Cheesy Chili Baked Potato Fries (Oil-Free!)

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Platter full of Crispy Baked Oil-Free Potato Fries with Cheesy-Chili seasoning and a side of guac

Ready for your new favorite snack or side? Allow us to present this easy, 5-ingredient recipe that delivers crispy, cheesy potato fries that happen to be oil-free. Let’s do this!

Marble cutting board featuring sliced potatoes, nutritional yeast, and spices for making healthy oil-free potato fries

The recipe starts with potatoes sliced into thin wedges. We love a heartier, thicker wedge “fry.” But if you’re into thinner fries, cut into more of a classic shape.

To get the inside tender and not burn the exterior, start by steaming your potatoes. We adapted this method from our Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables recipe! It works like a charm and partially cooks the potatoes to not only speed the cooking time, but also ensure the insides are fluffy and tender.

Using a steam basket over a pan to soften potato wedges

Next, it’s time for spices! For big cheesy flavor, we went with nutritional yeast and sea salt. And for a little heat, we opted for chili powder. After a short bake in the oven, you’re good to go!

Parchment-lined baking sheet filled with potato wedges and seasonings for our Oil-Free Potato Fries recipe

We hope you LOVE these baked fries! They’re:

Crispy on the outside
Tender on the inside
Cheesy
Salty
Spicy
& SO easy to make

These potatoes would make the perfect side or snack, especially on game days or if you’re in need of some serious carbs! They’re delicious on their own, but they also pair well with dips like Ketchup, Garlicky Guacamole, or even Jalapeño Vegan Queso!

These “wedge” style fries are perfect for dipping. But if you’re looking for “skinny” fries, check out our Garlicky Matchstick Fries! Also delicious.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Dipping a Potato Fry with Cheesy-Chili seasoning into a bowl of guacamole

Cheesy Chili Baked Potato Fries (Oil-Free!)

Crispy, cheesy, spicy baked potato fries that are oil-free! Just 5 ingredients and simple methods required. The perfect plant-based side or snack!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Parchment-lined platter filled with Oil-Free Baked Cheesy Fries and a bowl of guacamole
4.73 from 33 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4 Days

Ingredients

FRIES

  • 2 1/2 - 3 pounds yellow potatoes (or russet potatoes)
  • Water (for steaming)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste (we added about 1/4 tsp more)
  • 1 Dash cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and line two (or more as needed) baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Slice potatoes into small wedges about 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide. Place in a steamer basket or large colander set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and then steam approximately 5 minutes until slightly tender but not cooked.
  • Transfer to baking sheets and top with nutritional yeast, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper (optional), and any other desired seasonings (see photo). Toss gently to coat.
  • Arrange in an even layer on baking sheet, trying not to overlap, so that fries can get crispy. The more room they have, the crispier they will become. Use two baking sheets if needed.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees F (232 C). Flip to ensure even baking on both sides and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve hot! They're delicious as is, but they're elevated tossed in fresh herbs and garlic (optional) and served with ketchup or guacamole. Best fresh. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in a 375-degree F (190 C) oven until hot.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate based on 1 serving calculated without optional ingredients.
*Method adapted from my oil-free roasted vegetables recipe

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 64 Carbohydrates: 13.3 g Protein: 2.9 g Fat: 0.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.43 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1349 mg Potassium: 1922 mg Fiber: 15 g Sugar: 1 g Vitamin A: 919 IU Vitamin C: 41.48 mg Calcium: 53.9 mg Iron: 4.01 mg

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  1. ekko bear says

    dear minimalist baker, although i’m not that interested in this particular recipe, i like the concept, and i want to challenge you to make salt n chili chips in the same fashion, so i have a go to recipe when i’m felling like putting some effort into a recipe of an old favourite, cheers ears!

  2. Jennifer says

    Made these tonight and the guacamole. I mistakenly grabbed the smoked mustard instead of the yeast for the first batch. Oopsie. But they turned out and tasted really good. Second batch used your spice ingredients. Tasted fantastic. Thank you for your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad they turned out well! Thanks so much for sharing, Jennifer. Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  3. Morgan says

    really yummy!!! i made this recipe from trying to get rid of a big potato i had for a while as a snack! i had them with a mixture of mayo + sriracha :) 4 stars ONLY because i had trouble getting them off the pan to flip and they kinda got stuck. the flavor was great! i know this is an “oil free” recipe but i personally will end up using a little oil, only for the baking sheet just so make sure they don’t stick. thanks!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Morgan! Did you use parchment paper? We’d definitely recommend it next time to prevent sticking, but feel free to use oil as well.

  4. Dina A. says

    Hi. This recipe was featured in a MamaEarths Organics newsletter. I am a little confused when you say flip to insure even baking on both sides. Do you mean turn the tray around for even baking So the front of the truly is now the back of the tray or do you mean flip the fries so the side at the bottom is now at the top. Can you please elaborate? Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dina, both would be ideal! But we are referring to flipping the fries over so that bottom becomes the top.

