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.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword polenta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
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.