Pinto Beans with Polenta and Roasted Squash

Pinto Beans with Polenta and Roasted Squash



Pinto beans

  • One (1) lb dried pinto beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • Water
  • One (1) onion Two (2) cloves garlic
  • Two to three (2-3) large hot chilis (or 2 small sweet bell peppers)
  • Two (2) large tomatoes, skins removed


  • 5/8 C (100grams) coarsely ground cornmeal (polenta)
  • One (1) tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Roasted squash

  • One (1) Delicata squash, seeds removed and cut into 1 1/2” pieces, leave the skin on (if Delicata squash is unavailable, any winter squash can be used)
  • Two (2) tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

Salsa verde

  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • Juice of one (1) lime
  • Handful each of parsley and cilantro, finely chopped
  • One (1) tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper



Make the beans

  1. Cut the onion in half and add to a large pot with the beans.
  2. Add one (1) clove of garlic to the beans, too, and cover with enough water to cover about three (3) inches.
  3. Bring to a boil for ten (10) minutes, then lower heat to the lowest possible simmer and cook low and slow until the beans are fully cooked, soft, and creamy, about ninety (90) minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice the other half of the onion and the other garlic clove and sauté in two (2) tablespoons of olive oil for about five (5) minutes to soften.
  5. Add the chopped chilies and tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt and cook for another ten (10) minutes or until the tomatoes have released all their liquid it becomes thick.
  6. When the beans are cooked, add the tomato/chili mixture.
  7. Turn the heat to high and cook for another thirty (30) minutes or so until the liquid has reduced by a third. The beans should be falling apart and the broth should be slightly thick.
  8. After you reduce the liquid to “soupy, ” add salt if needed.

Make the polenta

  1. Toast the cornmeal with the butter in a skillet for about five (5) minutes, until it just starts to brown and smells like popcorn.
  2. Add the toasted cornmeal to a pot with 1 and 1/4 cups water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring often for about thirty to forty-five (30-45) minutes until the polenta is fully cooked. Add more water if necessary.
  4. When cooked, at the 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir.
  5. Turn heat off and keep warm with a lid.

Make the squash

  1. Toss the squash pieces in a mixing bowl with the salt and olive oil.
  2. Roast in a 350 degree oven skin side down for about thirty (30) minutes.
  3. When the skins are nicely browned, flip and roast another fifteen (15) minutes or so.

Make the salsa verde

  1. In a bowl, squeeze the lime juice over the onions and let sit for ten (10) minutes.
  2. Add the chopped herbs, olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper.

Put it together

  1. In a serving bowl, put a small coffee cup worth of the polenta in the middle.
  2. Ladle some of the beans and broth around the polenta.
  3. Top with some pieces of roasted squash and spoon over some of the salsa verde (fresh topper!).

Enjoy immediately and be creative with the leftovers.