One of the cheapest appetizer recipes ever: These crispy polenta fries are great for dipping in your favorite sauce. Naturally gluten free!

How to make crispy polenta fries: Such an easy and cheap recipe, but it's a crowd-pleaser!

Why Try This Recipe?

I have two reasons for you to make these crispy polenta fries today:

  • They’re extremely cheap: Polenta is one of the most budget-friendly foods out there. A big batch of these polenta fries cost less than $1.00 to make.
  • They’re delicious: If you’ve never tried polenta or polenta fries, you’re missing out. The base is almost entirely cornmeal, so the polenta/polenta fries have an unmistakable yet subtle corn flavor. I added some spices to these fries and baked them until they were super crispy. Like I said, delicious.

How To Make Extra Crispy Polenta Fries

Here are two tips for making these polenta fries extra crispy:

  • Cut them thin: The base of this recipe is a thin layer of polenta, which is placed in an 8×8-inch pan. Once you cut the hardened polenta into fries, they are pretty thin.
  • Bake at high heat: The fries are baked at 450F until crispy.

This is one of the cheapest appetizer recipes out there – and one that is certainly going to be a crowd-pleaser.

Corn Meal Vs. Corn Grits

To make polenta, which will be used to make crispy polenta fries, you’ll need to start with corn meal or corn grits – they’re the same thing. The only difference may be the coarseness of the grind. You may see “medium-ground cornmeal” or “coarse-ground cornmeal”. 

The corn meal or corn grits are cooked until soft, then cooled. 

Keep in mind: The coarser the grind, the longer the cooking time. Be sure to check the back of the package to find out how long your polenta will take to cook. If the polenta has a grainy texture, you may need to add a bit more water and cook it longer.

Crispy polenta fries: Oven-baked and super crispy. Click through for this cheap recipe!

Serve these polenta fries with some sauce: Here are 25+ French fry sauce ideas, many of which taste great with polenta fries.

How to make crispy polenta fries: Such an easy and cheap recipe, but it's a crowd-pleaser!

Polenta Fries

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Want the shortcut method? Buy a package of ready-cooked polenta in the store. It's usually packaged in a tube. Just slice, coat with oil and spices, and bake.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in polenta and reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and separate from the side of the pan. This may take 20 minutes or longer.
  3. Once polenta is adequately cooked, remove from heat, stir in butter, and spread into a 8x8 glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to cool completely. Refrigerate.
  4. To make polenta fries: Preheat oven to 450F. Remove cooled polenta from the fridge and cut into even-sized French fry shapes. Place onto a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle with cooking oil and rotate to ensure all sides are evenly coated. Sprinkle with Italian spice blend and salt.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until polenta fries are crispy.

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