Rosemary and Paprika Oven Fries with Ketchup

rosemary and paprika oven fries

In the last post I talked about the essence of fast food and how to capture it. As promised, here is the recipe for the french fries and for the homemade ketchup.

My sous-chef

I love making these fries! Not only are they absolutely delicious, but it is also one of the only foods that Mark and I prepare together. His job is to coat them with coconut oil before they go in the oven. Most people would accomplish this in two minutes. It takes Mark about thirty. He takes one fry at a time and rubs it with coconut oil and love until all the sides are evenly coated. He rations his oil perfectly, so that each one gets the same amount of oil. Mark is serious about his fries!

The most difficult part

He places the fries in perfect rows with just the right amount of space between them. Unfortunately, by the time I need to season them, he realizes that it is hard to toss rows. This is always the hardest part, but it has to be done. I destroy his perfect rows and toss the fries to evenly coat them with the salt and rosemary…

Health Tip

The Rosemary does not just add flavor but nutrition as well. It even helps to make the fries healthier! Rosemary contains a lot of flavonoids (antioxidants) such as carnosol, rosmanol and rosmarinic acid. These help to reduce the formation of acrylamide. For example, researchers found that if bread is baked with rosemary in it, the acrylamide content is up to 60% reduced! So sprinkle it on!

Blow drier goes kitchen gadget

In a previous post, I gave tips on making oven fries crispier. Of course, I used a bunch of the tips myself. We soaked the fries for about an hour, changing the water occasionally. We then blotted the fries dry with a paper towel, but they were not dry enough. We whipped out our (my) blow drier and created a serious storm above the fries. I cut them even smaller after the soak to release some of the moisture that was in the middle. After we were done they were as dry as a fart (German idiom… nice, huh?).

Can you see how dry they are in the picture below? They started having a little white coating — that’s how dry they should be!

Rosemary and Paprika Oven Fries

Rosemary and Paprika Oven Fries

Makes 2 big Servings


  • 2
  • ½ Tbsp
  • ¼ tsp
  • 1 Tbsp
  • To taste
  • ½ Tbsp
  • Baking potatoes (~660g)
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Rosemary, chopped (use as much as you like!)
  • Paprika powder (chose your favorite)
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. 1. Wash and scrub the potatoes well. Discard any green parts. If the potato seems greenish, peel the skin. Cut them into thin sticks.
  2. 2. Place them in a big bowl of cold water. Swish them around. Let soak for about an hour. Change water at least once. Rinse potatoes until water runs clear.
  3. 3. Preheat oven to 450° F. Dry fries after soaking until they are completely dry! Feel free to cut them even thinner at this point drying them again (they will be wet at the new surface).
  4. 4. Place them on parchment paper. Coat them evenly with the coconut oil, salt, and a bit of rosemary.
  5. 5. On the bottom rack leave them in for about 15 min. Opening the oven once in a while. Why? See here.
  6. 6. Flip them after about 15min or when they are a bit browned on the bottom. Put them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  7. 7. Toss them with the olive oil and paprika powder and serve!

Health Tip

It is important to add the olive oil after the fries are cooked, not before cooking. The polyphenols (very healthy!) in the oil get destroyed by heat. Your olive oil should always be nice and green — that means the polyphenols are still there. If you heat it it will turn yellow… Olive oil is also not very heat stable and heating it oxidizes the fats in it, creating free radicals. No bueno.

healthy homemade ketchup

For Lindsay, the ketchup lover

I want to dedicate this recipe to my friend Lindsay over at She has a true talent for writing funny and entertaining posts. She talks about exercising, food, food, food, and other things in life that are worth mentioning. Her love of ketchup is also impressive. This is for you Lindsay!

This ketchup has more of a tomato flavor than regular ketchup, which I love. If you have been using Heinz for a while, it might take some time getting used to.

Health Fact

Tomato paste is very rich in lycopene. This antioxidant acts as a sun-lotion from within. Eating 40g of tomato paste a day has shown to reduce sun burns by 40%. This means overall your skin has better protection from the sun’s UV light, and your skin will age less over time. Have you ever seen an anti-wrinkle cream that tastes as good as ketchup?!

Homemade Ketchup

Makes ~ 3 Tbsp


  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
  • 3 tsp
  • 2 pinches
  • Tomato paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Rice vinegar (or more to taste)
  • Water
  • Salt


  1. 1. Mix everything in a little spoon and combine well with a spoon until the texture resembles ketchup.
  2. 2. Add any additional spices you might want to try.

Flavor Tip

Try adding a little bit of curry powder for an Indian flavored ketchup. Curry and tomatoes go so well together! Plus you get an extra health kick from the spices in the curry.

I will leave you with another picture of these delicious fries. The blow drying was worth it since they turned out crispier than ever. They could have been cooked less and still would have been crispy! I hope you will enjoy them!

