Dreaming Foodie readers, let me introduce you to one of my all-time favorite side dishes. One that Greg and I consume multiple times, every single week. One that we never get sick of and that is always as good as the last time. Healthy, oven-baked french fries. Fries that you can feel good about eating all the time!
This recipe has been years in the making. I have been trying for so long to get the right recipe for homemade fries, made in the oven, and this is it. This will be it for me, forever and ever. For a basic, everyday oven fry recipe, this one wins for me in texture, taste and technique. These fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They taste salty and peppery and have a gentle kick from a touch of paprika. They are simple to make, with just a handful of ingredients and a bit of preparation. You need to try these fries – you will love them!
First let’s talk texture. These fries get their crispiness from a quick boil before they are baked. I simply cut up the potatoes, place them in a large pot with water, bring it to a boil and boil for just 5 minutes. This exact method evolved from many other methods I’ve tried over the years. This is the one that works for me and that I’ll continue to do. It’s easy and takes very little time. The 5-minute boil is imperative to this exact recipe. I made many fries in the past that I did not boil and they have not come out as well or nearly as crispy. The boiling changes everything.
The taste of these fries is incredible. I took everything I like about different fries and put them into one. They are salty (who doesn’t love salty fries?), they are peppery, a tiny bit garlic-y and onion-y (from garlic powder and onion powder), a tiny bit spicy (from paprika) and herb-y (from parsley). This is a combination that I just love – nothing fancy or exotic, just yummy basic fries, made with ingredients that are always stocked in my pantry.
The technique is simple. Cut potatoes, boil, drain + rinse, brush with olive oil + sprinkle with seasoning, bake 40-45 minutes. It’s that easy. I show in two photos below how I cut my potatoes. I used to cut oven fries thin, but found out that thin fries will break with the boiling step. For this recipe, the fries need to be sliced thick, like very large steak fries. They need to be able to withstand the boiling. From start to finish, the fries will shrink, so if you think they look large once they are cut, don’t worry, you won’t think that once you are eating a crispy, delicious fry!
A few more notes on this recipe – for Greg and I, I usually use 3-4 medium to large russet potatoes. That makes a ton of fries – two full baking sheets, so for lighter eaters, I would plan for 1 medium-large potato per person. They do make good leftovers, and are awesome reheated in the oven. The seasoning amounts I provide will be good for 3-4 medium-large potatoes. If you’re feeding a crowd, double or triple the amounts as needed!
- 3-4 medium potatoes (I like russet)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400*.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together all spices. Set aside.
- Rinse potatoes. Cut into very thick slices. I usually get 10-12 slices, or fries, per potato.
- Place sliced potatoes into large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil. Boil exactly 5 minutes.
- Drain and rinse with cold water. Let potatoes cool slightly, just to the point that you can easily handle them.
- Arrange evenly on baking sheets, so that no potatoes are touching.
- Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with spice mix.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes in oven, or until crispy and golden brown.
- 3-4 medium to large potatoes with make two full baking sheets of fries. As part of a meal, I would plan for 1 large potato per person.