Smoky Garlic Oven Fries

$2.84 recipe / $0.71 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.73 from 11 votes
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I really  wanted to call these “OMG! They’re Crunchy!” Fries, but that doesn’t work very well for SEO purposes. My point is, I’m happy to have finally made some oven fries that are crispy and crunchy. Are these Smoky Garlic Oven Fries like deep fried fries? Well, no. Fries made in the oven will never be like real fries because the science behind the cooking is completely different, but it’s nice to finally have made some that are actually crispy rather than just strips of soft baked potato, ya know?

These smoky little garlic oven fries are an addictive snack or they can be a delightful side to dinner. You can season them with just about anything you want (think Parmesan, curry powder, ranch seasoning mix… anything), but I went with my favorite go-to combo of garlic and smoked paprika. It’s always a hit.

The secret to making these fries crispy is simple. Cut them THIN. There’s no special 10 step method like soaking in salt water and drying with a towel, just cut them thin. I did my best to show you in the step by step photos the easiest way to make them thin and uniform, because when you’re cooking thin anything, uniformity is key to keeping them all cooking at the same rate. If they’re all different shapes and sizes, you’ll have some shriveled and burned, and other soft and mushy. So, now’s a good time to start practicing those slicing skills!

Anywhooo, I enjoyed these Smoky Garlic Oven Fries a LOT (maybe too much) and can’t wait to try some more flavors. Feel free to share you favorite fry flavors with me in the comments below! :)

Top view of Smoky Garlic Oven Fries on a paper towel with a side of ketchup

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Smoky Garlic Oven Fries

4.73 from 11 votes
These Smoky Garlic Oven Fries use one simple trick to make them crispy and crunchy. Use this smoky garlic seasoning blend or your own favorite!
Servings 4
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 2-2.5 lbs russet potatoes ($2.07)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 tsp (approx.) garlic powder ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp (approx.) smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • Generous salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • Non-stick spray (optional) ($0.15)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF and prepare two baking sheets by covering them with foil and coating the foil with non-stick spray or brushing a little oil over the surface of the foil.
  • Wash the potatoes well to remove any dirt or dust. Cut the potatoes into very thin, 1/4 inch matchsticks, then divide them between the two baking sheets.
  • Drizzle each sheet of potatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then toss the fries to coat. Sprinkle the fries with garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Don't worry, they'll get tossed with the spices when they get stirred during the baking process.
  • Bake the fries in the fully preheated 400ºF oven, stirring gently with a spatula every 15 minutes. Bake until the fries are brown and crispy, but still slightly moist in the center. The fries will bake at different rates, depending on how thinly they are sliced, so keep a close eye. My batch took approximately 45 minutes to bake.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 289.85kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 6.25gFat: 7.35gSodium: 222.88mgFiber: 3.95g
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Smoky Garlic Oven Fries

Close up of Smoky Garlic Oven Fries being dipped in ketchup

 

Step by Step Photos

Before you begin, preheat the oven to 400ºF and cover two baking sheets with foil. Coat each one in non-stick spray or brush a little oil over the foil.

Slicing two russet potatoes with knife

Start with two large russet potatoes, about 2 to 2.5 pounds total. Wash them well to remove any dust or dirt. Cut the potato in half lengthwise to give yourself a nice flat surface to slice on. Turn the potato onto the flat surface and carefully slice it into thin strips.

Cutting potato slices into small match stick pieces

Next, take a few of the thin slices that you just cut and lay them down on their flat cut side. Cut lengthwise again, this time 90 degrees perpendicular to the original cuts, to make matchsticks. Did that make sense? I hope so.

Seasoned fries placed on baking sheet lined with tin foil

Divide all of your matchsticks between the two prepared baking sheets. Drizzle each one with one tablespoon of olive oil, then toss to coat. Even though you’re using olive oil here, it is getting mixed in with the starchy juices of the potatoes, which is why you want that extra layer of protection from the non-stick spray first. 

Once the potatoes are coated in olive oil, sprinkle garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly cracked pepper over top. You don’t really have to measure the seasonings, just sprinkle them liberally (except the garlic, that can be strong, so go a little lighter with that). The seasonings will get tossed with the potatoes when you stir them during baking.

Baked Fries on baking sheet

Bake the fries in the preheated 400 degree oven, stirring once every 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown and crispy. The total amount of time needed will depend on your potatoes and how thinly they are cut, but mine took about 45 minutes (stirred twice). Use a spatula to help you gently stir the potatoes because they will be fairly delicate before they crisp up.

Close up of baked fries on baking sheet

Look pretty good, huh? The smoky garlic oven fries were really good dipped in some chipotle ranch dressing that I had. MMmm.