  5. Jen says

    I love these. Made them today with nutritional yeast ans taco seasoning dipped in vegan sour cream and salsa. I think I have a new favorite!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jen. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  6. Aych Vee says

    What a waste of potatoes. I wish I could just have my potatoes back before I tried this ultra bland and strange recipe.

  7. Eva says

    Excellent recipe for those who don’t want to use oil! Crispy and tender inside at the same time, all in all a healthy side dish that you enjoy eating it! Totally recommended!

  8. Bryan says

    Excellent, healthful version of the fried variety. Our 8 year old even likes them better than the fast food variant, which is a *WIN*. Kudos!

  9. Asha says

    This is the only way I will make oven fries from now on! Was very skeptical about no oil fries but they were perfect and delicious. Topped them with chili and vegan cheese sauce and scallions. Delicious!! My family all loved them- thank you!!

  10. Sarah says

    These were amazing! I’ve been trying to eat minimal oil and was so surprised by how crispy and delicious these were. The seasoning was perfect. This will definitely be one of my staples!

  11. Vanessa Castelle says

    This was so delicious, made it not too long ago and eating it as I am writing this comment. Thank you for such awesomeness. Taste cheesy and it’s healthy.

  12. Nicole says

    The seasoning got a bit TOO crisp with 30 minutes in the oven, I’ll try 25 minutes next time.
    Also a note that these don’t reheat very well (as with most fries). Plan to adjust the portion accordingly to make sure you can get these while they’re fresh.
    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried and can’t say for sure, but if you experiment with this recipe, report back on how it goes. Good luck!

    • Athena says

      Easily made in an air fryer. After you coat place in air fryer on fries symbol and cook for about 13-15 min. Great for when you don’t want to have to heat up the oven.

      Note: if you don’t want to steam the potatoes you can always heat them up whole in the microwave. Cook all the way through.

  13. Justine Michele Stratton says

    Love these! I’ve made them probably over 5 times and I steam the wedges till they are fork tender and then bake in the oven and they are delicious chewy in the inside and crispy on the outside!
    I used to always have almost uncooked potato on the inside and burnt edges happening and this recipe is perfection! My 2 year old son loves them too, so thats a win!
    Going to try this technique with sweet potatoes tonight!

  14. Luisa B says

    I’m sad because this recipe didn’t work for me at all…and prior to this I had 100% success with all your recipes! I made it EXACTLY as written. Once they were in the oven, I checked them at 10 minute intervals and I guess I must have overcooked them…but they just didn’t look crispy at ALL! SO i ended up cooking over 30 minutes in the oven and they were just overcooked. But they never got crisp even though I did lay out on 2 trays. So the next day I tried to eat for BF and they were inedible. So dry and flavorless. It was my first attempt at oil free potatoes so it wouldn’t be surprising if there was some user error here :)

  15. Amanda says

    I made these tonight to go with some vegan chili. I only put salt and garlic powder on and they turned out great! They weren’t as crisp as normal french fries but I actually enjoy the softer texture that you get from the blanching. I’ll definitely make again!

  16. Theresa says

    Made both the Guacamole and the fries, both were so good!! I added some smoked paprika to the fries also and I can’t believe it took me this long to make the recipe!!

  17. Nicole Cooley says

    LOVED this recipe! I made it tonight as a side to some chipotle-sweet potato burgers. <3

    I am new to the "oil-free movement" and was pretty apprehensive about roasting veggies without oil. But it's possible! And amazing!! And, for the record, I've now done potato fries *twice* without oil and didn't steam or cook them at all before popping them in the oven. They've been perfect each time. Crunchier and crispier than any batch of fries (baked or fried) that I've made before. Just wanted to say that in case anyone wants to skip the steaming/precooking step. I've found it unnecessary in my kitchen :)

    I'm new to your website too, but a good friend from college insisted I try your cookbook so I got it from the library and fell in love. Your recipes are amazing, and right up my family's alley. Keep on sharing please :)

  18. GreetsFromPL says

    Amazing – so simple, yet soooooo delicious? I have added some onion powder to spice/yeast mix, and served those crispy cuties straight from the oven with homemade vegan aioli…I almost cried eating the last wedge!
    Thank you for this brilliant recipe!

