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polenta fries piled in a metal bowl with a newspaper

Polenta Fries with Parmesan Aioli

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • chill time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings + ⅔ cups sauce 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Crispy exterior and creamy interior, these golden brown polenta fries are an appetizer showstopper. Serve with our go-to Parmesan aioli for the ultimate dish.


  • 3 cups water 
  • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal 
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, divided 
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon grated garlic


Coat an 8½×12-inch baking sheet (quarter sheet pan) with nonstick spray.

Boil water in a large saucepan over high heat. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; cook polenta until thick and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, 3–5 minutes.

Off heat, stir in ½ cup Parmesan and 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread polenta evenly onto prepared quarter baking sheet. Press plastic wrap onto surface; chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Heat oven to 400° with rack in center position. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Uncover polenta and turn polenta out onto a cutting board by placing a cutting board over sheet and flipping upside down; tap to release polenta from sheet. Cut polenta into 4×½-inch strips. Separate fries and arrange on prepared baking sheet in a single layer; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake fries 30 minutes, then flip and continue baking until brown, 10–20 minutes turning fries every 8 minutes or so to achieve even browning. 

Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, and garlic; season with black pepper to taste. 

Let fries cool briefly on pan to crisp before serving with Parmesan aioli.


Make ahead: the polenta can be cooked and spread into the quarter sheet pan up to 2 days ahead of time. I do not recommend baking these ahead of time as they will lose their crispness.

Make vegan: use vegan Parmesan and vegan mayonnaise. 


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the fries + 1 tablespoons sauce
  • Calories: 419
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 231mg
  • Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

Keywords: baked polenta fries, polenta fries, polenta fries with aioli

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