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Cajun Fries

This Cajun Fries recipe provides a flavor-packed twist on a classic that’s sure to elevate your fry game! Whether you choose to bake them to golden perfection in the oven or opt for the air fryer for that extra crispiness, these are an irresistible combination of bold spices and irresistible crunch.

Cajun fries on a platter with ketchup
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Our homemade Cajun seasoning rub features the perfect blend of smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic, and more and transforms simple everyday fries into a well-seasoned experience with a kick.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Flavorful and Spicy: Cajun fries are known for their bold and robust flavor. If you love a kick of spice, you will love these.
  • Variation from Regular Fries: These are a great way to switch up from regular fries. The combo of spices adds depth and complexity, making them a more exciting side dish or appetizer.
  • Homemade Goodness: These allow direct control of the quality of ingredients. You can adjust the level of spiciness to your liking, and enjoy a flavorful side dish straight from your own kitchen.
  • Healthier Option: When made at home, you can use healthier oils, and choose quality ingredients, making these a healthier option compared to some commercially available versions or fast food.

Not looking for Cajun? Check out my classic Air Fryer Fries.

What Type of Potatoes to Use

The choice of potatoes can significantly impact the texture and flavor of the final dish. Different potato varieties have varying levels of starch content, affecting how the fries crisp up during cooking.

Russet and Idaho (what Five Guys use) potatoes are a popular choice for fries due to their high starch content. They produce fries with a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior. Both of these are commonly used in fast-food establishments for classic French fries.

Choose fresh, firm potatoes without sprouts or green patches. Fresher potatoes generally yield better results in terms of flavor and texture.

Select potatoes that are uniform in size for more consistent cooking. This ensures that the fries cook evenly.

If you want sweet potato fries, check out my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries.

fresh russet potatoes on a flat surface

Do You Peel the Potatoes

Peeling is a matter of preference. Leaving the skin on can be more convenient, as it eliminates the need to peel each potato. If you decide to leave the skin on, make sure to scrub the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt.

Peeled potatoes result in a more uniform and classic appearance and smoother texture for the fries. If you prefer peeled fries, use a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove the skin before cutting the potatoes into fries.

How to Slice the Potatoes and How Thick

Aim for a standard thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. This size is commonly used for classic French fries and provides a good balance of crispiness and tenderness. I use this professional fry cutter from Amazon to get the fries 1/2 inch thick, which is my preferred size.

This size is thicker than thin-cut fries but smaller than steak-cut fries. They resemble the size of Five Guys fries, if you need a reference point.

I’ve also used this mandolin from Amazon in the past to slice fries. It works great, but it doesn’t get the fries as thick as I like them when using the professional fry cutter.

You can also slice them by hand with a knife. Just keep in mind, that the fries need to be very even in size. Potatoes of uniform size will cook at the same rate. If some pieces are thicker or thinner than others, they will cook unevenly, resulting in some fries being undercooked while others may be overcooked or burnt. When all pieces are the same size, they will have a similar level of crispiness.

sliced russet potatoes cut into fries with a fry cutter

Soak the Potatoes in Cold Water

This is an important step, I wouldn’t skip it. If you’ve made my fries over the years, you already know!

Soaking potatoes helps remove excess starch on the surface. This can be beneficial for achieving crispier fries, as excess starch contributes to a gummy or less crispy texture. Soaking also helps prevent the cut potatoes from browning. Exposure to air can lead to oxidation, resulting in a brownish color.

Cold water is important. The colder the better. I now add ice to my cold water when soaking, just to be sure it’s really cold. Cold water is effective in rinsing away excess surface starch from the cut potatoes. By hydrating the potatoes with cold water, they absorb moisture more evenly, potentially resulting in a better texture when cooked.

Allow at least 30 minutes for them to soak. An hour is even better.

sliced potatoes with water and ice in a glass bowl

Homemade Cajun Rub and Seasoning

I love to use my Homemade Cajun Seasoning and Rub along with a little brown sugar or sweetener. Making your own rub allows you to control the flavor and spice. If you aren’t a fan of super spicy, use less cayenne pepper. It’s easy to customize.

homemade Cajun rub seasonings in a white bowl

Store Bought Seasoning

If you have a favorite Cajun rub, feel free to use that! Season to taste.

How to Make Cajun Fries

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Soak the cut potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to remove excess starch.
  2. Air fry or bake the fries.
  3. Spritz the fries with cooking oil on both sides and sprinkle Cajun spices throughout.
  4. Air fry or bake until crisp.
sliced potatoes with Cajun seasoning

Oil

You don’t need much oil when air frying or baking this. Typically, I use a spray bottle filled with olive oil and do a gentle spritz over the fries.

If you’re looking to make fries similar to Five Guys’ Cajun version use peanut oil. You can lightly glaze the fries with the oil. Five Guys says they use 100% refined peanut oil because it does a great job of sealing in flavor. This is optional.

Baked Fries

You can bake the fries in the oven using a sheet pan and parchment paper. See the recipe card below for details.

sliced potatoes on a sheet pan with parchment paper

Air Fryer Fries

Using the air fryer is my favorite way to make them! Check out the recipe card below for instructions.

sliced potatoes in an air fryer

Why Aren’t My Fries Crispy?

  • Not soaking the potatoes in advance to remove excess starch will impact how crispy the fries are.
  • Excess moisture on the surface of the fries will prevent crispness. Ensure that the potatoes are thoroughly dried after soaking and before cooking. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
  • Different potato varieties have varying starch content, affecting the texture of the fries. Use high-starch potatoes like Russet or Idaho for crispier results. Ensure uniform slicing for even cooking.
  • The potatoes weren’t fresh and were too old.
  • The fries are undercooked and weren’t cooked long enough.
  • An overcrowded air fryer basket or baking sheet will result in poor air circulation and crisping.
  • Baked fries should be broiled at the end for extra crispness. Be careful not to burn the fries.
Cajun fries in an air fryer

Why Are My Fries Burnt?

