How to air fry frozen French fries in just 15 minutes until golden, super crispy outside, and tender in the middle. They’re quick, simple, and so much better than takeout!
Want fast food fries from home with little effort? When making air fryer frozen French fries, you can achieve delicious, super crispy French fries that trick you into thinking you’re eating deep-fried food, but with a fraction (if any) of the oil!
As much as I adore making homemade baked fries (and sweet potato fries) from scratch at home, there are days when I simply just. Can’t. Be. Bothered….
It’s then that my bag of frozen fries calls my name! And while I’ve baked them in the oven for years, the results can be spotty, uneven, and sometimes even downright disappointing (no one enjoys limp fries!)
Well, no more! These frozen fries in an air fryer require less time to cook, no oil (other than in the basket), they cook evenly (yay!), and will fool you into thinking they’ve been fried in oil (but with a fraction of the fat and calories). Plus, almost all varieties of fries (that I’ve tried so far) cook in 18 minutes or less!
In this post, I’ll take you through how to air fry frozen fries, how long to cook fries in an air fryer, and how to season, serve, and store them. If you’re a fan, you might also enjoy these air fryer breakfast potatoes or patatas bravas, or enjoy an even lighter side of air fryer zucchini fries!
What’s In This Post
What Do You Need for Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
Enjoy these air fryer French fries with just two ingredients:
- French fries: Use your favorite brand of frozen French fries. For this method, I use thin fries. Note that the cooking times will vary based on the different types of fries you use (like lattice, waffle, shoestring, etc.). Refer to recommended times in the recipe section.
- Salt: Or the fry seasoning of your choice.
Fry Sauce Ingredients
Obviously, it’s your choice as to what condiment you serve these delicious air fryer fries with. However, if you’re looking for potentially a new favorite sauce, you have to try this French fry dipping sauce combination:
- Mayonnaise: You can use regular or vegan mayonnaise.
- Ketchup: I use homemade ketchup.
- Worcestershire sauce: This adds a tangy, umami depth. Make sure it’s gluten-free if necessary. If you’re vegan, I recommend using a small amount of soy sauce (or tamari) instead and increasing the amount of pickle juice.
- Pickle juice: It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s bright, and perfect for adding depth to this delicious air fryer French fries dip. Alternatively, use apple cider vinegar and some form of sweetener (added to taste).
- Garlic powder: Adjust the amount to taste.
- Cayenne: Add a pinch (or more) for subtle heat in the fry sauce.
- Smoked paprika: For subtle smoky layers of flavor.
As a bonus, this fry sauce is also perfect for spreading over burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.
How to Air Fry Frozen French Fries
To say making frozen French fries in an air fryer is practically effortless would still be an understatement. Here’s how to cook frozen French fries in an air fryer for the BEST results.
First, ensure you spray or brush your air fryer basket with a small amount of oil (not cooking spray) to avoid sticking.
If you want to make frozen French fries in the air fryer with absolutely no oil, you can skip this step, though there may be some sticking.
Then, add the frozen French fries, up to half the basket in total (they don’t have to be in a single layer).
How Long to Air Fry Frozen French Fries
Air fry the frozen fries for about 15 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes and keeping an eye on them in the last few minutes.
Depending on the type of fry and your individual air fryer, the cooking time may vary by a couple of minutes, so monitor them towards the end.
- Sweet potato fries: Usually require an extra 2-4 minutes.
- Steak fries/Crinkle-cut fries: Usually require an extra 2-4 minutes.
- Waffle fries/Lattice fries: 10-12 minutes in total.
- Curly fries: Usually take a similar time, around 14-16 minutes.
- Shoestring fries: 7-10 minutes in total.
After air frying French fries, lightly season the fries with salt (to taste) or your choice of seasoning.
How to Make Fry Sauce
Meanwhile, as the frozen French fries cook, prepare the French fry dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.
Taste it and adjust any of the seasonings if desired.
If you have time, I recommend preparing this at least an hour or two in advance to give the ingredients time to meld and become a cohesive flavor.
Can You Store Air Fryer Frozen French Fries?
Like most fries, these air fryer frozen fries are best when enjoyed immediately after cooking. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Reheat them in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 375ºF/190ºC to bring back some of the crispiness as you reheat them. Of course, the results won’t be exactly the same, but it does a pretty good job.
