These Loaded Cheese Fries are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser! Crisp french fries loaded with hot Italian sausage, jalapeños, red onions, green onions, tomatoes, sour cream and a creamy and delicious cheese sauce!
Here we go again, I've brought you all yet another cheesy, loaded recipe for you to enjoy for the biggest day in football. First I shared these sinful Loaded Beef Nachos, and now I'm sharing a cheesy french fry version!
Loaded Cheese Fries
There's honestly no better way to enjoy a football game or a Friday night than with an entire plate of loaded fries or nachos. They're the best appetizers, snacks and party foods. This isn't really something I'd serve for dinner, but you totally can if you want.
This extravagant twist on classic loaded nachos are overflowing with crispy fries, crumbled hot Italian sausage and the cheesiest, creamiest cheese sauce! Top it off with your favourite nacho toppings, like red onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.
How to make Loaded Cheese Fries
I wanted this recipe to be as simple as possible, so I used a bag of frozen fries, but feel free to make some from scratch if you prefer. I started by baking the fries in the oven according to package directions, until they were crispy and golden.
Although this is a recipe for fries, you can swap them out for tortilla chips to make nachos, or you could use tater tots, potato wedges, whatever you want! Next time I make these I'll definitely be making a nacho version.
Sausage vs Beef
Next up is the meat. I included two meat options in the recipe below — sausage and beef. I ran out of ground beef, so I had to use Italian sausage as a substitute. For the sausage, all you need to do is cook and crumble it, no seasoning needed since the sausage is already well seasoned.
As great as it tasted, I really would've preferred using the taco seasoned ground beef like I did in my loaded nachos recipe. You can choose either of the two options, or you can use any type of meat you prefer, whether it's pulled pork, turkey, chilli, go nuts!
Silky Cheese Sauce
Now onto my favourite part of this recipe: the cheese sauce!! With 6 easy recipes the average person may already have available, this sauce comes together in no time! I was originally going to top the fries with shredded cheese and melt it in the oven, but chose to make a cheese sauce last minute. Luckily I had all of the ingredients on hand, and quickly threw everything together to make this decadent sauce.
How to make Cheese Sauce
Making the cheese sauce is so simple! We start with a roux, which is basically an equal amount of melted butter and flour that we whisk together on the stove until it's bubbly and foamy.
Next we whisk in the milk and continue to cook until the milk becomes nice and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once the milk is thick, turn off the heat and immediately stir in the cheddar cheese.
You'll want to mix in the cheese a handful at a time so it can all melt evenly. Now you have a rich, smooth and creamy cheese sauce that you can easily customize any way you want!
I added some salt and cayenne for flavour and a nice kick, but you can add other seasonings, stir in a can of drained Rotel tomatoes, the possibilities are endless!
I should also note that the sauce should be made AS SOON as you're ready to assemble the fries. The longer the sauce cools, it begins to firm up and create a skin on top which causes it to be a bit grainy when stirred. I recommend preparing all of your other ingredients first, then making the cheese sauce last.
Alright, now that our ingredients are ready, let's assemble this bad boy! Since we're using a cheese sauce instead of shredded cheese, I decided to assemble everything on a serving platter rather than the baking sheet. If you don't care about the fancy appearance and want fewer dishes to clean, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil before baking your fries.
Once the fries are baked, just top them with the meat, cheese sauce, and toppings of your choice, then take a fork and dig in! When you're done, just remove the foil and toss it in the trash. If I didn't want my photos to look so pretty, this is what I would've done.
Colourful, mouth-watering and delicious — these loaded fries can easily be customized for an amazing side dish or appetizer the entire family will enjoy! The crispy fries smothered in cheese sauce and loaded with all your favourite toppings gives so much flavour to every bite and will have your family/friends going back for more!
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- 1 (2 lb.) bag frozen fries
Meat Option 1:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
Meat Option 2:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage, removed from their casings
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 jar jalapeños, drained
- 1-2 tomatoes, diced
- Sour cream
- green onions, diced
- Read the notes before beginning the recipe.
For the Fries:
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spread frozen fries out onto a large baking sheet. Check the back of your package to see how long fries should be baked.
For Meat Option 1:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
- Once onions are soft, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until beef is no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and stir until incorporated. Drain the excess fat. Set aside.
For Meat Option 2:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink. Set aside.
For the Cheese Sauce:
- Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until melted.
- Once butter has melted, add the flour and whisk until mixture begins to bubble and foam. Continue to whisk for another 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Once milk is incorporated, allow it to reach a simmer, whisking occasionally. Continue to simmer until milk mixture begins to thicken, it should coat the back of a spoon. This took me about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add cheese, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until completely melted. If the cheese isn't melting, turn the stove back on to the lowest heat to help.
- Once all the cheese has been melted, stir in the salt and cayenne. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
- Once fries are done, remove from oven and top with the ground meat, cheese sauce, diced red onions, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, sour cream and diced green onions. Dig in!
- I included two meat options in the recipe. You can choose either of the two options, or you can use any type of meat you prefer, like pulled pork, turkey, chilli and more.
- If you don't care about the fancy appearance and want fewer dishes to clean, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil before baking your fries. Once the fries are baked, just top them with the meat, cheese sauce, and toppings of your choice, then take a fork and dig in! When you're done, just remove the foil and toss it in the trash.
- The sauce should be made AS SOON as you're ready to assemble the fries. The longer the sauce cools, it begins to firm up and create a skin on top which causes it to be a bit grainy when stirred. I recommend preparing all of your other ingredients first, then making the cheese sauce last.
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Love, Dedra ❤