Learn how to make fun spiral curly fries with only five ingredients in less than 20 minutes. Healthier than deep-fried fries, these potato curls are crispy and flavorful.
Healthier versions of fries are always a winner in our books.
We can enjoy them regularly AND feel good about it! It’s probably why air fryer French fries and sweet potato fries are our common dinnertime side dish. These baked curly fries are a favorite when we want to do something a little more fun.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Super crispy. Cut into thin spirals and seasoned generously, these oven-baked fries turn out super crispy.
- Healthy. These oil-free baked fries are a lot healthier than their deep-fried alternatives.
- Goes with anything. Fries are one of the most versatile side dishes. Even if you are unsure what you will be making as your main dish, you can pop these curly fries in the oven before you start cooking the mains.
If you are anything like us, these fries need to be dipped in something delicious, so try some fry sauce or big mac sauce, or even healthy versions of the classics- ketchup and BBQ sauce.
You only need potatoes and a couple of spices to make these fries.
- Potatoes. We use Russet potatoes for this recipe. You can peel the potatoes or leave the skin on for extra texture.
- Spices. Smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder are the only spices we use to season our oven-baked fries.
- Sea salt. To taste.
How to make curly fries
While curly fries seem to be a lot of work, making them is easy if you have a spiralizer.
Step 1 – Spiralize and season the potatoes
Spiralize the potatoes and use scissors to cut the strips into 6-8-inch long curls.
In a small bowl, mix all the spices and salt. Sprinkle the spice mix over the potato curls. Toss to coat them evenly.
Step 2 – Bake and serve
Spread the potato curls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the potatoes in the oven preheated to 435F degrees for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and rearrange the fries to ensure they crisp evenly. Bake the fries for another 10 minutes.
If the fries feel soft after 10 minutes, bake them for 5-10 minutes until they are all crispy and golden.
Serve the fries with your favorite dipping sauce.
Can I make these in the air fryer?
Cooking curly fries in the air fryer is another healthy way to make them.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375F degrees.
- Spiralize and season the potatoes.
- Air fry the potatoes for 20 minutes, rearranging them twice as they cook to achieve evenly crispy fries.
What to serve with this
Baked fries, especially ones that look so fun, pair well with a range of main dishes. If you are after classic combinations, serve these oven-baked fries with beef or chicken burgers.
Fries are also an excellent side dish for steak, be it sour vide, reverse-seared, or pan-seared. Turkey wings and lemon pepper wings served with a side of fries make up a filling dinner too.
Tips to make the best recipe
- If you don’t have a spiralizer but still want to make these healthy fries, simply cut the potatoes into very thin pieces and bake them following the instructions. Don’t mind the shape of the potatoes. Simply enjoy their flavor.
- When making a bigger batch of these potatoes, use enough seasoning. All curls should be well-covered in the paprika seasoning.
- Don’t crowd the pan. Otherwise, you will end up with unevenly baked and soggy fries.
- Consider the type of potato you are using. Opt for starchy varieties instead of waxy ones. Waxy potatoes have a high moisture content and don’t work well for frying. While Russet potatoes work best for this recipe, you can use Idaho and Yukon gold potatoes.
- Add some cayenne pepper into the spice mix if you don’t mind the curly fries to have some heat.
- Soak the spiralized potatoes in cold water for 30 to 60 minutes if you have time. Doing this removes some of the starch from the outside of the potatoes. This helps the potatoes crisp up a lot better.
To store. Place leftover fries in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat. Reheat these curly baked potatoes in the oven preheated to 400F degrees for 5 to 7 minutes until they are hot and crispy again.
More healthy potato recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
The classic curly fry seasoning is made of paprika, onion, garlic powders, and salt. While other spices may be added, paprika remains the main ingredient.
Yes, you can use sweet potatoes for this recipe. As sweet potatoes have a higher water content, you must bake them a little longer to get them crispy.
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Curly Fries (Oil Free)
- 1 large russet potato
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 205C/425F.
- In a small cup, mix together the salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Set aside.
- Spiralize the potato into a large bowl. Use scissors to cut the strips into 6-8 inch lengths so they do not tangle and cook more evenly.
- Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the potato pieces, tossing to coat them all evenly.
- Spread the fries evenly out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not overcrowd them. Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Remove the pan from the oven and thoroughly flip/rearrange the fries so the less cooked/crispy ones have more space. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, check the fries and remove the ones that are crispy and golden brown. Return any still soft ones to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Allow them to cool briefly, then enjoy plain or with whatever dipping sauce you like!
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Ohhh so perfect, thank you a million times! These are so dang good, I didn’t add quite as much spice, as the person I cooked for is not a spice guy, trust me he is not a big food person at all, very fussy what he eats but my god he ate these! And asked for more (a big miracle, we can barely get him to eat at all these days)
Shoestring fries taste SO much better than regular fries! Don’t know why…. but they do. I would never imagine doing them without oil, though… how come that works!?
These look amazing! I’m a total sucker for fries. I’m pretty sure I married my husband because he lets me eat the last of his fries when we go out. Favorite fast food fries? It’s been so long since I ate fast food, but McDonald’s were always a go-to.
Yes! I love curly fries! I am seriously craving an entire batch of these…for just me…right now. I think I have a spiralizer tucked in a drawer upstairs, too. I’ve never gotten onto the spiralizing bandwagon, but I clearly need to rethink that one since these fries are pretty much my definition of everything that is awesome. Think rainbows, unicorns and real housewives all rolled up into one…and that’s these fries! (Ok, whether or not I actually think those things are awesome is worthy of a debate…)
These look awesome! I love when you do savory recipes.
totally trying these with sweet potato fries!! what kind of spiralizer do you use?
These curly fries look amazing! I love the color you got on them.
I’d have to say Arby’s curly fries will get me every time. ;-P
I am going to try these with sweet potatoes… yum!
Potatoes are allowed on Whole 30-really?
Yep! They were approved a while back!
These were surprisingly good!
These look amazing. BUT, how are they paleo? They are mostly carbs, and no protein or oil.
I don’t understand, the paleo diet isn’t a low carb diet.