BellaSugar recently asked me to recommend a few polenta recipes that are simple, affordable, and healthy. Although I often serve this dinner basic as a creamy side with with meatballs and tomato sauce or sliced into squares with vegetables, I've recently discovered a new pairing: polenta with chili.
I never tire of the bold spices that go into chili, but I like to play around with its accompaniments. Sometimes I'll reach for a hunk of white bread, and other times I'll ladle chili over a plate of pasta, Cincinnati-style. For a soothing meal, try the stew over an ultracreamy bowl of quick-cooking polenta. For the recipe, read more.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) can vegetarian beans
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 tablespoon butter
Green chili or jalapeno salsa, optional
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute until onions are soft.
- Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, partially cover with a lid, and cook 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and return to a simmer; continue cooking, uncovered, 20 minutes, until the chili is thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- While the chili cooks, prepare the polenta according to package directions (5 to 8 minutes), and stir in the butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Divide between 4 bowls and ladle chili over top. Spoon a little salsa on top, if desired.
- Main Dishes, Beans