Chips and dip is a true classic for entertaining guests or watching a movie on the couch.
There are tortilla chips, potato chips, cassava chips, plantain chips, and even polenta chips.
If you’ve never heard of baked polenta chips, they are quite the spin on the traditional chip.
They are made with a hearty corn meal and will hold up to those thick guacamoles or french onion dips.
They are gluten-free and a healthier alternative to some of the more traditional styles.
Corn meal is easy to work with, easy to flavor, and traditionally seen served in a softer form.
You can top your polenta with balsamic mushrooms or a warm, soft cheese for a savory option. You may also see polenta in a cake or patty form used as a foundation for a beef dish among different cultures…
While this recipe takes quite some time to complete due to the refrigeration process, fear not because the preparation is simple.
Polenta only takes a few minutes to cook and cools fairly quickly. You can interpret the flavors any way to match your theme of the evening or keep it plain and simple with the recipe below.
Baked Polenta Chips are great to make with the whole family!
The chips can be cut into any shape you’d like. Invite friends or kids to make these into festive shapes using fun cut-outs!
Polenta is considered to be one of the oldest hot dishes in history. It dates all the way back to the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, the history we only really mention in our high school world history class. Polenta was originally made from barley and millet, but once corn was established and imported to other countries, it replaced the original recipe. It was used as a low-cost, simple meal eaten by middle and working-class families.
- Watch it while it cooks. Polenta only takes 5 or so minutes to cook. To avoid burning the bottom, monitor the cooking process to remove it from the heat once all the water is absorbed.
- Season it! The only ingredient in polenta is corn meal. Therefore, it can be a little bland. While you’re going to season your polenta chips before baking, it may also be a good idea to season them while cooking. Add salt, pepper, garlic, or onion to the boiling corn meal to enhance the flavor.
- Finish them off with a broil. It will only take 20 minutes to bake, but if you want to add a little toasty crunch, broil them for 2-3 minutes at the end of baking. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
The best part of this recipe is how few ingredients are required, AND the cooking time is fast. The heart and soul of this snack is the polenta or corn meal.
- Poleta or Corn Meal – Polenta can be found in most big box grocery stores. It is generally in the aisle with other grains such as barley, millet, quinoa, and rice. Sometimes the label will read ‘Polenta’ and other times it will say ‘Corn Meal.’ Either one will work for this recipe.
- Seasoning – Seasoning these chips is also completely up to you. Feel free to take another flavor pathway and use Old Bay seasoning or a Greek za’atar seasoning. Use cayenne pepper and chili powder for a spicy kick, or try a cheese or umami seasoning for something for savory.
The first step is to cook the polenta. Boil 3 cups of water in a medium size saucepan and once boiling, add the polenta. You can season the polenta at this stage if you’d like with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but it is not mandatory.
Cover the saucepan, turn the heat to simmer, and let the polenta cook for about 5 minutes. It doesn’t take long to absorb all the water. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn!
Once the polenta is cooked, you will need two pieces of parchment paper. Lay one piece of parchment paper on a flat surface.
Pour the polenta onto the parchment paper, then put the second piece of parchment paper on top of the polenta.
You will then roll it out using a hand roller or push it with your hands. You’ll want the polenta to resemble a giant pancake about ½ an inch thick. Be careful not to make it too thin as making the chips will be hard later.
Refrigerate the polenta in the parchment paper for 8-12 hours minimum. You will know it’s ready when the polenta is hard to the touch and the parchment paper peels off easily without leaving polenta stuck to the parchment paper.
Once the polenta is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and remove the top piece of parchment. You’ll have a large slab of polenta to slice into chips.
Cut the chips however you would like. Triangles or squares, even use a cookie cutter for a fun twist on the chip shape! Lay the chips on a new piece of parchment paper and place on a baking sheat.
In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Drizzle olive oil over all the chips and then sprinkle the seasoning over top. Do this to both sides.
Place the polenta chips in the oven for 10 minutes and then flip them over for another 10 minutes. Allow them to cool and enjoy!
