Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mexican Beef over Polenta

This is a Weight Watchers recipe but you wouldn't know it.  It doesn't feel like a diet recipe at all.


Weight Watchers Mexican beef over polenta

I used one of my batches of pre-cooked frozen ground beef, added a can of black beans, added garlic, skipped the Kalamata olives, used a tube of pre-cooked polenta from Trader Joe's, added a little salsa cream cheese and chicken stock paste to flavor the polenta.

This would be dairy-free if you use a vegan cheese or leave out the cheese altogether.  And it's gluten-free.   To make it vegetarian, you could use a vegetarian crumbles, add some roasted veggies  instead of the meat, or just use beans.


makes 6 servings
  • 1 pound(s) 93% lean ground beef 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped  
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1 can Mexicorn (ours was a chipotle blend)
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel)
  • 1Tablespoon chipotle in adobo
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained  
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin   
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper   
  • 1 tube (18 oz) pre-cooked polenta
  • 2 Tablespoons salsa cream cheese (optional, or light plain, it adds a creamy richness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken stock paste (optional, just a good way to flavor polenta)
  • 1/2 cup water to thin out polenta
  • 1/3 cup fat free salsa   (I used canned salsa casera)
  • 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese


If you can remember to do it, defrost the frozen ground beef ahead of time.  I throw the gallon bag in the fridge the night before and it's defrosted by dinner the next day. 

If your ground beef isn't cooked, cook it until browned and add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the corn, tomatoes, black beans, and cumin.

Open the tube of polenta, put it in a medium pan and heat it over medium heat until softened. Add the cream cheese and chicken stock paste.  If you're not adding those things, add a couple tablespoons of water to thin it out enough to spread. 

When all the ingredients are warm, put the polenta mixture in the bottom of a pie plate or 8x8 pan and top with the meat mixture.  Add cheese.  You could put under the broiler for a couple minutes to melt the cheese or bake for about 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Top with salsa.


You'd call me a liar if I said this was a light recipe, but it totally is! 

This was so good!  Husband Jeff and I liked this a lot.  We both really like Mexican food.  Sonny D isn't a fan, I don't think he even tasted it.  I was so glad we had leftovers for lunches later in the week.  The recipe makes 6 servings and I was afraid they would be tiny, but they were actually really good sized and more than enough for a lunch.

I would totally make this recipe again, it was quick and easy to throw together, especially with the tube of ready-to-eat organic polenta from Trader Joe's.  I was afraid it would be a little bland since it didn't use a packet of taco seasoning, but it was great after adding a little chili powder.   

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!