Pueblo Corn Pie

Pueblo Corn Pie recipe

Here’s a recipe I’ve made many times over the years as a Thanksgiving main dish. It’s one of my family’s favorites, so I made sure to include it in Vegan Holiday Kitchen. This layered casserole of cooked cornmeal topping a tasty bean chili is adapted from a Native American recipe. Photo by Rebbeca Crump of Ezra Poundcake. Go to her site to see her original post on this recipe.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pueblo Corn Pie
Recipe type: Bean main dish / Thanksgiving main dish
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
This layered casserole of cooked cornmeal topping a tasty bean chili is adapted from a Native American recipe.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2½ cups canned or cooked pinto beans
  • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes, or 15- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted), lightly drained
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or more, to taste
  • Salt to taste
Cornmeal topping (or see shortcut):
  • 1¼ cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese, optional (great with Daiya)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté until the onion is golden brown.
  3. Add the corn kernels, pinto beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir well and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat.
  4. Bring 5 cups of water to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the water in a thin, steady stream, stirring continuously to avoid lumping. Add the salt and cook over very low heat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Lightly oil a shallow 1½-quart baking dish and line the bottom with half of the cooked cornmeal. Pour the skillet mixture over it and sprinkle with the optional grated cheese.
  7. Top with the remaining cornmeal, patting it in smoothly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cornmeal is golden brown and crusty. Let stand for 10 minutes, then scoop out to serve, making sure that each serving includes plenty of the cornmeal topping.


Shortcut: If you don’t want to take the time to cook cornmeal, use two 16-ounce tube of prepared polenta (you may not need all of both tubes, depending on the size of your casserole dish) Simply cut into 1/4-inch rounds; line the bottom of the casserole with enough to cover it; pour the bean and corn stew evenly over them, and arrange more polenta rounds nicely over the top of the stew. Top with the optional vegan cheese.

Pueblo corn pie detail

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26 comments on “Pueblo Corn Pie

  1. Mindy

    This is a definite on my Thanksgiving table. I’m feeding ten omnivores only vegan food! Wish me luck! Thank you so much for the recipe. It looks amazing.

  2. Nava Post author

    Thanks, Mindy and Heather– I haven’t made this for a few years, so I think this is going to be the main dish for us vegans at the table this week. Enjoy!

  3. Jeanette

    This was Absolutely Wonderful!! Made it for Thanksgiving and it was a Big hit with everyone. I will definitely be making it again.

  4. Nava Post author

    Glad you enjoyed it, Jeanette. I made it also, as I hadn’t done so for some time as I mentioned above. Glad I doubled the batch, as it went fast!

  5. Pingback: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes | HealthyMamaInfo

  6. Lynda

    I have made this many times and there is never left overs. I would double the batch and I also added mushrooms on the second time bc. I had them to use. So yummy both ways.. Thanks..

  7. Rebekah

    This was soooo good!!! Made a HUGE amount and was a perfect dish for a vegan/gf thanksgiving. Next time, I’m going to spice my polenta a little bit.

  8. barbara

    after cooking the pie should all the cornmeal be “bready”, or is some of it still “wet”? I cooked it for 45 minutes, and the cornmeal still seemed runny, Is this right, or should I have cooked it longer? Taste is still good, though.

  9. Nava Post author

    Barbara, the texture of the cornmeal doesn’t come out bread-y but more like a soft polenta, with a bit of crustiness on top. If you like the idea of it being more bread-y, you can try this topped with your favorite cornbread recipe. I bet that would be delicious!

  10. Michelle M.

    I have made a version of this for years. Do you have the nutrition info for yours available? It would be great to see.

  11. Nava Post author

    Michelle, I don’t have nutrition info for this version. It’s based on a recipe from one of my earlier books, which was made with real cheese, so that would skew the data a bit. If you want to try to analyze it, try the tool at MyFitnessPal.

  12. christine

    How far in advance (a day, a few hours) could this be made and reheated? What would your recommendation be?

  13. Nava Post author

    Hi Christine — this one actually freezes pretty well, but you can make it at least a couple of days ahead and store in the fridge. You might consider just setting it up and not baking; then bake just before serving. Or if you do bake it, stop a few minutes short of the recommended bake time, let cool and refrigerate, and bake the rest of the way through.

  14. Claire

    I tried this recipe for lunch with my family today and everyone loved it! We didn’t even leave any leftovers. 🙂
    My cornmeal looked like a very thick gravy though. Is it supposed to be drier ?

    As I live in France, I don’t use the cup measurement system, which gave me a hard time making the conversion in grams for every ingredient of the recipe… What kind of measuring cup should I use? I would like to get one as I recently got the Vegan Holiday Kitchen book. I love it by the way! So many great vegan recipes, i can’t wait to try them all!

  15. Nava Post author

    Hi Fernando — you can reheat this in a 350-degree oven, cover with a lid or foil for the first 10 minutes or so, then remove and continue to bake for a few minutes longer or until bubbling and piping hot. I hope you and yours enjoy this!

  16. Grace Tato

    I made this for Thanksgiving, and all my omnivore family members loved it! It was so delicious, especially with Daiya cheddar cheese. Next time I’m going to try adding some green chiles 🙂

  17. Kate

    How long will this last in the fridge before going bad? I’m thinking of making this to say throughout the week. Thanks!

  18. Claudia

    This looks and sounds delicious! If you don’t have bell pepper, will diced celery work instead? Or is it better to just leave it out since celery retains water and might get it too soggy, especially since it has cornmeal.

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