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Be forewarned: you will eat the entire plate of these shoestring fries. They're the perfect balance of crisp and soft, and paired with an irresistible lemon garlic mayo for dipping. Have them as a side dish for dinner, or enjoy them with breakfast!
Also, try these dill french fries!
The shoestring fries alone are down-to-the-last-crumb delicious with rosemary and parmesan cheese, but then add the lemony dipping sauce and you'll understand why every little crispy morsel must be eaten and nothing should be wasted.
You do have to keep your eye on them while cooking because it's easy to burn such thinly cut fries, but it's absolutely worth it. No matter if you're pairing these with steak, a la steak frites for supper, or nestling them beside bacon and eggs in the morning – you simply can't go wrong!
For the shoestring fries:
- Russet potatoes: You'll need 1 ½ lb of russet potatoes for this recipe. Russet potatoes have a dark brown skin and white flesh, you'll need to wash them well but no need to peel them. They might also be called Idaho potatoes in your local grocery store.
- Olive oil: You'll coat your shoestring fries in olive oil before placing in the oven.
- Fresh rosemary: Use 1 tablespoon of finely minced rosemary to sprinkle over your oven-baked fries to add a earthy, peppery element to the fries.
- Sea salt: You simply can't have fries without some salt. Sea salt has nice big flakes, so you'll only need ½ teaspoon.
- Parmesan cheese: Yum! Parmesan cheese really takes these shoestring fries up a level! It gets a little melty on the hot fries, so use a generous amount so it sticks. ½ cup of grated parmesan will do.
- Parsley: Once the fries are out of the oven, sprinkle with some chopped parsley for some freshness and to balance the oil and cheese.
For the lemon garlic mayo:
- Mayonnaise: This is the base of your dipping sauce; a ½ cup will do.
- Lemon zest: Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to give it a real punchy lemon flavor.
- Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice will add the citrus kick to keep the sauce tasting light and fresh.
- Garlic clove: Finely mince one medium clove of garlic for some zing.
- Sea salt: This is to taste, so just a pinch will do!
How to make shoestring fries
Time needed: 50 minutes
Making these shoestring fries in the oven is a cinch! Here's a quick rundown of how to make shoestring fries:
- Make the dipping sauce:
Make the sauce ahead of the fries and pop it into your fridge until you're ready to eat.
- Prepare the russet potatoes:
Wash the potatoes well and use the julienne blade on your mandoline to create those super fine shoestring fries. Then toss them will the olive oil, rosemary, and salt.
- Bake the fries:
Using two baking sheets, put the shoestring fries in the oven for about 20 minutes. At this time, flip the fries and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. Check on them often and remove any dark brown ones.
Once the fries are done, add parmesan and parsley, and eat 'em up!
Top tips to make perfect shoestring fries
- You will need a mandolin to cut these fries: To get the perfectly even slivers, a tool called a mandolin will be your friend. Use the julienne blade to get the finest cut. You could do this by hand, but it's challenging and time consuming.
- Don't overload the pan you're cooking them on: If you pile up the shoestring fries on the pan they'll steam rather than crisp, which you don't want. If you have a small oven you will have to cook these in a few batches.
- Keep an eye on them while cooking: Once they brown they will burn easily as they're so small. Keep a very close eye on the fries near the end and remove any from the pan that are too brown and crispy, just to be safe.
Make shoestring fries in an air fryer
You can absolutely choose to air fry shoestring fries. It's super easy and they come up crisp and perfect every time! You can use frozen shoestring fries to make these or opt to follow this shoestring fries recipe to step 2 before popping into the air fryer instead of the oven.
Here's how to make shoestring fries in the air fryer:
- Set the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the fries and cook for about 18 minutes (no more than 20 minutes).
- Check on the fries every 4 minutes to make sure they don't overcook.
What's the difference between shoestring fries and french fries?
Shoestring fries are a type of french fry. Shoestring fries are named after their slender size, much like a shoestring.
Can I use frozen fries to make this recipe?
You definitely can! It will save you some time, however, you may not be able to find them this thinly sliced in the grocery store. Follow this recipe to jazz up a bag of frozen fries (with the exception of preparing them) and then follow the cooking instructions on the bag.
Can I make shoestring fries in advance?
You can prepare the potatoes in advance, however, store them in water, unseasoned, until you're ready to coat and cook. Make sure to drain and press any excess water out before cooking. A salad spinner works great for drying uncooked fries! The lemon garlic mayo can also be prepared in advance. Otherwise, shoestring fries are best served hot out of the oven!
- 1 ½ lb Russet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (finely minced )
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley (to serve)
Lemon Garlic Mayonnaise
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best!)
- 1 medium garlic clove (finely minced)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- To make the lemon garlic mayonnaise, stir the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set it aside in your fridge until you are ready to serve it.½ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 medium garlic clove, 1 pinch sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 – 13"x18" baking sheets with parchment paper. Scrub the potatoes and dry them well. There's no need to peel them. Use the julienne blade on your mandoline to cut the potatoes into thin strips. Place the strips into a large bowl, add the olive oil, rosemary, and salt, and toss to coat well.1 ½ lb Russet potatoes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Divide the fries between the two baking sheets and place them into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes then remove the pans from the oven and flip the fries with a pair of tongs. Return the fries to the oven for another 10-15 minutes but check the fries every 5 minutes and remove any that are quite brown.
- The fries are done when about half of them are crispy and brown. Remove the fries from the oven, add any fries you had removed earlier, and sprinkle them with the parmesan cheese and parsley.½ cup grated parmesan cheese, Chopped parsley
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.