A homemade version of Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chili sauce. 

A homemade version of Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chile sauce.

Back when I first started my healthy eating journey I wasn’t as confident in the kitchen and I gravitated towards convenience foods like frozen meals and canned soups. I looked for healthier options and I had a few favorites — Amy’s Mattar Tofu and Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake. Anyone else a fan?

After eating them for a while I decided to try making homemade versions. Mattar Tofu recipe is absolutely delicious so definitely check that out too!

A homemade version of Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chile sauce.

I created the copy-cat Mayan Harvest Bake back in 2010 so the pictures were pretty terrible and the recipe needed a little tweaking/testing. Maria and I tested it twice last month and I feel like it’s absolutely perfect now — ready to be re-shared with new photos and the updated recipe.

A homemade version of Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chile sauce.

This tasty bake combines sweet, ripe plantains, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and kale with a spicy ancho sauce and pumpkin seed garnish — all the served over a base of polenta and quinoa. It’s got a kick to it, but not overly spicy and the flavors of the sweet potato, plantain, and ancho sauce pair together nicely.

A homemade version of Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chile sauce.

The recipe makes a full casserole dish so it’s a great meal prep recipe. Cook once and have the bake on hand for quick lunches and dinners all week or eat a portion for dinner and freeze the leftovers and reheat a few weeks later for a quick meal.

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Mayan Harvest Bake


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 8

Description

A homemade version of Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake. This vegan casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich chili-tomato sauce. 


Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, washed and diced into 1/4 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes**
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ancho chile powder/pepper (or regular chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 18 oz tube polenta, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

Toppings:

  • 1/4 cup roasted pepitas
  • avocado, for topping
  • cilantro, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° degrees.
  2. Toss chopped sweet potatoes and plantains cubes in 1 Tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. While the potatoes and plantains are roasting, heat remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water, chile powder, coconut sugar, paprika, sea salt and cinnamon into the skillet and let sauce simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Add black beans and kale into the skillet. Stir kale into the sauce, allowing it to wilt. Once kale has wilted down, remove sauce from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, spray a 9×13 or 11×7 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the dish with polenta slices, overlapping if needed. Top with the cooked quinoa. Then add the roasted sweet potatoes and plantains. Pour the saucy black bean and kale mixture over everything and use a spoon to create an even top layer.
  5. Bake casserole in the 400° oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle pepitas over the bake and serve warm. Top each portion with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro.

Notes

** The plantain should be very ripe — yellow and covered with large black spots. Mine had a ton of black spots and worked great.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 453kcal
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 510mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 85g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Cholesterol: 0

Be sure to let me know if you try this recipe.  Leave a comment here or share a photo via social media and tag me (@eatingbirdfood) or use the hashtag #eatingbirdfood in the post. Seeing you try my recipes makes me all warm and fuzzy inside and it’s honestly what keeps me posting. That and your comments. I simply love connecting with you!

A homemade version of Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chile sauce.

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    65 comments
  1. This is delicious! I was looking for a recipe similar to a dish I had at a Farmers Market in Edinburgh Scotland. This was very close to it and something I will make again. Lots of ingredients and prep but worth it. Thanks for the tip on the ripe plantain. Have to plan ahead for that!

  2. I love Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake and attempted a version of my own that turned out pretty well, but thought I’d collect recipes by others just to see if I could get it even closer to the original.

    Holy cow! This version has 102.49 grams of carbohydrates per serving! Kashi’s has 58, which is bad enough for diabetics like me, but this one is over the top.

    I’m wondering what causes such a huge carb load in this as it doesn’t appear much different from mine or other recipes. Is it possible the nutritional information is wrong and that it’s for 2 servings instead of 1?

  3. I love the frozen Kashi dish and went looking for a copycat recipe and stumbled upon yours. Using your recipe (to the T) I made it tonight and it was delish! I agree with Amy when she said to add vegetable broth and/or cover the sauce while baking because it dried up a lot when it was baked. (After tasting it, I ended up adding a little broth to the finished product to help and that worked fine too) Hubby loved it and kids ate it with no fuss. Overall, I can’t wait to make it again! Thank you so much!

  4. I tried this again… used a different tomato puree (Hunt’s), and also added half a can of water. I added about a tablespoon of raw sugar to the puree, and added the spices to the onion and garlic first (I think this makes a big difference) . I cooked the kale right into the sauce. This time around it was pretty spot on!

  5. I just had the Kashi meal again for lunch today, and I agree it is the best frozen meal out there. In fact, I was looking for a recipe that uses the same ingredients when I happened on your website. I will be trying your version of the Mayan Bake very soon. Thanks!

  6. very good and close, indeed. I believe the Kashi version has more sugar, or maybe the plantains they use are just more ripe. Mine did have black spots all over, but I probably should have baked longer and covered the pan since it turned out dry. The sauce is a little on the tomato-ey side for me and I might try adding a bit of vegetable broth next time. Good job!

  7. Thanks so much for posting this! This is also one of my favorite frozen foods and I’m glad that you were able to replicate the recipe. I’ll try this out soon!

  8. The Kashi Mayan harvest bake was fantastic. I loved it. I must say I was hesitant since I had just bought and detested the taste of the heart-healthy snack crackers. I can appreciate that they were good for me and I appreciate that but can’t you make them a bit more appealing? Good luck.

