Healthy snacks with an appearance and taste similar to conventional fried snack products are manufactured without an oil-frying process. Food slices from a starch-based food or dough are blanched, and a controlled amount of oil can be added to enhance final organoleptical properties. The food slices are then rapidly dehydrated to a much lower moisture content in a primary drying step that simulates conventional frying dehydration rates. The ready-to-eat food produced by this method — a corn- or potato-based snack — is low in fat but has the conventional texture and taste associated with fried snack products.