Try this delicious, quick polenta chickpea marinara. The complete meal comes together in less than 30 minutes.
This is one of my favorite quick meals. I’m going to confess that I’ve never cooked polenta from scratch. Maybe it’s way better than the prepared kind, but I love the convenience of grabbing prepared polenta from the pantry and slicing off what’s needed for a meal.
Canned chickpeas, also known as garbanzos, prepared marinara, and prepared polenta are the mainstays of this polenta chickpea marinara recipe. How easy is that? We always have these items in our pantry for quick meals. If you have a marinara recipe that you prepare yourself, go ahead and use that, but don’t feel guilty about using your favorite store-bought marinara.
Fresh bagged baby spinach and baby portobello mushrooms serve as the veggies in this recipe. They both cook up quickly and add a lot of flavor.
Here’s a picture of the polenta that I used. Look for it in the pasta aisle. This brand is from Whole Foods, but I’ve seen it in the regular grocery store too. And you can always order it here.
Making the Polenta Chickpea Marinara
Step 1: Slice the polenta and mushrooms
- Remove the prepared polenta from the wrapper and slice pieces about 1/2 inch thick.
- Brush the mushrooms and slice them.
Step 2: Sauté the polenta and mushrooms
- Sauté the polenta and the mushroom slices together in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil.
- The mushrooms will cook more quickly than the polenta, so remove them and set them aside when they’re done.
- Cook the polenta until it’s nice and brown on both sides. This gives it a crispy outer crust that adds texture to the final meal.
Step 3: Heat the marinara and chickpeas
- While the polenta is cooking, heat the marinara in a saucepan.
- Zap the cooked chickpeas in the microwave until they’re warm – about 45 seconds.
- If you want, you can add the chickpeas to the marinara sauce and heat them up at the same time.
Step 4: Sauté the spinach
- Sauté the spinach in the same skillet that you used to brown the polenta and mushrooms.
- Spinach cooks up quickly, so keep an eye on it.
Serving Polenta Chickpea Marinara
When you’re through cooking the spinach, put it on the serving plates (or bowls). Put the cooked polenta and the marinara sauce on top of the spinach. Sprinkle the chickpeas on top of those ingredients and top everything off with the mushrooms.
If you like parmesan cheese, it goes great on top of everything, but check the labels. Some parmesan cheese contains rennet which makes it non-vegetarian. Here’s a handy link that provides information about that sort of thing: Vegetarian Society
Serve it right away and don’t tell anyone how easy it was to make. A glass of red wine is a nice addition too.
Other Recipes You Might Like
If you like Italian food, try these recipes:
If you like polenta, try my enchilada casserole.
Polenta Chickpea Marinara
- About 1/3 pound of prepared polenta in a ready-to-eat package.
- 6 baby portobello mushrooms or more to taste
- 1/2 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 4-6 ounces prepared marinara sauce
- Optional Shredded vegetarian parmesan cheese to taste
- Optional Fresh basil as garnish
- Cut the polenta into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
- Slice the mushrooms.
- Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas (garbanzos).
- Sauté the polenta and mushrooms in olive oil until golden brown.
- Remove the polenta from the skillet.
- Add the spinach and cook for two-to-three minutes.
- Heat the marinara in a saucepan.
- Microwave the chickpeas for 45 seconds or so until hot.
- Put the cooked spinach on the plates.
- Put the polenta patties on top of the spinach.
- Top with marinara sauce, mushrooms, and chickpeas.
- (Optional) Garnish with shredded parmesan.
- The mushrooms will cook a little faster than the polenta. Remove them from the skillet when they are cooked and keep cooking the polenta until it’s slightly brown and crispy on both sides.
- The polenta splatters some while it’s cooking, so cook it on a low-to-medium heat and a use a splatter guard if you have one.
- To make things go even faster, add the chickpeas to the marinara as it’s warming up.
- If you omit the cheese, this is a vegan meal.