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Loaded Carne Asade Polenta Fries

by Capri Lilly

Loaded Carne Asada Polenta fries are perfect for a filling brunch meal or game day appetizer! What’s not to love about garlicky-herb crusted crispy polenta fries topped with tender, flavorful carne asada, savory black beans, spicy salsa, and sliced avocado!?

If you like polenta, you’ll love my Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp recipe!

Loaded Carnes Asada Polenta Fries
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Making a fancy at-home brunch is my favorite thing to do on the weekends. I love to create a delicious meal and enjoy it with mimosas and good company.

Loaded Carne Asada Polenta Fries is easily a hit for any brunch! I recently had a couple of friends over and made DIY Loaded fries and everyone loved it!  I served everything buffet style with each layer in a separate bowl so everyone could load their polenta fries with as many toppings as they’d like! 

healthy loaded carne asada fries

What is Polenta?

Polenta is ground cornmeal and a popular, versatile dish originating in Northern Italy. There are so many things you can do with polenta! It is a great dish that can replace potatoes, rice, or pasta. You can make it savory, spicy, sweet each way is delicious and full of flavor! 

How to Make Polenta Fries from Pre-cooked Polenta?

I like to make polenta fries from pre-cooked polenta because it’s super easy, quick, and holds a lot of flavor. My favorite to use is Trader Joe’s Organic Polenta. If you buy packaged precooked polenta you simply slice the polenta into fry-like pieces, coat them in a garlic herb sauce, and then baked to perfection.

Slice the Polenta into fry-shaped pieces. Try to make them the same size so they cook evenly. 

Coat the fries in the garlic-herb mixture

garlic herb baked polenta fries

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through.

polenta fries gluten-free
All Done!

How to Make Polenta Fries from Scratch?

Using pre-cooked packaged polenta is the easiest and quickest way to make polenta fries. However, for uncooked polenta, you can make the polenta on the stovetop first, according to the package instructions, then freeze it and slice it into fry-shaped pieces before baking it to completion. If you want to make your polenta from scratch, Bob’s Red Mill Quick-Cook Polenta works great! 

A few tips for making the polenta on the stovetop:

  1. Use package instructions.
  2. Cook the polenta with fresh herbs and garlic
  3. Pour the polenta in a parchment-lined baking sheet that is at least ¼ inch deep. 
  4. Freeze the polenta until it firms up a bit, about 20 minutes. Then slice the polenta into fry-like pieces. 
  5. Bake until the polenta is golden and crispy on the outside.

Ana, the creator of Inspired With A Twist and one of my foodie friends, has a wonderful recipe for making polenta fries from uncooked polenta. If you need more guidance on cooking the polenta from scratch, you can check it out here!

quick cooking polenta

Is Polenta Gluten-Free?

Yes, because polenta is essentially cornmeal it is completely gluten-free! It is a great substitute for grits, pasta, warm cereal, and more! Although it is gluten-free, be sure to make sure it was made in a certified gluten-free facility and reads gluten-free on the package.

What to do with leftover polenta fries?

You can store any leftover polenta fries in an airtight container. You can reheat them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or warm them in the oven for 5-6 minutes at 300°F. Enjoy the polenta fries on their own or with your favorite dipping sauce!

These polenta fries are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, garlicky, herbaceous, hearty, and almost addicting! 

how to make polenta fries

How to Make Carne Asada

While the polenta is the star of this meal, making tender, flavorful carne asada is also important.

Here are a few tips for making the best Carne Asada

  • Skirt Steak or Flank Steak work best when making Carne asada
  • If possible, marinate your steak the night before or for at least 2 hours before cooking (the longer the better)
  • Cook the steak flat for 3-5 minutes on each side (3 minutes for medium-rare)
  • Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing 
  • Slice against the grain 
how to make carne asada
sliced carne asada

Toppings for Loaded Fries:

You can easily turn this recipe into a vegan polenta fries recipe by using jackfruit instead of skirt steak!

If you make these Loaded Carne Asada Polenta Fries, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share it with me on Instagram! I love hearing from you!

