jalapeno
1

Slice the polenta into 1/4 inch rounds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2

Make the guacamole: Mash the avocado & lime juice with a fork. Fold in the onion and tomatoes. Season with garlic salt & pepper to taste.

3

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes. Mix in the pepper, zucchini, garlic, chipotle and salt. Cook 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the tomato sauce. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Add the meat to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Combine the veggies into the meat and combine well.

4

Layer the casserole like a lasagna. First, spoon in a layer of meat sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of polenta and some cheese. Continue this until you have finished all the ingredients. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, the cheese will be melted. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is browned to your liking. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Top with guacamole, cilantro, sliced olives and green onion.

Ingredients

 1 yellow onion, diced
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1 red pepper, chopped small
 1 zucchini, chopped (1 cup)
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 1 pound lean ground beef
 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
 1 (15 ounce can) black beans, drained & rinsed
 2 (18 ounce) tubes of polenta
 4 cups shredded colby jack cheese or cheddar cheese
 sliced black olives
 chopped green onions
 chopped fresh cilantro
 for guacamole:
 2 avocados
 1/3 cup diced red or yellow onion
 juice from 1 lime
 1/3 cup diced cherry tomatoes
 garlic salt & pepper to taste
 for optional heat: diced jalapeno

Directions

1

Slice the polenta into 1/4 inch rounds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2

Make the guacamole: Mash the avocado & lime juice with a fork. Fold in the onion and tomatoes. Season with garlic salt & pepper to taste.

3

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes. Mix in the pepper, zucchini, garlic, chipotle and salt. Cook 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the tomato sauce. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Add the meat to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Combine the veggies into the meat and combine well.

4

Layer the casserole like a lasagna. First, spoon in a layer of meat sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of polenta and some cheese. Continue this until you have finished all the ingredients. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, the cheese will be melted. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is browned to your liking. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Top with guacamole, cilantro, sliced olives and green onion.

Recipe: Mexican Polenta Casserole

~ Marla Meridith

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