  19. Mart Bandee says

    The fries just look yummy and crispy. The fact that they are oil free makes them more likable n nutritious. Add some guacamole n your in heaven. Nice recipe

  20. Vedrana says

    I love baked fries, but I’m usually too darn busy and/or hungry for them to bake from raw. I have on occasion boiled them first, to speed things up, but they’re not easy to handle like that – especially the cleanup, as I haven’t got a Silpat, and they always seem to stick to my baking paper unless I oil it. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to steam them first – brilliant idea! As was the addition of nooch. :)
    So now I steam them thoroughly first, seasoned with salt and granulated garlic & onion, then I add nooch and smoked hot paprika and oven bake. And when I’m really in a hurry but craving this deliciousness, I simply skillet-bake them. Fast and easy. The only thing I skip then is nooch. Not sure how it would behave baking in a skillet. :)

    Haven’t tried the dip, yet, but reading the ingredients I’m sure it’s splendid.

  21. Nicki says

    I made these exactly as written and they turned out delicious! We had them along side the Quinoa Vegetable Stuffed Portobellos. I really wanted to also make the guac but the store didn’t have ripe avocados :( Next time! Anyway, 5 stars!

  22. Amanda Moon says

    Made for dinner tonight with burgers. I make no oil-baked fries a lot and they’ve never been this good. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and great spice blend. Two thumbs up from the whole family: 8 yr old, 10 yr old, hubby, and me! Thank you!

  23. Bailey says

    I make sweet potato fries all the time in the oven, but have never tried this oil-free method. They turned out PERFECTLY! I was surprised that they even puffed up like “actual” fried fries! Thanks for the recipe!

  24. Callie says

    I have never made my own fries without using any oil. I was worried they would be really dry, but they turned out great! Instead of steaming the sliced potatoes for 5 minutes, I microwaved them for 3 minutes.

  25. Rithvik says

    I made this last evening and it was so delicious! Everyone in my family gobbled it up and nobody even knew that it was oil-free, they were too busy licking their fingers! Thank so so so much for another wonderful, healthy oil-free recipe! Please keep making more delicious and tasty oil free vegan recipes!

  26. Orla says

    These turned out great, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside! I didn’t have nutritional yeast and used smoked paprika instead of cayenne pepper. They were the perfect side to some crispy chickpeas and kale with a tahini dressing. I scoffed the lot before I remembered to take a picture!

  27. Yvette says

    I tried these tonight, and they were crispy, but there was absolutely no flavor on the inside. The skin was covered in spices, but when I bit into it, it tasted like pure bland potato. Any suggestions? I feel like oil let’s the spices “penetrate”.

  28. Cathy says

    I just made these…I was surprised that they turned out crispy! I used russets and they were very fluffy inside. I patted the pieces to dry them off a little after steaming and then tossed them with the seasoning in a bowl before putting them on the cookie sheet.

  29. Christina Murphy says

    Your recipes are consistently good; it amazes me! At this point, you are the only cookbook and recipe blog I use in ‘real life’.
    Just made these potatoes and they are delish. I may try this seasoning blend on everything!

    • Brittany says

      I agree! I am transitioning to a vegan diet and these recipes are wonderful. My whole family loves them and that’s tough to do with preschoolers!

  30. Jojo Kortik says

    This was absolutely delisicous. I love EVERY recipe on your site. Thank you Dana for your continued delicious creations.

  31. Joel Rao says

    Delicious!! Next time I need to let it bake a little longer to get it crisp. Thank you for the recipe

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would think so, yes! Just know that sweet potatoes tend to take slightly less time, so perhaps steam for slightly less time, and bake for slightly less time.

  32. Cassie Thuvan Tran says

    Oil free fries are my FAVORITE! I love roasting sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, and parsnips this way. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had chili cheese fries before, but I definitely have to try a veganized version of them now. I’d probably modify this and use sweet potatoes or carrots just because I prefer them over regular potatoes. But overall, this looks like the most glorious savory indulgence!

  33. Betsy Cosmos says

    I’ve had success with a slightly different approach to the same idea…I partially “bake” whole potatoes in the microwave. I only bake them for half the time required for a true baked potato. After the potatoes have cooled slightly, I cut them into 6 large sections (lengthwise) and then season and bake them in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. They are like steak fries and delicious as a meal in themselves.

  34. OneGreenSmoothie says

    If you have an instant pot, could you just steam the whole potato first rather than trying to get the cut fries over the steam or is that integral to the crispy factor? I really appreciate this recipe that does not use aquafaba as one of my kids is allergic to legumes…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I fear the instant pot would make them too soft. You’d really have to watch. We don’t have / use one, so I’m not sure! Let us know if you try it out.

  35. Zoë says

    I made these for brunch yesterday morning and they were fantastic! I made guacamole with them as well and it was splendid. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

    • Hairy says

      Ive just done sweet potatoes, they cook so much faster you dont need to steam them. They are a lot softer, not french fry style but very good nonetheless

  36. Pat says

    I tried it wth just added salt before it goes into the oven & a sprinkling of plain white vinegar after it comes out. Tastes delicious.

  37. Debby says

    This is my go-to method for making oven-baked fries – works every time! Never tried it with nutritional yeast though (I usually add spices and chickpea flour), sounds great.