This dish is a satisfying vegetarian meal complete with spinach, beans and polenta, inspired by classic Spanish flavors. Note: Look for smoked paprika with other specialty spices; it's available in three varieties: sweet, bittersweet and hot. Sweet is the most versatile, but if you like a little bit of heat, choose the hot variety. You can find Spanish products in specialty-foods stores or online at tienda.com. Make it a Meal: Enjoy with a green salad tossed with sherry vinaigrette and a glass of Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes du Rhône. Source: EatingWell Magazine, October/November 2006

EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add polenta and cook in a single layer, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

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  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in beans, spinach and broth; cook, stirring, until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and vinegar. Serve vegetables over polenta. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Tips

Smoked paprika is available in three varieties: sweet, bittersweet and hot. Sweet is the most versatile, but choose hot if you like a bit of heat. Find it in well-stocked supermarkets or specialty-foods stores.

Nutrition Facts

221 calories; 9.3 g total fat; 3.4 g saturated fat; 13 mg cholesterol; 638 mg sodium. 659 mg potassium; 28.2 g carbohydrates; 5.5 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 10.4 g protein; 5170 IU vitamin a iu; 53 mg vitamin c; 102 mcg folate; 182 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 43 mg magnesium;

Reviews (35)

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35 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 31
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
07/10/2018
I have yet to make this but am considering for tonight. Could cubed summer squash/zucchini be used for the spinach? Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/16/2017
This was a delicious concoction of vegetables okay as a vegetarian meal and would have been great as a side dish with a meat protein or as a warm "salad" with some crunchy bacon on top. Will use sun-dried tomato polenta next time though. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/03/2016
Yummy! This was the first time I used polenta and I loved it! I used Trader Joe's organic polenta - it was so affordable - I think I paid less than 2 for a roll. I didn't have the sherry vinegar so I added a bit of red wine and apple vinegar. A nice vegetarian choice and easy to make. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
09/22/2014
Satisfaction I love this recipe it is so satisfying for me and I do not miss meat a bit when I eat it. Pros: Delish! Cons: Can't think of any Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/06/2013
Loved it! I never use pre-made polenta I buy non-GMO ground polenta. After that chilled in an 8x8 pan it was cut into triangles and sauteed. I added some grape tomatoes otherwise followed the recipe to a T. My husband and I ate in silence that night! So good. The next night the leftovers were chopped and used to top a homemade whole wheat pizza crust. Two fantastic meals one recipe! A keeper for sure. Pros: Beautiful colors lots of easy to find veggies versatile Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2013
Fabulous twist on beans and greens This was a wonderfully tasty and filling meal. I omitted the oil and the cheese. I made polenta ahead of time and put two squares in a 400% oven to get crispy on the outside. I made butter beans this week so this recipe was a great way to use them. I substituted kale for the spinach -- fantastic! I seasoned it with plenty of paprika and Mrs. Dash and also with another dash of vinegar (I prefer seasoned rice vinegar) and -- a little sriracha sauce. I will definitely be making this often. It is company good! Pros: simple preparation wonderful flavors high nutrition easy to adapt Cons: not enough leftovers! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2012
Delicious. Healthy. Easy. Vegetarian I've made this at least 5 times. I usually omit the sherry vinegar and the cheese and add an extra pepper. PERFECT for a vegetarian. I love it. I do the polenta in one pan and the rest in another so I can cook them at the same time. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/31/2011
Deliciousness on a plate! As it describes this is a satisfying and filling meal....I will be making this a lot this winter! