Do air fryers cook frozen french fries? Yes, they do! This air fryer frozen french fries recipe makes perfectly crispy and delicious fries every time. With this easy recipe, you don’t need to defrost the fries before air frying. Stock your freezer with this healthy alternative to store-bought frozen fries that skips the additives and uses avocado oil. Three simple ingredients (plus your favorite ketchup) will get you crispy fries that your family will love.
I’ve noticed when I’m in the grocery store that potatoes seem to be the most popular vegetable in the freezer section. The broccoli and Brussels sprouts may be sitting alone in the freezer case, but someone always seems to be shopping for fries. What is it about potatoes cut into sticks, fried, and salted that makes them so alluring?
It becomes easy to forget that potatoes are actually a vegetable! They’re rich in potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, and an assortment of B-complex vitamins. Potatoes are actually a pretty nutritious choice (though they are not appropriate for low carb diets).
Frozen potatoes are really popular, and the air fryer recipes here tend to be popular. So, I decided to put these two things together.
We’re going to make frozen french fries in the air fryer.
I know what you must be thinking... Frozen fries in the air fryer?!? But I thought it was all about healthy recipes here!
It’s true that I do try to put a (somewhat) healthier spin on everything here. Read on to learn how I did it with frozen fries!
- Are air fried fries healthy?
- Best Air Fryer for Frozen French Fries
- How to Air Fry Frozen French Fries
- How to Freeze Uncooked French Fries
- Cooking Time and Temperature
- How to Use Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Are air fried fries healthy?
I wouldn’t consider this recipe for frozen fries made in an air fryer optimal for weight loss. However, I would say this homemade recipe is nutritious.
There are healthy high calorie food choices, just like there are healthy low calorie foods. Consistently making nutritious food choices that also align with your weight goals may help you get where you want to be on your health journey.
What I’m giving you here are plain frozen potatoes roasted with a little avocado oil. It’s similar to how I’d air fry frozen broccoli and other frozen vegetables.
These fries are a more nutritious choice than most store-bought frozen fries. Typically, frozen fries have a lot of additives that push them into the category of ultra-processed foods. I would not consider most store-bought frozen french fries to be the healthiest choice.
For example, here are the ingredients for Ore Ida frozen french fries:
- Soybean and Cottonseed oil
- Annatto color
- Dextrose (added sugar)
- Sodium acid pyrophosphate
Unfortunately, pretty much all frozen french fries are similar. I could not find frozen fries that were just made of potatoes, as I could for my Air Fryer Frozen Hash Browns recipe. Most brands use oils that I don’t prefer to cook with at home, even the health food store brands.
Luckily, it is really easy to prepare potatoes to make your own air fryer french fries. You can skip the additives, highly refined oils, and added sugar when you go the DIY route.
Another benefit is that you can make seasoned fries with this recipe using any of your favorite seasonings. I went with plain salt here, but feel free to use everything but the bagel seasoning, tajin, or anything you’d like.
This simple recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy free, and dairy free. Since it’s free of the major food allergens, many people can enjoy this one.
To cook frozen fries in the air fryer, all you need is the following:
- Russet potatoes
- Avocado oil (or olive oil)
- Sea salt
- Cooking oil spray
If you want to make your fries more like store-bought frozen fries, peel them with a potato peeler. Peeling is also great if your potatoes have a ton of blemishes. This recipe is a wonderful way to bring new life to old potatoes.
I’d also have a sharp knife on hand for cutting the potatoes. You’ll also need a large pot for the parboiling step in the recipe and some quart-size freezer bags.
Best Air Fryer for Frozen French Fries
The other thing you must have for this recipe is an air fryer. Whatever air fryer you have can be used to air fry frozen french fries. Not having to buy another air fryer for a particular recipe is definitely best!
Air fryer ovens, smaller air fryers with rotating baskets, Ninja air fryers, Cosori, etc. should all work. I really love my 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven for this recipe. It can fit a fairly large volume of food without overcrowding or having to cook separate batches.
Keep in mind that different air fryers may give different results. Don’t be afraid to modify recipes (shorten cooking times, etc.) to get the best results for your particular air fryer.
