Baked French Fries

BREAKING NEWS. You can make crispy Baked French Fries in the oven! After slicing, baking, and salting more potatoes than I care to count, I have for you a foolproof method for how to make French fries crispy in the oven. No more compromising texture for the sake of making baked French fries healthy. Pull out the spuds and get your dip ready!

Crispy baked French fries on a baking sheet with seasoning

Crispy baked French fries on a baking sheet with seasoning

While I’m no stranger to oven fries, up until now I hadn’t found a from-scratch recipe that I considered a legitimate alternative to the real-deal, deep-fried French fries you’d find at a restaurant.

Most baked fries I made at home became soggy quickly after emerging from the oven, a problem I assumed was unavoidable…and that I easily mitigated by smothering the fries in all manners of cheesy deliciousness (reference: Mexican Chicken Enchilada Fries; Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries).

Or, if the oven baked fries were crispy on the outside, the tradeoff was that the insides would be dry and caky. No thank you.

Still, other methods for homemade oven fries, while effective, were too fussy.

I’ve read all about the crispy oven fries cornstarch trick (an extra step in which the cut potatoes are carefully tossed in cornstarch prior to baking), but after trying it once, I decided that it was too much of a hassle and too messy to be worth it.

I wanted crispy baked fries that were golden on the outside and tender on the inside, all for a minimum amount of effort. Goldilocks much?

These five-star baked French fries exceeded all my wildest dreams, and I’ll never make them any other way.

How To Make Homemade French Fries

Learning how to make French fries from potatoes is an important life skill that you’ll be happy to have in your arsenal.

After extensive experimentation with different varieties of potatoes, baking times and temps, and seasonings, today’s easy homemade French fries are the BEST of them all!

My homemade French fry secrets come down to four basic tips:

  1. Use Yukon gold potatoes.
  2. Soak the potatoes prior to making fries.
  3. Don’t skimp on the oil.
  4. Season, season, season.

Healthy baked French fries on a baking sheet with a small bowl of ketchup

Healthy baked French fries on a baking sheet with a small bowl of ketchup

Use Yukon Gold Potatoes

  • I tested baked fries with both russet and Yukon gold potatoes, and while both do work, I preferred the final texture of the baked fries made with Yukon golds.
  • While both potato varieties crisped nicely on the outsides, I found the insides of the russets to be drier, while the oven fries made with the Yukon golds were more tender and creamy.
  • You may also see Yukon gold potatoes labeled simply “gold” or “yellow” potatoes at the grocery store.
  • A potato labeled “Idaho” typically refers to russet.

Soak the Potatoes Prior to Cooking

I tested all of the popular cooking methods to making oven fries, and the one that yielded the best results with the least amount of effort was soaking the potatoes in water prior to baking them.

  • If you’ve ever had double-fried French fries (HEAVEN. It’s how the Pioneer Woman does hers. Could there be a better endorsement?), the concept is the same. Cooking the fries once at a lower temperature than again at a higher temperature creates the ultimate inner and outer texture, whether the fries are deep fried or oven baked.
  • While the potatoes soak in very hot water, they cook just enough to ensure the insides become nice and tender, while the outsides crisp but do not burn. (I bake my fries at 450 degrees F; I found oven fries at 475 degrees burned before they were finished.)
  • Some recipes may call for you to soak the potatoes in salt water instead. When you soak potatoes in salt water, the moisture from inside the potato is pulled out, resulting in a mushy, unappealing result. Stick with unsalted water for the best baked French fries.

Don’t Skimp on the Oil

  • To make crispy French fries from scratch you need oil to help the potatoes crisp up in the oven and give them a hint of that familiar French fry flavor. For this recipe, I use a basic, extra-virgin olive oil.
  • I don’t have a recommended method for making French fries in the oven without oil, but you can use grapeseed oil or canola oil instead of olive oil.

Season, Season, Season

A critical component to perfect baked fries is seasoning.

  • Basic salt and pepper will do, but feel free to vary it up.
  • I spent my entire life dipping my fries in ranch dressing, so for this recipe I used a blend of spices inspired by ranch flavors. Dill weed, combined with garlic powder, onion powder, and salt give the fries a zesty, herby flavor that makes them impossibly addictive. Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices to find your perfect French fry flavor or keep it classic.
  • Season both before the potatoes go into the oven, then after they come out to taste. An under seasoned potato is a bland potato, even in fry form.

Sliced Yukon gold potatoes in a bowl next to a spice jar of dill weed

Sliced Yukon gold potatoes in a bowl next to a spice jar of dill weed

Recipe Step Overview

  1. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil to protect against potato stick-age.
  2. Clean your potatoes (I leave the peels on) and slice them into 1/4-inch-wide sticks.
  3. Soak the potatoes in hot water. (Remember, this step is worth it)
  4. Drain and dry the potatoes. Toss them with the remaining oil and spices until coated, then place them on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the fries, and move them into a single layer. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until they’re as crispy as you like. Sprinkle with some extra salt to taste. DIG IN!

Are Baked Fries Healthy?

I wanted to address this question, because I feel like there has been a good amount of potato shaming in recent years. In moderation and with the right cooking method, the answer is YES baked fries are healthy!

  • While white potatoes often receive a bad reputation, much of that has to do with how we typically prepare potatoes (ahem, deep fried instead of baked), as well as the quantity in which we eat them.
  • Potatoes contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. All good things our bodies need!

