The words ’healthy’ and ’french fries’ don’t often appear in the same sentence, but we’ve perfected an oven-baked french fries recipe that’s surprisingly low in calories!
Rather than deep-frying french fries fast-food style, our healthy french fries keep in the goodness and leave out the saturated fats. Our recipe is sparing on the oil, but with a few tips and tricks, it’s still easy to give the potatoes a crispy finish!
Keep reading, and find out how to make the best baked french fries at home!
How to make baked french fries
Oven-baked french fries are a simple way to prepare a healthy alternative to traditional deep or pan-fried potato fries.
All you need are potatoes, a little oil, and some seasoning (salt and pepper do the trick). But before you start slicing potatoes and throwing them into the oven, there are a few great steps you can take to cook the perfect oven-fried potatoes.
Let’s start with the most important tips on how to make your french fries crispy!
How to make oven-baked french fries crispy
French fries aren’t french fries unless they are crispy, but you can achieve a crispy finish even in the oven. To make crispy baked french fries, you first need to follow these important steps when preparing your potatoes (in order!):
- Soak the potatoes. The potatoes have to be soaked in cold water before baking. Soaking in cold water (for at least half an hour) allows the starch to diffuse out of the potato. Less starchy potatoes crisp up better. Once soaked, dry the potatoes before baking!
- These are healthy french fries, but you still need oil to give them that crispy finish. Seasoning, such as salt and pepper, also adds to the crispiness.
- Use the double bake technique. When french fries are cooked in a fast-food restaurant, they’ll be double-cooked (well, double fried in oil). We can replicate this in the oven by first cooking the french fries at a lower temperature, then ramping up the heat for a second stage of cooking (see the recipe for more details on timing!).
How to cut potatoes into fries
Traditional french fries are long, thin, and crispy. For the best results, you need a sharp knife and long potatoes (Russet potatoes are the best type to use!). You can leave the skin on the fries or peel the potatoes to remove the skin before cutting into shape.
Alternatively, you can cut the french fries thicker, giving you a steak-style cut. These take longer to cook but are equally delicious.
Baked potato fries recipe
Now you know the process behind making baked french fries, here’s our easy homemade french fries recipe. The recipe makes enough homemade baked french fries for 4 servings, and takes 40 minutes to prep and 40 minutes to cook in the oven.
Baked french fries recipe FAQ
How to reheat french fries
If you’ve made too many french fries, then they keep for at least 48 hours before becoming too stale to enjoy. Keep the fries in the fridge, then reheat them in the oven for the best results. This is the best way to reheat fries, and it only takes 10 minutes and an extra splash of oil and seasoning.
It’s also possible to reheat the fries in a skillet on the stovetop, but you’ll need more oil for this. A microwave is an option but often results in overcooked or mushy french fries (we don’t recommend it as a first option!).
French fries can also be frozen for up to 6 months. Place the leftovers in a ziplock bag or resealable container. Allow them to thaw overnight, then bake them in the oven to reheat.
Are baked french fries healthy?
Cooking without oil is the quickest way to make a dish healthy, but we need to compromise with french fries. Without oil, it’s impossible to get a crispy finish, but we need to use it as sparingly as possible!
Compared to deep-fried fries, oven-baked french fries are much healthier, as you can get away with using just a drizzle of oil. Deep-fried french fries end up soaking in oil as they cook, and they absorb a vast quantity of unhealthy fats. Therefore, oily french fries are much more calorific than oven-baked french fries that don’t soak up anywhere near as much oil as they cook (the number of calories in baked french fries is significantly lower!).
Potatoes that are baked also retain a larger number of vitamins and nutrients. Yes, they are carb-heavy, but potatoes contain fiber, Vitamin C, and many more essential nutrients. In moderation, and when cooked with a healthier approach (oven-baking), french fries can be healthy!
That’s it for our baked french fries recipe
Baked french fries are easy to prepare at home (all you need are potatoes, after all!), and they are a much, much healthier alternative to fast-food fries. Skip the oil, and lower the calories with a healthy, oven-baked recipe that’s still packed with seasoning and flavor!
Why not bookmark our recipe for later, so you can learn how to make french fries in the oven?
Baked French Fries: Cut Calories with This Healthy Recipe
4 large Russet potatoes
2 tbsp of oil
Salt and pepper
Give your Russet potatoes a good clean in the sink, scrubbing off any dirt that might be present. Once clean, use a sharp knife to slice the potatoes into french-fry-sized strips.
Next, fill a large bowl or pan with cold water. Leave the raw french fries to soak in the water for half an hour before baking.
While the french fries are soaking in water, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
After half an hour, remove the french fries from the water and dry them. Arrange the dried potatoes on the baking tray and give them a drizzle of oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper and any other french fry seasoning you are using for added flavor.
Place the seasoned french fries in the oven, and leave them to bake for an initial 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the french fries over and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F. Leave the homemade french fries in the oven for a further 20 minutes until they have a crispy finish.
Serve your baked homemade french fries piping hot, with the sauce of your choice!