How to Serve Frozen French Fries
I doubt you need me to tell you how to enjoy the crispy frozen French fries. Especially if you want them as a quick snack. However, here are a few ideas on what to serve them with as an easy side dish, for those days when you’re feeling uninspired.
- Burgers – these fries are the perfect side to your favorite burger.
- Sandwiches – like a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, French dip sandwich, crispy chicken sandwich, or even grilled cheese.
- Wraps – like falafel wrap or chicken shawarma.
- Meats – like steak, chicken wings, crispy fried chicken, chicken tenders (from scratch or frozen), etc.
- An omelet or scrambled eggs.
This all comes down to personal taste. However, there are plenty of condiments to choose from ketchup, mayonnaise, aioli, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, white BBQ sauce, gravy, queso cheese sauce, whipped ricotta, ranch dressing, etc.
You could even be one of “those people” and dip them into a thick and creamy milkshake. I won’t judge (okay, maybe just a tiny bit).
Not at all. I like to spray the basket with spray oil to avoid sticking, but even that is technically optional. Many frozen fries brands already contain some oil and salt on their fries anyway.
Nope, you can cook them straight from the freezer. In fact, this helps achieve the crispiest results.
You can choose to season these air-fried frozen fries based on the meal you’re enjoying and your desired flavor. Here are just a few seasonings and spices that complement potato:
– Sea salt & rosemary,
– Cajun seasoning,
– Taco seasoning,
– Smoked paprika,
– Onion powder,
– Garlic powder,
– Chili powder (or cayenne),
– Seasoned salt,
– Old Bay seasoning
– Italian seasoning
Choose one or a combination of them to find your desired flavor.
You can season them before or after. However, for easier cleanup, I prefer to season mine afterward.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Crispy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Asparagus (Easy & Quick)
If you try this easy air fryer frozen French fries recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- 1 lb frozen french fries including sweet potato fries, steak fries, crinkle cut, waffle, lattice, curly fries, shoestring, etc.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
French Fry Sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
- 1/2 tablespoon pickle juice or apple cider vinegar with a sweetener (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce check it's gluten-free if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red paprika
- Optionally, spray or brush your air fryer basket with a small amount of oil (not cooking spray) to avoid sticking.If you want to make frozen French fries in the air fryer with absolutely no oil, you can skip this step, though there may be some sticking.
- Add the frozen French fries, up to half the basket in total (they don’t have to be in a single layer).
- Air fry the frozen fries for about 15 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes and keeping an eye on them in the last few minutes.Depending on the type of fry and your individual air fryer, the cooking time may vary by a couple of minutes, so monitor them towards the end.• Sweet potato fries: Usually require an extra 2-4 minutes.• Steak fries/Crinkle-cut fries: Usually require an extra 2-4 minutes.• Waffle fries/Lattice fries: 10-12 minutes in total.• Curly fries: Usually take a similar time, around 14-16 minutes.• Shoestring fries: 7-10 minutes in total.
- After air frying frozen French fries, lightly season the fries with salt (to taste) or your choice of seasoning.
How to Make Fry Sauce
- Meanwhile, as the frozen French fries cook, prepare the French fry dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.Taste it and adjust any of the seasonings if desired.If you have time, I recommend preparing this at least an hour or two in advance to give the ingredients time to meld and become a cohesive flavor.
- Avoid cooking spray: Products like PAM can wear away the non-stick coating in your air fryer basket over time. Instead, use regular oil (like olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)
- For cheesy fries: Sprinkle the fries with shredded cheese in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, leaving the lid closed until it’s fully melted.
- Air frying time varies: Based on the thickness of the fries, your air fryer, and how crispy you want them to be. After following my cooking guidelines, continue to air fry them in 1-minute increments if desired until you reach your desired results.
- Enjoy immediately: These air fryer frozen French fries will taste best fresh and warm straight from the air fryer basket.
- Preheat if necessary: While not all brands require it, preheating the air fryer will ensure food cooks evenly.
- Make sure to shake the basket: This ensures the fries are evenly cooked on all sides.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket: Only fill the basket halfway. Otherwise, you run the risk of limp fries. Cook them in batches if necessary.
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