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.

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Baked Polenta Fries with Tomato Garlic Sauce

Baked Polenta Fries with Garlic Tomato Sauce Recipe

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
  • Yield: 4 servings

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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110 Comments

  • Reply
    BusyWorkingMama
    May 31, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I am going to have to try this. I’ve been afraid of polenta and haven’t cooked with it but even I could manage to make these!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Totally love this, Kiersten.

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    May 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I’ve made polenta wedges and also chickpea flour fries before, but never fries made from polenta. These sound so easy using the premade polenta (another thing I’ve never actually tried), and a simple tomato based sauce would be the perfect accompaniment! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    mjskit
    May 31, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I love those polenta fries! What a great idea! Definitely will be given that a try.

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    May 31, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I seriously LOVE polenta fries! I have forgotten about them though! These look delicious. And now I’m thinking of how I can incorporate some polenta fries into dinner sometime soon ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    May 31, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve still never tried polenta but this has me itching to try them!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    May 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    These look so good! I only tried polenta once and didn’t like it (probably because it had jalapeno, the only pepper I hate), but these make me want to give polenta another try.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      I love it! It’s kind of one of those foods that takes on the flavor of whatever you add to it so unless you don’t like the texture, it’s hard not to like it.

  • Reply
    Samantha
    June 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I have to try these. Need. It. In. My. Life.

  • Reply
    Connie
    June 2, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Polenta is so great! I usually make mine from scratch instead of buying the roll, but given the hot hotness of summer, skipping a step that requires standing over a boiling pot of polenta and stirring until your arm falls off, buying it sounds like a plan.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      I make my own a lot too, but for fries, I usually use the pre-made stuff. Laziness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    gem
    June 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    YUM! Any kind of “fries” sound good to me =)

  • Reply
    Sonja / A Couple Cooks
    June 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    These fries look so fun! I’ve always wanted to try something like this with polenta but haven’t gotten around to it. Have so much fun in Charleston — I’ve always wanted to go!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      We ended up leaving Savannah late, so we had to skip Charleston, but you should definitely go someday–it is such a cool city!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
    June 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Oh my god โ€“ tube of polenta?? Why on earth don’t we have these things in Australia??!!! On the rare occasion that I make polenta from scratch, it usually comes out like a rubber brick, but you know what? I think it might actually have a purpose now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      For the longest time, I didn’t even know that homemade polenta was a thing–I just assumed everyone bought it in a tube. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      catie
      June 19, 2013 at 6:14 am

      Lisa I was actually in Coles in Sydney last night and noticed they sell precooked polenta in a large 1KG brick – perfect for chips I reckon. I didn’t buy it but after reading this recipe I think I might be heading out the front door early tomorrow….X

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    June 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Totally the same wavelength! A baked polenta fry recipe is at the top of my “recipes in development” list. I made them for the first time last week (with some leftover polenta – I always make too much!) and they were so delicious (and yes, absolutely magic). They even made the cut with Miss Picky Toddler.

    Hope you had a terrific time with your family!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      I can’t wait to see your version! ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, vacation was awesome. Today’s my first day back to work and I want to go on vacation again. When is next vacation? WHEN?!?!?

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    June 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I’ve never had polenta! Gasp!! This is how I would love tasting, for the very first time ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Oh, you need to try it then! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    These look outstanding! I recently had the Parmesan Polenta Fries at Cheesecake Factory at a birthday luncheon with my dear friend and business partner. They were OUTSTANDING and I was thrilled when my mozzarella-cheese-stick-loving kids (egads – a nutrition horror!) actually thought the leftovers they sampled WERE cheese sticks! Polenta Fries soared onto our list of recipes we needed to recreate! So excited to see that you successfully used purchased, tube polenta – what a time savings! Can’t wait to try your recipe! The photos are gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      I love mozzarella cheese sticks too, but yes, they’re not exactly the healthiest thing on the menu. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you want to make these cheesy, you could bake some cheese onto the fries (maybe sprinkle it on 10 minutes before cooking time ends?) or use homemade polenta with cheese stirred into it.

  • Reply
    Sherry Tejada
    June 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    What a delightful sounding sauce! I have everything to make it tonight! Thanks!!

    Sherry Tejada

  • Reply
    Mirjam Leslie-Pringle
    June 7, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I think my ids would love this! What a great idea! I’m gonna try this for sure!

  • Reply
    Mirjam Leslie-Pringle
    June 7, 2013 at 6:41 am

    ehm.. i ment kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 11, 2013 at 8:11 am

      I knew what you meant! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Courtney @ The Fig Tree
    June 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Put this on my menu plan for next week. Cannot wait to try these fries out! YUMMY!!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 11, 2013 at 8:01 am

      Woo hoo! Let me know how you like them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    These were awesome! Just what I needed to spice up my routine – though I’ll admit I glanced at the recipe and later completely forgot about the tomato garlic sauce! Ah well – all the more excuses to make them again. Thanks for posting!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 11, 2013 at 7:56 am

      I’m glad they turned out well! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    June 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! I used jarred sauce for convenience, cut the polenta fairly thin and added some garlic salt. They took about 20 mins and were amazing. My very carnivorous hubby said they were “way better than real mozzarella sticks”. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks for your comment–I’m glad they were a hit! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    June 16, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I love this idea. Really sounds good.

  • Reply
    lillian
    June 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I had this last night and it was delicious! I will so make it again. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it–thanks for the comment!

  • Reply
    Kerri
    July 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Wow. This was something that is so easy, it makes me feel stupid for not thinking of it. This was a huge hit with every single one of our family, and will definitely be a side dish that will be a regular on our menu.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      I’m happy to hear it was a hit! Thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Vikki
    July 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Loved these fries! Your recipes and blog are very inspiring. Have been a “boring” veg for over 20 years. Thanks for the adventures in cooking.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed them! I’ve been a vegetarian for the same amount of time and have also had some boring years myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

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