French Fries {Oven Baked}

June 7, 2019

French Fries! Oven baked, perfectly golden and crisp and deliciously fluffy and tender inside. Just the way the best french fries should be and without the extra fat from deep frying and without a trip to the drive-thru!

French Fries on a napkin lined plate with a side of ketchup.

Homemade French Fries

French fries have been a classic favorite for people of all ages for centuries. They’re one of the best easy side dishes, and of course they’re a staple pairing to a seared, juicy burger.

Generally french fries are made by cutting fresh potatoes into even strips, then they’re wiped of moisture or first soaked in cold water to remove the surface starch, then thoroughly dried. From there french fries are usually deep fried in vegetable oil or peanut oil (in one or two step frying process).

But when making them at home I prefer this less messy, healthier, and easier oven baked option. No one will even miss the frying. And you don’t get those fast food stomach aches with these (no over-used oil here)!

These are also a great side dish because russet potatoes have a longer shelf life than most vegetables when stored properly (in a cool dry place away from sunlight), so you can always keep some on hand for a simple side dish that both young and old alike will love!

Cup full of french fries in parchment paper with a side of ketchup.

Best Dips for French Fries

Don’t forget the sauces to serve with them. Fries just aren’t the same without a sauce to dunk them in. Here’s some great options:

  • Ketchup
  • Fry sauce (mix equal 2 parts mayonnaise and 1 part ketchup)
  • Sriracha Mayo
  • Ranch/Thousand Island Dressing
  • Sour cream and onion dip
  • Garlic Aoili

French Fries Ingredients shown here including russet potatoes, vegetable oil, salt and pepper.

Only 3 Ingredients Needed to Make French Fries

  • Russet potatoes – russets worked best, don’t substitute another type of potato. They have less moisture (meaning crispier exterior), they have less sweetness than other potatoes, they offer a fluffier interior and of course they’re the best choice for that classic french fry flavor.
  • Vegetable oil (or peanut oil) – this type of oil has a high smoke point so don’t substitute with olive oil since the oven temperature is a hot 475 degrees.
  • Salt and (optional) pepper – don’t skip the salt or you’ll end with very bland fries. Standard table salt, kosher salt or sea salt will work great here.

Showing how to prepare potatoes for french fries, peeling potatoes and slicing into sticks.

How to Make French Fries at Home

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place potatoes in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  • Drizzle the oil onto a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (preferably non-stick), tilt to evenly coat.

Soaking potato sticks in a glass bowl full of water to remove excess starches.

  • Drain potatoes well then evenly spread out onto several layers of paper towels. Spread more paper towels over top and pat and press to dry thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle oiled baking sheet evenly with salt and pepper (if oil pooled in areas then tilt pan to spread even before salting).

Drying potato sticks with paper towels.

How to Cook French Fries

  • Spread potatoes into an even layer onto prepared baking sheet leaving space between them.

Spreading cut fries onto baking sheet with oil.

  • Cover baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 5 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until spotty golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Covering baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  • Scrape potatoes loose from pan with a thin metal spatula then turn to opposite side. Spread even. Continue to bake until fries are golden, about 7 – 10 minutes longer.
  • Spread potatoes on paper towels to drain (discard remaining oil on baking sheet). Season with additional salt if desired.

Can I Leave Potatoes Unpeeled?

Yes definitely. This really just comes down to personal preference I prefer without the peel for the classic french fry flavor but for homestyle fries and a faster option leave the peel on.

How Many Potatoes are in a Pound?

Generally one medium russet potato is about 8 oz so it will be about 2 potatoes per pound, and for this recipe that will be about three total since you need 1 1/2 lbs.

What’s the Nutrition of a Potato?

Good to now nutrition: 1 smallish single serve size potato (5.2 oz) has 110 calories, they’re a good source of vitamin c, potassium, and vitamin B6. They’re also a good source of fiber. Plus a plain potato is fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.

French fries after baking in the oven on a baking sheet.

Tips for the Best Oven Baked French Fries

  • Cut potatoes into evenly thick strips so the bake evenly and finish at the same time.
  • Soak potatoes in warm water to remove excess starches.
  • Bake at a high temperature. 
  • Cover with foil for the first 5 minutes of baking. This allows potatoes to steam which in turn will equal fluffier interior.
  • If you like fries with more browning use a dark baking sheet or bake on the lowest oven position.

French Fries

What to Serve with French Fries?

More Easy Potato Recipes You’ll Love:

French Fries {Oven Baked}

5 from 2 votes
Servings: 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes, (about 3 medium) cut into even sticks nearly 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place potatoes in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak for 10 minutes.

  2. Drizzle the oil onto a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet (preferably non-stick), tilt to evenly coat.

  3. Drain potatoes well then evenly spread out onto several layers of paper towels. Spread more paper towels over top and pat and press to dry thoroughly.

  4. Evenly sprinkle oiled baking sheet with 3/4 salt and 1/4 tsp pepper (if oil pooled in areas then tilt pan to spread even before salting).

  5. Spread potatoes into an even layer onto prepared baking sheet leaving space between them. Cover baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 5 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until spotty golden brown, about 15 minutes.

  6. Scrape potatoes loose from pan with a thin metal spatula then turn to opposite side. Spread even. Continue to bake until fries are golden, about 7 - 10 minutes longer. Spread potatoes on paper towels to drain. Season with additional salt if desired.

Recipe Notes

Method adapted from Cook's Illustrated (I didn't leave peels on or cut into wedges).

Nutrition Facts
French Fries {Oven Baked}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Sodium 445mg19%
Potassium 709mg20%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 9.7mg12%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Belgian
Keyword: French Fries
Author: Jaclyn