Simple and easy bean and leek polenta casserole is a fabulous vegan dinner.
This bean and leek polenta casserole is another cheap and filling comfort food recipe. It’s simple to make, creamy, savoury and healthy. This baked dish is also easily customisable, so you can use up any leftover veggies. Great as a nutritious side dish or as a no-fuss main with a green salad.
I grew up eating lots of polenta dishes. My mom used to make a casserole filled with cheese, sour cream and onions, it was amazing. I’ve been wanting to post a vegan version of this childhood classic for a while now, but I never had the time to photograph it. Plus let’s be honest, it’s not the most photogenic food…
Nowadays I really struggle to find time creating recipes for the blog. I am often fully scheduled with food photography and recipe developing, so I always have a bunch of food around me. It’s definitely not a complain, it simply means I have so much leftover in my kitchen, that if I cook anything more I would simply have to through that away (which I never do). Plus I like to cook double amount of certain recipes, so I have enough food to play around with styling and different settings. However doubling the recipes can be also a great base for new recipes. A few weeks ago I photographed some delicious polenta medallions for Forks Over Knives and I had way too much cooked polenta remaining. So I had the great opportunity to mix up this baked good. I really love beans with polenta, so I decided to make this nourishing combination into tasty casserole. It’s so delicious and so stupidly easy.
Though you don’t find a lots of polenta dishes on my blog, it is an absolutely staple in my kitchen. Why? Because polenta is super cheap, very satisfying and extremely versatile. I often make soft polenta as a side dish, but I even more love and appreciate ‘hard’ polenta. Little grilled cubes, layered polenta cakes and filling casseroles. This casserole is really amazing with almost every possible veggie, so feel free to change the ingredients to your taste. Also, if you don’t want to use cashew cream, you can also use other nuts or seeds, a heavier plant milk or a simple tomato or roasted bell pepper sauce. Always delicious!
- ½ cup dry polenta
- 1 small onion
- ½ leek
- 2 cups of veggie broth
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ½ cup of cooked black beans
- ½ cup of frozen green peas
- ½ cup of cashews, preferably soaked
- salt, pepper
- optional: unsweetened soy yogurt to serve
- Slice onion and leek thinly, mince garlic and add to a pot with polenta, veggie broth, chili flakes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir frequently so polenta doesn't stick or burn.
- Meanwhile process cashews in a blender with enough water so you get a thick cream (I used about ⅔ cup).
- Remove polenta from heat. Stir in beans, peas and cashew cream.
- Spread polenta evenly in a baking dish using a rubber spatula.
- Bake the casserole for about 20-25 minutes, or until it is heated through, puffed and golden. Enjoy!