These healthy, low-carb carrot chips/ carrot fries are baked or air-fried until crisp and lightly caramelized, perfect for enjoying as a side or snack! Plus, they are super versatile, require just 3 base ingredients, and are ready in as little as 25 minutes!
Simple Baked or Air Fryer Carrot Fries/ Carrot Chips
Along with potatoes, carrots are one of our favorite low-budget, highly versatile 'humble' ingredients to have in your vegan kitchen. Not only can you boil, steam, roast, fry, mash, stuff, etc., them, but you can also make them into a creamy salad dressing, carrot cake muffins, soup, and delicious low-carb snack or side like these simple carrot fries/carrot chips.
Having tried and failed to make 'wow'-worthy baked carrot fries several times (not enough crispiness!), we ditched the knife and turned to a vegetable peeler, and the results were WOW+. They're crispy, crunchy, and super versatile. And at only $.50 per portion, you'll be wanting to make these time and time again.
Luckily, we hadn't entirely given up creating a carrot fries recipe either, though. While we still aren't 100% satisfied with the baked version, the air fryer carrot fries/chips steal the show and are a simple, impressive crowd-pleaser! So now you can choose from multiple options to enjoy these baked or air fryer carrots!
Either way, the results are wonderfully moreish sweet-savory carrots that are lightly crisp, wonderfully caramelized, and beyond tasty! Perfect for serving with the dip/side of your choice and encouraging children (and adults) to eat more veggies!
All you need are three elements for these carrot chips/fries, including the carrots, oil, and seasonings of your choice. What you choose for the latter can make a snack that’s paleo, keto, whole30, gluten-free, etc.
Carrots: Try to use medium-sized carrots that are a similar size to peel/chop similar-sized pieces.
Oil: We used olive oil, but any neutral cooking oil will work (canola oil, avocado oil, etc.).
Seasonings: These carrot fries use a simple seasoning mixture of thyme, salt, and pepper.
Optional add-ins & Recipe Variations
Just like regular fries, there are plenty of ways to boost and adapt the flavor of this carrot fries recipe. Just a few of our favorite options include:
Cornstarch: For more crispiness, especially when making carrot fries, you can toss them with a tablespoon of cornstarch when seasoning them. Potato starch or tapioca starch should also work.
Other seasonings: Experiment with various individual spices or seasonings blends (another of our favorites is a combination of onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt), including:
Paprika (smoked or regular)
Dried herbs: i.e., rosemary, thyme, oregano, or Italian seasoning.
Parsley: Garnish the carrot chips/ fries with finely chopped fresh parsley. Delicious!
Lemon Juice: A squeeze over the fresh cooked carrot chips/fries is wonderful.
'Parmesan' cheese: Toss this vegan cheese liberally with nutritional yeast for nutty, 'cheesy', umami flavor.
How to Make Baked Carrot Chips?
1) First, preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Then, rinse the carrots well and use a vegetable peeler or a mandoline at 1-2mm's to slice the carrots into long thin strips. Then transfer to a large bowl. Pat them dry first if they seem very 'wet' (this will encourage additional crispiness when cooked).
Alternatively, you can peel them into small rounds (like potato chips).
2) Then, drizzle the carrot chips with the oil and seasonings and toss well, to coat.
3) Transfer the chips to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spreading them into a single layer.
4) Bake for 14-16 minutes, flipping over at the 7-minute mark.
As ovens can vary, we recommend you keep a close eye on them in the second half of cooking time to ensure they don't burn.
5) Remove the carrot chips from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes (this will further crisp them up) before serving with your condiments or sides of choice!
For slightly crispier results, optionally broil them at the end.
Baked Carrot Fries
The method for creating oven-roasted carrot fries is similar to the above, with just a couple of differences.
When cutting the carrot sticks/fries: First, cut off both ends of the carrots and then cut them in half (unless they’re fairly short). Then, cut the thicker half in half lengthwise before slicing each piece into 3-4 carrot fries (based on how thick the carrot is - around ¼-inch thickness is best). Then, repeat with the thinner half of the carrot, trying to cut even-sized pieces.
When baking: Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway.