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Very good & pretty on a white plate. I used cannellini beans instead of butter beans red wine instead of sherry vinegar and Italian cheese blend instead of Jack and chicken broth instead of vegetable for subs as that's what I had on hand. I bought a 24 oz tube of polenta (also known as "mush") & cut off the 16 oz as called for in the recipe. Next time I'll use the full 24 ozs. Good enough & pretty enough to serve to company Beth Pinckney MI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this and it tasted really good. However I had a few problems. First the polenta really stuck to the pan when I was sauteeing it even though I used a nonstick pan and oil. I'll try the suggestion about grilling rounds instead. Second I think the 3/4 cup broth was a little too much -- the sauce ended up kind of watery. You don't need much liquicd at all to wilt spinach so next time I'll use more like 1/4 cup. Finally the vinegar tasted good but slightly overpowered the other flavors -- I think I'll cut back on that too next time. Asha Hmaden CT Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this again and instead of sauteeing the polenta I sliced it into 1/2" thick rounds brushed them with olive oil and grilled them on a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat until slightly browned and crispy. I then served the bean-spinach-pepper mixture over the grilled rounds. I really prefer this method as the polenta gets a bit of smoky flavor and stays crispier. The presentation is also very pretty even dinner party worthy. Easy healthy and delicious! Beth Milwaukee WI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
A very tasty and hearty dish! I didn't have sherry vinegar so I used equal parts balsamic and red wine vinegars and it turned out great. I will be making this again and again. Beth Milwaukee WI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
easy and really delicious! easy and really delicious! Mill Valley CA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was excellent. I went to the trouble of getting the hot smoked paprika and it made all the difference. meredith NY NY Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
The smoked paprika seemed to make all the difference; so delicious! A wonderful easy recipe and I will make it again! Emily Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I used cannelini beans instead because they were what I had but it turned out really good. The sauce had a nice flavor kind of nutty from the beans. Anonymous Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Easy so tasty and vegetarian too! Anonymous Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is delicious. I placed the polenta on a nonstick cookie sheet and sprayed lightly with olive oil cooking spay. 400 degree oven until browned and crisp. They were crispy outside and creamy inside! My 6 year old loved this dish spinach beans and all! Its a keeper! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I cooked the polenta much longer until it was nice and crisp. I didn't have sherry so I used Italian Red Wine vinegar and it was still delicious. I also did not have the smoked paprika so I'd maybe look for that as regular didn't do much for the flavor. I've never had butter beans they were pretty delicious. I agree there was too much broth so I ended up using a slotted spoon. I would add top with cheese right before serving. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I hate lima beans which were covertly placed in the recipe under the name butter beans. I have to say though this was excellent one of EWs best vegetarian meals by a long shot definitely spring for good smoked paprika and the manchego they make the dish. We did use red wine vinegar instead of the sherry however and I don't think it mattered all that much. Will definitely make again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I loved it! I modified the recipe to suit my tastes and for what I had on hand: I used collard greens (I've also made this with kale and it was equally as awesome!) because I like a heartier green and I made grits instead of polenta as I was out of cornmeal. It turned out great--this recipe is so good it has a lot of wiggle room. Obviously the thicker greens require more cooking time but I think it just made the flavor that much better! Fantastic recipe! THANK YOU! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
My 2-1/2 year old son and I both really liked this. We used Canellini Beans and Red Wine Vinegar. Also used the Smoked Paprika and Monterey Jack Cheese. Great way to add a vegetarian option without pasta. Excited to have my leftovers for lunch. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe is the best I have found on this website. Absolutely delicious. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
So tasty! Very hearty and satisfying. I took ann_cookie's suggestion of baking the polenta instead of pan frying it and that worked really well. The polenta cubes were crispy and it made the dish come together more quickly since I could get the bean mixture ready while the polenta baked. DEFINITELY spring for the smoked paprika. It gives the dish a great smokey/bacon flavor. I use it all the time in other dishes as well for a little extra kick. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I'll admit I was skeptical at first. I've never had Polenta (grits) before and My mom had once taken an opportunity to express her dislike of them but I made this for lunch and OH MY WOW!! This was sooo good. I substituted Sherry vinegar for white distilled and butter beans (since I had no clue what that was; apparently it's lima beans) for white beans. Hearty filling satisfying and absolutely DELICIOUS! I will definitely be making this a staple in my home. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Great idea but bland! I would add much more flavor - garlic maybe fresh thyme. I oven roasted the polenta - kept waiting for it to "brown". It didn't but after 25 minutes at 400 degree oven it ended up with a satisfying crunch. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe turned out so fantastic. I could not find butter beans anywhere frozen canned or dry so I substituted great northern beans and it came out so delicious. I had guests for dinner who are vegitarian and they enjoyed this so much I had to give them the recipe. I will definately make this again soon. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I loved this. The polenta was OK edible but I did not think it paired well with the veggies. I'm going to be making this again so I'll try to substitute something else (rice maybe?) or just eat it by itself (using less broth). Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This dish was excellent! The only things that I did different was baking the polenta and adding red wine vinegar instead of sherry. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is awesome I do not miss meat at all. Everything is perfectly blended. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Wow! This is the 2nd time I've made this recipe. WIth a few modifications I think it turned out even better. The main change was in cooking the polenta. After cutting into cubes I placed them on a broiler pan. I sprayed quickly with PAM then sprinkled a pinch each of salt pepper garlic powder and parmesan cheese over top. I broiled for about 6 minutes then flipped them over and broiled again for 3 more minutes till many had color and felt firmer. Doing this added more depth to the dish. I omitted the cheese at the end and simply sprinkled with a pinch more parmesan (I didn't like the texture of the melted jack). I highly recommend giving this recipe a try with or without mods! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
A big hit with 3 generations at my home I prepared this recipe for my family and we all loved it! The smoked paprika gave it wonderful flavor. I used frozen baby limas which I did not have close enough to room temperature when adding to the recipe. In the future I will cook them in the microwave and then add them to the recipe when called for to let the flavors blend. Pros: Easy to prepare and so filling. You forget there is no meat. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Love it! I really thought this would be a terrible recipe I went ahead with it anyway. When I saw the end result I was like there is no way I will take more than one bite of this. Then amazingly it was very delicious. I followed the recipe but used canned butter beans. I will definitley keep this on my list of fav recipes. I am not a fan of any beans but you have changed my mind with the recipe. Though I don't like looking at them. Maybe I can try to mash all the ingredients together and make a patty out of it now that would be better for my sake! But still a worthy recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Well-balanced and full of flavor I made a few modifications to this recipe and it's one of the best things I've made from eatingwell.com. I used a green onion and cilantro polenta because that's what the store had. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper and baked at 425 for about 30 minutes to get it firmed up. I also added a mix of sweet and hot paprika and doubled the amounts. The sweetness of the pepper works really well with the creaminess of the beans and polenta. Mine was a little brothy because the spinach released so much water. I think next time I'll cut back on the veg. broth. This recipe really is perfect. It's very filling tastes great and is still low calorie. Pros: good mix of veg and protein Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/29/2011
Hearty Vegetarian Dish with a lot of Potential For some reason I was craving beans last night so I Googled for bean recipes and I stumbled upon Catalan Sauteed Polenta and Butter Beans. I cooked it up exactly as written and found it to be very nearly tasty. Something was missing and I had a feeling it was spices. The only spice this recipe calls for is paprika which can't cancel out the blandness of the butter beans on its own. The beans are hearty and have a great texture for sure but they don't contribute much flavor on their own. The next morning I decided I'd try to spice up the leftovers before I committed to tossing them. I added more paprika more vinegar lots of salt and pepper and I threw in some chili flakes for some heat. I added some more cheese and held my breath...it was good! All this dish needed was a little more seasoning and it turned into a very delicious vegetarian meal! I definitely won't say that the original recipe posted is bad. I just use a lot more spices and seasoning in my cooking and the lack thereof initially was a little off-putting. However if you're not a fan of spicy food the paprika will probably be just enough for you. This would be a great recipe on a cold evening. It warms you up and fills you up and it's quick and easy to make. The ingredients are very affordable too. All in all good job on this one! Pros: This dish contains a ton of yummy healthy ingredients and is surprisingly hearty for a vegetarian me Read More