Air Fryer polenta is crispy, delicious, and super easy to make. The first bite is so crispy, followed by a soft interior packed with herby and spicy flavours. You're going to love it and it's going to become your go-to polenta chips recipe in the air fryer.
If you know me, I'm a polenta lover. I was born in Romania and polenta is part of our culture. We eat it with our mains, especially during festivals and special holidays. I made polenta before and shared the recipes with you like this amazing polenta pizza, simple oven polenta chips or our most traditional Romanian mamaliga (authentic polenta). So I'm no stranger to making incredible polenta dishes. And what a versatile ingredient this is! Let's make the crispiest polenta ever.
Air Fryer Polenta
To make air fryer polenta chips you are going to need an air-fryer. I was so sceptical about air fryers until my husband gifted me one the other week. I've been using it non stop since. It's so versatile and awesome and my food is actually crispy without having to wait 20 minutes for the oven to preheat or 40 minutes for my items to bake. It's fast, efficient and gets the job done so well.
That's when I thought I should add my polenta chips to an air-fryer instead of the oven. Let me tell you, best decision ever! I got the crispiest polenta chips ever. That exterior was a joy to bite into.
I made a quick and easy Romanian garlic sauce and served my air fryer polenta chips with salad on the side. Perfection on a plate, seriously.
Ingredients for the best ever air fryer polenta
To make an amazing airy fryer polenta you'll need a few spices and herbs to give your polenta epic flavours too. Polenta by default can be a bit neutral in taste and dare I say, a bit boring. So it's ideal with nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness, some Italian herbs like oregano and some spice such as paprika or harissa seasoning.
Polenta - To make polenta we need polenta, of course. As a rule for every 1 cup of polenta, you'll need 3 1/2 cups of water. I use polenta from my local supermarkets.
Nutritional yeast - Nutritional yeast is to give your air fryer polenta chips a cheesy taste. Normally, in Romania, we add grated cheese to the polenta and add some milk. Nutritional yeast is the vegan replacement in this case.
Garlic powder - Garlic powder comes from dehydrated garlic and used in cooking for flavour enhancement. It tastes sweeter and much less assertive than fresh garlic.
Paprika - Paprika is a spice made from dried and ground red peppers. The best paprika in the world comes from Hungary, a country renowned for its grade I paprika. However, if you don't have access to Hungarian paprika, you can always get Spanish Smoked Paprika. It's ideal for this recipe and really enhances the polenta.
Ground oregano - I love oregano in pretty much anything but for polenta, it's perfect as it gives it a subtle earthy taste. I grow my own oregano in my herb garden, and every now and then I prune it, dry it and turn it into ground powder, perfect for this recipe. You can use store-bought oregano, of course!
Harissa powder - Harissa powder is the ground spice blend you can find in your local supermarket. It should be fairly spicy, earthy and smoky. You can replace this with chilli flakes if you prefer, or with a tsp of harissa paste. I've tried this recipe with both and it works fine!
Tips for the crispest air fryer polenta
There are a few things you can do to make your polenta taste absolutely amazing. Trust me, I've played with polenta a lot, so I know how to make the crispiest polenta ever.
Use a good air fryer - I tried a few models on the market and I'm still in the process of deciding which one is the right one.
Allow the polenta to cool entirely - I know you want your crispy polenta now, but you need to wait until the polenta is cold and hard. That means the polenta is thick and can be cut without breaking it. It can take 1-3 hours for the polenta to fully cool and become ready for the air fryer.
Brush with olive oil - Add the polenta to your air fryer then brush it with some olive oil or spray with olive oil if it's easier. This is so, so important. You don't need a lot of oil, just a little to crisp up better.
Serve it with a dip - Even though this air fryer polenta is super tasty, you'll still want a dip on the side. You can buy or make any dip you like. It works best with garlic-based dips though!
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.