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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 8 polenta cakes + 5 cups salsa

Enjoy these scrumptious polenta cakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Unlike standard Italian-inspired polenta recipes, this one adds hearty black beans and smoky spices into the mix, which is then baked and sliced into savory cakes. A quick-chopped salsa composed of peppers, onions, cilantro, and lime juice adds extra Southwestern flavor to this easy and versatile meal. If you like your veggies slightly charred, throw them on the grill instead of in the oven to bring smoky flair to the dish.

Black Bean Polenta Cakes with Pepper-Cilantro Salsa on a green plate


  • 1½ cups dry polenta
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1½ 15-oz. cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained (2¼ cups)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 medium red and/or yellow bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 medium fresh poblano chiles, halved and seeded
  • 2 medium onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Lime wedges


  1. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan bring 6 cups water to boiling. Gradually whisk in polenta and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 25 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Stir in beans and ½ cup of the cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Spread polenta in prepared pan. Let cool. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until set.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange bell peppers, chiles, and onions in a single layer. Drizzle with lime juice.
  3. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Peel bell peppers. Coarsely chop bell peppers, poblanos, and onion. In a medium bowl combine chopped vegetables and the remaining ½ cup cilantro.
  4. Meanwhile, cut polenta into four rectangles; cut each in half diagonally. In an extra-large nonstick skillet heat polenta pieces, in batches, over medium about 6 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned, turning once. Top with vegetable mixture. Serve with lime wedges.

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Lisa2 months ago
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Delicious! Love these lime roasted veggies.

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about the author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.

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