Phenomenal Polenta Fries (Baked or Air Fried)

Polenta fries are much simpler to make than potato fries! 3 ingredient recipe that anyone can make no matter their skill level. Polenta is a corn product that comes in a tube. This means it is a lot easier to cut into fries than potatoes because there is no washing or peeling of the potatoes involved. See more below for more details on what polenta is.

polenta fries on plate

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Commonly asked questions about polenta:

Where polenta comes from

Polenta comes from corn. It can be used for pizza, pastas, creamed like grits, etc. The Pioneer Woman talks about polenta! You can make some yourself at home too.

Where to buy polenta:

Some small town grocery stores have polenta, but mine does not. I had to go to Walmart to get the polenta for these polenta fries. I found polenta in the grocery part of Walmart in the pasta section. Try looking there! Usually polenta is not refridgerated.

When is polenta done?

I can tell when my polenta fries are done by when they get a texture on the outside of them. When they get a hard texture on the outside, that means the inside is still soft, but they are done. Crispy polenta is the texture you are looking for. The edges will get to be rougher and more crisp. Baked polenta fries take longer than air fried polenta fries but the texture that tells you they are done is the same.

Another way to tell is the color. Uncooked polenta is a light yellow color. You will want it to be more of a golden yellow color when it is done. There is no harm in cooking it a few minutes longer to make sure the polenta fries are done.

Are polenta and cornmeal the same?

They are almost the same except for the consistency. In this recipe, the polenta comes in a tube and is super grainy. Cornmeal comes in a cup like container and is yellow and very finely sifted.

Is polenta gluten free?

Polenta is gluten free. This is why it is found in the pasta section at the grocery store because it is a common substitute for pasta because it is gluten free. You can bake polenta and put sauce on it to act like pasta. This polenta is without cheese and milk, so it is dairy free as well.

What to serve with polenta fries:

Tips for making polenta fries:

  • cut polenta thinner-I like my polenta fries cut pretty thin. This helps them cook faster and allows them to get more evently heated throughout.
  • make sure they are crispy-crispiness is necessary for a good polenta fry. There is no harm in letting them bake a few minutes longer if you are unsure if they are done. Try taking a fry out and letting it cool, then taste test it while the others continue baking or air frying. If it tastes to your liking, then they are done.
  • season well-put as much or as little of seasonings as you want on your fries. They adapt to whatever flavor you put on them.

How to store polenta fries:

  • fridge-store this side dish recipe in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Polenta can be reheated, so just microwave or use an air fryer to reheat them.
  • freezer-I have not tried freezing this polenta without paremsan recipe. If you would like to try it, go for it! Let me know how it goes. 
polenta fries

Polenta Fries

Polenta fries are easier to prepare and faster to make than normal potato fries!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

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air fryer


  • 1 tube polenta
  • salt and pepper


  • Unwrap the polenta, and cut the polenta in half length wise so that the tube is in 2 pieces. Lay the flat side on the bottom. Cut in 1/4 inch slices width wise. The polenta should be in wedges/petals like the picture shows.
  • Air fry the polenta for about 7 minutes each side in sprayed air fryer basker at 400 degrees or bake polenta on a 9 x 13 baking sheet in a single layer for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Polenta will be done when golden brown and crispy.

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutritional facts listed are a rough estimate and should only be followed as a general idea.

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