Recipe ReDux: Huevos Rancheros Over Polenta Cakes

I’m always surprised by how quickly the months pass. It’s already the 21st of the month and that means it’s already Recipe Redux time again! I missed last month’s post, but I’m up for the challenge this month. Spring cleaning is this month’s theme, and the challenge is: “Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.”

Well, I bought this polenta roll from Trader Joe’s with the intentions of making something inventive and quick for a weeknight dinner.


As it turns out, I don’t really know what to do with polenta and it sat in my pantry for a while. But, looking through the pantry and seeing the polenta reminded me of a brunch dish I recently had and loved: fried eggs over corn fritters. It was SO good, but not so good for you. I decided to replicate and lighten up this fried egg dish with a recipe that I call Huevos Rancheros Over Polenta Cakes. The result is an easy, healthy, quick, vegetarian breakfast with a little spice.huevos rancheros over polenta cakes 2

Makes 2 servings (2 polenta cakes = 1 serving)

1/2 roll pre-cooked polenta
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 white onion
1/2 jalapeño
1/2 can black beans
Juice of half lime
salt to taste
cooking spray
4 eggs
Toppings (optional): sprinkle of Mexican cheese, salsa, fresh avocado


1) Cut the polenta roll into pieces bout an inch or two inches thick. Set aside.polenta coins

2) Drain and rinse beans with water. Set aside.

3) Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add onion and jalapeno to pan and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add black beans and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside bean mixture. Squeeze lime juice onto bean mixture, and season with salt. To keep the beans hot while the rest of the food cooks, place them in an oven safe dish and keep in an oven on low heat (about 100 degrees).

4) Use another frying pan or wait until the frying pan is cool enough to touch and wipe out with a paper towel. Heat the frying pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add polenta cakes and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Each side should be golden brown.polenta cakes with black beans

5) While the polenta cakes are cooking, heat another frying pan (if you have one—if not, do this step when the polenta is cooked and keep polenta hot in the oven with the beans) over medium heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Crack two eggs directly into the pan, being careful not to break the yolks. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip the eggs. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

6) Layer the polenta cakes with the polenta on the bottom, then spoon on some of the bean mixture, and top it with 1 egg. Add additional toppings, like a sprinkle of Mexican cheese, salsa, or fresh avocado.huevos rancheros over polenta cakes

Nutrition Notes:

  • Black beans are one of my favorite sources of vegetarian protein. They are high in fiber, with a ½ cup serving containing 30% the daily value or fiber!
  • A ½ cup serving of black beans also only has 100 calorie and contains 7g of protein.
  • Black beans contain iron (10% the daily value in ½ cup), which is helpful for vegetarians who don’t get iron from meat!
  • Eggs are also a great source of vegetarian protein.  One egg contains 6g of protein.
  • The beans and eggs in this breakfast supply about 15g of protein in 1 serving! This recipe is a great weekend post-workout recovery breakfast!


  • Reply
    Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
    April 21, 2015 at 7:57 am

    black beans are my favorite source of plant based protein too! So filling and delicious.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 9:07 am

    This looks so good..and I never know what to do w/ polenta either!!! Will have to try this!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Shaw
    April 21, 2015 at 11:28 am

    This looks amazing! I love that polenta from TJs! I will be bookmarking this to try very soon for Meatless Monday!

  • Reply
    Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil)
    April 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    This is so creative! I love me some polenta but haven’t made it in forever – thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer @NourishedSimply
    April 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I have never cooked polenta, but would love to try.

  • Reply
    Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
    April 21, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    This combines two of my favorite foods- I’m a huge fan of polenta and love all things Mexican food! Yum!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth @ Enjoy Every Bite
    April 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    This looks so yummy! Mexican food is my favorite type to cook at home because it is so delicious and usually pretty simple. Love all the vegetarian proteins too!

  • Reply
    Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)
    April 22, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Totally my kind of meal! Love this take on my brunch favorite- huevos rancheros!

  • Reply
    Jessica Levinson (@jlevinsonrd)
    May 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I haven’t always been a big fan of polenta, but this looks awesome! And perfect for Cinco de Mayo!! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Nutrition a la Natalie
      May 4, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Yes! I didn’t even think of these for Cinco de Mayo, but that’s a great idea. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Vegetarian Lentil Bolognese Over Polenta Cakes {Recipe} - Nutritioulicious
    December 5, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    […] saw a fellow Recipe ReDux participant use Trader Joe’s packaged polenta roll as a base for huevos rancheros and since then I’ve been curious to try it out. Now was the perfect […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.