My simple method to wonderfully crispy oven baked fries every single time. Perfect crispy baked fries without the need of a deep fat fryer.
When thinking about delicious crispy fries, it’s hard not also to imagine the deep fryer that you use to make them. Luckily, not only is it possible, but I actually recommend baked french fries. You no longer have to compromise on taste or texture in the name of health as these healthy oven-baked fries are both crispy and utterly delicious.
I know this isn’t technically a ‘new’ thing, but with new technology like air fryers, etc. out there now, I find it useful to know what exactly I can make minus the deep fat fryer, with no new kit needed. With just a few ingredients and couple of top tips, you can get wonderfully crispy baked fries every single time, straight from the oven.
Plus, this recipe is easily transferrable to multiple potato types including sweet potato, russet potatoes etc. You can also make fries with the skin on and off – they’ll all turn out wonderfully with the below method. You won’t have to worry about dealing with hot oil or sacrificing your health in the name of a delicious portion of chips. Saving on unhealthy saturated fat is always a good thing in my book.Note* Depending on what type of potatoes you use, you may need to change the recipe slightly. For example, sweet potatoes are a ‘harder’ potato, so may need a little extra soaking time and a few minutes extra in the oven.
Now this homemade healthy fries recipe helps you get the crispiness and quality of deep fried chips, but with a fraction of the oil. After all, we’ve all had some ‘limp’ oven-baked fries before, and that’s not great for the ‘baked’ version reputation. It’s taken a bit of time, but I’ve finally found a method that gets me results I love.
Tips For Wonderful Oven Baked Fries:
- If you want to pre-chop your fries, ready to bake later on in the day, then I suggest placing them in a bowl of ice-cold water, in the refrigerator. Add some lemon juice if you want to keep them that way overnight. The combination of water and lemon juice will stop the potatoes from browning.
- Soaking the potatoes is critical to the best results for a great recipe. This will remove excess starch from the potatoes, which in turn yields crispier fries. Just make sure that you properly dry them afterwards, before tossing them with seasonings and baking them.
- Use enough oil to season them – I know that it’s easy to believe that the less oil, the better. However, if you want crispy fries, then the oil is still very much needed, so don’t shy away from the amount I’ve suggested.
How to make Oven Baked Fries:
Making oven baked healthy fries or healthy chips that taste great is super easy if you follow the four steps below. You will never use the deep frier ever again, and you can enjoy them anytime you like.
First pick your potatoes, brush and clean them. If I buy organic potatoes, I usually keep the skin on but brush very very well. When it’s not possible to buy organic potatoes, I peel the skin.
Cut the Potatoes to the sizes you like. If you decide to go with matchstick-style thin slices, remember to reduce the oven time. I cut mine into medium-chunky batons and baked them for 30 mins.
Potatoes are naturally very high in starch, and so we need to wash the starch away. To do this, you can soak the potatoes for 20-30 minutes with cold water or use a similar method to washing rice – rinsing it repeatedly, till the water runs clear.
Note* I’ve tried a variety of methods and have found two that work well if you decide to soak the poatoes. The first is to soak the potatoes with cold water, as mentioned above. Alternatively, use hot water and soak for 10-15 minutes.
I usually set my kettle to it’s lowest heat for this. You could also heat it in the microwave or over the stove. I don’t suggest using the hot water directly from the tap due there being some iffy information out there about whether or not this is safe to ‘cook’ with. Better not to risk it.
If you’re washing and rinsing them, then you need to wash the potatoes thoroughly until you get clear water
Next, give the potatoes a final rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly. What works for me is to use a dry towel. You can always dry them on a kitchen counter too if you have a sunny window.
Next is deciding how you would season the fries, I like to keep it simple by adding salt, 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, dried garlic flakes or garlic powder and dried rosemary. I prefer using dried garlic flakes since they don’t burn as quickly in the oven as fresh garlic would.
Note* you could sub out olive oil for canola oil. However, I’ve only tried it with extra virgin olive oil (and have never had issues with it smoking in the oven).
Other spices you can use include chilli flakes, paprika powder, oregano, the possibilities are endless.
Place your fries in the bowl with the seasonings and oil and toss with your hands, to evenly coat.
Now it’s time to cook them. Lay them in a single layer on a non-stick baking tray/baking sheet. Make sure they’re not too crowded and aren’t touching – use multiple trays, if needs be.
Note* I’ve tried this recipe with and without parchment paper and have liked the results with both. As I don’t turn my fries over, regardless – it doesn’t make much of a difference whether you do or don’t use parchment paper unless you’re not using a non-stick tray.
Another option is to spread the fries on a sheet of baking paper over a rack, rather than a tray. This way, the heat will permeate all sides more evenly, and they shouldn’t stick to the paper at all.
Bake them in a preheated oven at 175C. I’ve found not opening the oven at all during the 30 minutes works wonders, so there’s no need to turn them over halfway. If you cut them thinner, remember to check on them at the 20 minutes mark, through the door, to make sure they don’t burn. They’re ready to eat immediately.
Note* with hand-cut chips/fries, you’ll often end up with different sizes so results can vary from batch to batch so keep an eye on the time to make sure none burn.
Once ready, serve your fries immediately. Alternatively, your leftover oven-baked fries can be frozen for between 3-4 months, in a freezer-safe bag.
To reheat just spread them on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes at 200C. This is just enough to heat them without further cooking them.
How to Enjoy Your Oven Baked Fries:
I am definitely in the camp that believes that fries are not just a side to a meal. Carefully paired with selected sauces and accompaniments and fries can become a meal in their own right. For example:
Greek Fries: With some homemade crumbly vegan feta, oregano and optional chopped olives, you have yourself a bowl of delicious Greek-style fries.
Mexican Nacho Fries: Imagine a piled up bowl of sweet potato baked fries, smoky vegan cheddar cheese, corn, black beans, homemade guacamole, tomatoes, possibly jalapenos and a drizzle of sour cream or your favourite dairy-free alternative. There’s nothing better than a massive bowl of comfort food like nachos – fries style.
Truffle Fries: Truffles is such a ‘marmite’-like ingredient. You either love truffle taste or hate it; if you hate it, then these probably aren’t for you. Pairing the fries with some delicious melty cheese ( plant-based or dairy), some truffle oil, fried mushrooms and chopped parsley makes for a decadent treat.
Middle Eastern Fries: Drizzle your fries with some za’atar yogurt, pomegranate seeds, chopped mint and sumac and enjoy.
And let’s not forget chilli fries and other classic combinations too. And – if you are wanting them as a side, then you can serve them alongside homemade mayonnaise.
The Oven Baked Fries Recipe:
I usually set my kettle to it's lowest heat for this. You could also heat it in the microwave or over the stove. I don't suggest using the hot water directly from the tap due there being some iffy information out there about whether or not this is safe to 'cook' with. Better not to risk it.
Another option is to spread the fries on a sheet of baking paper over a rack, rather than a tray. This way, the heat will permeate all sides more evenly, and they shouldn't stick to the paper at all.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 349Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1182mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 5g