Frozen French Fries In The Air Fryer aren't just convenient; they're a game-changer. This easy recipe transforms your frozen fries into your favorite fast food fries - the best salty, crispy, hot french fries, all in less time and with less oil.
Ok friends, we're talking french fries today. And while I LOVE making homemade french fries (like these Yukon Gold Chips, or these Louisiana Voodoo Fries, or these Baked Carrot Fries), we all know that it probably isn't going to happen on a weeknight after sports, homework, work, and all the other things that keep us all so busy all the time.
I'm actually a huge fan of frozen fries and love that I can whip them up fairly quickly to serve as an easy side dish to sandwiches or other easy weeknight meals. And my air fryer has made making these such a breeze. I've tested and retested and this is the best method for making delicious crispy air fryer fries.
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy. We all know the beauty of the air fryer by now - this baby has transformed the way I cook many things, including breakfast potatoes, spaghetti squash, and even pizza! I love how easy it is to toss things in, wait just a few minutes, and have a delicious meal at the end, all without turning my oven on. This simple recipe for frozen french fries is as easy as they come.
- Super crispy fries, every single time. The best thing about using an air fryer for frozen french fries is the hot air that circulates around the fries at a high temperature, ensuring each fry is evenly cooked and crispy without the need for extra oil
- Healthier. Ok, so if you were baking frozen fries before, the health aspect will be pretty much the same. But, if you like to deep-fry your fries, these air-fried french fries will be much healthier. Unlike a deep fryer, the air fryer offers a healthier way to get crispy fries with a fraction of the oil.
- Works with all types of fries. Whether you prefer steak fries, shoestring fries, curly fries, sweet potato fries, or waffle fries, the air fryer can handle different types of fries, delivering consistent and delicious results. You can even make homemade air fryer fries if you have your heart set on it!
- Great side dish! These easy fries are the perfect side dish to pair with sandwiches. From Salmon BLTs, Sweet and Spicy Bacon Smash Burgers, or this delicious Sloppy Joe Recipe, these fries pair beautifully.
- 1 lb bag of frozen french fries: This is a good starting point for serving 2-4 people, depending on portion size. You can choose any type of fry you prefer, from crinkle-cut fries to thicker fries or any specialty fries you love.
- Light oil or cooking spray. I use just the tiniest spray of cooking oil on these so that my toppings will stick.
- Optional toppings. Salt is the obvious choice here, but you can also experiment with other toppings to make your fries as fancy as you'd like. I used garlic salt instead of regular salt, then added chopped Italian parsley and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese at the end.
How To Make Frozen French Fries In The Air Fryer
Just a few simple steps and you'll be enjoying the first bite of a salty, crispy hot french fry in no time!
- Preparation. Give the frozen fries a light spray of cooking oil and a sprinkle of salt (or garlic salt!), then place the frozen fries in the basket of the air fryer. Unlike other air fryer recipes where you have to put food in a single layer, it's ok if the fries are piled on top of each other a bit since you'll be shaking the basket throughout the cooking time.
However, you don't want to fill your basket more than ½-3/4 of the way full (this was about a 16 oz bag of fries in my air fryer). Otherwise, the air won't be able to circulate and you'll end up with soggy fries. If you are cooking more than 1 pound of french fries, do it in batches.
- Cook. Set your air fryer to 380 degrees F. Adjust the timer to 18 minutes. If your air fryer has a shake function, use it to ensure even cooking (it should notify you about halfway through the cooking process to shake the air fryer basket). Otherwise, manually shake the basket at the 8-minute mark and again at 15 minutes.
- Finishing Touches: After cooking, transfer the crispy hot fresh french fries to a serving plate. Sprinkle with garlic salt, freshly chopped Italian parsley, and a dash of parmesan cheese for that perfect side dish.
Tips for the best air fryer frozen french fries
When I first went to make frozen fries in the air fryer I thought, how hard can this be? Turns out, there are a lot of variables that can take you from delicious, crispy salty fries, to either a soggy mess or rock-hard potato sticks. Here are a few tips for the best fries:
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket. I said it above but it bears repeating. Don't fill your basket all the way full. You'll end up with soggy fries. I try to keep it at about ½ full for best results, but you can go up to ¾ full as long as you shake the basket during the cooking time. Which leads me to....