How to Air Fry Frozen French Fries
The first thing we need to do is cut our potatoes into fries and prepare them for freezing. I used two russet potatoes for this recipe. I peeled them and cut them into fries that are ½-¾ inch thick.
There are special french fry cutters that can cut potatoes into neat french fry shapes. If you make fries often, they may be worth looking into. Fries cut to an even thickness will cook more evenly.
As for me, I find that a sharp knife does the trick. The fries aren’t all perfectly identical, but potatoes aren’t perfect cubes, so that's expected. I think it gives these french fries a bit of rustic charm.
After I cut the fries, I tested two methods to see which would result in the best frozen fries:
- Soaking the potatoes in water for 20 minutes prior to freezing
- Parboiling the potatoes for 3 minutes before freezing (i.e., partially cooking the potatoes in boiling water)
Both methods had good results, but the whole family decided the parboiled potatoes made the best fries. I often blanch or parboil fresh veggies before freezing, so I guess it makes sense that it works well for potatoes too. (Soaking the potatoes was a tip for making fries from my air fryer’s manual, so that’s why I tried that as well.)
To parboil the cut potatoes, put a large pot of water boiling over medium heat. Drop the uncooked fries in the pot and boil for three minutes. Drain them in a colander, rinse with cool water, then spread them out on clean paper towels.
You want the fries to be dry before freezing. Pat them with some clean paper towels to remove more moisture.
How to Freeze Uncooked French Fries
Line a large baking tray with freezer paper or parchment paper. Lay the cut potatoes out in a single layer on the tray.
Freeze the potatoes on the tray overnight. Freezing the potatoes in a single layer will prevent your fries from sticking together as they freeze. The next day, you can package the fries in quart-sized baggies and then put them back in the freezer.
Your frozen fries are now ready to use whenever you’d like to air fry them. There is no need to thaw them prior to cooking. With the preparation described above, your frozen french fries from scratch are now just as convenient to use as store-bought fries.
Cooking Time and Temperature
Your air fryer frozen french fries will air fry for 25 minutes total at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To prepare them, I misted both of my air fryer oven’s trays with cooking oil spray.
Next, I put the frozen fries in a bowl. For 12 ounces of cut potatoes, I added 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and mixed well. I also sprinkled the fries with a little sea salt.
The fries get spread in a single layer on the air fryer oven trays. We want lots of air to be able to circulate around the fries. That’s why I used both of my air fryer’s trays for this recipe.
If you have a small air fryer, I recommend cooking the fries in batches. Whatever you do, don’t crowd the fries!
After putting both trays in your air fryer oven, air fry for 10 minutes at 400F. Then flip the fries and switch the position of the trays in the air fryer. Air fry an additional 10 minutes at 400F.
Flip the fries again and switch the position of the trays in the air fryer once more. Air fry for 5 more minutes at 400F. That’s all there is to it for air fried frozen fries! (Don’t forget that you may need to modify the cooking time slightly if you use a different air fryer than I do!)
How to Use Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
My favorite way to serve these cooked frozen fries is with a drizzle of True Made Foods no added sugar ketchup. They’re also great with the cilantro-lime dipping sauce from the Air Fryer Jicama Fries recipe.
Burgers and fries are a classic combination. Here are a few simple burger recipes that go great with fries:
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers with Sriracha Mayo
- Smoked Burgers (on a stovetop smoker)
- Air Fryer Burgers Stuffed with Cheese (Hello, try these! You are welcome. Lol)
- How to Make a Healthy Burger
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Fries, even baked or air fried fries, do not tend to be a low-calorie side dish. A reasonable portion of these fries (not the silly tiny portion listed on fry packaging) will set you back over 250 calories.
You could create a low calorie meal with these using a lean protein (like white fish) and non-starchy veggies. However, most of us are going to pair fries with a burger, fried seafood, or steak. These classic pairings will likely add up to a meal that is quite high in calories.
One thing you could do for a lighter burger meal that includes fries is serve the burger in a lettuce wrap, not a bun. You’re already getting plenty of carbs from the fries. There’s really no need for most sedentary adults to add the bun on top of that.
Store-bought frozen fries don’t fit many special diets because of the assortment additives and flavorings included. (BTW, did you know that McDonald’s fries in the U.S. are not vegetarian-friendly due to beef flavoring?) As a result, many special diets (vegan, low-carb, soy free, etc.) automatically cut out many ultra-processed foods.
