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!

A white plate full of little vegan polenta pizzas with vegan cheese and herbs on top.

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The first time I 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 or vegan pizza 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, tomatoes, basil, pinenuts, vegan pepperoni, tofu sausage, or vegan sausage crumbles are delicious additions to these little pizzas!
A close up of plant based polenta pizza rounds on a white plate.

Vegan Polenta

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.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Bake them for 20 minutes on each side before adding the topping. (This makes them crispy, not mushy).
  5. Add pizza sauce and toppings of choice like vegan cheese, tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, or pesto.
  6. Then bake them again for 10-15 minutes or so to cook the toppings.
A series of 4 pictures showing the process steps of baking sliced polenta, then adding toppings, baking it again to make polenta pizza bites.

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. You can also use my vegan pizza cheese sauce recipe that you spoon on top so it’s already melty.

How to make polenta crispy

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 them 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!

A hand taking a polenta pizza bite off of a plate.

More vegan appetizers

Vegan polenta pizza bites on a white plate.
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5 from 2 rating

Vegan Polenta Pizza Bites

A quick and easy way to make a gluten-free vegan pizza.  Bite-sized vegan appetizers for your next party! 

Ingredients

  • 1 tube pre-made polenta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, or 3 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, (use GF and SF if needed)
  • any other pizza toppings of choice

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • Store them in a covered container in the fridge.
  • If you want to make them ahead of time for a party, simply reheat them on a cookie tray in the oven at 350° (190°C) for about 10 minutes. 
  • They also work great cold in school lunches!
Serving: 2pizza bites, Calories: 101kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 221mg, Potassium: 64mg, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.4mg
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*This recipe was originally published on March 2, 2018.  It was updated on April 16, 2020 to include new images and more detailed information.