Seasoned Fries are coated with a delicious, spicy seasoning mix and baked -- not fried! -- for a crispy, lightened-up, homemade side dish or snack!
In my humble opinion, it's hard to beat French fries...and it's even harder to beat Seasoned Fries!
But rest assured these aren't the gross, fatty ones you get from the drive-thru. These smoky, spicy fries are crispy and made from scratch with a delicious seasoning mix. And the best part is that they're BAKED, not fried!
The Secret to Crispy Baked Fries
Before I dive into how to make these perfect Seasoned Fries, I want to share a little French fry tip with you that I've learned over the years:
Once you get your potatoes cut into nice, thin fries, soak those 'taters in some cold water before cooking them.
Soaking your potatoes with help remove some of the starch, which allows them to get nice and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and tender on the inside.
Just be sure to drain and pat them dry really well before moving on to the next step!
But first...what do you need to make this Seasoned Fries recipe? Well, just a handful of simple ingredients!
- Potatoes. Russets are the standard when it comes to French fries, but I've found that Yukon golds also yield yummy Baked Seasoned Fries.
- Oil. I prefer using olive oil, but you could also use canola.
- Seasonings. I typically like to use a mixture of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The smoked paprika is key to giving the fries a smoky undertone and lots of gorgeous color. But the truth is that you can increase/decrease/change up the seasonings to your liking! It really is a piece of cake to customize your own oven fries seasoning.
- Cornstarch. This ingredient gets mixed into the seasoning mix and results in extra crispy exteriors without affecting the flavor.
If you'd like to turn your regular Seasoned Fries into spicy fries, simply increase the amount of black pepper and/or toss a little cayenne pepper or chipotle chile pepper powder (for smoky heat) into the mix!
How to Make Seasoned Fries
As previously mentioned, after you wash your potatoes and cut them into fries, you'll want to start with the most important step:
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and soak the cut potatoes for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Drain the potatoes and pat them very dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and spices.
- In a large bowl, toss the potatoes in oil to thoroughly coat.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the potatoes.
- Toss until the potatoes are evenly coated with seasoning.
- Divide the potatoes between your prepared baking sheets, spreading them out so that they're in a single layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flip the potatoes, and then bake for about 20 more minutes. If the Seasoned Fries are not quite crispy enough by then, flip them again and give them 5 to 10 more minutes or until your desired crispness is reached.
Keep in mind that the ultimate baking time will depend on how hot your oven runs, how thick you've cut your fries, and how crowded your baking sheets are (and the goal is to not overcrowd them!). Watch your seasoned French fries closely toward the end…they can go from "almost there" to "oh no!" very quickly.
- Sprinkle with a final dusting of salt, to taste, and serve hot with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce!
Serve these Seasoned Fries alongside hamburgers, hot dogs, or simply on their own as a snack.
They're the perfect side dish for year-round meals and, as an added bonus, so much healthier than fried fast food!
More Summer Sides
- German Potato Salad
- Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Fresh Corn
- Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives & Feta
- Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds
Baked Seasoned Fries
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds russet potatoes, about 3 large or 4 medium potatoes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, OR canola oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Wash the potatoes and cut them lengthwise into ½" thick slices. Cut each slice lengthwise into ¼" sticks. Fill a large bowl with cold water and soak the potato slices for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with oil to coat. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the potatoes and toss until evenly coated.
- Divide the potatoes between the prepared baking sheets, spreading them into a single layer with space between the fries. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, watching closely and flipping the potatoes halfway through. If necessary, flip again and continue baking for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until preferred crispness is reached. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired, and serve hot with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.
- The amount of oil you should use will depend on your exact quantity of potatoes. Start with 2 tablespoons of oil and add more only if necessary, keeping in mind that the fries should be well-coated in oil in order to crisp up in the oven, but they should not be saturated/dripping.
- Total baking time will depend on how hot your oven runs, how thick you slice your potatoes, and how much you crowd the baking sheets (don't crowd them!). Keep a close eye on the fries starting at about the 30-minute mark, as they can burn quickly.
- For spicy fries, increase the black pepper and/or add a little cayenne or chipotle chile pepper powder to the seasoning mix.
Guest post by Liz Fourez of LoveGrowsWild.com, originally published on July 2, 2015, and updated on April 23, 2021, and February 3, 2023.