Are hash browns healthier than fries?

In this article, we will answer the question “Are hash browns healthier than fries?”, and how to make crispy hash browns? 

Are hash browns healthier than fries?

It all depends on the preparation method and the ingredients of the hash browns that determine whether they are healthier than fries or not. The main ingredients for both these snacks are potatoes, oil, and salt. The following parameters can be relied upon to check the healthiness of the hash browns. 

  1. If you did not fry your hash browns in oil and butter, your hash browns are considered healthy.
  1. If you used a healthier oil like avocado or olive oil to fry your hash browns instead of cooking oil your hash browns have a superior nutritional profile. 
  1. Hash browns containing little or no salt are also healthy especially for people with hypertension.
  1. Hash browns made with veggies such as peppers or onions provide more nutrients than regular hash browns and are a healthier pick than fries. 

Crispy Hash Browns recipe 


  • 1 pound Russet potatoes (2 small-to-medium), peeled if desired
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Peel and grate them on a  large-holed cheese grater. If you like, you can leave the skin on and scrub the potatoes before grating them. 
  1. Rinse the grated potatoes in a fine-mesh sieve under cold running water. 
  1. Drain the potatoes and spread them on a clean tea towel or several paper towels. Fold the paper towel over the potatoes to make sure no moisture remains on the surface of the potatoes.
  1. Shift the grated potatoes to a bowl and season with salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  1. In a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet, heat some olive oil and sizzle the grated potatoes. Press the potatoes into an even layer in a skillet using a spatula. Let the potatoes cook for about 2 minutes. 
  1. Stir the potatoes and press them again into a single layer in the skillet. Cook for another 2 minutes. Continue doing this until the potatoes are crispy and golden. This should take another 4-8 minutes. 
  1. Transfer the hash browns onto a plate lined with paper towels. Let the paper towels absorb the excess oil from the hash browns. The subsequent batches after the first batch will naturally cook faster because of the already hot skillet.
  1. Season the hash browns with salt. Serve hot and enjoy. 

How to make healthy hash browns in an air fryer? 


  • 12 ounces (325 grams) frozen shredded potatoes
  • sea salt (optional)


  1. Place the frozen shredded potatoes into the non-stick air fryer basket. If the basket is not completely non-stick or the holes are too big to hold the shredded potatoes above the basket, use parchment paper to line the bottom of the basket.
  1. Air fry the shredded potatoes at 400℉ for about 10 minutes.
  1. Check your hash browns for doneness. Flip the hash browns if needed, especially when the bottom of the basket is lined with parchment paper. 
  1. Air fry the hash browns for an additional 3-5 minutes or until they are crispy and golden. 
  1. Serve alongside your favorite condiment and enjoy.

Serving ideas 

You can serve your hash browns with condiments such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, spicy ketchup, sriracha, salsa, and mustard, etc. 

For seasoning, you can use salt and pepper, garlic salt, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, or Trader Joe’s vegan no-chicken seasoning.

Are hash browns good for weight loss?

Hash browns are a filling food for people who are watching out for weight gain. Hash browns reduce your carb cravings, thus, help in reducing weight. This only applies if the hash browns do not contain any fattening ingredients such as oil, butter, or salt. 

Air-fried hash browns made with minimal spices and more veggies are the perfect snack option for people who are on a weight loss journey. This is because potatoes have a high satiety index, almost 3 times that of white bread. 

However, you cannot eat McDonald’s hash browns and expect your weight to go down. You will have to exclude all the high-calorie ingredients from your hash browns for them to work as a weight-loss-friendly food. 

Is it bad to eat hash browns every day? 

No, it is not bad to eat hash browns every day. But you need to be mindful of the serving size and the ingredients used in making hash browns. If you eat hash browns soaking in oil and brimming with salt daily, you cannot expect to get away without weight gain or chronic diseases. 


In this article, we answered the question “Are hash browns healthier than fries?”, and how to make crispy hash browns?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.