Meatless Monday Challenge

Baked Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli (Air Fryer Option)

on June 5, 2021
last updated May 1, 2023
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
These Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli are the best golden brown, crispy, seasoned-to-perfection snack or sidekick to your main dish.
old bay fries with quick old bay aioli and bowl of old bay seasoning

Looking for a sidekick to your favorite dish? These Baked Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli will elevate any meal!

They’re crispy, deliciously seasoned, and baked to perfection. And that quick aioli? It’s finger-lickin’ good.

close up of baked fries with old bay seasoning

As an environmental scientist, I’m always looking for fun ways to make sustainable ingredients shine. To my absolute delight, potatoes are considered a sustainable crop.

Potato production has a relatively low impact on the environment, with fewer greenhouse emissions and a much lower water footprint than other starches.

The crops themselves also require a relatively small amount of land to thrive, and since potatoes can be stored for a long time, they generally lead to minimal waste.

Buying them locally and individually (with no packaging) is even better! Organic labels let you know that pesticides were not used in their production for the most sustainable choice.

Green tip: Potatoes are a great choice for sustainable food when it comes to starch! They only require a small area to thrive and have a super long shelf life!

Old Bay Fries Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • Potatoes. Russet or Idaho potatoes will make the best fries.
  • Old Bay Seasoning. To season the fries and to season the aioli. None on hand? Check out this article on Every Old Bay Seasoning Substitute.
  • Olive oil. The healthiest and best-flavored oil to crisp your potatoes up in.
  • Mayonnaise. As the base of your quick aioli.
  • Lemon juice. To add flavor to your dipping sauce.
potatoes, old bay seasoning, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon

Baked Old Bay Fries Tips and Tricks

It’s All About That Old Bay

The seasoning is the star here! We use it both to season the fries and to whip up a quick aioli. You can find Old Bay at most grocery stores either in the spices aisle or over by the seafood counter, or you can order it online—or you could even make your own!

Otherwise, you really only need a few other ingredients to make the baked french fries of your dreams become a reality.

Green tip: Industrial dairy production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your dairy consumption is one great way to improve your ecological footprint. Consider vegan mayo for this aioli!

Hand-Cutting Your Fries

First things first. Peel your potatoes and remove any bruised parts. You can choose to leave the skin on, but you’ll get a more even bake if you peel!

Next, you’ll cut your potato in half so that you can lay it flat. Then, cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide. You can leave them like this, or choose to cut the strips in half again for thinner fries. You may find that some need another cut and some don’t. Just use your best judgment!

Soak Your Potatoes

The key to getting crispy baked fries is soaking your potatoes to remove excess starch. Once you’re happy with the shape of your hand-cut fries, chuck them in a large mixing bowl and cover them with water.

Allow them to sit in the water for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.

soaking potatoes cut in strips to remove starch

Dry Those ‘Taters

Try to remove as much water as you can after rinsing the potatoes. I usually spread them out on a baking tray and then use a clean kitchen towel to remove excess water. You can also throw them into your oven for a couple of minutes before adding the oil and seasoning to dry up excess water.

using a clean kitchen towel to dry off uncooked french fries after soaking them in water

Use Your Hands

Once you are confident that your fries are nice and dry, spread them out evenly across your baking sheet and pour on your olive oil and Old Bay Seasoning.

Use your hands to toss, making sure each fry is coated in the oil and seasoning. Then, spread them back out on your baking sheet, making sure they are not stacked on top of one another.

Toss Half Way Through

In order to get an even bake on the fries and to ensure all-around crispiness, make sure to toss your fries halfway through the baking process.

Use a spatula to flip and spread, making sure, once again, they aren’t layered on top of one another before putting them back in the oven.

Green tip: Baking fries in the oven means no wasted oil from deep-frying! With an estimated 1.3 billion tons of food wasted annually on a global scale, it’s important to keep the issue of food waste front of mind.

The Easiest Aioli Hack

While aioli is not technically synonymous with seasoned mayonnaise, they are both emulsions. And for the easiest ever aioli hack, we are using mayonnaise as the base.

Making a quick aioli is as simple as 1,2,3. Use mayo as your base, add some lemon juice, and then add some Old Bay and voila!

Doubling The Recipe

If you want to double this recipe, you absolutely can! Just bear in mind that overcrowding the pan will not result in crispy baked fries. It’s best to use two baking sheets.

Remember that your oven is a little hotter on the top rack. If you can’t fit both baking pans on the top rack, just switch them when you take them out of the oven to toss, so that each one has an opportunity to be on the top rack.

