A healthy snack food with an appearance and taste similar to conventional fried snack products is made without the use of 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 lower moisture content in a primary drying step that simulates conventional frying dehydration rates. A food such as a corn or potato-based snack produced by this method is a low-fat, ready-to-eat offering with the conventional texture and taste associated with fried snack products.