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The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries

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Never heard of swede (rutabaga)? Well, it's time you get to know this vegetable, it's low-carb friendly!

 Swede (aka Rutabaga) is commonly used in paleo diet meals as a replacement for potatoes. Swede is high in potassium, which is a mineral often deficient in low-carb diets. Unlike sweet potatoes, it's relatively low in carbs.

Just for comparison, here is a quick overview of the average net carbs of similar vegetables (per 100 g):

  • sweet potatoes: 17 g net carbs
  • parsnip: 13 g net carbs
  • potatoes: 10-17 g net carbs depending on type
  • celery root: 7 g net carbs
  • carrot: 6.8 g net carbs
  • swede: 5.6 g net carbs

However, if you aim for even less carbs, try fries from these:

  • turnip: 3.9 g net carbs
  • kohlrabi: 2.6 g net carbs
  • parsley root: 1.7 g net carbs

After a few (some failed) cooking experiments, I found that swede was the best alternative for potatoes. But don't expect the same taste and crispiness of potato fries, they won't be as crispy as starchy potatoes.

I also tried fries from other vegetables: Turnip and kohlrabi fries had more water content and the texture was a bit too soft and chewy for fries, but they are still good for those who want to save more carbs. Parsley root fries tasted great but they may not be easy to find (at least not in the UK). Just make sure you don't get parsnips - they look the same but the carbs content is a lot higher!

UPDATE: Based on your feedback, frying a rutabaga is not ideal. Stick with the oven method to make sure you don't burn it. Also, you may need to adjust the time depending on your oven.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 85 g/ 3 oz fries

Allergy information for The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Pescatarian
Low FODMAP
Vegetarian
Vegan

Nutritional values (per serving, about 85 g/ 3 oz fries)

Net carbs9.6 grams
Protein1.7 grams
Fat7 grams
Calories117 kcal
Calories from carbs 35%, protein 6%, fat 59%
Total carbs13.2 gramsFiber3.6 gramsSugars6.7 gramsSaturated fat5.7 gramsSodium309 mg(13% RDA)Magnesium31 mg(8% RDA)Potassium466 mg(23% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 large swede (600 g/ 1.3 lb)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. First, preheat the oven to 230 °C/ 445 °F (fan assisted), or 250 °C/ 465 °F (conventional). Wash and peel the swede.
    The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries
  2. Cut them into spears about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) wide (or even less for crisping them up). As I realised in my Keto Chili Cheese Fries Recipe, the wider you cut them, the more difficult it will be to make them crispy. Place the fries into a bowl and remove any excess water using a paper towel.
    The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries
  3. In a small bowl, mix the oil, paprika, salt, pepper and ground cloves (if used).
    The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries
  4. Pour the oil mixture over the fries evenly and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Make sure the tray is not overcrowded and use two of them if needed. Cook for 25-35 minutes (it depends on how thick you cut them). Check the fries regularly and turn the baking tray a couple of times to make sure they are evenly cooked.
    The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries
  5. Remove from the oven and serve with meat and quick sugar-free ketchup or mayonnaise (try my homemade mayo). Store i the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat and crisp up in the oven before serving as they will be soft and soggy. The Best Low-Carb Baked French Fries

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 85 g/ 3 oz fries)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Swede (rutabaga), fresh
9.5 g1.6 g0.2 g56 kcal
Coconut oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g6.7 g61 kcal
Spices, paprika
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Spices, cloves, ground
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, about 85 g/ 3 oz fries
9.6 g1.7 g7 g117 kcal
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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (53)

Also I wonder if you’ve created a keto recipe for ketchup, coz ketchup is often a sugar bomb?  

I have indeed! 😊 Easy Low-Carb Homemade Ketchup

I love your recipes.  They are the most direct, easy to understand clean and sensible recipes around.  I completely agree with the way you eat.  Just love it and for some reason I really trust it.  Thank you for everything!

Thank you so much, that's so kind of you!

I’m not a fan of rutabagas. Do these taste like rutabagas or does spicing them up and frying them make them taste better?

I think that if you don't like rutabagas you won't like these, they do still taste like them although you can "hide" the taste with spices. You could also try turnips and parsley roots (not parsnips).

I usually make low fat fries in the airfryer with potatoes.
As trying to eat healthier and going for lower carb options
tried with turnip as a alternative. If you have an airfryer cook
them in there instead of oven method. It uses less fat and they
cook more evenly giving better results. Put the uncooked fries
in the airfryer, add no more than a tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with
choice of seasoning then cook.

Thank you Mary! I've heard so many good things about air fryers, I might get one too!

These were very tasty but they didn't rest crisp up much, other than the tiniest strips, which were more burnt than crisp. We enjoyed them but they were a lot of effort for the return. If I'm honest I'm quite happy with swede as a side either mashed with cream, butter and cheese, or cut into large chunks and baked, but then again I've never been a huge fan of French fries, and I've never try missed potatoes on keto, so I'm probably not the best candidate for judging this recipe! Thank you so much for coming up with this recipe though, it's a useful one to have in the back pocket 😊

Thank you Anu! I see what you mean, they are not as crispy as french fries - I wish there was a way to make non-starchy veg as crispy as potatoes! It can be a good alternative if you really crave fries. I wonder if they'd be better from an air fryer or deep frier... I agree that oven-roasted, boiled or mashed veg is a lot easier and perfect for a low-carb diet 😊

These will exceed your expectations

Really nice alternative to potato and sweet potato with this recipe!
The Swede seems to carry so much flavour.
Thanks for the recipe.

Thank you Jon!

Soak your strips in ice water for 30 minutes, blot them well, and then bake. The resulting texture is crispier on the outside and render on the inside!

