Fresh baked french fries drizzled with clam chowder and crispy bacon. These are game-changing fries made healthy and super duper yummy!
Did you know that oven-baked french fries can save you 122 calories and 11 grams of fat per serving compared to deep-fried ones?
For that particular reason, I tried to make french fries in the oven a few times. They turned out beautifully golden and perfectly crispy! Man, they were delicious…OK, I totally lied.
The truth is that my french fries were either so soggy that you can’t even pick them up or burned like they just came out from hell. Most of the time, it seemed that they were super glued onto my baking sheet and I would have to use chemicals to get them off if I didn’t line the baking sheet with foil. (Thank God.)
Not so fun.
So I let it pass until our recent New York trip when I was taken to an oyster bar called Cull and Pistol in Chelsea Market, New York City. What lightened up this tiny little flame of my desire of making oven-baked french fries again was…obviously not the six different types of oysters I inhaled, but their well-known Chowder Disco Fries. (Isn’t that a cute name?) Oh boy! Who thought pouring clam chowder onto french fries and then covering the whole thing with crispy bacon bits was a good idea? It was a GREAT idea! That thing was freaking heavenly.
I thought if that’s what you could do with basic french fries, you could do all sorts of creative stuff to make game-changing fries once you handle the basics.
So I gave it another shot shortly after we came back from NYC. And this time, my french fries did turn out beautifully golden and perfectly crispy. I would like to share what I learned from all my failures, so you don’t make the same mistakes. Make sure you follow the below steps and your french fries are going to be a success even on your first try!
#1 Spray Baking Sheet With Nonstick Cooking Spray Generously.
Why? Because it prevents potatoes from sticking. Ideally, you want to line your baking sheet with foil first, then spray oil. You could also brush the foil with Canola oil, but cooking spray will give you the best coverage using the least amount of oil. Baked french fries require flipping during baking. This step will make turning potatoes easy, and you want to do it fast while your oven is on.
#2 Cut Potatoes Into The Same Size.
Why? Because it helps cooking fries evenly. Cut your potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick matchstick is ideal for french fries. If you cut the pieces too big, they will be overdone on the outside but underdone on the inside when you bake them over 450 degrees. That’s very high heat.
#3 Coat Potatoes With Oil.
Why? Because that’s how to make them crispy. Unlike deep frying, you don’t need a lot of oil for oven-baked fries. One tablespoon oil for one medium-sized Russet potato is enough. Coating with oil also helps whatever seasonings you use stick onto the potatoes evenly.
#4 Arrange Potato Sticks In A Single Layer Without Them Touching.
Why? Because successfully oven-fried french fries need room to breathe. If you stack them up or make your baking sheet too crowded, the potatoes will be steamed instead of baked, which results in soggy fries. That’s not what you want. Therefore, if you are making a big batch of fries, use two baking sheets or cook them in batches. This is probably the most important step to ensure crispy fries in the oven.
#5 Have Fun With Different Flavors.
Why? Because the whole point of going through the trouble of making baked fries at home is not only because it’s way healthier, but you can try with all kinds of flavors. For example, add paprika, cumin, ground black pepper, chilli powder, or cajun seasoning when tossing the fries with oil or pour clam chowder onto them after baking and serve with bacon bits and chopped parsley. Get creative.
Here you have it – the basics of making perfect baked french fries. What would you do to boost the flavor?
10 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 4 Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried
- 1/4 cup Canola oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup clam chowder
- 5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch thin matchsticks. (Leave the skin on.) Coat potatoes with oil and toss with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl.
- Line two large baking sheets with foil and generously spray with nonstick cooking spray. Don't skip this step. It will prevent the potatoes from sticking on the foil.
- Transfer and arrange potatoes on the baking sheets in a single layer. Make sure they don't touch. This is important to make the fries crispy. Use an additional baking sheet if necessary.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn the fries once halfway through baking. (Baking time varies depending on the size and thickness you cut the fries.)
- While the fries are baking, cook bacon pieces in a nonstick pan over medium heat until crispy. Transfer onto a paper towel once done.
- Remove fries from the oven once the edges slightly begin to brown and the fries begin to crisp. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper (freshly ground is better). Dish them out in a shallow bowl. Pour clam chowder (the liquid part) over the fries. Sprinkle with bacon and garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!
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