  9. The Mayan dish you created did not taste anything like the Kashi Mayan meal. I think because the plantains, although very ripe (soft and with black spots) were not as sweet as they are in the Kashi dish. Overall, your dish just didn’t have much taste. I followed your recipe to the T. I bought all of my ingredients at a organic food market. I think it’s pretty spectacular tho that you tried to recreate it and I appreciate your effort!!

  10. As I was sitting at my computer eating the Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake, I wondered if I could duplicate it at home. I am glad my search led me to your site. I will have to let you know how it comes out for me. THANX!

  11. I love the Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake, so, I am so very glad to have found a copy cat recipe for it. I do not understand however, how, a single serving from the eatingbirdfood.com recipe could have calories = 1,030.7, and fat = 20.7 grams fat per serving.

    • hi squiggles! Thanks for pointing this out. And I agree, I put the recipe in a Livestrong.com and got very different results. I’m going to add the nutrition facts to this post so that it’s clear. 🙂

  12. After eating the frozen meal, I too wanted to figure out how to make this at home! Thank you so much for figuring it out for me! I cannot wait to try this, the recipe looks great! 🙂

  13. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have just tried Kashi’s ‘Mayan Harvest Bake’ for the first time today and loved the combination of spices and it was quite a satisfying meal. I also like the other Kashi frozen meals and at 340 calories, I shall be dieting on these for the next few months for sure.

  14. Brittany,

    I just had the Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake for lunch today, for the first time. Best. Frozen. Meal. Ever….

    Regardless, I am also a huge foodie and love to cook. I haven’t made the recipe yet, but just wanted to let you know that your story is inspiring and it’s also good to see you are from the fine city of RVA (my hometown!! Lots of amazing local restaurants – go to Black Sheep if you haven’t already discovered this gem…). I recently moved to the Midwest and am having trouble finding any meals not loaded with meat, butter and processed carbs.

    I have a similar story where healthy eating and exercise lead to weight loss and a better life. It’s always warming to hear that others are doing the same – and great to know you are sharing your experiences and wealth of information with others. Keep the recipes coming! 🙂

    *I also posted this recipe (giving credit to you and your blog) onto a recipe sharing site http://www.food.com; I did this to get the nutritional info calculated, just wanted you to know!

    Thanks again!

  15. The Kashi Mayan Bake is also my favorite frozen meal and I have been talking about trying it at home for the longest time. Thank you for this recipe! It will give me a good starting point. I was thinking about using actual polenta for the base (or the grain). How many people can be served from this recipe?

      • I finally tried it and I absolutely love it – and so does my husband!

        I only did a few things a little differently than the recipe indicated above: I used polenta as the base. I cut up one package into thin round slices and I lined the bottom of the dish with it. Then I layered the sweet potatoes on top (next time I need to roast them a little more so that they are softer), followed by the cooked and seasoned kale, and then the black bean mixture. I fried the ripe pieces of plantain on both sides before I added them on top of the mixture. This made them sweeter with crispy edges.

        Great recipe! I can’t wait to try it again and share it with my friends this time.

  16. I have been in love with this since first bite. I look forward to trying it myself. I am on a limited income and it was only bought for special treats. I will try to make it and freeze them. As I keep all the containers. Thank you so very much!!!

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I had this Kashi meal for the first time last week and also thought it was the best frozen meal I have ever had! Want to make it – and so excited to find your recipe!

  18. Wow!! I completely fell in love with this meal when I tried it the other day and was working on copying it myself. Thank you so much for completing the task for me! I hope no one in my family likes it so I can keep it all for myself!! LOL!!

  19. I made this tonight with just a few small changes to use things I had on hand. Substituted spinach for kale and tweaked the sauce just a bit. This was amazingly good! My meat & potatos hubby went back for seconds! Great tip on selecting plaintain. Super yummy recipe ~ thanks much!

  20. This is also one of my favorite Kashi meals but I must say, your’s looks 1000 x’s better. Wow!

    I love recreating meals like this.

    Hope you are having a great day!

  21. I’m so jealous of all the yummy Kashi (and Amy’s) stuff you guys have in the US… we get next to nothing up here! Even your version of the GoLean is better. Thanks for sharing this swap though! It looks like it makes a ton… how many would you say it serves?

  22. i’ve been dying to try this kashi meal – i’ve heard nothing but good things about it! your recipe sounds so delicious too! i’ve never tried plantains before.. but i definitely think i’ll have to give this a try! thanks for sharing!

  23. THANK YOU so much for this recipe!! I’ve never tried the frozen meal but when I read the ingredients it sounded like a good combo and something that could effortlessly be created at home. I’m adding the ingredients to my grocery list and adding the meal to my “to make” list 🙂 yayyyy my hubby LOVES fried plantains so I’m thinking this meal might be up his alley.

    • Remember that Plantains are usually used by Carribeans, like Cubans, Puerto Rican where Mexican might use them too but not as much and they do not use the same spices as Carribeans, which this recipes appears to be.

  24. I love making copycat recipes! I’ve tried the Mayan Harvest Bake before and it was really good- I think it’s the plantains 🙂

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