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Vegan Polenta Casserole

Question for all my fashion friends:

chocolate covered katie

When will Christmas bows come into style?

For our Christmas Eve party, I decided on a recipe that originated from a cookbook. But, par for the course when I try to follow a recipe, my impulsive hands had to do their own thing. This is how Polenta Casserole (nicknamed “Christmas Polenta Casserole” for the party) came into existence.

vegan polenta casserole

Polenta Casserole, with a healthy dose of nutritional yeast.
Above, after sittin’ pretty in the oven for a while. Below, the polenta dinner, pre-baking:

polenta dinner

Christmas Polenta Casserole

  • 2-3 bell peppers, chopped (I used 220g)
  • 4 cups zucchini, sliced (I used 560g)
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used 120g)
  • 2T soy sauce (such as tamari)
  • 4 cups kale (or other greens), chopped (I used 110g)
  • 1 tsp each parsley, dill, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp oregano and basil
  • 2/3 cup (or more as desired) jarred or homemade pasta sauce
  • 1 cup cornmeal (I used whole-grain polenta)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more for the top

1. Sauté the first three ingredients, in sautéing liquid of choice (oil, water, or broth), over high heat for 5 minutes. Then cover and simmer 5 more minutes. Add tamari and cook on low (covered) for 5 more minutes.

2. Add all remaining ingredients (except polenta), as well as 1/2 cup water. Stir and cover again. Cook until veggies are soft. Serve over cooked polenta (made with a little salt), and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top, as desired.

*For a true casserole, put the cooked polenta in an oiled pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Then put the veggies on top, sprinkle with lots of nutritional yeast, and bake again for 35 minutes. But I am lazy and therefore will probably skip all these baking steps next time!

polenta nutritional yeast casserole

Amidst all of the lamb and pork and macaroni, this casserole was definitely the most festive-looking dish at the party. I’d say it was the most-tasty, too… but obviously I’m biased.

chocolate covered katie christmas

5/5 (2)

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Published on December 26, 2010

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Caroline says

    The oatmeal sounds so fun, Katie. But are you going to do a post showing what presents ya got? I’m nosy! But more than that, I like seeing what other healthy foodies get, because it gives me ideas. I never know what to ask for, and my birthday’s coming up in February. Yikes!

  2. Namaste Gurl says

    Looks like an indeed festive and yummy- looking casserole– would definitely loved to have that at my Christmas dinner! 🙂
    Best thing I ate this weekend…. nut butter oatmeal 🙂 I know, I’m weird, don’t judge!
    Hope you had a good holiday, Katie!

  3. BroccoliHut says

    Beautiful casserole!
    Freaky twin instance # 865–I wore the SAME PJ pants for Christmas. Check out my latest post for proof!

  4. ezzie says

    I love Christmas PJs! So comfy. 🙂
    The casserole looks super delicious! This recipe will most defiantly be bookmarked 🙂

  5. Meghan says

    That casserole looks so good! Does the polenta not get dried out if you bake it for 35 minutes before adding the vegetables?


    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      You actually only cook it for 25 minutes before adding the veggies. But it doesn’t get dried out (although it’s not supposed to be super-moist, as it acts as the casserole’s crust). I like it creamy, though, so I like to make the casserole “deconstructed” by simply omitting the baking steps.

  6. Heather Eats Almond Butter says

    Good gracious, how did I miss this one?!? Let’s see…December 26, ahh yes, I believe that was around some sort of holiday when I had both sets of families at our house and a newborn. Crazy times.

    Thanks for posting the link Katie. Can’t wait to make this! 🙂

  7. s says

    hmmm …. this recipe has got my ingredient-substituting wheels a’churning … i wonder if this would work as a casserole made with chickpea flour. maybe i’ll try it out this evening. nom. 🙂

  8. Alanna says

    Finally got around to trying this (been too excited about dessert and breakfast recipes, hehe)… Good recipe! I accidentally overcooked my veggies a bit and needed to add salt since I used lite soy sauce and plain tomato sauce instead of pasta sauce, but still turned out well. I’d bet the veggie combo would be great with more pasta sauce over noodles instead of polenta, too!

  9. Rebekah says

    Hi there 🙂 I’m a first time commenter, long time reader. I’m 15 years old and a vegetarian, trying to turn vegan but its hard living in a small town in Northern Ireland. I liturally just made this for my dinner 10 minutes ago and it….was……..DELICIOUS!!! I was so surprised (good surprised though).
    I would love to be a vegan but I’m curtainly very underweight for my age and height. I don’t go a single day without thinking, researching or haven to be talked to about what I’ve eaten or when I’m going to eat. I burst out in tears last night about my weight and how I’m finding it so very difficult to put weight on. I’ve been seeing my GP about my weight and all my family and friends have noticed the dramatic lose of weight and are aware of how I want to be weight on.
    Sorry. I talk a lot and didn’t mean to write this much about something that doesn’t even concern you, sorry again.
    Anyways, I love your recipes and especially how you’ve marked every recipe with a dietary mark (my mum, sister and possibly myself are coeliac). Keep on posting the NoMoLiCiOs recipes 😛 and be assured, I’ll be siting here reading them. xxx

  10. Becky says

    When you say cornmeal, do you mean polenta? In parenthesis you have whole grain polenta, but I wanted to be sure that cornmeal doesn’t go in the casserole as well as in the polenta. Thanks!

  11. Riley says

    I am a little confused. For the “true casserole” do I still saute the veggies or do I only have to bake them?

  12. Tiffany says

    Looks DELICIOUS. I love each and every single one of your recipes, that I have seen, and honestly spend hours each day exploring your site (aside from the occasional link to FoodieFiasco, which actually distracts me more than it should). You are by far my favorite, though. 😉
    ANYWAY, nutrition facts? I’d never had any trouble before finding them on your site but can’t seem to find any for this particular recipe.

    P.S. – Consider a soft shell tortilla recipe, as well as a pizza (cauliflower, vegan, anything outside of the box)?

  13. Nancy says

    For the “true casserole” where you say to put the veggies on top of the cooked polenta, do you put all the “cooked until soft veggies” on the polenta before putting it back in the oven, or will some be uncooked at that point?

  14. Mariana says

    Hi Katie. I’m trying this now but am also confused about a few things like the others. I’m also lazy and like to minimize steps. So I cooked vegetables separately and polenta is in the oven. So do the softened vegetables go on polenta and rebake?
    It would be great if you could rewrite recipe steps with clarity for all the questions. Thank you for all the amazing recipes

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