I eat a lot of beans. I like cornbread. So I thought I might like this Black Bean Polenta Casserole. And I was right. It’s a whole food, plant-based recipe full of flavor!

Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Unlike animal protein, beans provide fiber and phytonutrients that support a healthy body from the inside out.

Beans help regulate blood sugar – even at future meals that don’t include beans. It’s called “the second meal effect.” Pretty neat!

This recipe also includes my favorite Kite Hill Jalapeno Cream Cheese Style Spread made from cultured almond milk.

And – you guessed it – delicious Hatch green chiles!

Watch the cooking video below, then print the recipe and surprise your family with a delicious and easy oil-free plant-based meal.

Black Bean Polenta Casserole

WFPB | Vegan | Oil-Free
Serves 4 – 6


10 oz. fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup diced green chiles
1/2 cup Kite Hill Jalapeno Cream Cheese Style Spread
1 cup polenta or medium grind cornmeal
2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1/4 tsp. chili garlic paste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wilt the spinach in a skillet or in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Press out the moisture and spread the spinach out in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper. Set aside. (I use my tofu press to press out the moisture, but you can use paper towels or place the spinach in a fine mesh strainer and press out the moisture with the back of a large serving spoon.)

To a large pot over medium heat, add the black beans, green chiles and plant-based cream cheese. Stir until combined and warmed through. Taste it and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to the skillet and spread it out over the layer of spinach.

Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of polenta and continue stirring until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Pour it over the layer of beans and spread it out with the back of a spoon.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

If desired, mix up the sweet chili sauce and chili garlic paste and brush over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle on chopped fresh cilantro.

Inspired by Purple Carrot.

Other Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes You Might Like

Oil-Free Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread

Vegan Black Bean Sweet Potato Chipotle Burritos

Mexican Black Bean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Not-Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas