Healthy Baked Polenta Fries

Crispy on the outside, with a creamy inside, this Cheesy Healthy Baked Polenta Fries recipe is the perfect comfort food snack. Served with your favorite dipping sauce a crowd-pleasing party finger food, or easy appetizer. Gluten-free and completely made from scratch with lots of parmesan cheese and dried herbs for extra flavor!  #dinner #veganrecipes #easyrecipes #fromscratch #fries

Crispy on the outside, with a creamy inside, this Healthy Baked Polenta Fries recipe is the perfect comfort food snack. Served with your favorite dipping sauce, a crowd-pleasing party finger food or easy appetizer. Gluten-free! 

overhead shot of a plate of healthy baked polenta fries

So, you are looking for a snack-type of food that takes minimal effort,  and satisfies your cravings for French Fries? Baked Polenta Fries!

You whip up the batter, pour it into a baking pan, cool, slice, bake and wait for them to get all crispy and golden crispy brown on the outside and creamy, cheesy, and delicious in the middle.

A great alternative to potato fries and there are lots of different options for seasonings out there too. I went with an Italian seasoning but you can take these to any other country. I will list some flavor variations below.

What else is there to love about polenta fries? Well, they sure fill you up and they are seriously cheap to make. Polenta is such a kitchen staple that is ALWAYS great to keep on hand.

What do Polenta Fries taste like?

The flavor of these baked polenta fries is a little corn-y, like cornbread. Polenta’s subtle flavor makes it the perfect vehicle for other ingredients, preferably cheese. Lots of delicious parmesan cheese, to be more precise.

Texture-wise, they are crispy and crunchy on the outside – which is unbeatable -, then creamy on the inside. Utterly, addictively delicious.

side views of a plate of healthy cheesy and crispy baked polenta fries with ketchup

These Polenta Fries can be eaten as a side dish, party-friendly finger food, appetizer or just eaten as a good old TV snack. We would happily eat them every day of the week and sometimes we do. Nothing wrong with a week of fries, right? Especially if there are so many great dips and toppings out there.

What to serve with Polenta Fries:

Chips and fries need a dip. It’s a universal law. I have got you covered with a wide selection of dips that would go perfectly with these.

How do you make polenta fries from scratch?

Prep –  Spray an 8 or 9-inch pan with a bit of olive oil and set aside.

picture collage demonstrating how to make polenta fries batter in a saucepan

Step 1 – Place vegetable stock, milk, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. When it’s boiling, reduce heat to medium/low and whisk in polenta. Cook, whisking constantly until liquid is absorbed, and polenta is thick and creamy about 5 minutes.

Step 2 & 3 – Add in the Italian seasoning and grated parmesan, and whisk until well combined.

picture collage demonstrating how to pour polenta batter into a mold to make fries

Step 4 – Pour the mixture into prepared pan, and shake it to spread it evenly. Let it cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Step 5 & 6  – Preheat oven to 440F/220C. Invert the polenta on a cutting board and slice into fries (cut in 3 x 3 then cut again each piece into 4)

cheesy healthy polenta fries being brushed with olive oil and baked until crispy

Step 7 –  Transfer the fries on a sheet pan with a wire rack, brush generously with olive oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through if you see that one side is browning more than the other.

Step 8 – The fries are ready when they’re crispy on the outside. I like mine extra crispy so I let them brown generously :). Take them out of the oven and serve them immediately with marinara sauce, ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

overhead shot of a serving of healthy baked polenta fries served with a small dish with ketchup

How thick should the polenta batter be before I pour it into a baking dish?

 It is important to cook the batter until it thickens and starts to come away from the side of the pan. The polenta should be pretty thick when you pour it into the baking dish.  

Can Polenta Fries be made ahead of time?

The batter can easily be made ahead of time, then poured into the baking pan and refrigerated overnight, so you can make the dough tonight and enjoy your cheesy polenta fries for dinner tomorrow night. Just set the timer and walk away! And who doesn’t love a hands-off meal like that?

Tips and variations for making healthy Baked Polenta Fries:

  • Dried oregano and thyme work especially well with the parmesan cheese but feel free to add some taco or bbq seasoning, za’atar, lemon zest and pepper, Indian curry powder, a sprinkle of cayenne or Cajun seasoning.
  • Once your polenta is in the baking dish, it needs at least 2 – 3 hours to solidify. You can leave it in the fridge up to overnight. That’s why this dish is a great make-ahead option for a dinner party.
  • To make this vegan, add nutritional yeast and skip the parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast provides that umami-rich cheesy flavor that we love about these cheesy fries.
  • Make these extra cheesy by adding a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan 10 minutes before they are finished baking.
  • Another way of boosting the cheese flavor would be to heat about 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock with a big chunk of parmesan rind, a twig of rosemary and a clove of garlic, simmer for a couple of minutes, then let cool down and use in the recipe. Add more water if you need to. (You need 2 cups)
  • Serve with healthy sugar-free ketchup and BBQ sauce, Blue Cheese DipMint Dip, marinara sauce or cashew cream.

 

overhead shot of healthy baked polenta fries
5 from 3 votes
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Healthy Baked Polenta Fries

Crispy on the outside, with a creamy inside, this Healthy Baked Polenta Fries recipe is the perfect comfort food snack. Served with your favorite dipping sauce a crowd-pleasing party finger food, or easy appetizer. Gluten-free!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword baked polenta fries, healthy polenta fries, polenta fries recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling 3 hours
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk of choice except coconut
  • 1 cup polenta not the quick cooking kind
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup parmesan grated
  • olive oil spray or any cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place vegetable stock, milk, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. When it’s boiling, reduce heat to medium/low and whisk in polenta. Cook, whisking constantly until liquid is absorbed, and polenta is thick and creamy about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the Italian seasoning and grated parmesan, and whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into prepared pan, and shake it to spread it evenly. Let it cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
  5. Preheat oven to 440F/220C.
  6. Invert the polenta on a cutting board and slice into fries (cut in 3 x 3 then cut again each piece into 4)
  7. Transfer the fries on a sheet pan with a wire rack, brush generously with olive oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan half way through if you see that one side is browning more than the other. The fries are ready when they’re crispy on the outside. I like mine extra crispy so I let them brown generously 🙂
  8. Take them out of the oven and serve them immediately with marinara sauce, ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • Dried oregano and thyme work especially well with the parmesan cheese but feel free to add some taco or bbq seasoning, za'atar, lemon zest and pepper, Indian curry powder, a sprinkle of cayenne or Cajun seasoning.
  • Once your polenta is in the baking dish, it needs at least 2 - 3 hours to solidify. You can leave it in the fridge up to overnight. That’s why this dish is a great make-ahead option for a dinner party.
  • To make this vegan, add nutritional yeast and skip the parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast provides that umami-rich cheesy flavor that we love about these cheesy fries.
  • Make these extra cheesy by adding a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan 10 minutes before they are finished baking. 
  • Another way of boosting the cheese flavor would be to heat the 2 cups of vegetable stock with a big chunk of parmesan rind, a twig of rosemary and a clove of garlic, simmer for a couple of minutes, then let cool down and use in the recipe. Add more water to make up for the lost liquid. (You need 2 cups)
  • Serve with healthy sugar-free ketchup and BBQ sauce, Mint Dip, marinara sauce or cashew cream.

If you tried this recipe for baked polenta fries, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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Appetizers Clean Eating Gluten free Italian Inspired Recipes Side dishes Snacks Summer Recipes Vegetarian
7 Comments
  1. They look perfectly crispy and delicious! Can’t wait to make these, they’ll make the perfect snack for the whole family.

  2. My boys are snack addicts so this is the perfect excuse to try these! Love how crispy and easy they are to make. I think we have a winner!

  3. I have never made polenta fries but love the flavor and texture of polenta. These fries turned out perfect. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!!

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