Air Fryer Polenta is full of many different flavors. And cooking polenta in the air fryer is the perfect way to make a healthier option, rather than frying it up. You'll love the ease of this air fried polenta made using simple ingredients.
Polenta makes a great side dish. The first time that you try it, you're going to be hooked. We keep polenta as a staple product in our household, but that's mainly because it's an easy recipe to make, and I'm a huge fan of polenta rounds or polenta cakes. Once I whipped up this in the air fryer basket, I knew I'd found a new way to eat polenta. Forget about french fries, as these are the best! You can even grab your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.
Cooking these in the air fryer tray or basket is a great way to make a dish fast. The total time to cook them is less than 25 minutes, making this a great appetizer or snack. Use the great recipe listed below on the recipe card to give it a try today.
Speaking of great recipes, be sure to check out my Smoked Zucchini for another super simple and easy side dish recipe. We also have plenty of air fryer recipes such as Air Fryer Cornbread, Air Fryer BBQ Chicken, and Air Fryer Spare Ribs.
Cooked polenta - Trust me, this is going to be the next big thing at your house. Buy a tube of polenta at the store.
Black pepper - For taste. You can add as much or as little as you like.
Salt - For taste. I do recommend adding some salt to enhance the natural flavors of the polenta.
Olive oil - You can use other types of oil as well, just depends on what your taste preference is.
Garlic powder - This is optional but really does add a great flavor.
Butter - This is optional and only used if making the sauce.
Flour - This is optional and is only used if making the sauce go on top of the polenta.
Milk - This is optional and for the sauce only.
How to Make Air Fryer Polenta
I promise you that this is the easiest air fryer polenta recipe! Once you slice polenta, all that's left is to cook it!
Step One: Take the pre-made polenta out of the packaging and slice it into ½-inch slices.
Step Two: Brush both sides with olive oil, then add the pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
Step Three: Place the slices into the preheated air fryer.
Step Four: Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then, flip and cook for another 10 minutes.
Step Five: Remove and serve. In our photos, you can see it with an optional bechamel sauce. This is a creamy sauce that pairs well with the flavor and texture of this dish. The steps and ingredients are listed below in the recipe card. Store any leftover polenta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Use a different oil - You could also use avocado oil or even truffle oil for this recipe. Some people also like using olive oil spray because it's easier and uses a smaller amount of oil.
Make polenta chips - This quick appetizer is a great recipe for changing up the shape and thickness of the polenta. You can easily make air fryer polenta fries, cut the polenta into thin strips, or make perfect round chips that are a tad bit thinner. This is why buying a polenta tube makes for a great snack - because you have tons of options! You will have to adjust cooking times for each variation.
Add seasonings - While I like salt and pepper, you can also add other flavors. Truffle salt would be delicious, as would chili powder. You can even use different herbs on it if you're wanting to give it more flavor and try and serve it with a main dish like hot porridge or soup.
Polenta fries - You can easily make polenta frita by cutting the cooked polenta into fry shapes instead of slices. Just cook as directed for crispy fries and serve with your favorite dips.
What does polenta taste like?
It really has a mild taste to it. Since it's made using ground cornmeal, normally yellow cornmeal, there isn't a ton of flavoring that comes through. This is where adding seasonings and spices to the top and bottom can really enhance the overall flavor.
How can I serve fried polenta?
Polenta goes well with a variety of dishes. We like it with creamy white sauces or red marinara sauce. You can also serve it on top of a salad, under a piece of meat or chicken, or with your own favorite sauce.
Why am I not getting crispy polenta?
The biggest thing that you need to do to cool polenta and give it a golden brown color is to be sure that you're adding it in a single layer to the air fryer basket. If you overcrowd it, it's not going to cook like it should.
Where can I buy polenta?
It's actually more common than most people think! You'll be able to find it at the grocery store - and if you can't find it, just ask someone where their tubed polenta is. Most times, someone at the local supermarket will know exactly where it is.
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Air Fryer Polenta
- 18 oz cooked polenta (one roll)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
Optional Bechamel Sauce
- 2 tablespoon butter salted
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1.5 c milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Remove the polenta roll from the packaging. Slice into ½-inch slices. This will make about 14 slices.
- Brush both sides of the polenta slices with olive oil. Then season both sides of the polenta with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the polenta slices into a preheated air fryer. Make sure they are in a single layer. They will not cook evenly if they are stacked. You will most likely need to cook these in batches.
- Air fry the polenta at 400℉ for 10 minutes, then turn them over and cook them for another 10 minutes.
- Remove them from the air fryer and serve.
Optional Bechamel Sauce
- In a small saucepan, cook flour and butter over medium low heat. Once the butter is fully melted and beginning to bubble, add 1.5 cups of milk and stir.
- Continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Add salt to taste. Serve by pouring the sauce over the air fried polenta.
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