Thank you for the great tips!

What about jicama fries? Have you tried?  How do they stack up?

I have not tried jicama as I can't find it in the UK but I've heard that t's a great alternative to potatoes!

I was so skeptical of this when I first cut into the rutabaga. It didn't smell all that great. When I cooked it and when it came out it was delicious! So excited! Been craving french fries on keto and this hit the spot. Thank you for the recipe!

So I'm not keto, but I'm currently on, what I call a journey, not to sound too cliche, to be more mindful about my eating, which has started with a three month medically supervised fast.  I'm going to be weaned off the fast soon, and I'm researching healthier alternatives to some of my go-to junk foods, one being fries, which is how I found your blog, among others with similar recipes for fries.  
And I'm noticing a common theme among a lot of them, talking about how they are typically a bit softer/wetter than potatoes, so they don't crisp up the same way.  I was curious to know if you've tried disgorging the vegetables before cooking them, to draw out any excess moisture?  
I'm gonna try doing it myself, but I'm just curious if anyone has tried it and what the results were, if they were better/worse.  

How did you work out the net carbs for this recipe to be only 8.6g (for 600g swede) when earlier you mention that it has 5.6g for every 100g? According to my calculation it is more like 35g of net carbs.
Thanks

It's 5.6 g net carbs for every 100 grams (that's about 34 g net carbs per 600 g). This recipe makes 4 servings: 34/4 = 8.5 g net carbs (+ carbs from spices).

I had these last night.... so good!  I also found the thinner that better they crisped and the better flavor. mmmmmm Thanks for sharing!

Awesome, I'm glad you liked them! 😊

I just tried making them and they didn't crisp up at all 😞 had them in for 30 minutes and they started blackening but remained soggy. Any advice?

I'm sorry to hear that. Please, keep in mind that rutabaga will not get as crispy as potato fries but you can achieve a good result. You may need to adjust temperature/timing - do you live at high altitude?

Perhaps they were not dried off or drained enough in the beginning of preparation?

What about using a convection oven? (I often use mine when roasting cauliflower to dry it out a bit.) Thanks!

Hi Thea, if using a conventional oven, the general rule is to add 10–20°C to the recommended temperature. I hope this helps!

Where can people in USA buy Kohirabi, turnip ,parsley root?Does Whole food Market sell these veggies

Hi Renee, I live in the UK so I'm not sure where to get them in the US. Turnips are similar to rutabaga and should be easier to find but I know it's not easy to find the other two - even here in the UK. I found them in Whole Foods Market but they are seasonal.

I got parsley root from Shop Rite. Not sure if you have that near you. It's a fall veggie and sometimes you have to ask produce to order.

  In Michigan, kohlrabi, and turnips are hardy and easy to grow, so they are at every farmers market and included in most CSA farm share memberships. I would definitely recommend a farmers market to find some. Even if your state is different, the sellers there will be able to give you the proper information.

I made the parsley root fries, and they were amazing. However, I could not seem to find a reliable source for parsley root nutrition information anywhere on the internet. Some sites say as little as 1.7 grams net carbs in 100 grams and others say up to 8 grams of nets carbs in 100 grams. That's a huge difference! I feel like the fries tasted way too good to be that low carb. I was just wondering where you got the nutritional information for the parsley root?

Hi John, I think that the reason is that some resources may count total carbs as "net" - that might be the reason why some resources say it's 8 g net carbs per 100 g. It should be 1.7 g net carbs per 100 g. Make sure you use parsley roots - they look quite similar to parsnips which are much higher in carbs (parsnips are bigger and have a slightly different taste and colour).

I just made this one last night, and it turned pretty good. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks! Glad you liked it 😊

Parsley roots are a very popular food in Central Europe - I've had decent luck finding them in Polish shops.

They are amazing and so low in carbs 😊

Done these in an air fryer. Sloppily good

Great!

Has anyone done these with daikon radish? It's my go to potato substitute over the last few years...these look great!

Swede actually tastes close to radish but is lower in water, so not sure how radish tastes when fried (maybe too soft?). Let me know if you try it!

Has anyone tried this with Jicama? I eat it raw for dipping in sticks and keep meaning to try frying or baking, but at our house, it all gets eaten up raw!!!

I haven't tried it as I can't find jicama here but I know some people use it as dipping sticks. I'd be curious to find out if it also works fried/baked - let me know if you try it.

Jicama fries are pretty good, almost sweet.  They're not super crisp, but I deep fry them and then salt them when they come out and I'm quite happy with them.  They also make great hash browns.
You can also use Daikon radish for fries or chips.   I prefer Jicama, but they're higher in carbs

Tried the kohlrabi and turnip fries since I couldn't find parsley root.  Most fries came out either too soggy or borderline burnt, but I imagine that's just user error(better oil distribution and/or more diligent turning).  Bottomline: these definitely have promise and it's nice to be have a replacement for french fries.  Thanks!

It took me a few attempts before they tasted close to fries. Some vegetables have a lot more water and it may help if you pat dry them before tossing with oil and placing in the oven. I used an oven chip tray in this recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spiced Butternut Chips and it worked great!

These are awesome! They really taste like fries! I had to adjust the cooking time a little bit, but that's okay.
Word of advice: DO NOT try and fry a rutabaga....you will set a small fire...just saying :[

Thank you, Mary, I'll put it in the recipe description!

Should investigate Celeriac... AKA Celery Roots...
Awesome Low Carb Friendly item. We use it for both mash and fries 😊

Totally agree - I love mash from celeriac & cauliflower and celeriac is great for "hash browns"! 😊

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