While there isn’t specific equipment required for this recipe, a few tools may help. If you don’t already have these tools in your kitchen, no need to get them, there are easy substitutions to avoid running back to the grocery store a second or third time.
- Baking Sheet. This can either be a flat baking sheet or one with sides. Either is fine, it’s just to cook the Polenta chips on.
- Rolling Pin. A rolling pin will give the chips an even size, which is best for even cooking of all the chips. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use your hands! Patting the polenta down with your hands is fine or use the bottom (flat side) of a pan to pat down the polenta.
- Parchment Paper. Parchment paper is key to this recipe because of its non-stick finish. It will easily feel off once the polenta is cooled and leave you with all the cooked polenta.
Baked Polenta chips are a great substitution for tortilla chips or potato chips. They are gluten-free and inexpensive to make. A few different ways you can serve them include:
- Greek style with za’atar seasoning and tzatziki, labneh, or hummus.
- Nacho style with sour cream, cheese, salsa, and steak.
- Parmesan truffle style – drizzle truffle oil and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top for an indulgent treat.
- Queso with chorizo style using melted Mexican cheese, spicy chorizo sausage, and broil in a small cast iron.
Because this recipe’s main ingredient is polenta, substituting it would create an entirely new recipe. However, if you read above, there are many suggestions to be made for how to serve Polenta chips depending on the mouth’s you are feeding.
- Type of polenta: You may see it in a thick roll form when shopping for polenta at the grocery store. You can use this style, just heat it up and turn it back into a liquid rather than hydrating dry corn meal.
- Air-fry them: If you want an even quicker snack, air-fry them. Pop them in the air-fryer at 400 F for 6 minutes, flip and bake for another 6 minutes. Make sure you keep them spread out in the air fryer so they cook evenly. Because the air-fryer has a smaller cooking space, you may need to cook 2 or 3 batches of Polenta chips to feed a group, but this is a great idea for a serving for one!
Are polenta chips healthy?
Polenta is such an amazing gluten-free staple to have in our pantries. Being a corn-based complex carbohydrate, it digests slower, which means it keeps our little ones and us feeling full and satisfied for longer.
What does baked polenta taste like?
Imagine a delightful mix of sweet and savory with a crunch that will have you craving more. It doesn’t taste exactly like corn-on-the-cob, but it has this unique sweet and salty flavor that’s just scrumptious.
What kind of food is polenta?
It’s not quite a whole grain, and it’s not pasta, either. Picture a delicious hybrid of oats, pasta, and grains; all rolled into a versatile corn product. But in reality, it’s simply cornmeal doing its own fabulous thing.
Polenta chips are a solid chip choice and a great base for many other recipes. Polenta is extremely versatile and can be used in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snack recipes. It can be great on their own or use them to compliment your Homemade Labneh or Ground Beef Hummus recipe. Follow this recipe or let us know what types of seasonings and flavors you experiment with!
Baked Cheesy Polenta Chips
- 1 cup corn grits/polenta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Boil 3 cups of water in a medium size saucepan.
- Once boiling, add the polenta and turn the heat down to low to simmer.
- Cover saucepan with a lid and allow polenta to cook for ~5 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat baking dish.
- Scoop the polenta onto the parchment paper.
- Lay another piece of parchment paper on top.
- Using a hand roller, roll out the polenta until it is about ½ inch thick.
- Chill in the refrigerator until the polenta hardens (8-12 hours).
- When ready to remove from refrigerator, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and remove top layer of parchment paper.
- Using a knife, cut the polenta into bite size pieces, resembling a chip.
- On a baking pan, lay the chips out evenly.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Combine salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder and sprinkle over top the chips.
- Bake for 10 minutes before flipping the chips.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Allow them to cool before serving.
My name is Noha.
I’m passionate about food, an avid traveler, and I love to explore new cultures and cuisines whenever I get the chance by sharing my recipes and experiences with my readers.
A big fan of exploring different cuisines and always looking for new and exciting flavors to explore. I’m especially interested in healthy eating and finding ways to make delicious dishes without sacrificing nutrition.