  • If the fries are sliced too thinly, they may cook too quickly and burn. Cut thicker fries (1/2 inch) to ensure they have enough internal moisture and don’t burn.
  • Fries that are not uniform in size will cook unevenly, with smaller pieces burning while larger ones are undercooked. Cut the fries into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
  • Failure to monitor the fries during the baking process can lead to burning. Keep a close eye on the fries, especially toward the end of the cooking time. Adjust the cooking time if needed.
Cajun fries and a fish sandwich on a platter with ketchup

How to Store

Place cooled leftover fries in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent the fries from drying out or absorbing odors from the refrigerator. Consume the leftover fries within two days for the best quality.

How to Reheat

You can reheat fries in the air fryer at 350 degrees until crisp and warm or in the oven at 400 degrees until crisp and warm.

Cajun fries on a platter with ketchup

Pair With These Recipes

Crispy Fish Sandwich
How to Grill the Best Burgers
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Crab Cake Sandwich

Cajun fries on a platter with ketchup
Cajun fries on a platter with ketchup
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5 from 1 vote

Cajun Fries

This Cajun Fries recipe provides a flavor-packed twist on a classic that's sure to elevate your fry game! Whether you choose to bake them to golden perfection in the oven or opt for the air fryer for that extra crispiness, these are an irresistible combination of bold spices and irresistible crunch.
Save this recipe here.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Cajun
Keyword Cajun French fries, Cajun fries
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
soak the potatoes 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 176kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 – 2 1/2 pounds russet or Idaho potatoes Sliced into fries 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Peeled if preferred.
  • cooking oil spray I use olive oil.

Homemade Cajun Spice (You can also use a store-bought rub and season to taste if preferred).

Instructions

  • Soak the cut potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to remove excess starch. I like to add ice to the water to ensure it's cold. Rinse, drain and pat the fries dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Place the fries in the air fryer basket in a single layer, avoiding overcrowding. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Air fry the fries at 370 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Spritz the fries with cooking oil on both sides and sprinkle all of the spices throughout. Ensure the fries are fully coated and use additional spices if necessary.
  • Air fry the fries for an additional 5-12 minutes. Flip the fries to ensure even cooking.
    Check the fries for doneness by testing their crispiness and adjust the cooking time as necessary. Overall cooking time is going to vary based on the size of your fries (thin fries cook faster), the air fryer brand and model you use, and how crisp you like your fries.

Oven Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it to prevent sticking.
  • Arrange the seasoned fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are not crowded. This allows for even baking.
  • Bake the fries for 25 minutes.
  • Spritz the fries with cooking oil on both sides and sprinkle all of the spices throughout. Ensure the fries are fully coated and use additional spices if necessary.
  • Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or however long the fries take to crisp, flipping to ensure even cooking during this time. Depending on the results you achieve from your oven, you can broil the fries for 1-2 minutes at the end to make them extra crispy.
    Check the fries for doneness by testing their crispiness and adjust the cooking time as necessary. Overall cooking time is going to vary based on the size of your fries (thin fries cook faster), your oven, and how crisp you like your fries.

Notes

White pepper has a milder and slightly earthier flavor compared to black pepper. You can’t substitute these 1:1 so if you don’t want to use white pepper, I recommend omitting it completely.
Russet and Idaho (what Five Guys use) potatoes are a popular choice for fries due to their high starch content. They produce fries with a fluffy interior and a crispy exterior.
Peeling is a matter of preference. Leaving the skin on can be more convenient, as it eliminates the need to peel each potato. If you decide to leave the skin on, make sure to scrub the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt.
Soaking potatoes helps remove excess starch on the surface. This can be beneficial for achieving crispier fries, as excess starch contributes to a gummy or less crispy texture. Soaking also helps prevent the cut potatoes from browning.

Why Aren’t My Fries Crispy?

  • Not soaking the potatoes in advance to remove excess starch will impact how crispy the fries are.
  • Excess moisture on the surface of the fries will prevent crispness. Ensure that the potatoes are thoroughly dried after soaking and before cooking. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
  • Different potato varieties have varying starch content, affecting the texture of the fries. Use high-starch potatoes like Russet or Idaho for crispier results. Ensure uniform slicing for even cooking.
  • The fries are undercooked and weren’t cooked long enough.
  • The potatoes weren’t fresh and were too old.
  • An overcrowded air fryer basket or baking sheet will result in poor air circulation and crisping.
  • Baked fries should be broiled at the end for extra crispness. Be careful not to burn the fries.

Why Are My Fries Burnt?

  • If the fries are sliced too thinly, they may cook too quickly and burn. Cut thicker fries (1/2 inch) to ensure they have enough internal moisture and don’t burn.
  • Fries that are not uniform in size will cook unevenly, with smaller pieces burning while larger ones are undercooked. Cut the fries into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
  • Failure to monitor the fries during the baking process can lead to burning. Keep a close eye on the fries, especially toward the end of the cooking time. Adjust the cooking time if needed.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 8oz | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4.5g | Fat: 1.1g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Ashley

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

I saw this recipe posted in the newsletter and knew I had to make it tonight! Was craving some comfort food without compromising my goals for the year, and this absolutely did not disappoint. You seriously don’t need any other fries recipe, this one is perfection and the notes were so helpful!

staysnatched

Thursday 1st of February 2024

Yay! That warms my heart, Ashley. Thank you for making them!