– Christina

healthy french fries recipe
5 stars

Mark says:

These potatoes literally turned me from a non-potato-eater to a potato-lover. They are perfectly crispy without being burned, and extremely satisfying. This week I suggested that we buy twice as many potatoes so I could ask for these twice as many times! Seriously. Make these fries and eat them. If you don’t love them, I’ll eat a broom (as the Swiss say).

nutrition facts

per serving of fries (½ of total)

Calories: 310, Fat: 7g, GL: 24, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 7g, Carbohydrates: 60g, Sodium: 550mg

nutrition facts

3 Tbsp ketchup

Calories: 30, Fat: 0g, GL: 4, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 0g, Carbohydrates: 7g, Sodium: 100mg

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  1. Karin says:

    Oh my god those silly idioms made me laugh out lout. German is so weird! ;)
    Your fries look beyond perfect! I also love sprinkling rosemary over mine, it adds a very nice flavour.
    I’ve never made homemade ketchup but I should (so thanks for the recipe!). All the bottled ones are too sweet for my taste..

    • Haha I was really thinking about whether or not to put that in there. I mean, who wants to think about farts while looking at a recipe?!

      Agreed. I hope you will like the ketchup. Feel free to use even less sugar. I like brown sugar because it has this caramel flavor to it. Enjoy!

  2. Brendon says:

    As soon as we move in to our apartment, this recipe is going to be made. I thought about never doing this just to see how Mark would go about eating the broom. Also, dry as a fart is not always applicable. Mark knows what I’m talking about.

  3. Miranda says:

    This is so up my alley. I would eat fries for every meal if I could, but I am trying to healthy

  4. Laura Tucker says:

    Joy Bauer, the Today Show nutritionist, did a whole spiel this morning on Coconut Oil not being a good choice because the “jury is out” on whether or not the saturated fat in Coconut Oil is linked to cholesterol. I know you know better…otherwise you wouldn’t recommend it…but could you tell us what you know about the Coconut Oil debate?

    • First of all, cholesterol levels alone (especially just the total or LDL) is not a good indicator of heart disease. There are places where people eat a ton of coconut, yes their cholesterol is high, but they have a lot less heart disease than other countries.

      Second, while saturated fat is not one of the fats you should try to get a lot off, a little bit is needed by the body. In every cell membrane there are unsaturated AND saturated fatty acids. Amount is key here. I don’t think we should think of coconut oil as a health food and go out of our ways to eat it. Like most foods it simply has a role in a healthy diet.

      I use it instead of oils during high temperature cooking, when you can’t avoid using it. Most of the time you can cook without any fat, but sometimes you may want a little to cook with. In my opinion it is better to consume a little saturated fats which are more heat stable than oils. Ultimately, if you oxidize your fats they are not healthy anymore and worse than saturated fats. Oxidized fats hurt your arteries much more than saturated fats.

      Also, as you probably know the saturated fats in coconut oil are medium chain FA. This means they are more easily metabolized and so don’t stay in your blood as long and don’t get stored in fat cells as easily.

      Hope this helped!

    • I should probably write a post about it. There is a lot more to be said…

  5. ENERgY???? says:

    […] Rosemary and Paprika Oven Fries with Ketchup | Health Foodie […]

  6. Yay!!!!!!! :smile:

    This just made my DAY!!! I’m definitely going to try this. It might take some getting used to, but it’s worth a shot to save myself from the HFCS!!

    • You smile, I smile.

      Feel free to add more sugar at first or change something else… I have not had Heinz in years so I don’t know exactly what it tastes like. I am sure you could do a much better job figuring out the perfect ratios!

      Good luck!

  7. Jencrafted says:

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe for making healthy fries. We don’t often eat deep-fried food and would usually bake root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, etc); I definitely think your method makes for very crispy and flavorful frieds! I also hope you’ll do a piece on coconut oil someday as I’ve also heard-read conflicting reports on it. Lastly, congrats on making FoodBuzz’s Top9!!

    • Hi Jenn! Thanks for stopping by and welcome!

      First of all, congratulations on being in the Top9 as well! That cake is unbelievable. I sent it to a couple of friends already. I have no idea how you did it. It’s like magic! You are one talented woman!!!

      Yes, I will write about coconut oil at some point. Someone also asked about that, you can read my very short answer in one of the previous comments. Aren’t there always conflicting reports on everything? haha It can be so frustrating. I hope I can shed some light on it.

  8. As a self proclaimed fry monster, these look DELICIOUS!!!!!!

  9. My mouth waters every time I look at that picture… soooo good.

  10. Anne says:

    I make oven fries all the time, but never knew the tip about soaking them first. Thanks for sharing – I can’t wait to try that little trick out!

  11. wow, these fries are fabulous – thank you for posting such beautiful photos, too! i’m diggin’ it.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Were you able to find a tomato paste with no preservatives? I have not been able to find it anywhere!

    • Hi Tiffany.

      Where do you live? I liked to use Hunt’s salt free tomato paste. It contains no preservatives or additives. Here is a picture:

      Muir Glen has an organic tomato paste that is also great. It only uses citric acid as a preservative, which is the same acid found in lemons. So, it poses no risk to your health.

      If you live in the US, I am sure you can find one of them in a health food store, if not in your regular supermarket.

      Hope that helped!

  13. Such a lovely post. Was awesome to read with all the useful hints and facts. Bookmarking as I type.

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