We also HIGHLY recommend adding one tablespoon of starch to the seasoning blend when preparing the carrot fries for the crispiest baked results.
Air Fryer Carrot Fries/Chips
Carrot Chips/Crisps: Preheat your air fryer to 400F/200C and spread the seasoned carrot chips in a single layer (only very slight overlapping is allowed) at the bottom of your air fryer basket. Air fry for 6 minutes, then flip the carrot chips and cook for a further 3-6 minutes to your desired crispness.
These air fryer carrot chips will continue to harden/ crisp up as they cool.
Carrot Fries: Preheat the air fryer to 400F/200C. Then spread the carrot fries in the air fryer basket in a single layer, with space in-between (cook in batches if necessary). Air fry for 8 minutes, then flip and continue to air fry for a further 5-8 minutes to your desired level of crispiness.
The exact cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the fries and your individual Air Fryer.
How to Make Ahead and Store?
You can chop/peel the carrots in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. Then, allow them to come back to room temperature before seasoning and cooking.
Once baked, these baked/air fryer carrot fries/chips are best enjoyed immediately for the optimal flavor and texture. However, if you want to store any leftovers, let them cool first. Then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 additional days.
To reheat the carrots, place them back in the oven/air-fryer for a few minutes. Avoid the microwave, though, as it will turn them 'soggy' (and limp).
Enjoy the carrot chips/fries as a simple, low-carb snack (optionally with the dipping sauces of your choice like ketchup, vegan mayo, spicy mayo, vegan ranch, etc.) or serve them as a side in place of regular fries with:
I also love to serve the baked/air fryer carrot fries as nacho fries, topped with guacamole, beans, corn, salsa, parsley, and vegan melty cheese like this nacho cheese.
Should I peel the carrots?
If you wash the carrots well, then it isn't vital. However, we prefer to peel non-organic carrots. So basically, the choice is up to you.
Are carrot fries healthy?
Carrots are low calorie, high fiber, and a great source of beta carotene, potassium, vitamin A, C, K, fiber, and antioxidants. When paired with minimal amounts of heart-healthy oil, you can't go wrong!
Are the carrot fries crispy?
The baked carrot fries are crisp without being crispy-crunchy (more so when using cornstarch). In comparison, the air fryer carrot fries are crispier with a slight crunch, though they don’t become as crispy-crunchy as regular fries. If you want super crispy results, make the carrot chips instead.
Top Tips and Notes
Don't omit the oil: These 'crispy' carrot fries already don't become as crispy as regular potato fries, so you need that small amount of fat to encourage it.
Avoid overcrowding: Whether you use the oven or air fryer, it's important not to overcrowd the carrots, or else they'll steam and remain soft, rather than becoming slightly crispy.
Cut even chips/fries: That way, they'll cook evenly too. Aim for ¼-inch carrot fries for the crispiest results and just 1-2mm for the carrot chips.
Baked vs. air fryer results: Both work well, though the crispiest results are definitely from the air fryer.
Cooking time can vary: Based on your exact oven/air fryer and how thick you cut the carrot pieces. So it's always best to keep an eye whenever trying out a new recipe to avoid burning.
If you bake the carrot fries: We highly recommend adding the cornstarch for crisper results. It's not necessary for the air fryer version, but optional.
Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots into long thin strips and put them into a large bowl. Add the oil and spices and mix until coated.
Put them onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Put them onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 7 minutes, remove from the oven and flip them, and bake for another 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them in the second round to make sure they don't burn.
Allow to cool and crisp a little before serving.
Carrot Chips/Crisps: Preheat your air fryer to 400F/200C and spread the seasoned carrot chips in a single layer (only very slight overlapping is allowed) at the bottom of your air fryer basket. Air fry for 6 minutes, then flip the carrot chips and cook for a further 3-6 minutes to your desired crispness.These air fryer carrot chips will continue to harden/ crisp up as they cool.Carrot Fries: Preheat the air fryer to 400F/200C. Then spread the carrot fries in the air fryer basket in a single layer, with space in-between (cook in batches if necessary). Air fry for 8 minutes, then flip and continue to air fry for a further 5-8 minutes to your desired level of crispiness.