Baked Polenta Fries with Garlic Tomato Sauce

Baked Polenta Fries with Garlic Tomato Sauce
There are days when you want to spend time putting together a meal. Spending an hour chopping vegetables, stirring a pot on the stove, carefully garnishing the finished dish, that’s all fine on those kinds of days. And then there are days when you’re tired and you want to throw something in the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off.

For those days, I present to you: Baked Polenta Fries. If you haven’t had them before, they’re polenta cut into steak fries and baked until crispy on the outside. Magic happens when you bake polenta. Yes, really, magic! Although they take about 40 minutes to bake, they require minimal effort on your part–just take a tube of polenta, cut it into fries, and bake until crisp and golden and browned on the edges. Magic!

Polenta From Tube Polenta Fries on Baking Sheet
We usually have our polenta fries with jarred marinara sauce, but I thought I’d make an easy garlic tomato sauce to go with this recipe, just in case you’re feeling ambitious. This adds a little more work, but not much. The tomatoes and garlic are roasted at the same temperature as the fries and then you give them a quick spin in your food processor to puree them into a sauce.

Baked Polenta Fries
And on a completely different note, right now I’m on my way to Georgia for my cousin’s wedding. My extended family is spread out all over the country, so it’s rare to have a chance to see (almost) everyone together in one place. This is kind of my last hurrah for summer (yes, in May!) because I’m planning on spending the rest of it holed up in the house working on my cookbook and eating popsicles. After the wedding, we’re going to Savannah for a few days and perhaps even hitting up Charleston on the way home, which I’m excited about too. I love Savannah and Charleston is home to PatatSpot, the best (okay, only) falafel & fries restaurant I’ve ever been to. Falafel!

Baked Polenta Fries with Tomato Garlic Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Polenta Fries with Tomato Garlic Sauce

Baking polenta makes it crispy and delicious! If you can't find tubes of polenta at your grocery store, you can make your own and cut it into fries after it sets.

Ingredients

  • 1 (24-ounce) tube polenta (I used Basil & Garlic), halved and cut into 1-inch thick fries
  • olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 3 roma tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 basil leaves
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with olive oil.
  2. Place polenta fries on one baking sheet. Spray tops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes and garlic cloves on second baking sheet and spray with additional oil.
  3. Transfer both sheets to oven, placing the tomatoes on lower rack. Bake tomatoes for 10 minutes, stirring after 5. Bake fries for 25-30 minutes more, until crisp and golden-brown.
  4. Transfer tomatoes and garlic to food processor and add olive oil, vinegar, basil leaves, and red pepper flakes. Process until almost smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve sauce with polenta fries.
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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Free Chelsea Manning! says

    Forty minutes proved to be too many in my case–perhaps because I was using a convection oven. I think I should’ve taken them out after 30.

    Thanks for the recipe, though!

      • Brandy says

        Where do I find Polenta? I have tried Walmart and Publix and people look at me like I am making the word up. They say it doesn’t exist or tell me they’ve never heard of it. Where can I buy Polenta?? Please get back to me at ourluckycharm317@aol.com

        • Kiersten Frase says

          I buy polenta at my regular grocery store–it’s in the pasta aisle. I’ve lived in several different cities over the years and I’ve never had a problem finding it, so I’m not sure what to tell you!

  2. says

    Yee-UMMMM!! I tried these with homemade polenta once and it was a dismal failure. . . . I’m going to try your method with the tubed polenta. They look spectacular!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I tried making them with homemade polenta over the summer! It took me a few tries to get it right–unfortunately, I’ve found that you have to add a lot of extra oil (well, at least compared to how I usually make polenta), or they dry out too much.

  3. Brooke Tokanang says

    Hi I bought some dry polenta…for a recipe I saw. Well I lost it..Do you have a recipe for just polenta…

  4. says

    thank you for this recipe!! i always buy these polenta tubes and generally end up making a huge mess while frying… plus it’s so much healthier to bake it without all the oil! trying this tonight in fact :)

  5. says

    I am making these as I type this! They smell amazing and look really good so far. I used my own polenta…I love how you can make any shape you want. I have had much success using polenta triangles as a base for an hors d’oeuvre. I think it would also be fun to make cookie cutter shapes for my little nieces and nephews. Thanks!

  6. Sarah says

    Awesome! I have a tube of polenta I have to use up so this will work out great! Whole Foods just started producing their own tubes of polenta and they are $2 a pop if anyone cannot find tubed polenta!

  7. Stephanie C. says

    I came across this post looking for a polenta fries recipe, specifically baked and that would work with a tube of polenta I’ve had in my pantry forever. This is just what I was looking for! I look forward to making this tonight. :-)

  8. Tracy says

    Ok, I’m new at this polenta thing. I bought a tube of polenta to use for this recipe but when I opened it out came a pile of mush. It had no form at all. Did I buy the wrong kind?

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