Mexican Polenta Pie Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Mexican Polenta Pie

14 reviews / 4.1 average

So I didn't even know it was the Superbowl yesterday. These things happen when you live... far away.

Do you think Beyonce likes Mexican Polenta Pie?

Two images side-by-side of food.

Speaking of people liking Mexican Polenta Pie, guess who else likes it? My neighbors.

Except I'm not actually sure if they like-it-like-it, considering that I have yet to meet a Mexican-food-loving Filipino. Adding to the weirdness is that I've been told that it's culturally appropriate to offer things multiple times even if someone initially declines (here, you can have it, yes, take it, no really, yep, that's cheese, it's for you, seriously, yes, it's, um, like, pork?), but in the end they took it with a smile and who knows what they ever even thought of it. Thank you, neighbors, for making me feel better about myself. Because if it were me, I'd think I was weird.

On the other hand, if it were the real me, I'd eat the whole thing.

Mexican polenta pie in a clear dish.

This was the best winter weeknight meal ever, because it's a combination of three of my all-time favorite recipes: Crockpot Carnitas and Crockpot Chalupas and Chicken Tamale Pie.

One thing real quick. Shredded pork is the best meat in the world.

Mexican polenta pie in an oven.

The meat is just like the juicy, tender, perfectly-flavored crockpot carnitas, except it has the added texture of the pinto beans which is like the chalupas, and it's all baked with a thick corn-gritzy cheesy polenta top layer, which is awesomely like an inverted chicken tamale pie. Whoa.

And even though it looks like I dumped a bucket of cheese on top, it's actually barely even one cup.

Two images of Mexican polenta pie side-by-side.

Annnnd one more time, right in your face.

Mexican polenta pie in a clear dish and on a wooden spoon.

A few other things.

  1. I bought 4 red bell peppers to saute and add to the mix because I'm trying to eat, like, more vegetables and other healthy things? I try. All the time. But they're still sitting in my fridge. Wups. Now taking recipe ideas for red bell peppers.
  2. Speaking of ideas, your ideas for polenta toppings on Facebook were lovely. Truly lovely. I just love how much you all just love food. You are phenomenal and I wish we could real-life cook together, but Facebook is almost the same, right?
  3. I ALSO love how you can make my most worst vegetable enemy, the mushroom, sound delicious. Sneaky, guys. Reeeal sneaky.
  4. Bjork's parents are flying in to Cebu tonight! I feel a family vacation coming on and I'm pretty happy about it.
Mexican polenta pie on a white plate.
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Mexican Polenta Pie

Mexican Polenta Pie

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


This Mexican polenta pie is true comfort food! Made with pork and pinto beans in the crockpot and baked with polenta and cheese.


  • 1 lb. pork butt or pork shoulder (a large semi-fatty cut of meat with no bones)
  • 1 lb. dry pinto beans, soaked
  • 12 oz. light beer + 12 oz. water (just refill the bottle)
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 14 oz. can corn, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste (be generous!)
  • shredded cheese, cilantro, and salsa for topping


  1. Place the pork, beans, beer, water, tomatoes, salsa, seasoning, and garlic in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When pork is cooked through and beans are tender, shred the pork in the slow cooker with two forks.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large non-stick pan; add a pinch of salt. Add polenta and cook over medium low heat. It will splatter, so be careful! After a while the polenta should stop bubbling - stir in the corn. Continue stirring every once in a while to prevent it from sticking all over the bottom. It will thicken as it cooks - cook for about 20-25 minutes for a soft polenta, adding more water if necessary and seasoning it with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the meat and bean mixture in the bottom of a large pie, casserole, or baking dish and spread the polenta over the top. Cover with cheese (I used about a cup of shredded Mozzarella). Place under a broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted.


This would also be great with some roasted bell peppers added to it or some chopped chipotle peppers! I couldn't even fit all the filling or polenta in the casserole dish that I used. It would easily fill a 9×13 or larger baking dish or two pie dishes.

Also, soaking the beans overnight will help ensure that they are fully cooked when the pork is ready.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: mexican polenta pie, polenta pie, pork and beans pie

This Mexican polenta pie is true comfort food! Made with pork and pinto beans in the crockpot and baked with polenta and cheese.

