7 Healthier Alternatives to French Fries

Hot. Crispy. Hearty. Salty. Perfect. These are just a few ways to describe French fries. They are one of the most popular foods in the U.S. California culinary schools even teach students how to make twice-fried fries just like they do in the bistros of Paris and Brussels.

Who doesn’t love a hot order of fries to go with their cheeseburger or other favorite meal? Of course, in addition to being so delicious, they aren’t all that good for you. In fact, eating more than just a couple of orders of fries in a month can be damaging to your health. Deep-fried food in general, and French fries in particular, have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic conditions.

So now that we’ve killed your joy for French fries, what foods can satisfy those same cravings without negative health affects? We’ve put together this list of 7 alternatives to French fries. There are bound to be a couple you’ll love. They are flavorful and easy enough to prepare that you won’t have to go to cooking school to learn how to make them. Just heat up the oven and enjoy!

  1. Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
    First thing, these aren’t fried but baked, which means fewer trans fats and other negatives that come from frying. Secondly, sweet potatoes are lower in simple carbs than russet potatoes, which results less conversion of those carbs to sugar in the bloodstream.
  2. Kale Chips
    Kale could quite literally be the healthiest thing you’ll ever eat. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Roughly chop the kale, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake until crisp.
  3. Crispy Green Beans with Garlic and Parmesan
    If you don’t like green beans then you’ve never had these. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast in the oven until they begin to brown. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan before serving.
  4. Roasted Parsnip Fries
    Like sweet potatoes these root vegetables have a lower glycemic index than russet potatoes. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast until golden brown and crispy. Serve with curry dipping sauce to add even more flavor.
  5. Roasted Chickpeas
    They may not have the same look and feel as fries, but with the added nutrition and fiber, who cares? The neutral flavor of the chickpeas means that you can experiment with just about any spice mixture. A few of our favorites include curry, Mexican spices, and Moroccan spices. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  6. Parmesan Panko Crusted Zucchini
    Slice zucchini lengthwise and dip in beaten eggs. Dredge the coated zucchini in a Parmesan panko mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Season lightly with salt and Italian spices before serving.
  7. Oven Roasted Portobello Slices
    Prepare the same way as the zucchini above and serve with a ponzu dipping sauce. These make a great side or even a hearty entrée for a vegetarian meal.

Even with these delicious alternatives, you’ll probably still miss those French fries, but you definitely won’t miss them as much.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Los Angeles, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Los-Angeles for more information. 

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