Would you believe that I bought an air fryer for the sole purpose of making CRISPY french fries? Because I did. And on my very first try, I made crispy french fries in just about 30 minutes! I’m in french fry heaven right now– and you can be, too.
All you need to make crispy, relatively healthy french fries is a potato, a drizzle of olive oil, and your favorite seasonings. You basically prepare them exactly like you would oven-baked french fries, but the air fryer cooks them faster and with crispier results. It’s a total win-win!
Bonus: Make your own healthy ketchup as a dipping sauce.
Which Air Fryer is Best?
There doesn’t seem to be a consensus when it comes to the “best” air fryer, so I read a lot of Amazon reviews and landed on buying this NuWave model. I like that it has a 6-quart capacity (so I can make more than just french fries, if I feel so inclined) and the price point seemed more reasonable than some other models that I researched. Since I’m not sure how much I’ll use an air fryer yet, I feel comfortable with this choice so far.
Update: I’ve tried 4 different air fryer brands at this point, and I’m still happy with the NuWave. I also like the Instant Vortex, Cuisinart & Breville Air Fryers, so feel free to pick the one that fits your price point. The NuWave did have a plastic-smell that I did not care for when I first got it, but it has since gone away.
When my air fryer arrived in the mail my first reaction was, “Wow, this is huge!” It’s roughly the same size as my 8-quart Instant Pot, so it’s not a small appliance that will live on my countertop permanently. (The Instant Pot, on the other hand, has earned its spot because I use it almost every day.)
How to Make Crispy French Fries
The key to getting ultra-crispy french fries is to soak the cut potatoes in water for 10 minutes, to help remove some of their starch content. This helps the centers get tender, and the outsides get crispy!
The air fryer does an exceptional job of helping the process along, though, so if you don’t have time to soak your sliced potatoes, it’s not a deal-breaker when you use the air fryer. They really do get crispy regardless!
I tested them both ways, just to be sure. (On busy weeknights, I always skip the soaking process.)
Are Air Fryer French Fries Healthy?
It’s hard to think of a french fry as being “healthy,” but I think these fries are just about as healthy as you can get. They are made with significantly less oil than the deep-fried version, and you can even make them with no oil at all, if you prefer. (I do think using a little oil helps with texture and mouthfeel, so I don’t skip it.) If you think oven-roasted potatoes are healthy, these are the same thing– just crispier!
Air Fryer French Fries Recipe
This is more of a method, or technique, so keep in mind that this recipe is just a starting point. Feel free to add any other seasonings you like.
If you would rather use sweet potatoes for fries, be sure to check out my Air Fryer Sweet Potato French Fries tutorial. They require a slightly different cooking method!
Crispy Air Fryer French Fries
- 1 pound Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes , scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the air fryer to 375ºF, then slice the potatoes into french fry shapes, about 1/4-inch thick. Place the raw potato slices in a bowl of warm water and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, pat dry, and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil, then season with the salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Toss well to coat the potatoes.
- Arrange the seasoned potato slices on the bottom of your air fryer basket, in a single layer, if possible. (I have to do this in 2 batches with my basket-style air fryer.) The more separated the potatoes, the crispier they will be.
- Cook the fries at 375ºF for 15 minutes, tossing the fries after 10 minutes to make sure they crisp up evenly. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.
- If you have any leftover fries, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, but they will get soggy with storage. I'd recommend re-heating them in the air fryer again before serving, until they are crisp again.
Per Serving: Calories: 80, Fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 2g
- If you want to make these french fries oil-free, simply toss the soaked potatoes in the seasonings and bake as directed. The fries might stick slightly to the bottom of the air fryer pan, but they will still crisp up and will have a slightly drier texture when compared to using the oil.
- This recipe is very adaptable, so you can use any other oil, type of potato, or seasonings you like. Feel free to get creative!
Reader Feedback: Have you used an air fryer before? Let me know if you have any recipe requests for this thing!