Do you love French fries, but want a healthier alternative? These crispy oven fries are easy to prepare, and there's no frying required! Serve them with the spicy yogurt sauce or your favorite dip.
Who else goes a little weak in the knees for French fries?
French fries are what I want when I’m feeling a little indulgent. I’d almost always choose crispy, salty fries over dessert.
But let’s be honest. Not all fries are delicious.
In fact, some fries are downright sad.
And of all the types of fries that exist in the world, one type more than any other has a tendency to disappoint.
You know what it is, don’t you?
It’s the fry that’s supposed to be healthier. The fries that are (a-hem) NOT FRIED.
OVEN FRIES. (A.k.a. baked fries.)
It’s why you visited this post, isn’t it? Deep down, you’re hoping that there’s a solution for the soggy disappointment that is an oven fry.
And I’m here to walk you through how to make crispy oven fries that do not disappoint. Fries that actually crisp up in the oven. Fries that aren’t too pitiful, limp, and bendy to dip into a sauce.
And in case you want a healthier dip to go with your healthy fries, try swapping ketchup for the spicy yogurt sauce in the recipe. But no pressure, go ahead and dip these fries in ketchup if that’s how you love them!
Or you can skip the dip completely and make loaded crab fries! Swoon.
What Kind of Potato Should I Use for Crispy Oven Fries?
I used Russet (Idaho) potatoes for this recipe. They are the perfect shape for oven fries, and crisp up nicely.
And since Russet potatoes seem to only come in massive bulk bags of potatoes, use leftover potatoes to make one of my other favorite potato dishes-- gratin Dauphinois.
If you prefer to use another type of potato, be aware that the cook time for other types of potatoes might be a little different than what’s listed in the recipe.
Should I Soak the Potatoes Before Roasting?
A lot of recipes tell you to soak the potatoes before putting your fries in the oven. It’s supposed to help remove some of the starch.
Some recipes say to use cold water, some say hot water, others say to blanch the fries in simmering water first.
Do you know what I say? Russet potatoes absorb a ton of water, so whether or not that process removes starch, soaking the potatoes makes it more difficult to get crispy fries!
Plus, it’s kind of a pain to soak them, dry them, and then cook them.
I just want to stick the fries in the oven and have the yummy potato smells wafting through my kitchen!
Does it Matter What Size I Cut the Fries?
For crispy oven fries, go with thin, narrow fries. I cut mine about ½” wide, and then they shrink a little more while cooking.
They’re almost like matchstick fries.
Can I Add Salt Before Roasting?
Salt helps draw moisture out of vegetables, and it will be a lot harder to get a crispy edge if you salt the fries before cooking.
Should I Line the Baking Sheet?
These fries are crispiest when they roast directly on the metal baking sheet.
I've also found that lining the baking sheet makes it more difficult to flip the fries mid-cooking.
If you want to try lining your baking sheet to make cleanup easier, use parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet, not aluminum foil. Foil tends to tear when you flip the fries.
Do I Need to Season Oven Fries?
Traditional fries (fried fries) get a lot of flavor from the frying oil. Since we’re using less oil, it’s important to add a little boost of flavor somewhere else.
This recipe says to use garlic powder, but feel free to swap garlic powder for your favorite spice mixture.
And if you stick with garlic powder, try not to use much more than the recipe calls for, because too much garlic powder can make the fries taste bitter.
What Other Spice Mixtures Would Work With These Crispy Oven Fries?
These fries are basically a blank canvas. Use any seasoning that you think is delicious.
Just keep in mind that if you’re using a mixture that would burn easily (because it has herbs or seeds) add it after baking instead of before.
Here are some of my favorite spice (and herb) mixtures to use with oven fries:
- Old Bay seasoning (add before baking)
- Herbs de Provence (add after baking)
- Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning (add before baking)
- Trader Joe’s Multipurpose Umami seasoning (add before baking)
- Trader Joe’s 21 Salute seasoning (add before baking)
- Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning (add after baking)
- Trader Joe’s Nori Komi Furikake Japanese Blend (add after baking)
Serving Crispy Oven Fries with a Dip
I love ketchup. I really do.
But since it IS packed with sugar, and since I do intend to eat these fries on the regular, I wanted a lighter, more savory dip to go with them.
This spicy yogurt dip has become a family favorite. You simply mix plain yogurt with a little of your favorite hot sauce, and stir it all up.
If you’re using Greek yogurt, or your sauce seems too thick, add a little lemon or lime juice to thin it out.
And if you prefer ketchup, or mayo, or a different dip-- you do you.
If you're looking for a store-bought dip, I like both the Ginger People's sweet ginger chili sauce and Heinz organic ketchup.
Whatever kind of dip you choose, make sure to have it ready when the fries come out of the oven, and eat these oven fries while they’re still hot!
Looking for more Russet potato ideas? Try these Airfryer baked potatoes from Carmyy.
Crispy Oven Fries
- 2 large Russet (baking) potatoes
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder Or swap favorite seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
Spicy Yogurt Sauce (Optional):
- ½ cup plain yogurt (whole milk preferred)
- 2 teaspoons favorite (mild) hot sauce I used Cholula. Use more or less hot sauce depending on heat level of the hot sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Cut the potatoes into long slices, about ¼" wide and deep.
- Lay the fries in a single layer on an unlined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder.
- Bake fries for 20 minutes, and then turn the fries. Bake 10-15 more minutes. (Bake time will depend on how crispy you want your fries.)
- Remove fries from the oven, and sprinkle with salt.
- If making sauce, mix yogurt and hot sauce together with a spoon.
- Serve hot with sauce (or with your prefered dip).
- I love these fries with Old Bay seasoning.
- If using a spice blend with elements that will burn easily (like Trader Joe's Everything Bagel or their Nori Komi Furikake Japanese blend), add the spice with the salt after cooking.