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+ servings

Chili Polenta Fries

Put a new spin on polenta with this inventive - and incredibly tasty - dish!

Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy french fries, oil-free french fries, polenta
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 4 people
Calories 112 kcal
Author Jessica Goldman Foung


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup yellow medium-ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt-free chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt-free garlic powder


For the Polenta

  1. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-in [20-by-20-cm] baking pan with olive oil.

  2. Add 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, the dill, and garlic powder; turn the heat to low; and continue stirring until the polenta is thick and the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. 

  3. Remove from the heat and transfer to the prepared baking pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the polenta to the edges of the pan; the polenta should be about 1/2 in [12 mm] thick. 

  4. Put in the refrigerator to cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

For the Fries

  1. Run a knife around the edge of the polenta to loosen it from the sides of the pan. 

  2. Hold a cutting board on top of the pan and flip, letting the polenta fall out of the pan and onto the cutting board. 

  3. Brush the top of the polenta with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. 

  4. Cut the polenta into fry shapes—skinny fries or thick steak fries, whatever you’re craving. 

  5. Place them in a single layer in the prepared baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown. 

  6.  Turn on the broiler for the final 2 minutes if you want them extra crispy.

  7. Serve warm.