Top view of Smoky Garlic Oven Fries on a paper towel with a side of ketchup

Or you can do ketchup. Ketchup is always good.

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  1. At last minute I decided to throw these into the air fryer (400, 12-15 minutes stirring every 4 minutes) and they turned out great! Thank you! 

  2. Our local sports stadium in Seattle sell tossed oil fried french fries in chopped fresh garlic and parsley. I am going to try this and other variables.

  3. Beth! I would click on a link titled “OMG! They’re Crunchy! Fries” in a heartbeat!!

  4. Hello Beth – I came to you via “cooking blog.com” originally for your ‘baked zuccini’ and they advised to go to your own blog for instructions, but alas, I cannot find the recipe there. Nevermind! :) I found this supersite instead – and immediately pressed “follow” – so here I am. Brilliant – will need a whole day to study everything :).
    Off to kitchen now to make those fries for husband – moorish, they are.
    I wish you a very Happy, healthy and peaceful New Year, Carina (www.anyone4curryandotherthings.com)

  5. I love this blog! Every recipe has been easy to follow, uses items already in the pantry and has become a favorite place for last minute ideas for the age old “what’s for dinner” question. I am sharing this tip from another site, as I have made it several times and not only does it shave time, but the forthcoming crispness of the finished fries is pretty close to the original double fry method! Slice potatoes as described, put in microwave for 3-5 min, covered tightly with plastic wrap. Remove, drain on paper towels and mix with oil, cornstarch and season of your liking. Meanwhile preheat a pan with a few Tbs olive or veg oil in oven to 450. Place potatoes on sheet and bake Btwn 18-25 min depending on thickness….makes very crispy oven fries!

  6. We have made these 4 times now! My family and I love them and they are such a easy side dish. The smoked paprika I have is the hot variety, so I use a little less. I have soaked them in cold water because I had time earlier in the day to cut them up and it didn’t seem to make any difference in how they came out. Some fries will be very crispy, some will be softer. I did find that they do not work as well in a lower oven temperature when I was trying to bake something with them that needs a lower temperature, but they did share the oven with homemade chicken nuggets, For the last half of cooking, and both came out wonderfully.

  7. This were way better than my usual “fries” (strips of soft baked potato, ha). I’ve found the best dipping sauce for fries, either regular or sweet potato, is mayo mixed with a pinch of salt, dash of onion powder, and dash of chili powder. Mmmmmmmm.

  8. I do admire your encouraging your readers to practice their knife skills, but I don’t feel that it’s especially fair to completely omit mention of the proper tool for this job: the mandoline.

    http://www.fantes.com/kitchenware/gadgets/mandolines-and-slicers.html

    Particularly, elderly or arthritic home cooks might appreciate being relieved of the job of cutting uniform thin potato slices by hand. Professionals value the time savings – even over our relatively good knife skills. Try one next time you make fries!

    1. I AM TERRIFIED OF MANDOLINES.

      I feel like I’m going to cut my fingers off when I use one with potatoes or anything hard.

  9. Just made these. After cooking them for 45 minutes, they were still soft and a little soggy, so I just put them on broil for about 5-10 minutes and they came out nice and crispy!

  10. OK, so I must have done something wrong, but I can’t figure out what. Everyone else seems to have had success! I made a half batch, so I used half the seasonings/oil. I definitely cut the fries thin enough—they looked just like the ones in the picture. Maybe they were too thin? They cooked pretty unevenly and seemed to go from raw to burned very quickly. Plus, they were not seasoned enough for me. Alas, I am still looking for a baked fry that comes even close to a fried one!

    1. Your oven might just be a little different than mine and unfortunately that can really affect a recipe like this. If they were pretty uniform in size but seemed to cook unevenly, you might have hot spots in your oven (fairly common). I would try lowering the heat by 25 degrees to help them cook a bit slower and stir them a little more often (maybe every 10 minutes?). That should help them heat and cook more evenly. As far as the seasoning, just be free with it. If you feel you need more go heavy with it. :D

    2. Not just you, Ann! I had the same issue… I’ll have to try again sometime. Thanks for the suggestions, Beth!

  11. I used my leftover red potatoes and they tasted great. I forgot to spray the foil so messed up a few. I did prep them on Saturday and stored them in water in the frig for 2 days. They kept well and stayed white.

  12. Oven fries are my favorite! I make them all the time. I love this garlic version!

  13. These look amazing, I think I’ll try them out this weekend!

    I’m too impatient to boil them, so I pop a potato in a plastic bag and put them in the microwave for 4-5 minutes (depending on the size of the potato). They come out pretty tender and I cut them up like fries.

    Then I spray a little oil on them and seasoning, and bake them for 30 min. They come out crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. They’re so good I like them better than the fried version!