Ultimate Baked French Fries

These are the BEST oven baked French fries that taste just like a restaurant! They come out crispy and perfectly seasoned: no need for frying.

Baked French fries

Want to make the best homemade fries you’ve ever had? Try these Baked French Fries! Yes, we can guarantee they’ll be the best (really). Here at A Couple Cooks, we’ve made made countless batches to get to this ultimate oven baked fries recipe. This recipe uses a few tricks to get the best crispy texture and just the right seasoning blend. Everyone who tries these has a “whoa!” moment when they take the first bite. Here’s what you need to know about how to make baked French fries at home!

How to cut French fries by hand

To make baked French fries at home: you’ll need to learn how to cut them! It’s not hard once you’ve done it once. We’ve got a video to help break down the method. Here are a few notes:

  • Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base.
  • Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long 3/8-inch wide strips.
  • Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries!

Alternative: use a French fry cutter!

Don’t want to cut fries with a knife? You can use a French fry cutter! Yes, a French fry cutter is a thing: Alex was able to find one online. Because we were doing so much baked fries recipe testing, we decided to get one to see how it worked. Turns out it’s very slick and cuts the fries in 2 seconds! We’d only buy this if you plan to make baked fries often. Here’s a link to the French fry cutter we use.

A secret: the 10-minute cold soak!

The secret to the perfect texture for crispy baked French fries? Soak the fries in cold water before baking. Here’s why:

  • Soaking makes the outside crispy and inside pillowy. In back to back tests, we found this makes for just the right tender interior and crispy exterior.
  • All you need is 10 minutes! Some fry recipes call for soaking for 1 hour or more. We also did back to back tests for this one, and found that the 10 minute soak was actually better!
  • You can soak while your oven preheats. You don’t lose any time with the soak because you can do it while the oven is preheating. Ideally you can cut, soak and season the fries before the oven is ready to go.
crispy baked French fries

Best seasonings for baked french fries

What’s the best seasoning for baked french fries? We’ve tried about a million spices. But we finally narrowed it down to this delicious seasoning blend:

  • Smoked paprika: The Spanish version of paprika that infuses a hint of smokiness into each bite. When you buy a jar, you can use it up with these Best Smoked Paprika Recipes.
  • Old Bay: Old Bay is an American seasoning blend that’s often used to season seafood and potatoes. You can find Old Bay in your grocery store in the spices aisle, buy Old Bay online, or make homemade Old Bay seasoning.
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
Healthy baked fries

How to get baked French fries perfectly crisp

Now that they’re soaked and seasoned: let’s get to baking! Here’s how to bake your baked French fries so that they get perfectly crisp:

  • Use parchment paper. Lining your baking sheets with parchment paper makes for easy cleanup!
  • Space oven racks. Make sure your oven racks are evenly spaced for the most even cooking.
  • Spread the fries in an even layer. Don’t let them touch each other!
  • Bake 20 minutes, then flip and bake 10 minutes. This gets them crispy on both sides! Eat immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Also try: Bistro-Style Pomme Frites

Can you make a larger batch?

This baked French fries recipe makes a good amount of fries. But here’s something to keep in mind: each serving is much less than you’d get in a restaurant. That helps keep this recipe on the healthy side (see below).

If you want to increase the quantity, you can go up from 1 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds of potatoes. This is the maximum that will fit across 2 baking sheets in the oven at once. And you don’t want to make them in batches: because you should eat them immediately!

Best baked French fries recipe

Are baked French fries healthy?

Are these healthy baked French fries? French fries aren’t necessarily health food. But here’s why these are healthier than restaurant fries:

  • The ingredients are just potatoes, minimal olive oil, and salt! So it’s just healthy, whole food ingredients. The potatoes aren’t peeled, so you get all the nutrients from the potato skin too.
  • The serving size is moderate. Using less than restaurants serve keeps the calories down too!

Best dips for French fries

The best part of French fries: dipping them! Here are some of our favorite dips for French fries:

Also try: Step them up with French Fry Seasoning, or top them like Greek Fries!

This baked French fries recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Baked French fries

Ultimate Baked French Fries (So Crispy!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.92 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These are the BEST oven baked French fries that taste just like a restaurant! They come out crispy and perfectly seasoned: no need for frying.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes (1 1/2  to 1 3/4 pounds)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly space the oven racks to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into fries: (Watch this video or use a fry cutter.) Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a 3/8-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible. See the video for full instructions!
  3. Soak in cold water (10 minutes): Place the cut fries into a medium bowl and rinse with cold water until water is clear. Then fill the bowl with cold water and allow to rest for 10 minutes (while the oven preheats). Then drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a clean dish towel.
  4. Season the fries: Add the fries to a dry bowl and toss them with the olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, Old Bay, black pepper, and kosher salt. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries in straight lines on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
  5. Bake: Bake the fries for 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and carefully flip each fry. Return to oven (reversing the pans on top and bottom racks). Bake additional 8 to 10 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown, watching carefully as the bake time depends on the fry thickness and your oven. (If the majority of the fries seem soft, continue to bake a few more minutes.)
  6. Taste and add a few more pinches salt if desired. Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Notes

*This makes a good amount of fries, but much less than a restaurant portion (that’s as intended!). The largest quantity of fries that fits on two baking sheets is 2 pounds, you can increase to that much if desired (adjust seasonings accordingly).

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked French Fries, How to make French fries, Best baked french fries, oven baked french fries, baked fries, oven baked fries

Last updated: September 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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