Fat Free Crispy Potatoes

crispy potatoes that are fat free, no added oil or butter

It’s strange to see “fat free” and “crispy” so close together, isn’t it?

I certainly can’t blame you if you’re skeptical and think that potatoes can’t be fat free and crispy at the same time…but oh, they can! Trust me, they can.

So if there’s no oil, how do the potatoes get crispy?

a closeup of the crispy edge of a fat free potato

I discovered the crispiness sort of by accident two years ago. I had seen a recipe for crispy potatoes from Nigella Lawson, and they looked so good…but the recipe called for two 11-ounce jars of goose fat for 5 lbs of potatoes!!! Can you imagine the fat and calories? I couldn’t. So I tried making them in a similar way, but without the fat. And they crisped nicely! It’s not the same crunch as a french fry of course, but I find that I still snack on them and am satisfied just the same.

Part of the crispy potato magic comes from a little bit of flour, and the other part of the magic comes from the way these are cooked.

flour helps give baked potatoes a crispy edge

You dice them up, just like you would with any regular old potato recipe:

how to dice potatoes for crispy baked potatoes

Then you start by parboiling them (just partially cooking them) for 3-4 minutes at a rolling boil.

Then you drain the potatoes, put them back in the pan with a spoonful of flour, and shake the pan up real good.

This changes the shape of the potato pieces, makes the edges lighter, and coats the edges with the flour:

how to round potatoes for crispiness

Then you throw the potatoes onto a sheet pan and put them in a really hot oven, and that’s when they develop their crisp brown edges.

a sheet pan of crispy fat free potatoes

I first posted a similar recipe when I started the blog a little over two years ago, but so many of you weren’t part of the Fifteen Spatulas family at the time, and these are just too great to snack on this time of year. Don’t be shy about getting creative with the seasoning. In addition to salt and pepper, you could do garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, and all sorts of stuff that strikes your fancy. Have fun with it!

Fat Free Crispy Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Fill up a big pot (I use my pasta pot) about 1/2 full with cool water. Peel the skin off the potatoes, and cut them into evenly sized bite-size chunks (you want them sized slightly larger than the dice you find in board games). Place the potatoes in the water and season the water with several tbsp of salt, the same amount that you would add to pasta water. It’s important for the water to be salty so the potatoes are seasoned inside.
  3. Bring the whole pot to a boil on high heat, with the lid on. Once the water is boiling, cook for an additional 4 minutes, with the lid off. Drain the potatoes, return the potato pieces to the pot (don’t put the pot back on the heat), and sprinkle over the flour. Put the lid back on the pan, and shake it up like crazy until the potato edges are banged up and the flour is nicely distributed.
  4. Dump the potatoes onto a sheet pan and make sure they are in a single layer (don’t crowd the potatoes, or the edges won’t get crispy). Give it a good sprinkling of sea salt and whatever other seasoning you like, and they are ready to go into the oven. Roast for 30-45 minutes at 450 degrees F, but watch them carefully because the roasting time will vary depending on the size of your chunks. Enjoy!