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If you love smiley face fries, then you will love air fryer smiley fries. They are crispy, they are yummy, and you can cook them at the same time as baked beans.

McCain Smiley Fries cook the BEST in the air fryer, and we will provide you with step by step instructions for perfect air fryer smiley fries.

This air fryer smiley fries recipe was originally shared with you back in 2020. We have since updated air fryers and created an even better recipe for you.

air fryer smiley fries recipe
Air Fryer Smiley Fries Recipe
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Smiley Face Fries

I remember like it was yesterday, the grocery shopping that I used to do when Kyle was a toddler.

It’s hard to believe as I write to you today with my air fryer smiley fries method, that he is now an 18 year old in college.

Back then money was incredibly tight, and we hardly had anything left for groceries.

Our household income was well below $1000 a month and there was very little extra help available.

So, the one place that I could save money was on groceries and I would keep it as low as possible.

The main way I saved money was with a monthly $80 shop at Aldi. I would buy lots of frozen food and lots of canned food and this would keep us going through the month.

Then we would have a tiny weekly shop at our local supermarket.

What I do remember is all the different fun ways I could buy potatoes for Kyle.

He would love any of them served with some baked beans for dinner and loads of cucumber on the side.

The one that brings the smile to my face the most was the McCain style smiley potato fries.

He would ask for these all the time and loved them and would never leave even a bite of them behind. Even when I burnt them!

For a bit of nostalgia and at the request of our air fryer frozen food ebook readers, we have had a trip down memory lane and bought a bag of McCain smiley fries and are showing you today for one time only, how to cook frozen smiley fries in an air fryer.

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What Are Smiley Fries?

Smiley fries are frozen fries made into the shape of smiley faces. They are more of a puffed-up mashed potato like a potato waffle.

Or when you use mashed potato leftovers, like our air fryer potato cakes.

They make a fantastic alternative to potato waffles for your kids for their dinner or for serving at kids’ birthday parties.

Do You Call Them Smiley Fries?

What I find most interesting is the different names we have for smiley fries. Whilst I would call them smiley fries or smiley chips, a bag of McCains has the name of McCain Smiles.

Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries Ingredients

Yet when I asked my fellow air fryer users they named the following as their favourite name for them:

  • Smiley face fries
  • Smiley face potatoes
  • Smiley potatoes
  • Smiley French fries
  • Happy face fries
  • Smiley face chips

Though if I have to choose my favourite of what to call them, I think happy face fries sounds the best.

Burnt Smiley Fries

Burnt smiley fries happens when the smiley fries are cooked at a high temperature and are left in the oven for too long.

I used to burn Kyle’s smiley fries all the time when I used to bake them.

I would get busy in the kitchen and forget about them, get them out and the edges would be burnt!

Why Cook Smiley Fries In An Air Fryer?

This leads to why I love to cook smiley fries in an air fryer. It beeps when they are done, you can set them for the perfect dual cooking time, and they come out so good.

They are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy potato texture in the centre. What more could you want?

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Potato Smiley Face Ingredients

Potato Smiley Face Ingredients

Potatoes – You will need a pack of McCain smiley fries. You can of course do a half pack if you prefer, depending on how many people you are feeding.

Beans – The beans are of course optional. But just like any British school dinner for the kids when they get back from school its always served with beans. Then load beans into a ramekin and they can heat through as you air fry your smiley fries.

Spray – If you want a crisp on your smiley fries, then I highly recommend some extra virgin olive oil spray. Its fantastic and you only need a small bit which is not even a teaspoon of oil.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this smiley face fries recipe it has just been our Cosori air fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

Can McCain Fries Be Air Fried?

Yes, McCain fries can be air fried, and you know what? They are delicious in the air fryer.

Of course, today we are talking about McCain smiley faces, but all kinds of McCain products can be cooked in the air fryer.

My favourites include air fryer frozen baked potatoes, air fryer frozen oven chips, and of course regular air fryer frozen fries.

How To Air Fry Smiley Fries?

air fryer smiley fries step by step
  • Load. Place your frozen smiley fries in the air fryer. Then find a gap for your ramekin that is loaded with baked beans.
  • Air Fry. Next, air fry smiley face potatoes for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
  • Spray. Then spray your smiley potatoes with extra virgin olive oil and cook for a further 4 minutes at 200c/400f.
  • Finish. Load your smiley French fries onto plates and pour over the baked beans, before serving.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is cooking frozen smiley fries in air fryer and how you can be doing the same.

How Long Does It Take To Cook To Smiley Fries In An Air Fryer?

The smiley fries air fryer cook time is JUST 12 minutes. This is for perfectly crispy and perfectly cooked smiley fries.

You can of course do less if you don’t want the crispy air fryer texture to them.

McCain Smiles Air Fryer Temperature

The recommended air fryer smiley face potato fries temperature is 180c/360f to cook the smiles and then 200c/400f to make them crispy.

The Air Fryer Frozen Food Cookbook

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Did you know we have a very popular air fryer frozen food cookbook? It helps you simplify cooking with the air fryer and is filled with air fryer frozen food classics.

Including air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks, air fryer frozen French fries, air fryer frozen chicken nuggets, air fryer frozen onion rings and many others.

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More Air Fryer Frozen Favourites

Air Fryer Smiley Face Fries

Your smiley fries in air fryer recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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4 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Smiley Face Fries

If you love smiley face fries, then you will love air fryer smiley fries. They are crispy, they are yummy, and you can cook them at the same time as baked beans.
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2
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Air Fryer Frozen Smiley Fries Ingredients:

  • 454 g McCain’s Frozen Smiley Fries
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 200 g Baked Beans

Kitchen Gadgets:


  • Place your frozen smiley potato faces into the air fryer basket. Then make a space for a ramekin filled with baked beans. Air fry, your smiley fries and baked beans for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
    How To Air Fry Smiley Fries?
  • Then remove the beans and shake the smiley fries.
    How To Air Fry Smiley Fries?
  • Spray the smiles with extra virgin olive oil and cook for 4 more minutes at 200c/400f to make them nice and crispy.
    How To Air Fry Smiley Fries?
  • Load onto a plate with the baked beans before serving.
    How To Air Fry Smiley Fries?


YouTube video


Beans. I find that a ramekin can easily hold half a can of baked beans which is perfect for 2 kids for dinner. You can do less or more.
Thanks for reading our smiley fries air fryer recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious frozen foods in the air fryer, then do check out our air fryer frozen burgers recipe next.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.3g | Protein: 2.4g | Fat: 7.7g | Fiber: 2.8g
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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    1. Hi Michael,

      I think the air fry button would be ok, the bake is more an oven setting and we do not have that setting so we use the air fry unless stated in the recipe 🙂

  1. 4 stars
    Smiley fries one of my sons favourite potato as a child. He loved them and these were cooked quicker and healthier than in the deep fat fryer, which is what air frying is all about, thanks for a blast from the past, i thoroughly enjoyed them 🙂