Polenta with Black Beans and Spinach

This fun and delicious recipe comes from a new cookbook by Nava Atlas. Her team sent me an advance copy of 5-Ingredient Vegan to review and choose a recipe to make and post.

The book has 175 recipes with, you guessed it, 5 or less ingredients and most recipes take just minutes to prepare. The recipes are super simple and require no special ingredients, and sometimes I add more seasonings to some of them.

This new cookbook is great for people just getting into plant-based and vegan cooking, and anyone who wants quick, easy and satisfying meal ideas. Nava Atlas also wrote The Vegan Holiday Kitchen, and Wild About Greens.

Polenta with Black Beans and Spinach

By Nava Atlas

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4


  • 1 (18 0z.) tube polenta
  • 1 Tbls. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz. can) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper (from jar or supermarket olive bar), drained and cut into strips
  • 4 – 5 ounces baby spinach, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the polenta into 12 even slices, each about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Using a small amount of olive oil, lightly coat a wide non-stick skillet or griddle. Arrange the polenta slices in the skillet and cook over medium high heat until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes per side.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and saute over low heat for a minute or so, just until golden.
  4. Add the beans and roasted pepper, stir together and cook over medium heat until well heatd through. Add the spinach, cover and cook until it wilts, 1-2 minutes. Stir the mixture together, season with salt (you may not need much, if any) and pepper, and remove from heat.
  5. To serve, arrange 3 or 4 polenta slices on each plate and spoon the bean mixture over each serving.

To complete the meal: Serve with a green salad, and for a bigger meal, add a baked russet or sweet potato.

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