Photo of Mexican beef over polenta by WW

Mexican beef over polenta

Total Time
30 min
18 min
12 min
Seasoned lean ground beef and a mix of vegetables are spooned over homemade polenta in this tasty 30-minute Mexican recipe with an Italian twist. Polenta may seem like an atypical pairing for a Mexican-inspired meal, but it’s made from coarse-ground cornmeal, which mimics the flavors of many traditional Latin American ingredients. The polenta will still be soft after cooking but will firm up if allowed to stand for a few minutes before serving. We opted for canned vegetables for each, but you can use fresh corn, if you like. You’ll need two ears of corn to yield enough for this recipe.


Uncooked 93% lean ground beef

1 pound(s)

Uncooked onion(s)

1 small, chopped

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, with chiles, drained, reserve 1 Tbsp of liquid

Canned yellow corn

1 cup(s), drained, or frozen, thawed corn kernels


10 medium, Kalamata, sliced

Pickled jalapeno peppers

2 Tbsp, pickled, chopped (optional)

Table salt

¾ tsp, divided

Ground cumin

¾ tsp

Black pepper



¾ cup(s), quick-cooking

Canned chicken broth

3 cup(s)

Fat free salsa


Shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese



2 Tbsp, or scallion, fresh, chopped (optional)


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef and onion, stirring frequently, until meat is fully cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes; drain off any liquid. Stir in tomatoes and reserved liquid, corn, olives, jalapenos (if using), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, cumin and pepper; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small pot, combine cornmeal, broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt; stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until cornmeal is thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon polenta onto a large serving plate and top with beef mixture. Top with salsa, cheese, and cilantro (or scallion). Divide into 6 portions and serve.