Vegetarian Tamale Bake | Recipe

My favorite kind of recipes are ones that can be made ahead of time, then just popped in the oven at dinner time – frees me up to deal with “toddler witching hour”, and since all the prep was done ahead of time – waaaay less evening dishes! Here is one that we make routinely – I get it all ready in the morning then put it covered in the fridge until it is time to cook. Also makes a great freezer meal!
Vegetarian Tamale Bake | the Wholehearted Wife

1 medium onion, diced fine
1 green bell pepper, diced fine
1 clove garlic, minced (or garlic powder)
taco seasoning to taste (or just cumin, cayenne, salt and garlic to taste)
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans (or garbanzo beans, or any bean really!), drained
frozen corn (I eyeball the amount – about as much as there is bell pepper)
sliced black olives (just eyeball, depends on how much you like)
8 oz tomato sauce
organic prepared polenta (trader joes has it in the pasta section)
shredded cheese (optional, I usually do it on half)

1. sautee diced onion and green pepper in a large skillet or pan
2. add garlic and taco seasoning (i’ve been out of taco seasoning so I just use cumin, cayenne, extra garlic powder and some salt
3. add drained beans, tomato sauce (about 8-10oz), corn and olives
4. simmer for a while… about as long as it takes to do the dishes, lol!
5. transfer veggie mixture to a casserole dish
6. slice polenta and lay slices over the veggie mix
7. option to add shredded cheese. omit for dairy free, add for “husband friendly” 🙂
8. cover casserole dish and keep in fridge until ready to cook
9. when ready, bake at 350 until warm, bubbly and brown on top (about 30 minutes probably)

This freezes well! just do all the steps up to 8, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap AND foil and put in freezer. take it out the night before or morning of that you want to cook it, let it defrost on the counter and then bake at dinner time!


4 thoughts on “Vegetarian Tamale Bake | Recipe

  1. Ooh I can’t wait to make this! Is polenta gluten free? Erika told me about it recently, I’d never heard of it before. I tried a bite of hers the other day, it was amazing! Thanks for the recipe, Heather!


    1. Eden, yes, it is! It’s just corn actually, and the one I get from Trader Joes is organic. There are some types of polenta that you prepare, and I would read ingredients on each one, but the one pictured here is premade (but not highly processed) and it’s great!


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