Slow-Cooked Italian White Beans with Parmesan Polenta

Hey! Hey, you guys! It’s me! (waving frantically from across the interwebs). I am back!

Well, my poor little laptop is back from its retreat out in Texas. Sad to say, I lost a lot of pictures and recipes, so things around here are going to change until I get my computer, which is basically a blank slate right now, back to the way it used to be. I am going to be posting new great recipes, as per usual, but only four times a week now as opposed to the old five times a week. Now, that we got that little bit of business out of the way, let’s get back to why you really visit this site, the food!

Whilst my computer was gone, I took comfort in stress cleaning and my new ultimate (guilt-free I might add) comfort food, beans. I know that doesn’t sound like much at first. But, have you ever made a batch of beans from the dried state all the way through to the delicately cooked stage? It is a process and definitely takes your mind off a lot of other things. PS, by process, I by no means mean hard.

All you do is rinse, pick out all the weird looking beans, and soak the dry beans overnight. Cook them in the soaking liquid and presto! Beans!

But, you all know me; I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I had to change the basic recipe and if it wasn’t an easy enough process, I just made it easier (read: lazier) by putting it in the crockpot. Sigh. My good friend the crockpot allowed me to focus all my stress-induced rage on a spring cleaning rampage which I had been meaning to tackle since Christmas. Let me just say, I love having my computer back. I love having a clean house.

I love slow-cooked white beans in a simple and hearty tomato sauce. Over a simple bed of cheesy polenta! To die for! Or maybe just eat two large soup bowls full and then fall asleep on the couch before eight o’clock because being a crazy stressed out nut for an entire week is super taxing!

Slow-Cooked Italian White Beans with Parmesan Polenta
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Tender, slow-cooked white beans in a simple tomato sauce served over creamy parmesan polenta.
Recipe type: Vegetable/Entree
Serves: 6-8

  • For the Beans:
  • 2 Cups Dried Small White Beans
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 16 Ounces Canned Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ Teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Parmesan Cheese Rind
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil, divided
  • For the Polenta:
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Instant Polenta
  • 2 Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese

  1. The night before you plan on cooking the beans, rinse the beans under cool running water for a minute or two while you pick out any shriveled or discolored beans. Add the rinsed beans to the crockpot. Pour the water over the beans, cover, and let sit overnight.
  2. The next morning, stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, parmesan rind, and 1 tablespoon of basil. Cover with lid. Set crockpot to low and cook beans for eight hours.
  3. Once the beans are finished cooking, set the crockpot to warm, and make the polenta.
  4. Bring the three cups of water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, add the polenta. Stir continuously until the polenta starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Stir in the shredded cheese and remove from heat. Remove remaining bits of parmesan rind from beans before serving.
  6. Serve beans on top of or alongside polenta. Beans are also very good over rice or your favorite noodle. Beans can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month or stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a week.

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  1. Heather says

    I love this! I made a big batch of meatballs a few weeks ago and froze leftovers so I think this will be great with two or three meatballs on top. Looks simple and delicious! Can’t wait to have this for dinner tonight.

  2. says

    I’m glad you have your computer back. My DSL camera is now in the technology hospital and it’ll be another week before I get it back. :( I love beans and love polenta but have never had them together. Sounds good, though!

  3. Shawnna says

    So I made a half portion of this on Sunday and it is so yummy! The flavors just sing together! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m making another half portion tomorrow for a friend coming to hang out. I’m so happy I found your blog. I’ve only been following you for about a month but I think I’ve made about 10 of your recipes and have never, ever been disappointed by any of them. Thus far the Lemon Ginger Yogurt Scones have been my fave! Thanks for a great blog! I was missing it when you were having your computer woes!

  4. Judi v. says

    To the beans added one choped bunch of Toscan kale, chopped green onions, left-over celery (2 sticks), 1 Tbs Masala Garam, 1 tsp. Tumeric and extra fresh green beans. Adjusted liquid accordingly. So far it smells awesome, and will have supper in about an hour. :c)

  5. says

    Glad the computer is back! I really like polenta with tomato sauce but hadn’t thought of eating it with beans. This sounds really yummy and comforting!

    • Stefanie says

      Hahaha! That’s so funny, mike and I were just talking about that! We need a fresh coat of white in this place!

  6. Judi v. says

    Looking forward to making this recipe tonight. On my way out to get the beans. Have the polenta and the rind – slow cooker too. Glad things are on the upswing for you and hope sanity will prevail!

    • Stefanie says

      Well mostly guilt free! If you leave out the Parmesan rind and don’t eat them over the polenta, yeah, totally healthy!

  7. says

    This dish is my 2 favorite foods combined. Ever! I loooove beans and I love grits! I’ve got make this. It’s going on my ‘beans are my favorite food’ pin board! Thanks :)

    And welcome back :)

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