Cutting ultra-processed foods largely out of your diet may lead to positive health benefits, including weight loss. This may lead some to conclude that their special diet has some magical weight loss or curative powers. In truth, these diets are often beneficial because they force adherents to eliminate ultra-processed foods and some other less healthful choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
One fairly generous serving of these fries (half the recipe) provides 258 calories. The calories in your fries will depend on the brand or recipe you use and the size of your portion.
Air frying frozen french fries does not dramatically reduce the fat and calories compared to oven baking frozen french fries. A little oil may drip away while air frying fries, but it is not enough to dramatically impact the nutrition information.
My homemade frozen fries are best! Seriously, any brand of frozen fries that you prefer oven baked will probably also be your favorite in the air fryer.
According to the FoodKeeper App, frozen fries can be kept up to 12 months in the freezer. Consider resealing the fries with a vacuum sealer to prevent freezer burn. After 12 months, the fries may experience a deterioration of freshness and quality.
Yes, you can cook frozen crinkle fries, frozen steak fries, or any of your favorite fry shapes in an air fryer. Thicker fries may have a slightly longer cooking time.
You should not need to add oil to store-bought frozen french fries, as they already have oil added. This recipe for frozen french fries needs oil for the best results, just like other air fryer frozen veggies.
Other Easy Air Fryer Recipes
If you love air fryer cooking because it is fast and convenient, I have good news. I have TONS of super easy air fryer recipes right here for you. I recommend starting by checking these out:
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Popcorn
- Home Fries Air Fryer Recipe
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Potato Skins
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Frozen French Fries (Healthy Recipe)
- Set a large pot of water to boil over medium heat.
- Peel your potatoes using a potato peeler and cut them into ½-¾-inch thick fry shapes. Cutting them to an even thickness will help ensure more even cooking.
- When the water in the pot is boiling, drop the fries in the pot and boil for 3 minutes. Then drain the fries and rinse them in cool water.
- Spread the fries out on clean paper towels. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible from their surfaces.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or freezer paper. Put the fries in a single layer on the tray. Freeze the fries on the tray overnight.
- The next day, put the fries in a quart-sized baggie for long-term freezer storage. They are now ready to use whenever you want to make frozen fries in the air fryer.
How to Air Fry Frozen Fries:
- Mist your air fryer baking trays with cooking oil spray.
- Put the frozen fries in a medium-sized bowl. (Do not thaw the fries.) Stir in the avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt.
- Spread the fries in a single layer on your air fryer trays. I used two trays for this recipe.
- Air fry the fries for 10 minutes at 400°F. Then flip the fries over, switch the position of the trays in the air fryer, and air fry an additional 10 minutes at 400°F. Flip the fries again, and switch the position of the trays in the air fryer once more. Air fry for 5 more minutes at 400°F. (That's a total of 25 minutes of air frying.)
- Serve immediately with your favorite ketchup or dipping sauce for fries. Enjoy!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Fries, even baked or air fried fries, do not tend to be a low-calorie side dish. A reasonable portion of these fries (not the silly tiny portion listed on fry packaging) will set you back over 250 calories. You could create a low calorie meal with these using a lean protein (like white fish) and non-starchy veggies. However, most of us are going to pair fries with a burger, fried seafood, or steak. These classic pairings will likely add up to a meal that is quite high in calories. One thing you could do for a lighter burger meal that includes fries is serve the burger in a lettuce wrap, not a bun. You’re already getting plenty of carbs from the fries. There’s really no need for most sedentary adults to add the bun on top of that. Store-bought frozen fries don’t fit many special diets because of the assortment additives and flavorings included. (BTW, did you know that McDonald’s fries in the U.S. are not vegetarian-friendly due to beef flavoring?) As a result, many special diets (vegan, low-carb, soy free, etc.) automatically cut out many ultra-processed foods. Cutting ultra-processed foods largely out of your diet may lead to positive health benefits, including weight loss. This may lead some to conclude that their special diet has some magical weight loss or curative powers. In truth, these diets are often beneficial because they force adherents to eliminate ultra-processed foods and some other less healthful choices. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe without ketchup or other dipping sauces.