Pumpkin Polenta with Black Beans and Chorizo

by Lisa on November 15, 2011

This is a recipe I have been making for years, yet somehow has never made it onto Domestic Pursuits! It’s one of those ones I’ve committed to memory I make it so often, and also it’s the reason why canned pumpkin is a year round staple in my pantry. My excuse is that it’s hard to photograph (it’s hard to make black beans look appetizing!) and it’s nearly impossible for us to keep this around long enough to even try to take a good picture because it is just that delicious. It’s also incredibly easy and whips up in about 30 minutes. If you’ve never made polenta before, you’re missing out – it is very straightforward, and at the same time adding the word polenta to whatever you make gives people the impression you could be the next contestant on Top Chef. It’s also great for those living gluten-free who want a simple, Italian-y and starchy base for tasty toppings.  Quick cooking polenta can typically be found in the Italian section of your grocery store.  I’ve also made this with corn meal – which works and is cheaper, but  takes longer, and tends to splatter a lot which causes a big mess, and also can burn you.  So, my recommendation is to go with the quick cooking variety.

I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. Chorizo is a spicy Spanish-style sausage that most grocery stores stock (at least those in the places I’ve lived); if you can’t find it, linguica would probably be an adequate substitute. I’ve made it with turkey chorizo, chicken chorizo, and plain old garden variety chorizo and it’s come out great every time.

Pumpkin Polenta with Black Beans and Chorizo – adapted from Rachel Ray


  • 3/4 – 1 pound chorizo sausage, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 x 14oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of quick cooking polenta
  • leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, brown chorizo sausage for about 1-2 minutes.  Add onion to the pan, and saute until the onion softens. In the meantime, combine chicken broth and pumpkin puree in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.   Add black beans to the chorizo and onion mixture and heat through.  Remove pumpkin puree and chicken broth from the heat, and quickly stir in the polenta.  (Be sure to remove from the heat so it doesn’t splatter!)  Once the polenta is starting to come together, stir in thyme, cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve chorizo and black beans atop a bed of polenta.  Enjoy!

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