- Shake! Be sure you're giving the air fryer basket a good shake a couple of times during the cooking process. You can use tongs to redistribute the fries a bit in the basket if that's easier. The reason you want to rotate the fries is so that they all can get good airflow during the cooking process. This will ensure that they cook evenly and you get crispy hot fresh french fries each time.
- Be mindful of the kind of fries you use. You've probably noticed that different types of french fries take shorter or longer to bake in the oven, right? The same is true in the air fryer. I used medium-sized crinkle-cut fries in this recipe. But, if you're using a thinner fry, like shoestring fries, you'll need to adjust your cooking time.
The thickness of the fries matters, so pay attention and adjust accordingly. And keep this in mind - you can always add a few minutes to your cook time if you check them and they aren't as crispy as you'd like. But if you cook them for too long, they may become too crisp. Err on the side of caution and just check them as you go.
Here is a guide for you to start with when determining how long you should cook different types of fries:
- Sweet potato fries: 12 minutes
- Shoestring fries: 8 minutes
- Waffle fries: 10 minutes
- Homestyle fries or steak fries: 15 minutes
Variations & Substitutions
- Different Fries: Experiment with crinkle fries, sweet potato fries, or even homemade fries. Each type may require slight adjustments in cooking time. (See the guide below)
- Seasonings: Beyond regular or garlic salt, there are loads of seasonings you can use to add different flavors to your fries. consider mixing in spices like paprika, onion powder, or a touch of cayenne pepper for a kick. Or try this Louisiana cajun seasoning for some delicious cajun fries!
- Dips: Am I the only one who sometimes thinks that dips are the best part? Serve with your favorite dips like ranch dressing, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, or a homemade fry sauce for an extra flavor boost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but you will need to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer to ensure they cook evenly and remain crispy.
While best enjoyed fresh, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat them in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes to get them crispy again. Just be sure not to overcook!
Preheating can lead to better results, but it's not always necessary. Refer to your air fryer instructions; adding an extra minute or two to the cooking time can compensate if you start without preheating.
A good shake means quickly tossing them to redistribute without taking them out of the basket. This ensures even cooking and crispiness on all sides. If you're not able to rotate the fries well with a shake, just use some kitchen tongs to gently toss the fries in the air fryer basket to rotate them.
Achieving golden brown, crispy french fries is easier than ever when you use your air fryer!
If you try these Frozen French Fries In The Air Fryer, let me know what you think in the comments below. And don't forget to tag me on IG with a pic @frontrangefed - I'd love to see the many ways you customize your fries!
More Delicious French Fry Recipes
- Louisiana Voodoo Fries
- Crispy Parmesan Carrot Fries
- Quick And Easy Homemade Yukon Gold Potato Chips
- Crispy And Cheesy Fried Mashed Potato Balls
- Crispy Air Fryer Breakfast Potatoes
- Quick And Easy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes
How To Make Crispy Frozen French Fries In The Air Fryer
- 1 lb frozen French fries
- light cooking oil spray
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt (substitute this for the regular salt if using)
- Lightly spray the french fries with olive oil or cooking oil and sprinkle with salt (or garlic salt, if using). Place the frozen French fries in the air fryer basket. Make them as even as possible, although It's ok if they are piled on top of each other just a bit. You will shake them throughout the cooking time.
- Set the air fryer to 380 degrees F.
- Set the air fryer timer to 18 minutes. If you have a “shake" function on the air fryer, set it. Your air fryer will notify you when the air fryer basket is ready to shake. If you don’t have a shake function, pause the cooking at the 8-minute mark, and give the air fryer basket a good shake to redistribute the frozen fries and help them cook evenly. Shake again at 15 minutes.
- Once finished cooking, remove the fries from the basket. Top the fries with chopped Italian parsley, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese if desired.
- Don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket. It should be at most ½ - ¾ of the way full.
- Be sure to shake the fries at the 8-minute mark, and again at 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Pay attention to the type of frozen french fries you are using and adjust the cooking time accordingly (see notes tips above). Thinner fries will take less time to cook.
- If you prefer your fries even crispier, allow them to cook for a bit longer in the air fryer, checking them every couple of minutes to make sure they aren’t overcooking.