Nacho Fries
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They’re a crowd favorite at Taco Bell, but we know that this recipe has got them beat. Yes, our homemade Nacho Fries are simply amazing and far better than anything you’ll get from any fast-food chain, guaranteed! What’s more, making your own Nacho Fries at home couldn’t be easier, and it makes for a perfect, hearty meal to feed the family

How to make Nacho Fries at home

This dish packs so much flavor in every bite that it may seem like an overly complicated meal to make at home. However, it is so far from that. These homemade Nacho Fries are such an easy dish to make, and the reward is immense. Beautiful, rich flavors. Great texture, and an overall beautiful plate of food

The key to making great Nacho Fries is mastering each component. Nacho Fries are about making 4 – 5 separate components that you bring together at the very end, right before serving. We’ll dive into those key elements, which are:

  1. Perfectly crispy Fries
  2. A flavorful Meat topping
  3. Vibrant Pico de Gallo
  4. Of course, Cheese!
  5. Simple, yet delicious Guacamole

1. You can either make your own fries, or buy them frozen

To make your own fries or not. That is the main question when it comes to homemade Nacho Fries. We won’t hold it against you if you use Frozen Fries from the grocery store. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, a lot of them taste phenomenal. Given how labor intensive it is to make your own fries, you absolutely can use frozen fries

In our recipe here we provide the full details on how to make Crispy Fries from scratch. It will add a lot more time to the overall cook and does require the use of some frying Oil. So, if you’re looking to make truly authentic homemade Nacho Fries, then make your own fries! If you’re simply looking for a quick, easy, and delicious midweek dinner, then we recommend using frozen fries

Beautiful Fries cooked with Deep Fryer
Frying with Oil is a great method for cooking, just be sure to follow all of the safety measures to cook your food perfectly and safely

How to make your own Homemade Fries

Making perfectly crispy fries is an artform, and one that we’ve taken a while to master. The secret to perfectly crispy homemade fries is to not only twice cook them, but to freeze them. It’s bizarre when you think about it, because we’re making homemade fries, yet they end up being frozen anyway!

What you want to do is use a Potato that is high in starch like Russet or Idaho Potato. Yukon Gold also works well. Peel and cut the Potatoes into even shaped strips and then place them into a pot filled with cold water. Bring it to a boil, then cook for 10 minutes until the Potatoes are starting to turn tender

Remove the Potatoes from the Water and pat dry. Try to remove as much moisture as you can from the Fries. Then, place in a Ziploc bag and freeze for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight

The second cook

Once the Potatoes are frozen, heat a large pot filled with frying Oil (eg: Canola or Vegetable Oil). Once the temperature is between 350F – 375F, carefully place the Fries into the Oil. Be careful not to place too much, as the oil with react violently to the moisture still on the Potatoes. Best to cook in batches

Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the fries and place on a wire rack. Season immediately with Salt and then they are done! You’ll need to serve them straight away, so we’d recommend making the Fries as the last component in your Nacho Fries. Or simply use Frozen fries and cook them in the Air Fryer or oven!

If you want to read more about perfecting Homemade Crispy Fries check this article out

Nacho Fries meat
Making a tasty meat topping is a critical step in getting the perfect tasting Nacho Fries

2. The perfectly flavored Meat for the best Nacho Fries

For our Nacho Fries we use ground beef. There are so many different toppings you can use for Nachos, and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ topping when it comes to Nachos. We’ve got a phenomenal Nacho recipe using Pulled Chicken which tastes great

We’ve opted for Beef to keep this dish true to the classic Nacho Fries. We recommend using slightly leaner beef, as we don’t want the meat sauce to be fatty, as it can tend to make the Fries a little soggy. We used 90/10 Lean Beef (which mean 10% fat content) and it turned out awesome

Build the flavors in the pan

Fry off some Onions and Garlic in a hot pan then add the spices to give the ground beef a truly Mexican flavor. We used a combination of Cumin, Ground Coriander, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, and Pepper. Be generous with the seasoning, this is where all the flavor lies in this dish, so you want it to really stand out!

In addition to the spices, add Tomato Paste and the secret ingredient: Chipotles in Adobo Sauce. This gives the meat sauce a luscious creamy texture and the Chipotles add a simply wonderful smoky flavor. Cook that all down and then you can set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients. Simply re-heat once it’s time to plate!

If you want to read more about perfecting Homemade Crispy Fries check this article out (LINK)

Pico Top down

3. Vibrant Pico de Gallo to bring the dish into balance

A great Nacho Fries dish, like all cooking, requires a balance of flavors. The majority of the ingredients in Nacho Fries are rich, so you need some acidic flavors to balance everything out. This is where the Pico de Gallo comes into play

Pico de Gallo is a classic and traditional combination of diced Tomatoes and Onions with Cilantro, Salt, and Lemon Juice. The acidity of the Tomatoes combined with the Lemon Juice adds bright, vibrancy to Mexican dishes and is an essential part of cooking

You can add more ingredients to the Pico de Gallo to tailor it to your personal tastes. For a bit more heat, add some Jalapenos or Red Chilis. For some more vegetables, Cucumbers are a nice addition. We’ve even made a Mango Pico de Gallo before, and it turned out great!

