Loaded Nacho Fries
Jan 29, 2020, Updated Nov 02, 2023
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Loaded nacho fries are a crowd-pleasing indulgence, where crispy fries are smothered with seasoned ground beef, melted cheese, and black olives, creating a deliciously hearty and satisfying twist on traditional nachos.
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Easy Loaded Nacho Fries
Easy loaded nacho fries are the perfect fusion of two beloved comfort foods: crispy french fries and flavorful nachos. This dish starts with a generous bed of golden fries, fresh out of the oven or fryer, ensuring a crisp texture that can withstand the hearty toppings to come. These are not your average snack; they’re a canvas waiting to be adorned with mouth-watering ingredients. Layered on top is savory ground beef, seasoned with a blend of spices such as cumin, paprika, and chili powder, which brings the classic Tex-Mex flair to the ensemble. The ground beef is cooked to perfection, juicy and rich, adding a substantial protein component that makes these fries a satisfying meal in their own right.
The fries and beef create a harmonious base for the gooey, melted cheese that comes next. A generous sprinkling of shredded cheese, preferably a mix of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, is melted until it’s irresistibly stringy and envelops the other elements in a warm embrace. The melted cheese acts like glue, melding the flavors while adding a creamy texture and salty tang. Finally, sliced black olives are scattered on top, providing a contrast with their earthy and slightly bitter notes that cut through the richness of the cheese and beef. The olives are not just a garnish; their unique flavor is a nod to traditional nachos and they bring a welcome pop of color that makes the dish as visually appealing as it is delicious. This easy loaded nacho fries platter is casual yet indulgent, perfect for gatherings, movie nights, or any time you crave a cheesy, meaty treat that promises to be a crowd-pleaser.
How to make Easy Nacho Fries
First assemble these ingredients:
- Frozen fries (1 lb) – Fries offer a savory, golden crunch with a fluffy interior, providing a neutral base that absorbs flavors well.
- Ground beef (1 lb) – Ground beef has a rich, meaty taste that is hearty and full-bodied.
- Onion (1) – Onions bring a pungent, slightly sweet, and aromatic quality that intensifies when cooked.
- Bell peppers (2) – Bell peppers have a sweet, juicy crunch, adding a mild, vegetal flavor to the mix.
- Taco seasoning – Taco seasoning packs a bold, spicy kick with notes of cumin, garlic, and chili powder.
- Can jalapenos – Canned jalapeños offer a tangy, pickled heat that infuses a zesty spice.
- Cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups) – Cheddar cheese provides a sharp, creamy depth that melts into a rich, velvety layer.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes contribute a fresh, slightly tangy sweetness and a juicy texture contrast.
- Green onions – Green onions finish the dish with a mild, oniony bite and a burst of color.
Use this Method
Cook Fries. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay frozen fries on baking sheet and cook until crispy.
Cook Beef and Veg. While fries are cooking, brown ground beef. Drain fat. Add diced onion and peppers, cook until browned.
Season. Add taco seasoning and water, mix according to package directions.
Assemble. Remove fries from oven when just under crispy. Layer taco mixture over fries. Sprinkle with cheese and jalapeños.
Bake. Return to oven, cook until cheese is melted. Top with tomatoes and green onions, serve.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Loaded Nacho Fries
Choose the Right Potato: Opt for russet potatoes for their starchy content, which makes them perfect for frying to achieve that desired crispiness.
Cut Evenly: Try to cut your fries in even sizes to ensure they cook uniformly and you don’t end up with a mix of overcooked and undercooked fries.
Soak the Potatoes: Soak the cut potatoes in cold water for at least an hour to remove excess starch, which helps in getting them crispy when fried or baked.
Dry Thoroughly: After soaking, dry the potatoes completely before cooking to prevent oil splatter and to achieve maximum crispiness.
Season Well: Don’t be shy with the seasoning. Make sure your fries have ample salt and Tex-Mex spices before and after cooking for a full-flavored base.
High Heat for Baking: If you’re baking your fries, use a high oven temperature (around 425°F or 220°C) to get them nice and crispy.
Don’t Overcrowd: Whether you’re baking or frying, make sure not to overcrowd the pan as this will steam the potatoes instead of crisping them.
Use a Rack: If baking, place a wire rack on top of your baking sheet before spreading out the fries. This allows the heat to circulate around the fries, cooking them evenly and making them crispier.
Layering: When you’re adding your toppings, do it in layers. A layer of fries, then cheese, then more fries, and more toppings. This ensures that every bite has a good distribution of toppings.
Melt the Cheese Properly: If the cheese isn’t melting to your liking in the oven, put it under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking, but watch it closely to avoid burning.
