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Polenta Tamale Pie

What you need: 

1 pound ground vegan meat (I used SmartGround taco/burrito) safflower oil, for sauteing 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed 6 ounces vegetable broth cayenne pepper, to taste ground cumin, to taste garlic salt, to taste 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, divided 1 (1 pound) roll prepared polenta, sliced into 1/3" thick rounds 12 ounces vegan cheese

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Defrost and saute vegan meat in a bit of safflower oil for around 5 minutes, or until heated through over medium heat. Add salsa, black beans, broth, cayenne, cumin, garlic salt and 1/2 the cilantro and simmer until mixture thickens. 2. Oil a 9x9" glass baking dish. Place approximately 1/3 the polenta in bottom of dish. Cover with 1/3 vegan meat mixture and then 1/3 vegan cheese. 3. Repeat layering twice more (a total of 3 layers), top with remaining cilantro and bake for 40 minutes. You may choose to broil for 30 seconds or so in order to crispify top layer of vegan cheese. Serve with a light salad. Yum. Very tasty.

Preparation Time: 
45 minutes-1 hour
Recipe Category: 


5 stars!!  I made this last night and it was a huge hit!  I'm not a fan of the texture of ground meat, so I subbed 2 cups of cooked lentils.  I used 1/2 brick of Daiya cheddar and 1/2 bag of shredded Daiya mozzarella (because that's what I had in the house) and it turned out absolutely amazing.  My 5 year old son had 4 helpings, and cried tonight because I wasn't serving it again.  It's THAT GOOD. 


Excellent.  I used  1 cup  of tvp for the meat and taco seasoning instead of garlic salt and cumin.


I made this dish for our dinner this week, and it was fabulous. My husband and I love all the different elements needed to make this dish delicious, and I did not change a thing. Thanks for sharing:o)



OMG! This is sooo Good!! I used Soyrizo which is pretty spicy and instead of the spices recommended I used some taco seasoning, it is very flavorful and spicy. Daiya cheese makes this so cheesy and delicious! I am defiantly going to make this again for my friends!


Made this again after not having made it in about a year and a half.  Since I last made it, I discovered Daiya "cheese" and used that in the recipe.  This is a quick, easy to make meal when you are in a rush.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving and serve with a salad -- fast and delicious!


This was unbelievably good. I used Teese mozzarella and Fantastic Foods vegan taco meat. Will go into heavy rotation at my house.


Yuuuuuum!! This recipe is delicious just as is, loved it!! It was easy, quick to make and a big hit in my home.  :w00t!:


Great recipe for a quick dinner!  I found some sundried tomato and garlic polenta and used that along with Trader Joe's habanero and lime salsa.  The SmartGround wasn't the taco seasoned one so I added my own chili powder, garlic, and cumin.  When I first took it out of the oven, it was kind of on the soupy side and had to be served with a spoon.  Let it sit for just a few minutes and you get more of a casserole consistency.  Served it with a salad and it was well received in our house.  For the cheese part, I love FYH cheese, but can't stand that it doesn't melt, but most vegan cheeses (other than Teese) doesn't do it.  So I mixed up a little almond milk on the stove and put some of the FYH cheese and some nutritional yeast in and kept it warm while I made the layers.  Then I spooned it on and didn't have to deal with the chunks of "cheese" that you normally get.  Thanks for the great recipe! :)

1 like

This is a very nice versatile recipe - one that you can add and subtract from depending on what you are in the mood for.  I layered mine a bit differently.  I divided the polenta and cheese into 3 portions, but I divided the soy meat into two.  On the bottom I put a layer of polenta and cheese, then I added half of the soy meat mixture.  In the middle I put polenta and cheese, then the other half of the soy meat mixture. Then, on the top, you guessed it, polenta cheesey goodness.


I really enjoyed this recipe although I made a few changes. I needed to make a soy-free version so instead of soy cheese I used the nutritional yeast queso recipe from this website and instead of soy meat substitute I used Field Grains Mexican Chipotle sausage. Because the sausage was very spicy I omited the spices listed in the recipe. Turned out very flavorfal and filling! I also used more polenta than the recipe called for.

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