Air Fryer Curly Fries

Crispy curly fries are a beloved snack and side dish, but deep frying at home can be messy and unhealthy. Luckily, air fryers provide a quick and convenient way to make homemade curly fries that taste amazing.

With just a few simple ingredients and minutes in the air fryer, you can whip up deliciously crispy curly fries anytime.

curly fries in air fryer

In this post, I’ll provide my easy recipe for making frozen store-bought curly fries in the air fryer to crispy, golden-brown perfection. I’ll share tips, fun flavor variations, serving ideas, and more. 

So if you’re craving a crunchy, salty, fried potato fix, my guide will walk you through making the best air fryer frozen curly fries right at home. With little time and effort, you can satisfy comfort food curly fry cravings the quick, convenient and healthy way. Let’s get crisping!

💖 Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Perfect Texture –The air fryer’s super hot air will crisp up the outside of those curly fries beautifully in just a few minutes. But they stay pillowy soft and fluffy on the inside! No one likes a limp fry, and no one likes a raw fry. These fries are perfectly crisped and cooked all the way through.

air fryer curly fries

Use Any Frozen Fries You Have on Hand- Don’t have curly fries? No prob! This air fry technique works great with crinkle cut, waffle fries, or whatever shape you have in the freezer. Spread them out into a single layer and adjust cook times as needed.

They Stay Hot and Crispy for Over an Hour– Ever have fries get limp after just a few minutes? Not these guys! The curly fries in air fryer stay crispy way longer than oven-baked ones. They’ll still taste freshly fried for over an hour. Now that’s some snack power!

✨ Recipe Ingredients

To make air fryer frozen curly fries you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound (450g) Frozen Curly Fries
  • 3 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Paprika (optional, to taste)

👨‍🍳 How To Make

Follow this simple air fry frozen curly fries recipe:

Step 1

Place the frozen curly fries in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and seasonings. Mix well until the fries are well coated.

Step 2

Preheat the air fryer to 400F (200C). Once hot, add the curly fries to the air fryer basket and air fry for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Shake the basket and then continue frying for 6-8 more minutes.

Step 4

Remove from the air fryer and let the fries cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy this amazing curly fries in air fryer recipe!

frozen curly fries in air fryer


1. Give Them Room

Overcrowding is one of the biggest mistakes people make when cooking fries in an air fryer. If the basket is packed too tight, the fries will steam instead of fry, resulting in soggy fries.

Only fill the basket halfway at most to allow for good air circulation. Cook them in smaller batches if needed. Also, make sure to frequently shake the basket to flip the fries over for even cooking.

2. Brine for Extra Crispiness

Soaking the fries in salty water before air frying pulls moisture out of the potatoes, allowing them to get extra crisp on the outside. Dissolve 1-2 tablespoons of salt in 4 cups warm water.

Soak cut fries for 1 hour, rinse and pat very dry before frying. The salt dissolves into the water, so you don’t need to season them after.

air fryer frozen curly fries 2

3. Experiment with Flavorings

Curly fries pair well with all sorts of seasonings beyond just salt. Get creative with cajun seasoning, italian herbs, ranch powder, lemon pepper, chili powder blends. Try sprinkling them with parmesan cheese or topping them with sauces like chipotle mayo. The curly shape grabs onto flavors nicely!

4. Make Loaded Chili Cheese Fries

Take your curly fries in air fryer over the top by loading them up. Top with chili, cheese, bacon bits, scallions and drizzle with ranch dressing. Air fry just until the toppings are melty for hearty snacking.

air fry frozen curly fries


1. Spicy Curly Fries– For a kicked-up version of the air fryer curly fries, add 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1⁄4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the olive oil and seasoning mixture. The heat lovers in your life will surely enjoy this spicy riff on classic curly fries!

2. Ranch Curly Fries- Mix 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning into the oil and spice blend for a cool, creamy flavor. Top with extra ranch dressing when they come hot and crispy out of the air fryer. 

3. Cheesy Bacon Curly Fries- This variation combines crispy curly fries with savory bacon and melted cheese. Prior to air frying, top the coated fries with 1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon. Bake until the cheese fully melts for a decadent, cheese-coated bite in every fry.

4. Loaded Chili Cheese Curly Fries- We’re totally loading up these curly fries! Mix 2 tablespoons of your favorite chili seasoning into the oil and spice blend. Top with 1⁄2 cup shredded cheese, 1⁄4 cup warm chili, 2 tablespoons sour cream, green onions and serve. An absolute loaded baked potato flavor bomb!

5. Cajun Curly Fries- Add 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning to oil and spice mixture
Top cooked fries with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Extra options: Finely chopped parsley or green onions.

6. Greek Curly Fries- Stir 2 teaspoons Greek seasoning into the oil and spices. Once cooked, sprinkle fries with 1⁄4 cup crumbled feta cheese and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve as a tasty Greek-inspired snack!

7. Pizza Curly Fries– These crazy delicious air fryer curly fries taste just like pizza! Mix in 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder. Top piping hot fries with marinara sauce, melted mozzarella and pepperoni. Buon appetito!

Dipping Sauces Ideas

1. Spicy Mayo – A tangy, creamy mayonnaise infused with a kick of spicy sauce or hot sauce. The cooling creaminess of the mayo perfectly balances the heat. A tasty contrast to the salty, crispy fries. 

2. Herb Ranch– A fresh, herbaceous ranch dressing made with fragrant parsley, chives, dill or other herbs. The creamy, herby flavor cools the mouth between bites of hot fries. Ranch is a classic pairing for crispy potatoes that never disappoints. Feel free to experiment with unique herb combinations.

3. Beer Cheese Sauce-  A rich, smooth cheese sauce spiked with beer for a delightful tang. The interplay of creamy and crispy textures takes this pairing over the top. The malty, fermented flavor of the beer cuts through the fries’ salt and fat.

Ranch Curly Fries

4. Honey Mustard Sweet– The sweetness balances the salt of the fries, while the mustard’s vinegar punch cuts through the fries’ oil. 

5. Guacamole Creamy- fresh guacamole provides cool richness to contrast the hot and crisp fries. Avocado cools the palate, and tomato, onion and lime add a fresh finish. The textures and flavors intermingle beautifully. Feel free to tweak traditional guacamole recipes to your liking or keep it classic.


These air fried curly fries are best enjoyed fresh and hot right after cooking. However, you can store leftover fries in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or conventional oven before serving again. The fries may lose some crispiness when stored.

fries storage

Main Dishes Ideas

Here are 5 delicious main dish ideas that would pair wonderfully with air fryer curly fries:

1. Air Fryer Cajun Chicken: A sizzling match for your crispy curly fries, air fryer cajun chicken offers a delightful contrast. This dish brings a taste of the American South, featuring a blend of spicy and aromatic Cajun seasoning that perfectly complements the simple, yet satisfying taste of your curly fries. 

2. Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks Panko: For those who adore a crunchy affair, the air fryer chicken drumsticks coated in Panko breadcrumbs are a match made in heaven with curly fries. The Panko breadcrumbs create a wonderfully crunchy exterior that echoes the crispiness of the fries. 

3. Air Fryer Honey Garlic Salmon: If you’re in the mood for something slightly more refined yet equally comforting, pairing your curly fries with air fryer honey garlic salmon is a culinary delight. The salmon, with its rich, oily texture and delicate flavors, is glazed in a sweet and savory honey garlic sauce. 

4. Air Fryer Breakfast Sausage: For a hearty and fulfilling combination, try pairing your curly fries with air fryer breakfast sausage. This pairing brings a classic comfort food vibe, ideal for a brunch or a cozy dinner. The breakfast sausage, with its savory and slightly spicy flavor profile, harmonizes beautifully with the crispy, seasoned fries. 

5. Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin: For a leaner, yet equally tantalizing option, consider Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin. This dish brings a subtle, refined flavor that pairs wonderfully with the bold seasonings of the curly fries. The turkey tenderloin, known for its tender and mild taste, becomes a canvas for a variety of seasonings – think herbs like rosemary and thyme, or a simple garlic and pepper rub. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why shake the basket halfway through cooking?

Shaking the basket ensures even air circulation around the fries, leading to uniform browning and crispness on all sides.

2. Can I make these fries with fresh potatoes instead of frozen?

Yes, you can. Cut fresh potatoes into curly shapes using a spiralizer, soak them in water for 30 minutes to remove excess starch, dry thoroughly, and then follow the same seasoning and cooking steps.

3. Is it necessary to thaw the fries before cooking?

No, you should cook the curly fries straight from frozen. Thawing can make them soggy.

Homemade vs Store-Bought Curly Fries

When it comes to curly fries, you have two main options – buy them frozen from the grocery store or make them yourself at home. Both options have their pros and cons.

Homemade Curly Fries

Making curly fries at home takes more effort, but comes with several advantages: you control what goes into your homemade fries. You can use fresh, high-quality potatoes and your choice of seasonings. Store-bought fries often have preservatives and other additives. 

Also, homemade can ultimately be cheaper per serving if you buy ingredients in bulk. Frozen packaged fries are convenient but come at a premium price.

The main benefits of choosing store-bought frozen curly fries are: convenience – No prep work needed, just open the bag and cook or reheat before enjoying. Saves a lot of time and effort.

air fryer curly fries recipe

And, consistency – Major brands have perfected their recipes and processes, so you’ll get uniformly shaped fries every time. Homemade can come out less uniform.

If you want to make picture-perfect curly fries at home, follow these tips:

Potato Selection– Choose starchy russet potatoes, not waxy red potatoes. Russets get crispy and hold their shape better during frying or baking. Also pick firm, smooth potatoes – avoid sprouts and soft spots.

Cutting– A french fry cutter with a rippled edge makes cutting uniform curly fry spirals easy. You can also cut by hand into slightly thick strips, slice lengthwise halfway through the thickness 2-3 times, then gently twist by hand into curls.

And there you have it – my easy method for making perfectly crispy, golden frozen curly fries in air fryer at home. With just a few pantry staples and minutes of cook time, you can satisfy cravings for this tasty snack or side anytime. The air fryer helps achieve that sought-after texture of a crispy exterior and fluffy interior without all the oil and mess of deep frying.

Be sure to check out more of my air fryer recipes if you love making quick, convenient versions of typically fried favorites. Air frying opens up so many possibilities for fries and other dishes too.

Let me know in the comments if you give this frozen curly fries recipe a try, as well as any tweaks or topping ideas you try! I love connecting with readers. Thanks for stopping by and happy air frying!

curly fries in air fryer

Air Fryer Curly Fries

Easily make the perfect air fryer frozen chicken patties with these simple steps! So crispy and delicious!
4.80 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer curly fries, curly fries in air fryer
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 130kcal
Cost: $10
  • 1 pound Frozen Curly Fries (450g)
  • 3 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Paprika (optional, to taste)
  • Place the frozen curly fries in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and seasonings. Mix well until the fries are well coated.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400F (200C). Once the air fryer heated, add the curly fries to the air fryer basket and air fry for 5 minutes.
  • Shake the basket and then continue frying for 6-8 more minutes.
  • Remove from the air fryer and let the fries cool for at least 10 minutes before serving them (I recommend adding a dipping sauce for extra flavor).
    curly fries in air fryer airfryandeat


Calories: 130kcal

Photo of author


Meet William James, your go-to guru for all things air fryer! A culinary adventurer with a passion for healthier twists on classic dishes, William transformed his love for cooking and experimentation into a one-stop resource for fellow air fryer enthusiasts.


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