Air Fryer French Fries

Do you love French fries? The crispier the better, right? Well, you’re going to fall head over heels for this delicious, crispy, and easy air fryer French fries recipe, made with only one teaspoon of oil. It’s the perfect way to enjoy healthy french fries at home, that are lower in fat and calories. Learn how to use an air fryer, and how long to cook these air fryer fries below.

Serve French fries with ketchup or this tasty Green Hummus or even Vegan Ranch Dressing.

Some air fryer french fries are in a white bowl. A bowl of ketchup and raw potatoes on a cutting board are behind.

I have loved french fries forever. In my early vegan days, I was known for ordering french fries and a salad at restaurants. That’s because most restaurants didn’t have any vegan options. But times have changed and now restaurants offer so many great vegan options (including vegan pizza).

But guess what? I still love french fries and a salad!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Russet potatoes are high-starch potatoes, making them perfect for crispy French fries
  • Soaking sliced potatoes in cold water helps prevent the outside of the fries from browning too much as the insides cook
  • Leaving the potato skins on creates a hand-cut fries look and adds flavor too.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Russet potatoes — Otherwise known as white potatoes or Idaho potatoes
  • Olive oil — Or any neutral oil like peanut oil
  • Salt — I like using sea salt or even low sodium salt
  • Spices — Use a sprinkling of black pepper or your favorite spices to season them just right

Ingredient Spotlight

Four potatoes have been picked with a fork, covered with oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. They are sitting on a cutting board.

When choosing potatoes, use high-starch potatoes like Russet potatoes. Waxy potatoes, like red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, have a higher water content that can leave the fries looking wrinkled once the water evaporates.

How to Make Air Fryer French Fries

If you’re wondering how to make french fries in an air fryer, you’ve come to the right place! I started with whole russet potatoes to make these air-fried french fries the best. I’ve found russet potatoes deliver the best texture for french fries in general, so that’s my go-to choice.

Here are the steps to make them:

  1. Cut the potatoes into ¼-inch thick strips.
  2. Transfer cut potatoes to a bowl of water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to several hours.
  3. Heat your air fryer to 400°F/200°C.
  4. Drain the potatoes, blot dry with paper towels, and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Cook potatoes for 20 to 22 minutes, stirring the basket about halfway through.
  6. Season cooked fries with salt and pepper.

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:

Step One: Cut Potatoes

We like our french fries with the peel (it’s where the nutrients are), so give the potatoes a quick scrub and rinse before starting.

A hand is holding a knife and chopping potatoes in the shape of french fries.

Cut a thin strip along the length of one of the potatoes, creating a flat side. This makes cutting the potatoes easier. You can also cut off a bit of the end on both sides.

Now, make 1/4″ cuts along the long side of the potato. And then turn it and do 1/4″ cuts again, to create long, thin french fries.

Step Two: Soak Potatoes

Add the cut potatoes to a bowl with water. This will serve two purposes — it prevents the cut potatoes from turning brown and it makes crispier fried potatoes.

Marly’s Tips

Make-ahead tip: You should plan to soak the potatoes for at least 30 minutes, but they can also soak for hours. That means you can cut the potatoes early and simply let them soak in water until you’re ready to cook them.

Step Three: Prepare Potatoes for Frying

When you’re ready to begin frying, use a strainer to drain excess water from the potatoes. Then use paper towels or a kitchen towel to dry off the potatoes, removing excess water.

Transfer the dried potatoes to a plate and drizzle them with oil. Use your hands to toss the potatoes, ensuring they’re coated with the oil.

Step Four: Fire Up the Air Fryer

Turn the air fryer up to 400°F and set the timer for 20 minutes. Then remove the air fryer basket and add the potatoes. Return the basket to the air fryer.

Remove the basket every 5 minutes or so to toss the potatoes to ensure they’re cooked evenly.

A hand pulls out a tray from an air fryer full of freshly made french fries.

When the Air Fryer French Fries are done, sprinkle with salt and pepper (or other favorite seasonings) and they’re ready to serve.

Storage Tips

Store leftover fries in an airtight container in the fridge. To serve, cook them in the air fryer for 1 to 3 minutes to get them crispy again.

Air Fryer French Fries are Better

If you’ve ever fried foods before, you know that you submerge the food in hot oil. Thanks to the use of hot air and the speed of that air around the food, an air fryer can make foods crispy (aka, fried), with almost no oil.

Whether or not you fall in the “fats are good” camp or not, we can all agree that reducing the number of deep-fried foods in our diets is a good thing. The air fryer makes that much easier to do.

A hand is pulling out the tray holding french fries from an air fryer.

