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.
I love serving up a stack of them with a variety of dipping sauces. Try them with Homemade Tomato Ketchup, Bang Bang Sauce, or Sriracha Aioli!
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.
Vegetable stock / broth - Use your favorite as it will add flavor to the polenta. Try switching it up with vegan chicken stock, or mushroom stock.
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.
Dip into habanero salsa or pico de gallo.
Serve as a side dish to Vegan Stuffed Peppers, Portobello Mushroom Steaks or Carrot Lentil Hot Dogs.
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.
I'm always looking for new ways to serve polenta and this recipe was easy and tasty.
Looks so crispy from the outside, and are so quick to make.
Always been a hit at my house!! Such a great side dish!
Hi, I love polenta so I served these for Super Bowl! Everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing!
My daughter is 12 and we are trying to get her to make healthier food choices. This is genius because she really loves fries! She loved them so I'm sure we will make them again and again!
This looks incredible! I love the blend of Italian spices and that they are crispy on the outside. I can't wait to make these soon.
Just to say you should not out hot or even warm food in the fridge! You must let it get completely cold first. Heated food in fridge can cause unhealthy reaction to the food.
My kids really enjoyed this! It is so good and easy to make!
I call shenanigans. There is no such thing as "vegetarian parmesan". Do you even know what a vegetarian is? Because their diet allows for diary. There is either dairy or non dairy cheese and f is non dairy it's vegan cheese.
Hi Caroline. Parmesan cheese is made with animal rennet, which comes from the stomachs of dead calves, so it isn't vegetarian. Look for vegetarian parmesan-style cheeses if required.
I know my kids are going to go crazy over these! Adding that parmesan cheese was such a great choice.
Yummy! This looks so delicious and tasty! My kids are going to love this!
These look and sound delicious! I've never tried polenta fries but I can't wait to make them now!