You'll love these irresistible Polenta Fries! They're full of flavor from Italian herbs and are baked so they get beautifully crispy on the outside and wonderfully tender inside. They make a great alternative to fries and can be enjoyed as a side dish, party food, or appetizer.
Have you tried Polenta Fries yet? They're a super popular alternative to potato fries on many restaurant menus, but now you can make your own at home from scratch!
Plus, they're really easy to make and you can even prep them ahead of time (perfect for a dinner party, Thanksgiving or Christmas!).
These polenta chips are baked, so they get nice and crispy on the outside but stay nice and soft on the inside.
Parmesan cheese, herbs, and garlic give them loads of great flavor.
This polenta chips recipe was originally posted on September 14, 2020, and republished on December 13, 2022 with new images and text.
What is Polenta?
Polenta is a type of Italian porridge made from boiled cornmeal.
It can be served hot, either soft or firm, or cooled and cut into slices and fried, baked, or grilled.
It is commonly used as a side dish for meats or vegetables, or as a base for other dishes.
Try these Polenta Recipes.
Why you'll love this recipe
Polenta fries are vegetarian, gluten-free, and easily vegan (just omit the parmesan or swap it for a tablespoon of nutritional yeast).
Polenta (cornmeal) doesn’t have a huge amount of flavor itself, but, like tofu, it can be seasoned however you like. Get creative with herbs and spices.
Polenta chips are a great alternative to using potatoes for traditional fries.
They have a lovely soft inside and the outside gets beautifully crispy.
Prep the polenta ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then, just cut and bake them when you're ready to enjoy them.
You only need 6 simple pantry ingredients.
Make these tasty polenta chips with just a few pantry ingredients!
Polenta - I use quick-cook (aka instant) as it's faster. You can also use pre-cooked, which comes in a tube, just cut into fries and toss with the herbs and cheese, then brush with oil and bake. If you use non-instant Polenta, you'll need to cook it on the stove a little longer. Just keep cooking until it's thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan. It could take 25 minutes.
Parmesan - I use vegetarian parmesan as I'm veggie. To make it vegan, try my vegan parmesan cheese or use nutritional yeast.
Herbs & spices - I've gone for dried Italian herbs (oregano and thyme) and garlic powder, but you can adapt the flavor to whatever herbs you have. Rosemary or Herbs de Provence are also tasty.
The polenta will need to firm up in the fridge, which will take a few hours. You can leave it overnight, too, so it's perfect as a make-ahead recipe. When you're ready, just cut, bake, and eat!
You can also use pre-cooked polenta (the stuff in the tube). Just cut it into fry shapes and toss it with the herbs and cheese, oil lightly and bake. That makes it a super quick side dish!
Make it vegan: you can easily make this recipe vegan - simply leave out the parmesan, use vegan parmesan or substitute for nutritional yeast.
Polenta fries make a great appetizer, side dish or snack. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:
Cut into small fries and serve as an appetizer with mini portions of dipping sauce.
Serve with a marina dip.
Try with srirachia aioli to dip.
Use cookie cutters to cut into stars, hearts or other fun shapes.
Check out the Veggie Desserts + Cakes cookbook on Amazon
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you love this recipe, please leave a five-star rating and review in the comments below! And if you make any modifications, let us know how it went so that we can all benefit from your experience. Happy cooking!
- 2 ½ cups (600ml) vegetable stock
- ¾ cup (120g) quick-cook polenta
- ⅓ cup (50g) grated vegetarian parmesan or omit for vegan
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Add the stock and polenta to a pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, whisking, until it’s thick and pulls from the edge of the pan. Stir in the cheese, oregano, thyme and garlic powder.
- Lightly grease a 8x8” baking pan and pour in the mixture then spread out evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until completely cold.
- Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C.
- Carefully flip the tray onto a cutting board and cut the polenta into strips the size of fries/chips (or use cookie cutters for fun shapes).
- Place the strips onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and brush or spray each one with oil. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden, but they won’t darken very much. Delicious fresh from the oven.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.