Baked French fries are not bad for you, especially when compared with traditional French fries. In the battle of baked fries vs fried fries, baked fries win every single time.

Here’s why healthy baked French fries are better for you than fried:

  • Less Oil. During frying, French fries soak up excess oil, making them greasy. The baking method used in this recipe allows you to control the amount of oil and use far, far less.
  • Less Fat and Calories. Because of the decreased amount of oil, baked French fries calories and fat are lower than their fried counterparts.

Another healthy cooking method is grilling potatoes. See it in action with my favorite Grilled Sweet Potato Fries.

A baking sheet with healthy seasoned French fries

A baking sheet with healthy seasoned French fries

How to Make Your Fries Crispy Again

  • In the unlikely event of leftovers, you can reheat the baked fries by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and placing an empty baking sheet in the oven while the oven preheats.
  • Spread the leftover fries in a single layer on the hot pan, then pop the pan into the preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Watch the fries carefully the last few minutes to make sure they do not burn.
  • If you’ve ever reheated French fries from a restaurant, you know nothing replaces the just-cooked taste (the fries will dry out a bit), but they did at least perk up somewhat.

Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Tips

  • To Refrigerate. Place leftover fries in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat using the method for How to Make Your Fries Crispy Again above.
  • To Freeze. Spread the fries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place them in the freezer until solid. Transfer the frozen fries to an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen as directed above, adding about 3 or so extra minutes to the cooking time. How long you bake frozen French fries can vary, so keep an eye on them.

Recipe Variations

  • Parmesan Baked Fries. A delicious recipe option is to toss the finished baked fries with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.
  • Oven Baked Steak Fries. If you are looking for baked steak fries, I’d suggest the fries from this Baked Fish and Chips recipe, as the method and cooking time/temps below are more suitable for thinner, quick homemade French fries.
  • To Make Vegan. This recipe is vegan as written (as long as the optional Parmesan isn’t added; try swapping it for nutritional yeast if you like).
  • To Make Dairy Free. Omit the optional Parmesan topping or use nutritional yeast, which has a similar “cheesy” flavor.

Crispy baked French fries with ranch seasoning on a baking sheet

Crispy baked French fries with ranch seasoning on a baking sheet

Recommended Tools to Make Healthy Baked French Fries

If you try this recipe for ranch-inspired crispy baked fries, I’d love to hear what you think. Your comments mean so much to me!

How to make Crispy Baked Oven Fries! Easy method that makes the most perfect, healthy French fries every time. Try this recipe with Garlic and Ranch or add any of your own favorite seasonings.How to make Crispy Baked Oven Fries! Easy method that makes the most perfect, healthy French fries every time. Try this recipe with Garlic and Ranch or add any of your own favorite seasonings.

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Baked French Fries

Yield: 4servings
Prep Time:
15mins
Cook Time:
30mins
Total Time:
45mins
How to make easy, crispy healthy Baked French Fries! The secrets to perfect homemade French fries in the oven, plus how to make French fries crispy again.

Ingredients

  • 3tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil— divided
  • 1 1/2poundsgolden yellow potatoes— Yukon Gold or similar, about 4
  • 1teaspoonkosher salt— plus additional to taste
  • 1teaspoongarlic powder
  • 1/2teaspoondill weed
  • 1/4teaspoononion powder
  • 1/4teaspoonground black pepper
  • Toppings (optional)— fresh parsley, chives, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Drizzle a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, brushing it as needed so that it nicely coats the pan.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and peel if desired (I leave the peels on). Slice into 1/4-inch-wide sticks. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then pour very hot tap water over the top so that it covers the potatoes by at least 1 inch. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then transfer them to a clean towel and dry as completely as you can, changing the towel as needed. Rinse and wipe out the bowl you soaked the potatoes in, then return the potatoes to the bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, dill weed, onion powder, and pepper. Toss to coat, making sure the spices and oil are well distributed. Spread the potatoes into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the lower third of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until turning golden underneath. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, with a large, firm spatula, carefully loosen the fries from the bottom of the pan. Flip them in large sections as best as you can so that the potatoes rotate and brown evenly on all sides (no need to painstakingly flip every single one). With your fingers (be careful—the pan is hot!) return the potatoes to a single layer. Place the pan back in the oven and continue baking until the fries are as golden and crisp as you like, about 5 to 10 additional minutes (30 minutes total was ideal timing for this crispy-fry lover). While the fries are hot, sprinkle with any desired toppings and a bit more salt to taste. DEVOUR.

Recipe Notes

  • You can swap russet (standard baking) potatoes for the Yukon golds (no changes to the recipe needed), but I found that the Yukon golds gave me the best oven fry texture overall. The insides were creamier, while the outsides became nice and crisp.
  • TO STORE: Place leftover fries in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: In the unlikely event of leftovers, you can reheat the baked fries by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and placing an empty baking sheet in the oven while the oven preheats. Spread the leftover fries in a single layer on the hot pan, then pop the pan into the preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Watch the fries carefully the last few minutes to make sure they do not burn.
  • If you’ve ever reheated French fries from a restaurant, you know nothing replaces the just-cooked taste (the fries will dry out a bit), but they did at least perk up somewhat.
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked french fries healthy, crispy french fries recipe, homemade french fries, oven fries, seasoned french fries
All text and images ©Erin Clarke / Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 4)) — Calories: 227, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Potassium: 725mg, Carbohydrates: 30g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 4g, Vitamin C: 34%, Calcium: 20%, Iron: 1%