How do you feel about polenta? Have you ever tried it? If not, here’s your chance for a fabulous introduction!
Honestly, I didn’t start loving polenta until probably around four years ago. My college-aged self was never exposed to the delightfulness of the flavor or texture. It’s a shame really, but since my discovery I’ve relished in polenta based dishes.
These days it’s easy to come across polenta in restaurants or in the millions of recipes on Pinterest. Today, I’m bringing you a killer brunch recipe to serve whenever you feel like being a little fancy. Funny enough, this recipe actually isn’t fancy or difficult at all. The ingredients are simple and you more than likely have them sitting in your pantry already. For reals.
To make this brunch special, the polenta is first mixed with a little water, garlic and salt and pepper to form a nice paste. You’ll press it down into a large cast iron skillet, then top with refried beans (Trader Joe’s beans are my staple), your favorite salsa, cheese and then organic eggs. Bonus! There’s a whopping 5g of fiber and over 14g protein in one serving of this beauty. Don’t worry, I’ve got your nutritional bases covered for you.
I do have to note that you can make this as spicy as you’d like. If you’re a spicy fiend like your girl Ambitious Kitchen, then feel free to use a hot salsa and top then finish off with a few drizzles of hot sauce (Tapatio is a staple).
As far as cheese is concerned, I used GO VEGGIE’s Lactose Free Cheddar Shreds. As many of you know, I’ve been working with Go Veggie for over two years now. I switched to their cheese after discovering how lovely it melts in all my recipes — just like regular cheese! Another perk is that Go Veggie’s cheese provides 50% more calcium, no cholesterol or saturated fat, and no lactose or gluten. These are things that are important to me when I’m cooking for Tony as his family has a history of both high blood pressure and cholesterol.
As far as what this recipe tastes like, it’s very similar to huevos rancheros, perhaps even with a hint of tamale flavor too. The layers of flavorful polenta and refried beans will have your heart singing, I promise. This is absolutely one of my favorite brunches out there, and I hope you find the time to enjoy it! Best yet, this can easily be made into an easy dinner — just increase the amount of eggs. I’ve included nutritional info for both breakfast and dinner versions below. Enjoy! xo.
Be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram or leave a comment below if you make this recipe!
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 249
- Fat: 6.7g
- Saturated fat: 1.5g
- Carbohydrates: 30.7g
- Sugar: 4.1g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 14.8g
- Cooking spray
- 1 (18 oz) tube polenta
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15 oz) can vegetarian refried beans
- 3/4 cup Go Veggie! Lactose Free Cheddar Shreds
- 1 cup your favorite chunky tomato salsa
- 6 organic cage free eggs
- To garnish: Fresh cilantro, diced avocado and hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch cast iron skillet generously with nonstick cooking spray. You can also use a 9x9 inch pan if that's what you have on hand.
- In a large bowl, break up the polenta with your hands so that it's chunky and crumbly. Add in warm water, garlic, salt and pepper; mixing again with your hands until well combined. Pat polenta down in the skillet and evenly cover the bottom.
- Next spread refried beans over the top of the polenta, followed by salsa. Sprinkle cheese over the top, then crack eggs on top. Generously season with more salt and pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until egg whites are set. Drizzle hot sauce on top and garnish with avocado and cilantro, if desired. Serves 6.
This post is in partnership with GO VEGGIE! I love their products and have had a longstanding relationship with their brand. Thanks for continuing to support AK and the brands that help make this site possible!