Are you ready to step up your french fry game? These flavorful vegan polenta fries are a must-try. Don’t worry, there’s no deep fryer necessary! Just pop ’em in the oven and get ready to wow your friends with this unique side dish.
These fries are from early version of The Friendly Vegan Cookbook by yours truly (Michelle Cehn) and Toni Okamoto (founder of Plant Based on a Budget). Get your apron on, your cutting board ready, and let’s get to work!
Fries without the potato? Enter polenta! Made from corn grits, these polenta fries offer a dynamic flavor for filling your belly and make a great addition to your veggie burger night.
• olive oil for brushing
• 3 ¼ cups cold water
• 1 cup dry polenta grits (aka corn grits, not quick-cooking, should be a dry gritty texture not a fine flour)
• 1 teaspoon sage, chopped
• 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
• ½ cup vegan mozzarella cheese (we use Daiya)
• 2 tablespoons vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)
• ¾ teaspoon salt
- Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.
- Combine water, polenta, herbs, and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat while stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, continuously stirring for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vegan cheese and butter.
- Pour hot polenta mixture into your greased baking dish and spread evenly, flattening it into the dish using a spatula. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat broiler. Pop the chilled polenta onto a cutting board and cut into 4-inch long french fry shaped spears. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Broil about 4 inches from heat until golden—about 15 minutes. Watch it like a hawk and pull your polenta fries out the moment they start to brown.
Tip: Like most fries, these lose their pizzaz after being refrigerated, so plan to enjoy them right out of the oven!
Keywords: bbq, corn, dairy-free, dinner, gluten-free, grits, fries, lunch, polenta, side
A New Kind of Fry to Try
Potatoes may be the gold standard for fries at restaurants and fast food chains but polenta offers a uniquely delicious flavor and texture to fries that will leave you wondering where these have been all your life! Made from coarsely ground corn, polenta is a staple dish in Italy and is very versatile as a comfort food. This recipe in particular calls for grits, not the ready-made tube of polenta that is meant for super-quick meals. Corn grits come in two types of grind—stone-ground and consistent grind. Either kind is totally up to you! Just know that stone-ground offers a bit more variance in terms of texture and color.
Nutrient-wise, grits offer a solid dose of carotenoids which are thought to be helpful in decreasing the risk of certain cancers and eye disease. Polenta is also rich in vitamins A and C and is naturally gluten-free!
Pairing Up Your Polenta Fries
Looking for some ideas on how to best enjoy your polenta fries? Here is a list of just a few of our favorite ways to pair up these delicious fries!
- Simple and Spicy – If you’re the kind of person whose plate is not complete without a kick, then you’ll love this Vegan Buffalo Queso by our friends at Two Dollar Radio. This queso also makes an excellent burger topping!
- Rainbow Wrap Time – Looking to add some color to your plate? These Rainbow Lavash Wraps are the perfect complement to polenta fries and also feature a hearty serving of veggies for a well-rounded meal. You could even stick a few of the fries inside the wrap for some extra excitement!
- Keeping It Classic – No fry is complete without a burger by its side and these Barbecue Black Bean Burgers & Homemade BBQ Sauce are absolutely perfect for a summer meal or backyard gathering. These are also great for making ahead of time!
- Level Up Your Lunch Game – Treat yourself to the an absolutely delightful lunch with this Vegan BLT Sandwich With Homemade Eggplant Bacon to go along with your polenta fries! This pairing is also a great way to show your friends and family that eating vegan is anything but boring.
Party On Your Plate
These polenta fries are not only delicious but make for an aesthetically pleasing part of your plate. The yellow provides a pop of color while the long shape of the fries provides a fun dynamic. Because they get soggy quickly, we recommend eating your fries all up in one go! If you’re looking to save some time with meal prep, we’d advise planning out the other part of your meal ahead of time and making your fries right when you’re ready to eat.
More Comforting Corn-Based Recipes:
Herbed Vegan Polenta Fries recipe and photos by Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto. Recipe and photographs copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Article edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article contains an affiliate link which helps support our work at World of Vegan.