Baked Thick-Cut Seasoned Oven Fries
Warm homemade fries smothered in ketchup make my heart go pitter-patter.
I used both sweet potatoes and russet, and they’re doused in plenty of smoky seasoning.
They’re like the thick-cut fries you get in a restaurant but they’re baked rather than fried, so you can of course, eat more.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with smoked paprika. I love red peppers and since paprika is made from peppers, it’s no surprise it’s always been a favorite seasoning, but smoked paprika is even better.
It’s got a rich, smoky essence that adds wonderful depth of flavor to anything it touches. I’ve been sprinkling it on everything from snack mix to roasted vegetables and it’s absolutely perfect on the fries. It has a tiny bit of a kick, but if you want a full-on kick, sprinkle with cayenne, too.
I also added cumin, which complements the smoked paprika. You can try seasoning salt, thyme and rosemary, garlic and dill, or another favorite spice blend that you like. I went fairly heavy-handed but if you’re more sensitive to spices, dial back the amount.
I used 2 jumbo unpeeled potatoes, one sweet potato and one russet. Use 3 potatoes if yours are smaller, or enough to fill one baking tray completely full.
After slicing the potatoes, put them in a gallon-sized Ziplock and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. This is a little trick to help them crisp up better in the oven. Oven-baked fries never get as crispy as oil-fried fries, but the cornstarch really helps. These are so much healthier than fried fries, making it an easy trade.
I used just 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for the whole batch. The fries do not taste like coconut and there’s so much seasoning that any coconut flavor is masked. My family could not tell that I used coconut oil even when I asked them about it, but use olive or another oil if preferred.
The contrast of the sweetness of the sweet potatoes with the smoky spices makes them so addictively good. And while you can’t taste it per se, coconut oil accentuates the natural sweetness in the sweet potatoes and the flavors complement each other so well.
The russet potatoes stay firmer and get crispier on the exterior than the sweet potatoes and retain a buttery soft, tender interior.
Use your favorite combo of potatoes or even parsnips.
I’m a major ketchup fan and like a little bit of food with my ketchup. The fries were begging to be slathered.
They were so good that the baking tray was demolished in less than 5 minutes between 3 people.
Baked Thick-Cut Seasoned Oven Fries (vegan, GF)
The fries are like thick-cut fries you get in a restaurant, but they’re baked rather than fried, so you can of course, eat more. I used smoked paprika and cumin, but use your favorite seasonings, to taste. I used coconut oil and it’s not noticeable, but if you’re concerned, use another oil. The contrast of the sweetness of the sweet potatoes with the smoky spices makes them so addictively good. And while you can’t taste it per se, coconut oil does wonderful things for sweet potatoes. It accentuates their natural sweetness and the flavors complement each other so well. The Russet potatoes stay firmer and get crispier on the exterior than the sweet potatoes while retaining a buttery soft, tender interior. You may want to make a double batch right off the bat because they disappear fast.
2 extra-large or 3 medium/large potatoes (russet or sweet potatoes), washed and trimmed into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices (I didn’t peel)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons coconut oil in liquid state (or another oil, i.e. olive, vegetable, canola)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or to taste (or substitute with your favorite seasonings or seasoning blend)
2 teaspoons cumin, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
ketchup or your favorite condiments, optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Slice potatoes and put into a gallon-sized Ziplock.
- Sprinkle cornstarch into bag, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat.
- Open bag and add oil, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat.
- Open bag and add smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat. Really manipulate the potatoes all around inside the bag, pushing the ones on the top to the bottom and vice versa, to equally distribute the oil and spices.
- Transfer potatoes to baking tray, arranged in a single flat layer, not quite touching, if possible. They don’t have to be in rows, but I find this easiest when it’s time to flip.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and with a tongs, flip potatoes over.
- Return tray to oven and bake for about 15 to 20 more minutes, or until done. Baking times will vary based on your oven, the potatoes and how thick they’re cut, how full the tray is, and how well done you like your fries. Because it’s a very hot oven, keep a close eye on them in the final moments of baking so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and serve as soon as they’re cool enough to eat; fries are best warm and fresh. Optionally, serve with ketchup or your favorite condiments.
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