These polenta fries are SO delicious and easy to make. Brush them with olive oil, bake them in the oven, sprinkle fresh rosemary and Parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

Polenta fries topped with rosemary and Parmesan cheese on a wooden serving tray.

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When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what about when your garden gives you rosemary? As in lots and lots, and LOTS of rosemary?

White wall covered with bougainvillea and rosemary.

You make these irresistible polenta fries.

As in a heaping batch of deliciously crispy golden brown polenta fries flecked with savory parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary, they’re a fun alternative to traditional french fries and make a great appetizer or fun side dish.

What you’ll love about this polenta fries recipe:


  • Healthy-ish Comfort Food – Did someone say crispy polenta fries? Enough said!
  • Fun Food – Don’t get me wrong. Potato fries are yummy too, but why not try something fun & new?
  • Toppings! – Fresh rosemary and Parmesan cheese are a match made in heaven!

What is polenta?

Polenta is a traditional dish from Northern Italy made with ground yellow corn. It’s cooked with water, broth, or milk and served warm. Or it can be allowed to cool and set, then cut into slices.

If this is your first time making these delicious fries, you’re in for a real treat!

While I love creamy polenta with simple salt and pepper, or cheese, one of my favorite ways to serve it is in the form of these fries. Once you make them, I think you will too!

Check out the ingredients, substitutions, and technique for making polenta fries below. See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for complete ingredients and instructions.

Easy Polenta Fries Ingredients

Four photo collage with polenta, olive oil, rosemary, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Tube of pre-cooked polenta.*
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Parmesan cheese.
  • Fresh or dried rosemary.

*I have made these polenta fries with Ancient Harvest polenta and Trader Joe’s pre-cooked polenta. Both work equally well. You used to be able to buy Ancient Harvest polenta with quinoa, which is why my fries are speckled πŸ™‚

Sadly it’s no longer available. However, if you make your own polenta (see “how to” instructions below), you can add cooked quinoa to it. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for complete ingredient measurements and instructions.

Substitutions & Optional Ingredients.

  • Polenta. If you can’t find a tube of pre-cooked polenta, make your own. I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits/Polenta and make the basic recipe for quick grits (see package instructions) with water, vegetable, or chicken stock, spread it on a rimmed baking sheet or square baking dish lined with plastic wrap, and let it set for 2 hours or overnight, then cut it into fries.
  • Oil. Olive oil spray or avocado cooking spray.
  • Seasonings. Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, other fresh herbs, or dried Italian herbs.
  • Cheese. Other cheese, like feta or goat cheese. Or vegan Parmesan cheese if desired.
  • Sauce. Tomato sauce or any favorite dip to dunk your crispy fries in.

How to Make Crispy Baked Polenta Fries

Oh, my goodness! These crispy polenta fries are so easy to make. So delicious. And, dare I say it, a little bit healthy too!

Five photo collage showing how to make polenta fries.
  1. Cut the pre-cooked polenta tube in half on a cutting board. Then cut each half into 16 fries. So you’ll have 32 fries altogether. This is the perfect thickness, IMO, but you can cut your tube of cornmeal into more giant steak fries or thinner fries as you like.
  2. Lay polenta fries in an even layer on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Too many fries? Use another baking sheet to ensure a single layer and ultra-crispy crunchy fries! Brush fries with olive oil or olive oil or avocado oil spray.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes* until light brown and crispy. You may wish to turn the fries every 15 minutes to get them extra crispy.
  4. While the fries are baking, combine the rosemary and parmesan cheese and set aside in a small bowl. Remove fries from oven when done. Place them on a serving dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese/rosemary mixture on top. Serve while nice and hot.

Note: I haven’t tried making air fryer polenta fries, but I think this method would work well, and the baking time would be much quicker. If you try it, let me know!

Close up photo of polenta fries topped with rosemary and Parmesan cheese on a wood platter.

What to Serve with Polenta Fries

These polenta fries are all kinds of carby deliciousness! But, since we’re into balanced meals here at The Spicy RD, we serve them with protein and lots of veggies. Ok? I like to pair these with pan-seared salmon or a rotisserie chicken and veggies for a super easy meal. Or, try them paired with any of the salads below.

Nutrition

  • These polenta fries are naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, Mediterranean diet and low FODMAP diet friendly. Omit the cheese, and they’re vegan.
  • Rosemary is an anti-inflammatory herb and may help prevent cancer due to its antioxidant carnosol. (1)Β A small study found drinking rosemary water may improve cognition. (2) And inhaling rosemary essential oil may help ease stress and anxiety. (3)
  • Each serving of fries provides 11 grams of fat, but most is from heart-healthy and brain-healthy extra virgin olive oil.

You may also like: 7 Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan-Healthy, Delicious, & Gluten-Free

Close up photo of polenta fries topped with rosemary and Parmesan cheese on a wood platter.

Easy Polenta Fries with Rosemary and Parmesan

Got rosemary & Parmesan cheese? Whip up a batch of these DELICIOUS 4-ingredient Quinoa Polenta Fries. Perfect for a fun appetizer or easy side dish!
5 from 5 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tube polenta, i.e. Ancient Harvest or Trader Joes, ~18-oz
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut polenta tube in half, then cut each half in to 16 "fries". You should have 32 fries from an 18-oz tube.
  • Place polenta fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and brush olive oil on fries.
  • Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until light brown and crispy. You may wish to turn the fries every 15 minutes to get them extra crispy.
  • While the fries are baking, combine the rosemary and parmesan cheese and set aside in a small bowl.
  • Remove fries from oven when done. Place them on a serving dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese/rosemary mixture on top. Serve while nice and hot.

Notes

Make your own polenta:

If you can’t find a tube of pre-cooked polenta, make your own. I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits/Polenta and make the basic recipe for quick grits (see package instructions) with water, vegetable, or chicken stock, spread it on a rimmed baking sheet or square baking dish lined with plastic wrap, and let it set for 2 hours or overnight, then cut it into fries.

Substitutions & Optional Ingredients.

  • Olive oil spray or avocado cooking spray.
  • Additional seasonings. Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, other fresh herbs, or dried Italian herbs.
  • Other cheese, like feta or goat cheese. Or vegan Parmesan cheese if desired.
  • Tomato sauce or any favorite dip to dunk your crispy fries in.

Nutrition

Serving: 8fries | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 544mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword gluten free recipes, healthy recipes, low fodmap, polenta, polenta fries
Diet Gluten Free, Low FODMAP, MIND Diet, Vegetarian
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