Cilantro Polenta & Bean Salsa


When I was watching one of the many season of Top Chef I started getting curious about Polenta. It seemed that every chef on the show would cook with it in one challenge or another. I just assumed I would never find Polenta here in Mexico but sure enough there it was at the grocery store. It is exciting to cook with a new ingredient, something you may never have even eaten before. I felt like I was on a Top Chef quickfire challenge and I had to think of something fast! This Polenta Recipe came to mind…but not as fast as those chefs think up easy recipes.

Delicious Rating: If you are not using quick cooking polenta make sure you continue to whisk and whisk hard! If you are not a cilantro fan than this recipe may not be for you. It is geared up with cilantro and some spiciness from the peppers in the salsa. I have to say that it was good and different. I really didn’t know what to expect. My DH enjoyed it and asked for me to make it again one day. I will for him but not for myself. It just didn’t do anything for my palate. Let me know what you think in the comment section!


Cilantro Polenta & Bean Salsa
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 4 Servings
Serve with a side salad. This is a Vegan Recipe
  • 1 cup of polenta (quick cooking is fine)
  • ⅓cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups of red beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan boil 3½ cups of water.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add in 1 tsp salt and whisk in polenta.
  3. If using quick cooking polenta add in 2 tbsp of cilantro and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  4. If not using quick cooking polenta, continue to cook for another 30 minutes, stirring frequently so as to avoid lumps. Add in the same cilantro & oil when done.
  5. Pour polenta in 8x8 baking dish that has been lightly oiled and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, jalepenos, 4 green onions, garlic, lime juice, and the remaining cilantro (1/4 cup).
  7. Combine and add salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and cut polenta into 4 squares.
  9. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush tops with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  10. Bake for 30-minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a pan.
  12. Add in last of green onions, beans, and salsa.
  13. Simmer mixture over low heat and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  14. Top bean salsa over hot polenta and serve.

An easy way to power up any polenta is by adding fresh herbs. I want to try a basil rosemary polenta stuffed in a tomato…yum!

The salsa is delicious, easy and has a light taste about it. If you don’t want this as the base for the beans, use your favorite salsa recipe.

This is perfect to serve to your friends with gluten allergies. It is a complete meal with a side salad and meat or bread.



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