Crispy and golden, homemade air fryer French fries are simply the best. 

Image of air fryer french fries, taken from above. Two small metal cups of ketchup are also pictured.

Guess how many ingredients are in these air fryer French fries? Two! One large potato and a half tablespoon of olive oil. All right, if you want to add salt and pepper, that’s two more but do they really count? Nah. 

Guess how many ingredients are in a popular brand of store-bought frozen French fries? Just a minute, let me count: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Cottonseed, Soybean, And/Or Canola), Modified Food Starch, Rice Flour, Salt, Dextrin, Cornstarch, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Annatto (Color), Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate. Twelve! 

Guess which French fries I would rather eat and serve my family? 

Do homemade air fryer French fries taste great? You be the judge, but I know we find them absolutely irresistible, especially with this homemade fry sauce or homemade ranch dressing

Image of crispy french fries made in an air fryer, on a metal tray with a cup of ketchup also pictured.

About these Air Fryer French Fries:

I love my air fryer when it comes to making crispy and healthy “fried” food. This countertop appliance is similar to a convection oven in some ways. Hot air is circulated around the food on a rack, producing a crispy product without the added oil and extra calories of deep frying. Just a bit of heart healthy olive oil is added to these French fries for flavor, saving a ton of calories. 

For my air fryer French fries, I use Yukon gold potatoes because I like the flavor;  however, Russet potatoes are most commonly used for fries. 

Slice scrubbed potatoes into one-quarter inch French fries. These are skinny fries similar to fast food restaurant fries. A mandolin works best to cut evenly sized fries. Be careful of your fingers!

This next step is important for crispy fries–don’t skip it! Soak the cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. Soaking removes some of the starch. After the potatoes have soaked, drain them and dry them thoroughly. I spread them out on paper towel or a lint free dish towel and pat them dry. Wet potatoes equals soggy fries! 

Put the potatoes into a dry bowl, add oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like. Preheat the air fryer and “fry” those fries. Don’t overcrowd the fryer. You want to have space between the fries so they crisp up. That means you probably will have to do the fries in batches. Spread the cooked fries on a wire rack in a warm oven to keep them warm and crisp. 

Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fries. My skinny fries take about 10-15 minutes. Check them often near the end of the cooking time to see how brown they’re getting. 

You can make as many fries you want–just double or triple the recipe. 

Close up image of skinny french fries and ketchup.

How to make these french fries your own:

  • Experiment with potato varieties. There are lots of different kinds of potatoes, each with unique properties. See which one you like best. Maybe you can have a French fry tasting party. 
  • Peeled or unpeeled? It’s up to you. I like to leave the peelings on.
  • If you want, these fries can be made with no oil whatsoever. Olive oil does add good flavor, though. Other types of oil can be used. 
  • Try different spices. While plain salted fries are great, you could try adding black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika, chili powder, and so on. Raid your spice cupboard. 
  • Add grated Parmesan cheese for a real treat!
  • Serve air fryer French fries with your favorite dipping sauce, including ketchup, homemade ranch dressing, or homemade barbecue sauce. Or douse them in your favorite chili, smothered with cheese sauce.

Overhead image of a try of french fries and ketchup.

Reheating and Storage Tips

Air fryer French fries are best eaten fresh. If you have leftovers (can’t imagine that scenario, but you never know), pop them back in the air fryer to crisp them up again when you’re ready to serve them.

Image of french fries with sauce.

Other air fryer recipes:

Don’t let your air fryer sit in the pantry unused! Check out these delicious recipes:

 

Image of french fries that have been made in an air fryer.

Image of air fryer french fries, taken from above. Two small metal cups of ketchup are also pictured.

Air Fryer French Fries

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Crispy and golden, homemade air fryer French fries are simply the best. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, scrubbed (and peeled if you prefer) (about 6 oz)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, more or less to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the potatoes into french fry shape, about 1/4-inch thick (if you have a mandolin, you may wish to use that). Submerge cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water and let soak for 20 minutes. 
  2. When the fries are almost done soaking, preheat air fryer to 375ºF. 
  3. Drain potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel or a lint-free tea/dish towel. Dry bowl and place fries back in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper 
  4. Place a single layer of fries in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Keep an eye on them towards the end.
  5. Serve immediately, or see notes to keep warm while air frying additional batches.

Notes

  • This recipe is a good guideline for proportions. It’s easy to double or triple, but you’ll still want to cook them in batches so the air can flow around them and make them super crispy. 
  • If you choose to make a large batch, put cooked fries on a wire baking rack placed on top of a sheet pan in a warm oven (175-200ºF). This will keep the cooked fries warm and crispy while you finish cooking the rest. 
  • You may also try adding other seasonings to the fries, like 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika. Grated Parmesan cheese is good, too.
  • Fries can be made with no oil. Spray air fryer rack lightly with cooking spray so fries don't stick.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 2 ounces fries
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: Too good. SO GOOD. You’re not going to believe how crispy these are with so little oil.
Husband’s take: These fries never last long at my house! 
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but they’re a fun blank slate for lots of good seasonings.
Difficulty: Easy!