How to Store and Reheat Fries with Old Bay Seasoning

These fries will last covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 6 months. Reheat in your pre-heated oven at 425°F for 15-20 minutes until crispy. If frozen, they will need closer to 30 minutes.

baked golden brown fries on baking sheet with old bay seasoning and old bay aioli

Old Bay Fries Frequently Asked Questions

What are Old Bay fries?

Old Bay fries are simply french fries that are coated in Old Bay Seasoning to give them lots of flavor!

What goes well with Old Bay?

Old Bay is primarily a seafood seasoning, delicious, especially on shellfish (like in this Blackened Shrimp over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes). However, Old Bay seasoning is so versatile, it tastes delicious on everything from grilled corn to french fries!

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

Download My Free eBook

Why You Should Make These Old Bay Fries

  • They’re perfectly seasoned. That Old Bay seasoning is the ultimate for french fries!
  • They’re crispy. And without deep-frying!
  • They’re the perfect sidekick. What’s better than fries to complete your plate?
  • The aioli is the best accompaniment. Never enough Old Bay.

If you love these Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli, check out this recipe for Shrimp over Old Bay Mashed Potatoes and this Grilled Corn with Old Bay.

old bay fries with quick old bay aioli and bowl of old bay seasoning

Baked Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli (Air Fryer Option)

5 from 4 votes
Marley Goldin
These Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli are the best golden brown, crispy, seasoned-to-perfection snack or sidekick to your main dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings


Old Bay Fries

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or olive oil spray for air fryer option)
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

Quick Old Bay Aioli

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise of choice (vegan mayo works!)
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning


Old Bay Fries

  • Peel your potatoes and cut them in half longways. Lay them flat on a cutting board, cut-side down. Then, cut into strips about 1/2-inch wide. You can leave them like this, or choose to cut the strips in half again for thinner fries.
  • Place your hand-cut fries into a large mixing bowl and fill it with water, so that the fries are completely submerged. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes to remove excess starch.

Baking Option

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F, and drain and rinse your fries. Use a clean kitchen towel to dry off fries as best as you can.
  • Spread your fries out on a large baking sheet. Make sure the fries are lined up next to one another and not stacked on top of each other.
  • Cover fries with olive oil and Old Bay Seasoning, and use your hands to toss, making sure that the fries are evenly coated.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and toss with a spatula. Then, stick them back in the oven until they are crispy—about another 20 minutes.

Air Fryer Option

  • Bring your fryer up to 380°F and drain and rinse your fries. Use a clean kitchen towel to dry off the fries as best as you can.
  • Spray both sides of your fries with olive oil spray and coat with Old Bay Seasoning. Toss to ensure fries are equally covered in seasoning.
  • Add the fries to your basket, ensuring they are spread out and not stacked on top of each other. You may have to cook them in two batches for the best results.
  • Cook for 14-16 minutes, tossing halfway through. You’ll know your Old Bay Fries are ready when they are crispy and golden brown.

Quick Old Bay Aioli Hack

  • Add lemon juice and Old Bay Seasoning to mayonnaise and stir. That's it!

Pro Tips

  • The key to crispy fries is removing excess starch—it’s best to soak them fries for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make sure you dry your fries with a clean kitchen towel before adding oil and seasoning.
  • Don’t forget to toss them halfway through for crispy fries on all four sides!
Course Appetizers, Sides, Snacks
Cuisine European
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 5 Ingredients or Less, Aioli, Homemade Fries, Old Bay, Potato
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think! And if you really enjoyed it, help power this website and buy me a coffee!


You'll Also Love

Comment on & Rate this Recipe

I very much hope you enjoyed this recipe!

If you did, please give it a star rating, which will help other people just like you find and enjoy the recipe too 😊

If you have any comments, questions or thoughts on the recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments as well. I read each and every one and would love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “Baked Old Bay Fries with Quick Aioli (Air Fryer Option)”

  1. Hi Marley – we want to try this out in the air fryer – I wonder what’s the closest UK equivalent to Old Bay seasoning please? Maybe you could ask your English hubby?

    1. You can whip up a quick substitute by mixing together equal parts celery salt and paprika or simply use your favorite seafood seasoning! I hope you enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    When I lived in NJ I was lucky to buy Old Bay Season Fries in the Acme store. I have moved to NC and not been able to find them in any store. Would it be possible to buy the finished product online and send to me in a cold storage box. I am 80 years old and it would be too much work for me to make them according to the recipe.

    1. Hi Careen!

      I love that wonderful memory- I ate so many Old Bay-flavored things growing up in Maryland! Unfortunately, I can’t ship them to you 🙁 BUT! if you want to simplify this recipe, I would highly recommend buying some Ore-Ida golden fries out of the freezer section in the supermarket. Spread them out on a baking sheet and sprinkle a generous amount of Old Bay Seasoning on top before sticking them in the oven at 425F for about 25 minutes.

5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating