These lemon pepper fries with ground black pepper, fresh lemon zest, and fresh parsley are oven-baked until golden and crispy.
The fresh lemon zest and parsley make these lemon pepper fries restaurant quality. These french fries are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan, making them a great side dish for a variety of burgers, wings, sandwiches.
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- Friendly for many diets: gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan
- Zesty lemon flavor: Fresh lemon zest adds a punch of flavor.
- Baked: These oven-baked fries have less fat than deep fried french fries.
It takes just a few ingredients to bring these french fries to life.
- russet potatoes
- olive oil
- coarse ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- fresh parsley
- lemon zest
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
Scrub and rinse the potatoes. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into ½-inch slices. Then cut each slice lengthwise into ½-inch fries using a chef's knife.
In a large bowl, soak the potatoes in cold water for 1 hour. Remove them from the bowl, rinse them in fresh water, and dry them thoroughly.
Important Note: After soaking the potatoes, dry them very thoroughly with a kitchen towel or paper towels before baking to ensure they will become crispy and golden. Wet fries will not crisp up as well.
Toss potatoes with olive oil, black pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
Spread evenly in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Tip: The parchment paper helps keep the fries from sticking, which makes it easier to flip them.
Bake for 25 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F, flip the fries, and then return to the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Toss with fresh parsley and lemon zest. You can add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.
Potatoes - This recipe has only been tested with russet potatoes.
Oil - This recipe calls for olive oil, but you can also use canola oil or vegetable oil for a more neutral flavor.
Pepper - This recipe calls for coarse ground black pepper. Pure ground black pepper can also work (same quantity).
Parsley - I only recommend the use of fresh parsley in this recipe. If regular parsley is not available, look for Italian or curly parsley.
Lemon zest - If you would like to use lemon pepper seasoning instead of coarse ground black pepper and fresh lemon zest, replace both the pepper and lemon ingredients with 1 tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning before baking. Add more after baking if needed.
Make these crunchy french fries your own with a few customizations.
- Seasonings: Play around with the seasonings. Try onion powder or garlic powder.
- Potatoes: Try sweet potatoes instead of russet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can cook faster than russet, so keep an eye on the bake time.
How to zest a lemon
Zesting a lemon is easy. I use a citrus zester/cheese grater (also called a microplane). If you have a box grater, that will work as well.
- Hold the citrus zester in one hand by the handle. Place the other tip of the microplane on the counter, holding it at an angle.
- Hold the lemon in your other hand and push it lengthwise down the zester from the handle to the other tip.
- Rotate the lemon as needed to get more of the bright yellow peel.
Tip: Use the outermost layer of the lemon peel. The white layer underneath can be bitter.
Store leftover French fries in an airtight container for two days. Reheat the fries in a small amount of olive oil in a skillet on the stove or in the oven at 400°F for 5–10 minutes.
Lemon pepper seasoning blends generally contain black pepper, salt, citric acid, lemon peel, sugar, dehydrated garlic, and dehydrated onion. Using fresh ground black pepper and fresh lemon zest gives a brighter flavor.
Try one of these recipes to serve with your lemon pepper fries.
Lemon Pepper Fries
- 1-½ pound russet potatoes about 2-3 potatoes
- 1-½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1-½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 3 teaspoon lemon zest about 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Scrub and rinse the potatoes. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into ½-inch slices. Then cut each slice lengthwise into ½-inch fries.
- In a large bowl, soak the potatoes in cold water for 1 hour. Remove them from the bowl, rinse them in fresh water, and dry them thoroughly.
- Toss potatoes with olive oil, black pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
- Spread evenly in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F, flip the fries, and then return to the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.
- Toss with fresh parsley and lemon zest.