Can an Instant Pot cook fries? Yes! Learn to make crispy Instant Pot Fries that are vegan, plant-based and gluten-free. Your pressure cooker french fries will be perfectly steamed, but how do you get them crispy? Get all of my tips and tricks for making Instant Pot French Fries here. You can make this recipe whether you have an air fryer lid or not.
Here’s an interesting question I got recently:
”Can you cook chips in a multicooker?”
(By chips, we’re talking about what we call french fries in the United States, and hot chips in Australia.)
One can imagine how to make french fries with an Instant Pot air fryer, such as the Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer. You could also make crispy french fries with an Instant Pot air fryer lid. But can you make Instant Pot french fries without CrispLid (or another air fryer lid for Instant Pots)?
The answer to this is yes and no. A pressure cooker can thoroughly cook your fries, turning them into steamed potato sticks. Unfortunately, they won’t get crisp with the Instant Pot’s pressure cooker function alone.
You’re going to need to pair pressure cooking with something else to get crisp fries. I’m going to give you air fryer directions. You could also broil your fries in the oven. Another option is to gently pan fry them in a little oil (use the “high saute” setting on the Instant Pot).
What I’m saying is you’ve got options. How about making some air fryer burgers and fries made in the Instant Pot tonight?
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Ingredients
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Instant Pot Fries
- ️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🔥 Oven Directions
- ️🌡️ Leftovers
- 🧂 Seasoning
- 🍅 Dipping Sauces
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Instant Pot Recipes
- 🍟 More Fries Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of Instant Pot Fries has 138 calories, 15.1 grams net carbs, and 1.9 grams protein. This doesn’t include any condiments you add to your fries, such as ketchup.
What are the benefits of making french fries in the Instant Pot? Here are some reasons you’ll love this french fries Instant Pot recipe:
- Easy side dish: Cook the fries while you work on your main dish for a quick weeknight dinner. You can also use these fries as an easy appetizer or snack.
- Healthy: These fries are not deep fried, so they’re lower calorie fries than those soaked in added oil. Potatoes are a nutritious whole food that provide a range of vitamins and minerals including potassium and vitamin C.
- Special diets: Instant Pot french fries fit a variety of special diets including vegetarian, vegan, whole food plant based, and gluten free.
- Delicious: Tasty baked fries are one of the few vegetables that are picky eater-friendly. There’s something about crispy potato sticks served with dip that makes this a snack kids love.
Which type of potato is best for french fries? I used Yukon Gold potatoes, but russet potatoes are also great for fries. Waxy potatoes, such as red potatoes, are not optimal for fries.
The other things you need to make french fries in the Instant Pot include: olive oil, seasoning salt, and water. You can use another cooking oil (avocado oil, canola oil, etc.) if you prefer.
You can’t fit many fries in a single layer on the Instant Pot trivet. As such, this is a small batch recipe using a single potato.
To make pressure cooker fries, you need a potato peeler (I use a Y-peeler), a good knife, and an Instant Pot. You’ll also need an oven, air fryer, or air fryer lid to crisp the fries.
You’re welcome to use whatever multipurpose cooker you own for this recipe, such as the Ninja Foodi or another cooker. I use a Crock-Pot Express 6-Quart Easy Release Pressure Cooker. Cooking times may vary slightly if you use a different multi-cooker.
🔪 How to Make Instant Pot Fries
How to make Instant Pot fries? Start by prepping your potato. After peeling, you want about 9 ounces (255 grams) of potato.
Cut the potato into fry shapes that are about ¼-inch (0.64 cm) thick and 3½-inches (8.9 cm) long. You can make fries that are a different thickness than I did. However, the cooking times may need to be adjusted if you make your fries a different size.
Put the fries in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle on the oil and sprinkle on the seasoning. Give the fries a good stir to coat them in the seasoning and oil.
Most Instant Pots come with a metal trivet for steaming. You need it for this recipe.
Put the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add enough water to the Instant Pot to completely cover the bottom of the pot. You want the water level to be BELOW the top of the trivet.
For my Instant Pot, 3 cups of water did the trick. You may need to add a little more or a little less.
Place your fries in a single layer on the trivet. Putting the fries perpendicular to the bars of the trivet will help keep them from falling into the water.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot and close the vent. We’re ready to cook!
️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long to pressure cook fries? What setting to cook fries in an Instant Pot? Pressure cook french fries for 5 minutes on high pressure (“beans chili” setting). Quick release the pressure when the time is up.
As mentioned above, this will give you soft, steamed fries. To crisp them up, broil them on a metal baking sheet in the oven.
Alternatively, you can use an air fryer or air fryer lid. Put the fries in a single layer on an air fryer rack and air fry for 8 minutes at 400F (200C). Then flip the fries and air fry an additional 5-7 minutes until crisped to your liking.
If you have an air fryer oven, you should use the top rack position. Let the fries cool for a few minutes before serving with your favorite dipping sauce.