Fresh Toppings Last: Add fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, cilantro, or green onions after the fries come out of the oven so they maintain their texture and flavor.
Serve Immediately: Loaded fries are best served hot and fresh. The longer they sit, the soggier they can become due to the toppings.
Use Sturdy Fries: If you’re worried about sogginess, consider double frying your potatoes or baking them extra crispy to ensure they can hold up to the toppings.
Offer Varieties of Heat: Not everyone can handle the same level of spiciness, so consider serving the hot components, like jalapeños or hot sauce, on the side.
Creative Toppings: Don’t be afraid to get creative with the toppings. Try adding things like black beans, corn, avocado, or even a scoop of your favorite chili.
Prep Ahead: Prep your toppings while your fries are cooking to assemble your loaded fries quickly once they’re out
Thick-cut fries or steak fries work best for loaded Tex-Mex fries because they have a sturdy base that can hold the weight of the toppings without getting too soggy.
It’s best to assemble and bake your loaded Tex-Mex fries just before serving to ensure the fries remain crispy and the toppings are fresh and hot. You can prep your toppings ahead of time to save on cooking time.
To prevent sogginess, make sure your fries are well-cooked to a golden crispness before adding toppings, and serve immediately after baking with the toppings.
Loaded Tex-Mex fries can be gluten-free if you ensure that the fries and all toppings are free of gluten-containing ingredients. Always check the labels if using packaged products.
Popular toppings include shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, black olives, green onions, black beans, corn, seasoned ground beef or chicken, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.
Absolutely! Sweet potato fries are a delicious and nutritious alternative and pair well with Tex-Mex flavors.
Yes, you can make vegan loaded Tex-Mex fries by using dairy-free cheese alternatives, vegan sour cream, and plant-based meat substitutes.
Reheat leftovers in the oven or air fryer at a high temperature to help re-crisp the fries. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make them soggy.
What to Enjoy with your Loaded Fries
Loaded Tex-Mex fries are a hearty and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a variety of other foods. Here’s a list of items that complement them well:
- Grilled Chicken: Slices of grilled chicken breast add a healthy protein option.
- Pulled Pork: Shredded pulled pork can enhance the Tex-Mex flavors.
- Beef Brisket: Tender slices of beef brisket offer a smoky, meaty addition.
- Ground Beef: Seasoned ground beef adds a classic taco filling vibe.
Dips & Sauces:
- Guacamole: A side of fresh guacamole brings creaminess and richness.
- Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream adds a tangy and cool element.
- Salsa: Offer a variety of salsas for extra heat and freshness.
- Queso Dip: Warm, cheesy queso dip is always a hit with Tex-Mex fries.
- Coleslaw: A side of tangy coleslaw provides a crunchy contrast.
- Cornbread: Warm cornbread complements the spices in the Tex-Mex fries.
- Grilled Vegetables: Assorted grilled vegetables add a smoky and healthy option.
- Beer: A cold beer pairs well with the spicy and cheesy flavors.
- Margaritas: A classic margarita adds a festive touch to the meal.
- Iced Tea: Sweet or unsweetened iced tea offers a refreshing beverage choice.
- Churros: For a sweet finish, serve churros with chocolate dipping sauce.
- Sopapillas: These puffy, fried pastries are a delightful Tex-Mex dessert.
- Fried Ice Cream: A unique dessert option that complements the spicy fries.
- Fresh Cilantro: Sprinkle fresh cilantro leaves for an added burst of flavor.
- Pickled Jalapenos: For those who like it extra spicy.
- Chopped Tomatoes: Fresh chopped tomatoes add a juicy, refreshing element.
Try these other Tex-Mex recipes you will love:
Also try favorites like Easy Fogo De Chao Brazilian Cheese Bread Copycat Recipe, Easy Keto Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip Recipe, Bacon Wrapped Cheddar and Garlic Jalapeno Poppers, Sweet and Spicy Guinness Snack Mix Recipe, Air Fried Nandos Chicken Wings Recipe, Sweet and Spicy Crispy Baked Chicken Wings, and Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks.
Loaded Nacho Fries Recipe
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- 1 lb bag frozen fries
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- taco seasoning packet
- small can jalapenos, drained * optional
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- tomatoes, diced
- green onions, diced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lay frozen fries on baking sheet and cook until crispy.
- While fries are cooking, brown ground beef.
- Drain fat.
- Add diced onion and peppers, cook until browned.
- Add taco seasoning and water, mix according to package directions.
- Remove fries from oven when just under crispy.
- Layer taco mixture over fries.
- Sprinkle with cheese and jalapeños.
- Return to oven, cook until cheese is melted.
- Top with tomatoes and green onions, serve.
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 362Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 59mgSodium 460mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 19g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.