Vegan Holiday Harvest Casserole

harvest casserole This recipe is adapted from one in an old issue of Vegetarian Times called “Three Sisters Casserole”–so named because corn, beans, and squash are the “three sisters” in some Native American cultures. This filling casserole has top and bottom crusts made of flavored polenta and a veggie-tastic filling with mild spices. We all enjoyed it immensely and agreed the leftovers will be tasty served with a side of refried beans and maybe some taco or enchilada sauce to give it some extra zip.

Vegan Holiday Harvest Casserole
A medley of beans, corn, and squash surrounded by baked polenta comprise this filling casserole.
Recipe type: Casserole
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • pinch salt
  • ------
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop onion and saute until softened in large, deep pot.
  3. Add bell pepper to pot and continue to saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in squash, tomatoes, garlic, coriander, and cumin. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add ½ cup water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 to 15 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  6. While the veggies are cooking, prepare the "polenta"--aka corn meal mush--according to package instructions. Boil 3 cups water with pinch salt and the chili powder. Separately, combine the 1.5 cups corn meal with 1.5 cups cold water. Slowly pour the corn meal mixture into the boiling water and reduce heat to lowest setting, stirring frequently.
  7. Return to squash mixture and stir in beans and corn, and cook 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  8. Coat 8- x 11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 2 cups polenta over bottom of prepared dish. Spoon squash mixture over polenta. Smooth remaining polenta over top.
  9. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes uncovered.

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