Nacho Fries cheese
Melt some American Cheese to create the ultimate gooey cheese drizzle to pour all over the Nacho Fries

4. Many would say the most important ingredient in Nachos – Cheese!

It’s just not Nachos without Cheese is it! The quantity of Cheese that you put on your Nachos is completely up to you. What we have found however is that you don’t need as much cheese as you think to do to make the perfect Nacho Fries. We want to keep the overall dish light enough that it’s workable as a midweek dinner, and adding too much cheese can make the overall dish stodgy and heavy

There are many options for what cheese to use on your Nacho Fries, however we would highly recommend using good old American Cheese. That’s right! This isn’t authentic Mexican food we’re making, it’s westernized Mexican, and American Cheese is the perfect choice

What you need to do is get the American Cheese gooey and melty, so it forms that lovely, thick, melty texture. All you need to do is break up around 4 – 5 slices of American Cheese (or processed cheese) and place into a microwave safe container. Add a little bit of Milk, then microwave for 30 seconds

Mix it all together and you’ll get the most delicious, gooey, oozy melty cheese. It’s the perfect consistency and flavor for Nachos and works perfectly for this dish. Prepare the Cheese right before serving and drizzle it all over your Nacho Fries for the best result!

Guacamole Side Dish

5. You’ve got to finish off Nacho Fries with Guacamole!

The final piece to the Nacho puzzle is topping that delicious plate of food off with a generous scoop of Guacamole. Depending on how adventurous you feel with your cooking, you can make a legit authentic Guacamole by grounding up a combination of Avocado, Tomato, Onions, Cilantro, and Jalapenos in a Mortar and Pestle

Ground it all down until you form a chunky texture then add a generous amount of Salt and Lime Juice and you’ve got the perfect Guacamole. Another option is to make a super simple Guac, which is what we did for this recipe. Scoop out the flesh from a ripe Avocado and mash it up with Salt and Lime Juice

 For Nachos, we like to have a pretty smooth texture in our Guacamole. An easy approach is to put it into a glass or mug and mash it all up with a fork. You can get a nice smooth texture this way

Once Avocado is exposed to the air it will turn brown. The flavor is still fine to eat, but the appearance isn’t great. To prevent it browning, add the Lime Juice immediately to the Guacamole. You can prepare the Guacamole in advance and cover it with cling film then refrigerate. This will keep the color nice and green

We’ve got a dedicated recipe here to perfecting Guacamole that we’d encourage you all to check out to go deeper into the wonderful world of Guac

Nacho Fries plating
Plating the Nacho Fries is not too difficult. Place the Fries on first, then it really doesn’t matter too much what goes on after that!

Plating the Nacho Fries

The final step is putting everything together. Again, there is no right or wrong way to plate this dish, but as a general rule we’d suggest you follow this approach for layering the ingredients

First, we’d recommend plating the dish family style. Find the biggest plate you have and pour everything onto it. That way people can grab what they want and put it on their individual plates. It’s just easier this way

Start with laying out all your fries on the plate. The fries form the bed for the rest of the Nacho ingredients to sit on. Next, add the Ground Beef, followed by Pico de Gallo, and then the gooey, melty Cheese. Finish with a generous scoop of Guacamole and Sour Cream. Top the whole dish with some chopped Scallions and Jalapenos slices and it’s time to eat!

Recipe Details


2 – 4 people

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

25 minutes

Total time

40 minutes

Nacho Fries Recipe


  • 1 ½ lbs. Frozen thick cut fries (or make your own here)
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef (90/10)
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Ground Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbsp. Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Scallions, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 Limes
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 6 Slices of American Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Whole Milk
  • 3 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt


  1. Scatter the Frozen Fries on a large baking tray and bake in an oven that’s been pre-heated to 400F for 25 – 30 minutes until crispy brown. (or follow package instructions). You can also Air Fry the Potatoes, or make your own following our recipe here
  2. While the Fries are cooking, prepare the toppings. Beginning with the Pico de Gallo, combine the Cherry Tomatoes, ½ Red Onion (finely diced), Cilantro, Lemon Juice, and 1 tsp. of Salt into a bowl. Mix well then set aside in the refrigerator
  3. To make the simple Guacamole, carefully remove the seed from the Avocado and then scoop out the flesh. Place in a bowl or mug and squeeze in the juice of 2 Limes along with 1 tsp. of Salt. Mix well to combine. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator
  4. Now it’s time to make the meat topping. Heat the Olive Oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add ½ Red Onion (diced) and sauté until tender, about 4 – 5 minutes
  5. Add the Garlic, Tomato Paste, Cumin, Ground Coriander, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Ground Pepper, and 2 tsp. of Salt. Mix to combine and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the Chipotles in Adobo Sauce and mix well to combine, then add the Ground Beef
  6. Break up the Ground Beef in the Pan and stir well to combine all the ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium / low and cook for 15 minutes. You can prepare the Beef in advance and simply re-heat when it’s time to serve
  7. When you are ready to serve, break the American Cheese slices into small pieces and place in a microwave safe container along with the Milk. Microwave for 30 seconds then mix well to combine

Plating the Nacho Fries

  1. Scatter the cooked Fries over a large plate or serving platter. Spoon on the Meat Topping, followed by the Pico de Gallo. Drizzle over the melty Cheese and then top with a large scoop of Guacamole and Sour Cream
  2. Finish the dish by scattering sliced Jalapenos and chopped Scallions over the top. Serve immediately

Recipe Notes

You can either use Frozen Fries or make your own Fries for this recipe. Frozen Fries are perfectly fine and will take much less time. If you want to make your own Fries check out our recipe here

We love these homemade Nacho Fries and think they’re the perfect family meal. It not only tastes great, but it is significantly lighter than you would expect it to be. The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the toppings and lean beef make it quite a healthy dish too

If you enjoyed this dish, why not check out more of these awesome Potato recipes. Here are a few of our favorites:

Happy Cooking!

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