Why I Love My Air Fryer

I’ve been making healthy homemade fries for years. My trick has been either to bake them in the oven or fry them in a skillet with minimal oil. The air fryer has forever changed how I make my homemade fries. Here’s why:

  • It’s lightweight making it easy to store in the cabinet when it’s not in use
  • Alternatively, its small and stylish design means leaving it out is not a terrible blight on my kitchen
  • I love how my air fry french fries come out crisp and evenly browned vs. the skillet
  • The air fryer is pretty fast, cooking these french fries from scratch (raw potatoes) in around 20 to 25 minutes
  • The kitchen is not smoky like it sometimes is after frying potatoes in a skillet
  • It’s a great way to reduce calories (from oil), while at the same time maintaining flavor and texture.

Here are a few recipes that I plan to use my air fryer with soon: Sweet Potato Tater Tots, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, and even these Chocolate Vegan Croissants. I think they’d come out of the air fryer crispy and flaky.

Perfect, Crispy French Fries

It’s easy to make homemade fries air fryer style. However, to get those french fries good and crispy as we love them, use these tips:

  • Soak — Soak potatoes in water to remove surface sugars from the potatoes
  • Dry — Use a kitchen towel or paper towels to dry the potatoes before frying. This removes excess liquid from the cut potatoes.
  • Drizzle — A little bit of oil drizzled over the potatoes will help make them crispier as they fry in the air fryer.
  • Heat — Be sure to heat your air fryer to 400°F.
  • Season — Season the fries with salt and pepper and any other favorite seasonings (like dill or even taco seasoning) right after they’re done cooking.

Serving French Fries

Serve french fries with your favorite condiments, such as:

Frequently-Asked Questions

How do you cook frozen French fries in an air fryer?

It’s easy to cook frozen French fries in an air fryer. To get crispy French fries, spray the air fryer basket with vegetable cooking spray. Then, pour frozen French fries into the air fryer basket. Do not overfill the basket. Then cook at 400°F for approximately 15 minutes, shaking the basket to “stir” every 5 minutes or so.

Are air fryer French fries healthy?

An air fryer uses heat, air, and a fan to make that hot air circulate around food really fast. As a result, the food gets crispy and browned. Think of a marshmallow over a campfire. That browned exterior of the marshmallow is called the Maillard reaction, and it’s the same principles used by an air fryer. Air fried fries have around 190 calories per serving compared to 365 calories for a standard serving of fried french fries.

Is the air fryer better than stove-top?

To brown the potatoes in the skillet requires a lot of heat, which can cause a lot of smoke in the kitchen. Using an air fryer creates crispy fries without all the kitchen smoke.

More Potato Recipes

Sure you love these air fryer fries, but if you’re ready for more tasty potatoes recipes, check these out:\

And, if you’re looking for more air fryer recipes, be sure to try these Air Fryer Chickpeas. You can cook so many tasty foods in an air fryer. For example, these Air Fryer Falafel are the best!

Air Fryer French fries are served up in a white bowl with ketchup and raw potatoes behind it.
Some air fryer french fries are in a white bowl. A bowl of ketchup and raw potatoes on a cutting board are behind.

Easy Air Fryer French Fries

Delicious, crispy, and healthy, these Easy Air Fryer French Fries, will make your veggie burger nights even better. You'll love these crispy fries, made with only 1 teaspoon of oil!
5 from 9 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 186kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes , washed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Cut off ends of the potato and cut a piece of one long side of the potato to create a flat edge. Then make ¼-inch horizontal cuts lengthwise. Then turn the potato so it is lying flat (on the original edge you cut), and cut again in ¼-inch thick strips. We leave peels on.
  • Transfer cut potatoes to a bowl of water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to several hours.
  • When you're ready to Heat your air fryer to 400°F/200°C.
  • Drain the potatoes. Use a paper towel to dry off the potatoes. Transfer potato slices to a bowl and drizzle olive oil over the top. Use your fingers to make sure each potato slice is coated in oil.
  • Transfer oiled potatoes to air fryer basket. Cook potatoes for 20 minutes, removing the basket and using tongs to "stir" the potatoes so they're even cooked about halfway through. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes if necessary.
  • After the potatoes are done, remove them from the air fryer and transfer them to a serving dish (or plates), and season with salt and pepper. 

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

This recipe is minimal on oil but still created crispy, tasty fries. You can add additional oil if you prefer.
This recipe is 5 Weight Watchers Freestyle points.
Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 12.1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.8mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2018 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

17 Responses to Air Fryer French Fries

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDiane Reply

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try!

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