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Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Baked Polenta Fries with Garlic Tomato Sauce

Baked Polenta Fries with Garlic Tomato Sauce Recipe

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.

Polenta From TubePolenta Fries on Baking Sheet
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!

Baked Polenta Fries
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.

This post was originally published on May 30, 2013.

Baked Polenta Fries with Garlic Tomato Sauce Recipe

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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with olive oil.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    May 30, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Dude, I am SO making these!! Grocery time is Sunday, it just went on my list!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Wow, such a cool way to use the polenta! I love it – so creative 🙂 Very nice pictures as well!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

    What a great idea! These look great.

    Oh and I must check out that resturnat the next time I’m in Charleston – such a beautiful city. Although Savannah is next on the list to visit and I’m really excited about that!

    Have a great time!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Savannah is awesome–you will love it! There’s a great vegetarian restaurant there called Vegheads too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    May 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Yum, the pictures are selling me on this one! These look great. It’s been awhile since I’ve done something with polenta. Might have to change that.

  • Reply
    Shelly (Pastry Shells)
    May 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

    This is awesome! Do you have a favorite brand of polenta you like to use?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I haven’t noticed any brands that are better than others. Melissa’s makes a few different flavors and so does San Gennaro. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

    i’ve always made my own polenta, but the prebought version looks much more sturdy and better for becoming fries! i love this idea considering there are definitely days where i’m in no mood to be in the kitchen for an extended period of time. and i must try your sauce!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Yeah, it depends how you make your homemade polenta–I’ve made some that ended up crumbly and some that ended up pretty solid. But in general, I prefer using the pre-made polenta for fries. 🙂

  • Reply
    Reba - Not So Perfect Life
    May 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I love everything polenta related! I’ve never tried the tube polenta though only made it from scratch. Is there a big difference?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Well, like most foods, the biggest difference between store-bought and homemade is that homemade takes much longer! 🙂 And homemade usually tastes better too, but for the sake of convenience, in recipes like this I usually use the kind in a tube.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Yay for visiting Charleston! We do have some awesome restaurants, but I’m sad to tell you that, as far as I know, PatatSpot closed a while ago. It was really delicious while it lasted.. 🙁

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks for letting me know–such sad news! 🙁 I will remember their Indonesian ketchup fondly.

  • Reply
    Mary Beth Elderton
    May 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Wow! This sounds wonderful!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Can I make these using homemade polenta? I make my polenta in the oven, so maybe I need to spread it out in a pan and then cut it? Any ideas?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Yes, homemade polenta works too! You’ll want to put it in a shallow dish (maybe even a rimmed baking sheet?), let it set, and then cut it into fries.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    YUM! I love the idea of these chips and a homemade sauce as apposed to a sweet, bought sauce 🙂 Looks fab!

  • Reply
    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily
    May 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I could eat this by itself for dinner!

  • Reply
    angela @ another bite please
    May 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    oooo…lovin this idea. and what a simple tomatoe garlic sauce…have fun in your travels 🙂

  • Reply
    Robin Gagnon {Mom Foodie}
    May 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    This is the kind of polenta I like.

  • Reply
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health
    May 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    i have never tried making fries with these but absolutely in love with polenta. Need to make this soon.

  • Reply
    Puja @
    May 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    What a great idea! Baked polenta fries sound delicious. Have a great time at the wedding! 🙂

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    May 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Polenta fries are awesome – love them – crispy on the outside but still creamy on the inside. Delicious! Have fun in Charleston – one of my favorite cities in the US. Next time I go, Im definitely going to have to try that falafel place!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Unfortunately, the falafel place closed. 🙁 I got a few comments letting me know about it. So sad! Charleston is still a cool city, but now whenever I go there, I’ll be thinking about how Patat Spot is gone. Sigh.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    May 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I love polenta, these fries look incredible!

  • Reply
    polly kohler
    May 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Just great. Roping my sister into a day in the kitchen for trying out some of your wonderful dishes. Turned her and my son onto your site. They love it! Great success with the cookbook .

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks for spreading the word about my blog! 😀 I appreciate it!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Rachel's Giveaways
    May 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Lately I’ve been craving junk food. I wonder if this would be a healthier way to satisfy my desire for crunchy fries 🙂

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      They are definitely less calories than fries made with potatoes and I think they’re more filling too!

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    May 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    This is genius!! I have been wanting to try cooking with polenta for awhile now, and this sounds like the perfect recipe!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cassie | Bake Your Day
    May 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I love this! I have never bought polenta in a tube like that but now I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    May 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Polenta fries have been on my mind since I saw a recipe for them in a cookbook a while ago, but I never even thought of just making them with a tube of precooked polenta – so smart! And I love that you could have different flavour combos using the flavoured polenta tubes!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Ooh your little getaway sounds like so much fun! Have a good time at the wedding 🙂

    We love polenta in my house, and these fries are so doable!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but unfortunately Patat Spot closed a few months ago. 🙁 It was one of me and my husband’s favorite places to grab a quick bite downtown, too. If you do still visit Charleston and are looking for something similar, you may want to try The Green Door ( ) – they have super tasty, fresh food and I think they even have a falafel type sandwich. Have a great trip!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      I read this comment when we were on our way to Georgia–so, so sad! 🙁 I loved that place. Sigh. Thanks for the tip about The Green Door! We ended up not having the time to stop in Charleston on the way home, but next time I’ll know where to go!

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