These vegan polenta pizza bites are a perfect appetizer for your next party. They make a great snack or finger food for kids and are a simple way to make a gluten-free vegan pizza. The vegan polenta recipe is the most delicious way that we have found to cook polenta!
The first time I had baked polenta bites was at my own wedding. The caterer served them as hors d'oeuvres. The day was a blur and I was too nervous to eat much, but I still remember the taste of that amazing polenta! I recreated these delicious little snacks for my kids and they are a favorite in my house.
My kids have fun helping to add their choice of toppings and they're a hit with everyone who has to avoid gluten and doesn't like gluten-free pizza crust.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Polenta - the premade tubes of polenta are easiest.
- Olive Oil - to brush on the bottom of the cookie sheet to avoid sticking and to crisp up the polenta when it bakes.
- Pizza Sauce - any vegan pizza sauce will work. Sometimes I also use sliced tomatoes instead of sauce.
- Vegan Cheese - any meltable vegan cheese will work well. I like to use my homemade vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Herbs - any fresh or dried herbs that you like will add flavor to the pizzas. I love to add a dollop of my vegan pesto on top too.
- Toppings - olives, pinenuts, and vegan sausage crumbles are delicious additions to these little pizzas!
You can make your own polenta from scratch, but let’s be realistic, that won’t happen. I buy the tubes of pre-made polenta. You can find it in almost any grocery store for around $3.00. It is usually in the refrigerated section by the tofu or in the dairy case. Some stores like Trader Joe’s carry a non-refrigerated type that you can find near the pasta.
How to make perfect polenta bites
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Open the polenta and cut it into slices about 1 cm thick. Make sure to cut them all the same thickness or they will not cook evenly.
- Put olive oil on a cookie sheet and spread the polenta circles out so none are overlapping. (Use a non-stick cookie sheet if you have one).
- Bake them for 20 minutes on each side before adding the topping. (This makes them crispy, not mushy).
- Add pizza sauce and toppings of choice like vegan cheese, tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, or pesto.
- Then bake them again for 10-15 minutes or so to cook the toppings.
Note: If you are adding vegan cheese, you may want to set your oven to broil for the last minute or 2 of baking if the cheese has not yet melted.
How to prepare polenta so that it's not mushy
Polenta can have a mushy texture, especially if baked in a casserole or if toppings are added before it has time to get crispy. The key to making these polenta bites delicious is baking them first before adding any toppings.
Preparing ahead of time
You can make these pizza bites ahead of time. Store them in a covered container in the fridge and then simply reheat on a cookie tray in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes.
They make the perfect appetizer for your next vegan party. Since they are free of all major allergens, everyone can enjoy them! They also work great cold in school lunches!
More vegan appetizers
- Vegan Corn Dog Bites
- Pesto Hummus
- Easy Loaded Vegan Nachos
- Vegan Lettuce Wraps
- The Best Buffalo Cauliflower
- Vegan Spinach Balls
Subscribe to my email list to get my free eBook “The Beginner’s Guide to Homemade Vegan Staples” or if you are ready to fully dive into making your own vegan cheese, butter, yogurt, and more check out my cookbook, “The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Vegan Staples!”
A quick and easy way to make a gluten-free vegan pizza. Bite-sized vegan appetizers for your next party!
- 1 tube pre-made polenta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce or 3 Roma tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup vegan shredded cheese
- any other pizza toppings of choice
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Remove plastic from the polenta.
Cut polenta in 1 cm. thick rounds.
Spread 1 tbsp. olive oil on the bottom of a cookie sheet and spread the polenta circles evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes then flip each polenta circle with a spatula and bake for 20 more minutes.
Take out of the oven and add toppings of choice.
Bake for 10 more minutes. (After 8 minutes, check to see if the cheese has melted. If not, set oven to broil for 2 minutes). Serve hot.
- Store them in a covered container in the fridge.
- If you want to make them ahead of time for a party, simply reheat on a cookie tray in the oven at 350° (190°C) about 10 minutes.
- They also work great cold in school lunches!
- If using my homemade vegan mozzarella, make sure to make the version that melts!
*This recipe was originally published on March 2, 2018. It has been updated on April 16, 2020 to include new images and more detailed information.