Mexican Polenta Casserole

Mexican Polenta Casserole is an alternative, healthy, one-dish, flavorful recipe. It replaces the boring potatoes or pasta. Polenta is cornmeal that is simmered in water to make a creamy type of porridge.  It can be grilled, sautéed, or used in casseroles and lasagna-type dishes or covered with tomato sauces. You can make your own polenta or you can buy it pre-cooked in tubes at the grocery store.

Vegan Polenta Casserole

This recipe is healthy. If traditional ingredients for the standard American diet are used, it would not be a healthy meal for anyone looking for meals that don't increase cholesterol and fat.

We have chosen a plant-textured ground round as the beef or turkey replacement. Automatically almost no cholesterol and no saturated fat! We then replaced the standard dairy cheese with a delicious soy cheddar cheese, which again, provides all the benefits of a plant-based meal. The salsa pops the flavor. You regulate it to mild or spicy by the salsa you choose.

This will become a family favorite.

Mexican Polenta Casserole Recipe


12 oz. tube of polenta, sliced into 1/2 or 1/4-inch slices (approximately 20 slices)

12 oz. Smart Ground by Light Life® (or other vegetable protein substitute)

3 cups of soy or rice cheddar cheese, grated finely

2 tbsp. garlic, crushed

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup of medium or spicy salsa

3 tbsp. canola oil


-Experiment with degrees of spiciness by using mild, medium, or hot salsa.

-Replace Ground Vegetable with Tempeh (see ingredient glossary)

-Eliminate salsa and use Easy Veggie Red Sauce, and oregano

-Use soy mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil (medium heat) and sauté the garlic for 1 minute.

Add onions and cook until clear.

Add Smart Ground; simmer for 3 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of salsa (or more); simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Lay polenta slices into the bottom of casserole dish.

Cover with ground beef mixture. Top with a cup of cheddar cheese.

Make at least 2 layers of the polenta, meat, and cheese. (End with cheese as top layer).

Cover and bake until cheese is bubbling (approx. 12 minutes).

Remove cover after 10 minutes. Serves 5.


-A complex carbohydrate, meaning it is on the low end of the glycemic index

-Rich in good amounts of iron, thiamin, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium

-Contains some proteins but is not a complete protein.

-aides in digestion and a good source of fiber,  folate, thiamin, phosphorus, vitamin C, and magnesium, according to WebMD.

Return from Mexican Polenta Casserole to Healthy Dinner Recipes

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Eat to Live Well.

 Healthy Recipe Tips

Ingredient Glossary

Pre-made Polenta

Pre-made Polenta

Vegetable Ground

Vegetable Ground with Salsas

Layering the Casserole

Use grated Soy or Rice Cheese

Completed Dish