Loaded Carnes Asada Polenta Fries
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Loaded Carne Asada Polenta Fries

Loaded Carne Asada Polenta fries are perfect for a filling brunch meal or game day appetizer! What's not to love about garlicky-herb crusted crispy polenta fries topped with tender, flavorful carne asada, savory black beans, spicy salsa, and sliced avocado!?
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Healthy Options
Keyword: baked, carne asada, gluten-free, healthy, how to make polenta, loaded, polenta
Servings: 4
Calories: 395kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 18 oz Pre-Cooked Polenta Pacakges
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil

Carne Asada Marinade

  • 1 lb Flank Steak or Skirt Steak
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 1 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 Lime, juiced

Garlic-Herb Mixture for Polenta Fries

  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Red Crushed Pepper

Toppings: Salsa, Guacamole, Black beans, Fresh Cilantro, chopped

    Instructions

    • Marinate the Carne Asada using the ingredients listed above. If time permits, marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

    Making The Polenta Fries Using Pre-Cooked Polenta

    • Preheat the oven to 425°F
    • Remove the polenta from the plastic tubing. Slice the polenta into fry like pieces. (First, cut the polenta into fourths and then into thirds.)
    • Prepare the garlic-herb mixture. Coat each of the fries in the garlic-herb mixture and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the fries in an even layer and do not overcrowd the pan.
    • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.
    • Season with Salt and Pepper, to taste

    Making the Polenta From Scratch

    • Cook the polenta according to package instructions. Add 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp Italian Seasoning, and 1/4 tsp Red Crushed Peppers to the polenta while it is cooking.
    • Transfer the cooked polenta to a parchment-lined baking dish and spread into an even layer. Place the polenta in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm.
    • Preheat the oven to 425°F
    • Slice the polenta into fry-shaped pieces. Place the fries into an even layer and lightly coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.

    Making the Carne Asada Steak

    • Heat a cast-iron skillet with cooking oil or butter over medium heat. Cook the steak for 3-5 minutes on each side (3 minutes for medium-rare)
    • Remove the steak from the cast-iron and let it rest for 10 minutes.

    Loaded Polenta Fries

    • Once the polenta fries and carne asada are complete, load the polenta fries with your favorite toppings! Try salsa, guacamole, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, and sliced jalapeno!

    Notes

    • You can store any leftover polenta fries in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
    • Store any topping separately 

    Excited To Try More Brunch Recipes? Try These!

    the best pumpkin pancakes
    Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
    brunch with creamy polenta and cajun shrimp
    Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp
    easy vegan breakfast quesadilla
    Vegan Breakfast Quesadilla

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    9 comments

    Amy October 21, 2020 - 10:09 pm

    Oh yum! What a fabulous recipe! I have to say I have never tried making polenta fries but it’s something I’d order in a restaurant. They look so crunchy and I reckon it would taste amazing. Love the marinade too. Definitely on the list to try.

    Reply
    Christie Gagnon October 22, 2020 - 2:32 am

    5 stars
    I love polenta! Never thought to make it into fries Your recipe looks so scrumptious! Can’t wait to give it a try. 🙂

    Reply
    Capri Lilly October 22, 2020 - 5:47 pm

    Hope you enjoy!

    Reply
    Sara October 22, 2020 - 3:11 pm

    5 stars
    This sounds so amazing! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    Capri Lilly October 22, 2020 - 5:47 pm

    You’re welcome!

    Reply
    Magali October 22, 2020 - 11:05 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! Easy to make to! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    Capri Lilly October 23, 2020 - 12:42 am

    You’re welcome! I am glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply
    Connie October 25, 2020 - 3:11 am

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh! This is the ultimate late night grub I could totally see myself enjoying with drinks and good people around. Carne asada is the best!

    Reply
    Capri Lilly October 25, 2020 - 5:45 pm

    Yes! Late night, early morning, brunch! This meal is perfect for any time of day! Especially with friends! 🙂

    Reply

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