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    that looks great! it looks pretty much like our “Pastel de choclo” here in Chile, except that we use fresh mashed corn on top haha, anyways i’m thinking to try out your recipe! it looks delicious *drools*
    and if you still don’t know what to do with your red bell peppers…try to add them in a dip, or roasted and stuffed with whatever you want! 😀

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    “I have yet to meet a Mexican-food-loving Filipino. ” WHAT? I feel like Mexican food is the most delicious of foods…

    This recipe sounds GREAT, especially the topping. I’m not a pork-eater, but I think it’d be great with maybe 2 kinds of beans or some MUSHROOMs in it 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I know. My coworkers always give my Mexican leftover lunches a suspicious look. 🙂 And mushrooms!? you really are a hidden fruits and veggies girl!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I am Filipina and I LOVE Mexican food! Bookmarked this recipe already and will be definitely making this. My husband loves shredded pork, my son loves pie and I recently discovered the joy of cooking with polenta so this is perfect meal for my family. 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I keep printing off your recipes so I can try them sometime (now I just have to make the time to try them!) They all look so yummy!!

    Enjoy your time with Larry and Vicki there. Can’t wait to hear all about the adventures you will enjoy together!!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am not actually familiar with polenta but this looks awesome. I agree, pulled pork=the best. + baked cheese on top? Well thats just amazing.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It’s just a grain like cornmeal but thicker – it absorbs water and thickens as it cooks, sort of like risotto or oatmeal or rice. You can buy it precooked but it’s usually solid, and I like it soft better. I’m newly in love with it!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This sounds delicious! Filipino food is actually pretty similar to Mexican food (lots of slow cooking, braised meats, flan, etc) – highly influenced by the Galleon trade between Manila and Mexico during the Spanish years 🙂 And if you go to Manila, you’ll see that there are dozens of packed Mexican restaurants!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Really? I know of just ONE Mexican restaurant here in Cebu! People look so confused when I try to describe salsa and guacamole and things like that… and my students almost threw up just smelling cilantro. Ha! 🙂 Maybe I need to plan a Mexican food pilgrimage to Manila!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my gosh, this looks delicious! I recently made shredded chicken in the crock pot for burritos and I couldn’t believe how good it was. I can’t wait to try carnitas! It’s making me hungry just looking at it.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks amazing! I grew up eating polenta topped with a simple spaghetti or marinara sauce.

    As for those red peppers…have you ever tried roasted them? SOOO good. Place peppers directly on grates of a BBQ or under broiler and roast until they are blackened/charred in spots. Then place em in plastic bag and continue to steam until cool enough to handle. Peel the skins, slice em up, drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh garlic. Serve with slices of fresh Italian bread, or crackers.

    Or, made a stir fry with onions, red pepper and beef. I’m posting one this week. It was delish.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my—I could eat this right now!! And I haven’t made it to breakfast yet. 🙂
    Yum–I’ll try it this week!

    And thought of you today as I posted about my 13 year old son’s plans to visit Indonesia for the second summer on a surf/mission trip w/ Surfing the Nations. I know you’re not in Indo, but I still thought of you. 🙂 He is beginning to fundraise by selling ocean photography that he has worked hard on. 🙂
    Maybe you can come by my site and see.
    Much Aloha for all you do!! Love your site and finally getting into your ebook!!!!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks sooo yummy (as usual). I’ve always been a little creeped out/intimidated by polenta, but this makes it look not so daunting! I can’t wait to experiment with it.

    Oh and for a bell pepper recipe, my chicken fajitas have LOTS of bell peppers! They taste pretty amazing..AND they’re healthy!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your meal looks wonderful and I agree with you about pulled pork– best meat ever! Maybe there is some roasted red pepper hummus in your future with those peppers waiting to be used? Especially with company coming it would be nice to have an easy snack around. Have a great visit together!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks scrumptious! I can’t wait to try it!

    Hmmm red pepper recipes. I’m sure you’ve had enough polenta for now, but I saw a Martha Stewart recipe for polenta-stuffed red peppers. It looks great. Maybe some blue cheese on top? mmm!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    So excited for all of you to spend some time together. Just for the record, we had chicken enchiladas for Super Bowl Sunday! Guess we kind of think alike!! Have fun!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just bought your book Lindsay and only hope to have as amazing pictures as yours someday! It’s really a great book – so we’ll written and easy to understand – thank you!!!