Polenta with Black Beans & Spinach

Polenta with Black Beans & Spinach
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Polenta with Black Beans & Spinach, recipe by Nava Atlas, photo by Hannah KaminskyWhen I was looking through Nava Atlas’ brand new cookbook, the 5-Ingredient Vegan Cookbook, I knew I had to try making this polenta recipe.

First of all, I’d never had polenta before! I’d also never cooked with it before, even though I see it all the time in the grocery store and wonder what to do with it. So you get to see my first time trying it… things got a little messy, when I was trying to figure out how to open the polenta package, but it was a lot of fun and definitely delicious!

Nava Atlas has written several other cookbooks, and is an artist and writer on other topics like the female experience. She is also just a genuinely wonderful person, and I’m thrilled to share her new cookbook with you.

Nava’s new book is filled with 175 delicious 5-ingredient recipes in which simplicity is key. For anyone who’s super-busy (aren’t we all?), craves easy-to-make plant-based dishes, or is newly veg-curious, there’s something for every meal and occasion.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! And be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy 🙂

Let us know what you think below!

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Polenta with Black Beans and Spinach

Using prepared polenta is a nifty way to add variety to the dinner repertoire. This recipe for pan-grilled polenta is topped with a colorful combination of black beans, roasted red pepper, and spinach. As a main dish, it’s light and satisfying, and can also be served as a hearty warm appetizer. Serve with a green salad using whatever you’ve got on hand. For a bigger meal, add some baked or microwaved potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time16 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword: polenta
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Nava Atlas


  • 18- ounce tube polenta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 15- to 16- ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar or the supermarket olive bar, drained and cut into short strips
  • 4 to 5 ounces baby spinach rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Cut the polenta into 12 even slices, each about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Use a little of the olive oil to lightly coat a wide nonstick skillet or griddle. Arrange the polenta slices on the surface. Cook over medium-high heat until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes per side.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for a minute or so, just until golden.
  • Add the beans and roasted pepper. Stir together and cook over medium heat until well heated through.
  • Add the spinach, cover, and cook until just wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the mixture together, season with pepper, and remove from the heat.
  • To serve, arrange 3 or 4 polenta slices on each plate and spoon the bean mixture evenly over each serving.



Reprinted with permission from 5-Ingredient Vegan © 2019 by Nava Atlas, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.
Tried this recipe?Tag me @HeatherNicholds so I can see!

Win a copy of the book!

After you make the recipe, you can enter to win a copy of Nava’s new book, which is full of more 5-ingredient vegan recipes!

Open to US residents (or mailing addresses) only. Contest closes Thursday October 10th at midnight Eastern.

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  1. Sue Keener 5 years ago

    Love easy recipes like this one!

  2. Annette Popplewell 5 years ago

    This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Natalie Cartledge 5 years ago

    vegan cheese from Follow Your Heart.

  4. Karen Delaney 5 years ago

    Nooch. Adds a nice flavor.

  5. Karen Delaney 5 years ago

    I like adding nooch for flavor. So good!

  6. Jillian Too 5 years ago

    I’m a Kite Hill vegan ricotta fan.

  7. Lydia Claire 5 years ago

    I find beans to be super versatile so one of my favorites!

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