Vegan Parmesan and Herb Polenta Fries

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Plate of polenta fries with one being dipped in a bowl of marinara

Wondering what to do with leftover polenta? Make polenta fries! They’re quick and easy, incredibly versatile, and so delicious.

We tossed our fries in our go-to vegan parmesan cheese and Italian herbs for maximum flavor and a crisp coating! Just 4 ingredients required for this comforting plant-based side. Let us show you how it’s done!

Bowls of homemade polenta, Italian herbs, olive oil, and vegan parmesan cheese

How to Make Polenta Fries

The first step to making polenta fries is to form polenta into a firm, cuttable texture. This can be done by making homemade polenta (just 1 pot & 3 ingredients!) and pressing it into a baking dish. Or for an even simpler method, you can buy pre-cooked, already-formed polenta at most grocery stores.

Using a spoon to smooth over the top of a pan of polenta

Next, we cut the polenta into the shape of fries!

Pouring olive oil over pieces of sliced polenta for making polenta fries

And gently toss the fries in olive oil to help the seasonings stick. Italian herbs add herby flavor and vegan parmesan adds richness, saltiness, and a crispy coating.

Tossing polenta fries in a bowl with olive oil, Italian herbs, and vegan parmesan

Lastly, bake until golden brown!

Baking sheet of polenta fries ready to go in the oven

We hope you LOVE these polenta fries! They’re:

Crispy on the outside
Creamy on the inside
Buttery
Cheesy
Herby
& Oh-so-snackable!

Enjoy them on their own or dip in your favorite sauce (such as marinara or pesto). They pair especially well as a side with Italian-inspired mains such as our Chickpea Caesar Salad, 1-Pan Tempeh Bolognese, Vegan Ricotta & Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Salad, or 1-Pot Vegan Minestrone (Gluten-Free).

More Snackable Sides

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plate of polenta fries seasoned with Italian herbs and vegan parmesan

Vegan Parmesan and Herb Polenta Fries

Easy polenta fries seasoned with vegan parmesan cheese and herbs! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, SO delicious! Just 4 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Plate of vegan parmesan and herb polenta fries
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

POLENTA FRIES

  • 1 (16-oz) package polenta (or 1 batch Easy Vegan Polenta)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (to use less oil, spray to coat the fries with oil // if oil-free, omit and cook in an air fryer for best results)
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs (basil + oregano)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425 F (218 C).
  • If using pre-cooked packaged polenta skip to step 4!
  • If using 1 batch easy vegan polenta, follow polenta instructions and then immediately place cooked polenta in a parchment-lined 8×8-inch baking dish. Spread evenly to all corners of the dish, and your polenta should be between 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Polenta should be very firm and cold but soft enough to cut.
  • Remove pre-cooked polenta from packaging or home-cooked and chilled from the refrigerator (or freezer) if you made it from scratch. Cut your polenta into rectangular fry shapes (see photo) and place in a large mixing bowl. If the polenta is crumbling and not cutting cleanly, refrigerate for 15 minutes more and then cut.
  • Add olive oil and gently toss with clean hands to coat the polenta fries evenly.
  • Add vegan parmesan and dried herbs to your mixing bowl and gently toss again to coat.
  • Space fries evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. Carefully flip polenta fries halfway through cooking time to ensure even browning.
  • Let fries cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet, then enjoy warm with a side of marinara sauce or pesto!
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 F (190 C) until hot and golden brown.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with homemade polenta and vegan parmesan and without optional ingredients.
*Prep time and total time reflect using store-bought or leftover polenta.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 286 Carbohydrates: 34.8 g Protein: 5 g Fat: 14.5 g Saturated Fat: 5.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 6.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 582 mg Potassium: 134 mg Fiber: 2.8 g Sugar: 0.4 g Vitamin A: 8.3 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 16.5 mg Iron: 0.9 mg

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  1. Sara says

    As soon as I saw this I knew I had to try it and it didn’t disappoint! Polenta is about to be a staple in my house. Mine turned out kind of crumbly, but they were delicious and I loved them. MB’s parmesan is a staple in our house and I added a little sage to the herb mix because I love it. These were outstanding and will definitely be adding them to the regular rotation. Five stars!!

  2. Amanda says

    I made this exactly as written and it was PERFECT. The real test is that my kids loved it. One bite in and my daughter said, “OMG Mom, I love this. Can I have yours?” So, hot tip: double your recipe, folks.

  3. Ashley says

    I made this last night and it was a big hit- even to my folks who were skeptical about Polenta! I would recommend rolling the fries in the cheese/herb mixture on the baking sheet after mixing them in a bowl with olive oil. I think that would be an easier way to coat them. I will definitely make them again!

  4. Eliza says

    Made this tonight with delicious results! I added Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning and served with a greek yogurt based Meyer lemon aioli. Roasted for 20 minutes on each side. Thanks for another great recipe!

  5. Ca says

    I avoid oil in my cooking. I’m wondering if you have ever make these by wetting them with water or vegetable broth and then sprinkling them with the spices. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think they are tacky enough on their own so just toss in the spices and bake (on convection if you have it) until crispy. Let us know if you give it a try!