Tomato Braised Butter Beans with Mushrooms & Kale over Parmesan-Thyme Polenta

By Kelli of The Corner Kitchen

It happens to me every winter (I bet it happens to you, too); those days when an icy chill enters my body and refuses to leave.  I can feel it in my toes, all the way up my body to the ends of my fingertips, and the top of my head.  No matter how many more layers I put on, I just can’t seem to shake it.  On these winter days, the only thing that can cure my chill is something delicious, hot and comforting, that warms my body from the inside out.

Today I’m sharing one of my new favorite winter comfort foods – Tomato Braised Butter Beans with Mushrooms & Kale over Polenta.  While this dish isn’t your stereotypical comfort food (it’s vegetarian, gluten free and filled with fresh veggies), I can assure you that it will leave you with the same warm, cozy feeling throughout your body.  The mushrooms and beans make this feel meaty and hearty, without being heavy.

And with just 45 minutes of prep and cooking, this dish is the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner line up.

Here’s the recipe…

Tomato Braised Butter Beans with Mushrooms & Kale over Parmesan-Thyme Polenta

Serves 4

For the Polenta:

1 cup coarse ground cornmeal

3 cups cold water

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1-2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup parmesan cheese


For the Braised Beans:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 ½ cups (one 8 oz. package) cremini mushrooms, cleaned & quartered

3 cups kale leaves, shredded

2 15-ounce cans butter beans, drained & rinsed

2 15-ounces cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano


fresh ground pepper


For the Polenta:

Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, and stir in the thyme and bay leaf.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and remove bay leaf.  Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese.  Season with additional salt, if necessary.

For the Beans:

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet or large saute pan.  Add in the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and season with salt & pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the kale and cook until the leaves begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.  Add the beans, diced tomatoes, thyme & oregano, and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over medium for about 10 minutes.  Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Divide polenta between bowls and top with the braised bean mixture.


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This looks so yummy! I love how it’s comfort food but also gluten free and vegetarian. win win!

That looks delicious! I haven’t noticed butter beans in a can before. Though I haven’t really looked that hard. Is this at any grocery store or do I need to stop at Whole Foods to find them?

Good question, I had the same one! Kelli said you can get them at whole foods and other grocery stores, but you might want to call first! I think i’ve seen them at trader joes too

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