Smoky Beans and Polenta

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: dinner


Vegetarian comfort food at it’s finest: creamy smoky beans paired with polenta.



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 cups cooked kidney or Jacob’s cattle beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt
  • [url]Polenta, for serving∞[/url]
  • Scallion greens, for serving
  • Black pepper, for serving


  • Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the minced shallot. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shallot is fragrant and translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients, through the smoked salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. The beans should be hot and the sauce thick. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water as needed. Taste and add a pinch more smoked salt as needed.
  • Divide the polenta into four bowls and top with the smoky beans, chopped scallion greens, and a grind or two of black pepper.


Tips & Tricks: Leave out the butter in the polenta or use a vegan substitute to make the overall dish vegan. If you need to cook the beans from their dried version, I prefer the quick-soak version found on this page

After making these beans a couple of times more, I find I like a splash of acid in these beans. Try a tablespoon or so of sherry or balsamic vinegar to the mix!

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: tomato paste, smoked paprika

Nutrition:  see the information (includes vegan polenta base).

Link:  recipe adapted from The First Mess.


  • Calories: 303
  • Sugar: 4.9
  • Sodium: 328
  • Fat: 3.4
  • Saturated Fat: .5
  • Carbohydrates: 57.5
  • Fiber: 9.5
  • Protein: 11.1
  • Cholesterol: 0