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Mom's Mayan Sweet Potato Polenta Bake

A recipe for my Mom's vegetarian Mayan polenta bake with layers of sweet potato, refried beans, polenta, red chile sauce and cheese. This comforting dish is creamy, sweet, spicy, and incredible!

Course Dinner, Vegetarian
Cuisine hispanic
Keyword polenta bake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 218 kcal
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tube Ancient Harvest Traditional Polenta
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 - 15 oz can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1 large sweet potato, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • For garnish: cilantro and avocado


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Add tomato sauce, water, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until tomato sauce thickens up a bit.
  3. Saute the onions and peppers: In a separate skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, onion and red pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent and peppers are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To make the bake: In a separate medium bowl, add in polenta and a few tablespoons of water. Use your hands to mash the polenta and break it up again. Transfer to prepared pan and press into the bottom of the pan, creating a base for the bake. 

  5. Next spread half of the refried beans, slices of the sweet potato, onion/pepper mixture, half of the sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese. Then spread the remaining refried beans on top, the rest of the sweet potatoes, the other half of the sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

  6. Cover pan with foil and bake for 1 hour or until sweet potatoes are tender when poked with a fork. Serves 8.
Nutrition Facts
Mom's Mayan Sweet Potato Polenta Bake
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.5g8%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 6.5g27%
Sugar 6.3g7%
Protein 9.2g18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.