🔥 Oven Directions
You can also skip all this Instant Pot and air fryer business and make oven baked fries. Start by oiling and seasoning the raw potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
Spread the fries out in a single layer on a dark baking tray that was lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40-50 minutes about one-third down from the top of the oven. Flip them after 20-25 minutes.
Leftover fries can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat leftover fries using the oven broiler to get them crispy again. You can also air fry leftover fries in an air fryer preheated to 350F (175C) for 3-5 minutes.
I don’t like the texture change that occurs when you freeze cooked fries. If you do this, lay them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet to freeze. This will keep them from sticking together in a big frozen block.
After the french fries have frozen individually, you can put them in freezer bags with the air pressed out for longer storage.
What’s the best seasoning for fries? I like to keep it simple with just a sprinkle of salt. Here are some other french fry seasonings to try:
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- Herbes de Provence
- Cajun seasoning
- Black pepper
- Mrs. Dash seasoning
- Everything But the Bagel seasoning
- Chili powder
- Chicken salt (one of the most popular fry seasonings in Australia, FYI)
🍅 Dipping Sauces
What are some good toppings and dipping sauces for fries in the Instant Pot? Catsup is my all-time favorite dip for fries. Here’s a lot of ideas for dipping sauces that go with fries:
- Ketchup (here’s my favorite)
- BBQ sauce
- Marinara sauce
- Ranch dressing
- Garlic Aioli
- Chipotle Mayo
- Honey mustard
- Cheese sauce
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). Something nice about making Instant Pot french fries is that you can only make a small portion at a time. You can’t fit many cut potatoes in a single layer in the Instant Pot, so this side dish is automatically portion controlled.
That said, fries (even baked fries) aren’t my top pick for a side dish if you have a weight loss goal. They are a combination of carbs plus fat with little protein. For most people, fries are not very filling unless you eat a lot of them!
Yellow and white potatoes both count towards your overall vegetable intake. They provide fiber, plus important essential nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.
That said, you can derive the same benefits from non-starchy veggies, often for far fewer calories. If you want to lose weight, it’s generally a good idea to eat more (low-oil) non-starchy veggies and fewer starchy veggies.
I’m not necessarily saying to go low carb. However, if you have a weight loss goal, it’s good to know that starchy veggies often provide a lot more calories than non-starchy veggies by volume. Starchy veggies include potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and peas (to give a few examples).
I like the diabetes plate as one option for healthy weight management. In this model, ¼ of the plate is lean protein, ¼ is starch (like baked fries), and ½ is non-starchy veggies. It’s one strategy to try if you want to lose weight without completely giving up foods.
You can steam frozen french fries in the Instant Pot, but they will be limp, not crisp. To make crispy frozen fries in an Instant Pot, you need an Instant Pot air fryer lid.
Yes, you can make sweet potato fries in the Instant Pot. As with white potatoes, the pressure cooker will steam your sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes will then need to be crisped up in an oven or air fryer. Sweet potato french fries may take less time to crisp than regular fries, and they tend to burn easier. Watch them closely!
If your Instant Pot homemade french fries are becoming soggy, put them in an air fryer for a few minutes to crisp them back up. Alternatively, crisp them on a metal baking sheet in a warm oven.
If you want to learn how to air fry fries in an Instant Pot, you need an Instant Pot with air fryer capabilities. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a multicooker that comes with an air fryer lid. You can also buy a separate air fryer lid to fit the Instant Pot, such as the Mealthy CrispLid. These are two common options for making Instant Pot air fryer french fries.
👩🏻🍳 Other Instant Pot Recipes
Have you checked out my other recipes for the Instant Pot? Here are some of my favorites:
🍟 More Fries Recipes
Want more recipes for fries? Try these next:
- Keto Air Fryer Jicama Fries
- Air Fryer Green Bean Fries
- Low Carb Air Fryer Eggplant Fries
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
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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 no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Instant Pot Fries
- 1 potato (about 9 ounces/255 grams after peeling)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 3 cups water
- Note: Yukon gold or russet potato is recommended for this recipe.
- Peel the potato and cut into strips that are about ¼-inch (0.64 cm) thick and 3½-inches (8.9 cm) long.
- Put the potatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle on the oil and sprinkle on the seasoning. Stir the fries to coat them in the seasoning and oil.
- Put the metal Instant Pot trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add enough water to the Instant Pot to completely cover the bottom of the pot. You want the water level to be BELOW the top of the trivet.
- Place the fries in a single layer on the trivet. Putting the fries perpendicular to the bars of the trivet will help keep them from falling into the water. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and close the vent.
- Pressure cook the french fries for 5 minutes on high pressure (“beans chili” setting). Quick release the pressure when the time is up.
- To crisp the fries up, broil them for a few minutes on a metal baking sheet in the oven. If you have an air fryer, put the fries in a single layer on an air fryer rack and air fry for 8 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then flip the fries and air fry an additional 5-7 minutes until crisped to your liking. (Use the top rack position for air fryer ovens.)
- Let the fries cool for a few minutes before serving with your favorite dipping sauce.
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