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Crispy Air Fryer French Fries

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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.

air fryer french fries with ketchup

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.

french fries in air fryer basket

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!

cut potatoes for fries on cutting board

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.)

fries soaked in water and then seasoned in bowl

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!

crispy air fryer french fries in basket with ketchup

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!

air fryer french fries with ketchup
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4.12 from 17 votes

Crispy Air Fryer French Fries

Here's how to make crispy Air Fryer French Fries, using little to no oil, in just 15 minutes!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine air fryer
Keyword air fryer french fries
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 80kcal



  • 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.



I like using Yukon Gold potatoes best for french fries, as they have a "creamier" middle. Russet potatoes are drier in texture. If you want to make sweet potato fries, see my Air Fryer Sweet Potato French Fries tutorial instead.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Per Serving: Calories: 80, Fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 2g

Recipe Notes:

  • 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!


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Raymond Fera

Do you have a recipie for salt water fish like red snapper, red drum or speckled trout.


I use leftover fries in the mornings sometimes to make a hash with! We own the tfal. It has an additional snack plate where we can throw in things like chicken or fish. My husband likes to make dry ribs with it a lot. It’s also nice for the summertime because I can throw stuff in it and let it work on our back deck!

Iwould Love a ginger beef recipe. Similar to what you find in Chinese takeout. It’s deep fried usually and covered in a sticky gingery syrupy sauce. But I bet you could use cauliflower instead. And then figure out some kind of sauce that is similar . Gingerbeef is my favourite thing ever

Healthy Kitchen 101

The air fryer absolutely makes the friend fries more cripsy. Back to the year that I worked part-time for a Texas Chicken restaurant, they also use the bigger fryer to make the fries, so that’s the way it works 😉
– Natalie Ellis

JoAnn Billitti

Bought the NuWave fryer last week per your recommendation. I finally had the opportunity to try the fries tonight. You’re right — so creamy and tasty, only it took more like 35 minutes to get the brown, crispy texture we like. I did use Yukon gold. My next try will be with the sweet potatoes, then maybe chicken. I hope you keep posting recipes that work with the NuWave Fryer


Yum! I just got an air fryer, so I am excited to try out this recipe!


    How can you give this recipe 5 starts when you haven’t even tried it?


Muchas gracias por la receta me salió perfecta.


Thank you so much for the recipe. It came out perfect!!

Juanita Williams

Has anyone used Russet potatoes? I have quite a few at home and would like to use them rather than purchase Yukon.


    Yes and they worked just fine and tasted perfectly. I also added some season all seasoning salt which made it more flavorful!


Hi! I am wondering what your thoughts are on the nonstick coating on the base of the airfryer where the basket sits. I had an XL Power Airfryer and I just wasn’t comfortable with the nonstick coating, so I am considering a glass airfryer by Big Boss or a ceramic coated model by Louise Sturhling. I’m inquiring because I read your response to a comment on your egg it’s recipe where someone inquired about Teflon in the Instant Pot 🙂 Thanks!!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m not a fan of this particular air fryer for that reason. I thought it smelled really bad while it was cooking, so I’m looking into some stainless steel options next!

Michael DePaul

Is it safe to assume the instructions you gave for french fries will be usable for my Emeril 360 oven?


Is french fries healthy using aircor fryer?


I’m curious – do you soak the sweet potatoes too?

Barbara Yaich

I just tried it with the fryer you recomended. They taste like the fries we made as a kid in our deep well on our stove. Amazing. Love love love it Thanks Megan once again!

Janell A Baca

I have the nuwave oven and would like to have fries tonight. Can frozen fries be cooked in this oven?


It is an excellent recipe just what I was looking for to enjoy some good fries

Jones Duane

Mine came out soggy and not crispy using the new Breville Air Fryer

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m sorry to hear that! I haven’t tried that brand of air fryer yet, but I want to, so I’ll update this post if I figure out how that one might work differently.

Debra cavalier

Looking forward to more recipes! Potatoe soak time excellent suggestion.


Don’t know if it’s your recipe, my new air fryer or me, but i tried several variaions with no success. Soggy fries, soggy sweet potato fries too. Quite disappointed!

Chase Jones

This takes minimum 30 minutes to cook. Even layer, large air fryer. Started with 20 min and had to add another 20. Potatoes soaked and cut just like the photos. Happened to me twice now following these steps.


you have the vent on the frier open or closed when you are cooking fries and other ghings

Tracy Stuberg

Really enjoyed the French fries and the delicious special sauce

Charlie Trotter

Can I use air fryer to cook fried chicken?


What left over fries???


I used russet potatoes and they came out just as well. However, it took several minutes longer than 15 mins to get them crispy. Great trick with the soaking, though!


Ended up doing 15 minutes at 375 and then another 5 minutes at 400. This gave Them a nice texture. Shook them up twice throughout cooking and sprayed them with some canola oil both times. This helped improve them a lot.


Yes you can do full meals I’m not exactly sure yet but I’ve seen some recipes on line
There is a screen to hold other items

LORETTA stevens

First time to this blog. Looks like it’s sensible with understandable instructions. I had my air fryer about two months before I even opened it. Another month after opening it before I used it. It was very intimidating but it turned out delicious. To justify the cost and the space I should use it a few times a week. Thanks for the potato recipe. I didn’t soak them but I will next time

Hannah Flack

I make something very similar and freeze it. The trick is to reheat it in the oven and not the microwave (which makes it weird and soggy).


Megan, have you had the chance to try the air fryer adapter for the instantly pot? Would love your input!

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