These za’atar fries are crispy and savory, making them a delicious snack, appetizer or side dish!
You can make your own za’atar blend at home, or buy a pre-made mix at a grocery store or market.
I typically don’t use za’atar fast enough for me to have a whole bottle or container of it on hand, so I like to make my own. However, if you can’t find sumac, it might be easier for you to pick up some pre-mixed za’atar.
I like using russet potatoes when I make fries (see these furikake seasoned fries).
They end up being light and fluffy on the inside, thanks to the amount of starch in russet potatoes. They also crisp up fairly since they don’t have much moisture (no soggy fries here please, we’re not at In N Out).
And on a personal preference level, I like how long the fries end up due to how big the potatoes arem compared to something like a yellow or red potato.
How to Make
First, prep the potatoes. Either scrub the potato skins , or peel them away.
Use a spiralizer to make long, wavy strands of potato. You definitely won’t be able to use the whole potato for this, so you can save the potato ends for something else, or bake the nubs alongside the curly fries for a pre-fry snack.
Toss the potatoes with oil and salt, then roast them in the oven until browned and crispy. You might have to flip and rotate the potatoes to make sure that they cook evenly.
While the curly fries are still hot, toss them with a quick mix of sumac, toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme and salt. Serve immediately!
These fries are definitely best served hot and crispy!
I have a quick dip listed out in the recipe card. It’s a little tangy and creamy, with flavors (garlic, lemon, olive oil, sumac) that go along with the Mediterranean vibe.
Ketchup is always a good idea, especially if you’re not in the mood to make a dip (no matter how quick and easy it is to whip up).
Storage and Leftovers
While these are best eaten fresh, you can save the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can revive the old fries by popping them into an air fryer (this is the best option), toaster oven, or conventional oven until hot and crispy.
If you’re intentionally making these za’atar fries ahead of time, I’d recommend keeping the za’atar separate from the fries until after you re-heat the potatoes, then tossing in the za’atar.
Less mess this way, and no danger of the za’atar burning in case you get a bit distracted from the fries while they’re re-heating.
Cut of the Fries
The fries pictured here are curly fries; you can make these pretty easily if you have a spiralizer. There’s something that screams summer nostalgia to me about curly fries, probably because they were one of my favorites as a pre-teen wandering through the neighborhood theme park.
That being said, for those who don’t have access to a spiralizer or are too lazy to wash a spiralizer (mood), you can definitely cut these into more traditional fry matchsticks. Just note that the cook times might be a bit longer, especially if you cut them thicker than these (fairly thin) curly fries here.
My go to fry cooking method at home is baking them in the oven. It’s mess free and the clean up is easy (please don’t make me deal with cooking oil and oil splatters on the stovetop).
You can definitely deep fry them if you’d like, though.
I would not recommend using an air fryer instead of a conventional oven. The exterior of the potatoes ends up being leathery and tough, rather than being crispy and brittle. Not cool.
These fries are seasoned with za'atar, a Mediterranean seasoning made of sesame seeds, sumac and herbs! Baked fries can end up soggy or hard, but these baked curly fries manage to be creamy, potato-y and crisp.
- 4 russet potatoes scrubbed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ¼ cup whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ketchup for serving
Use a spiralizer to cut out the fries (I use a thin spiral setting). Toss them with the oil and a couple of shakes of salt, then spread onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. (Make sure you use parchment, since foil or Silpats don't allow the potatoes to wick off enough moisture).
Roast the potatoes one baking sheet at a time at 450F for 20 minutes on the bottom rack, flipping the potatoes halfway through with a big spatula (think the kind you'd use to flip pancakes). Don't worry if the edges seem really dark and there's pale spots; these fries taste best when you have crispy edges and soft, potato-y middles.
Toss the hot curly fries immediately with the sesame seeds, sumac and thyme. Serve hot with the garlic lemon yogurt sauce and ketchup.
Mix everything and season to taste with salt.
If you don't have a spiralizer, you can cut these fries into matchsticks instead. The cooking time may change depending on how thick you cut the fries.