Limited time only menu items are popular in many fast food chains, and for good reason. They’re both delicious, and scarce. This feeling of scarcity makes people excited every time the fast food chain brings it back. There is almost no limited time only item more loved than Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries. Crispy fries covered in a medley of Mexican spices dipped in nacho cheese sauce - what can be better than that?
Sadly, these nacho fries are not always available at Taco Bell. Which can only mean one thing. It’s time to make them yourself at home! With this copycat recipe, you can enjoy spicy nacho fries fresh at home anytime you want. Isn’t that awesome? Let’s get into the recipe, so you can enjoy these fries today!
WHAT ARE NACHO FRIES?
Nacho fries were created by Taco Bell to combine the two great sides: nachos and fries. That way their customers would never have to debate between eating fries or nachos. French fries are deep fried and covered in nacho seasoning. They are served with a side of nacho cheese that makes the side dish even tastier.
Nacho fries are only served at Taco Bell every so often, and only for a short time. Rather than waiting for Taco Bell to bring back nacho fries, follow this recipe and enjoy them whenever you like.
- Salted Butter: will help the cheese melt, and adds lots of flavor.
- Whole Milk: it’s best not to replace whole milk with a different type of milk. Whole milk adds lots of creaminess to the nacho cheese.
- American Cheese: feel free to use another processed cheese that has high meltability like Velveeta.
- Jalapeno Jar Juice: This adds a nice kick to the nacho cheese. Add in some sliced jalapenos for more spice and texture.
- Seasonings: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder are used for the nacho fries. They add tons of flavor, heat, and savory notes.
- Extra Crispy Frozen Fries: Frozen extra crispy fries will give you the best result. Fries made at home will not be able to withstand the creamy nacho cheese as well as frozen fries.
- Vegetable Oil: Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point to fry the French fries.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST NACHO FRIES
Deep frying may sound scary, but if you follow the right precautions you will be just fine.
Before getting the fries ready, prepare the other ingredients first. In a bowl, mix together all of the seasonings. It will help to have the seasonings ready to go before frying the fries. Set the seasonings aside while you make the nacho cheese.
For the creamy nacho cheese, add butter, milk, cheese, salt, and jalapeno juice into a saucepan. Turn the stove to low, and let the ingredients melt together. Stir from time to time to prevent the nacho cheese from sticking to the pan. Once the nacho cheese is ready, you can set it aside. If it gets solid after making the fries, reheat the cheese over low heat.
The best thing about using frozen fries is that they come with instructions, so you know exactly how to best fry them. Follow the instructions on the package to make the fries. Once they are fried, remove them from the oil and cover them in the seasoning mix. You want to season the fries while they’re still hot, so the seasonings stick better.
Enjoy your fresh nacho fries with a serving of incredible cheese sauce! You won’t go back to Taco Bell after eating these homemade nacho fries.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RECIPE
Is this recipe vegan-friendly?
The recipe is vegetarian, but not vegan-friendly. The fries themselves are vegan, but the nacho cheese sauce isn’t. Replacing the nacho cheese with a vegan one, will make the recipe fully vegan.
Can I use a different kind of cheese?
Yes! This recipe uses American cheese, but any processed cheese works just as well. Something like Velveeta or even Cheez Whiz cheese dip could work. If the cheese you buy is in a block, then cut them into small pieces first.
Can I make the fries in an air fryer instead?
You can make them in the air fryer, but keep in mind that the seasoning will not stick as well. To make the fries in the air fryer, it’s best to use the “double frying” method. First, preheat your air fryer to 360°F for about 2-3 minutes. Add in the fries and let them cook for 10 minutes. Take them out and let them cool for 30 minutes. Preheat the air fryer again to 400F, and cook the fries for 6 more minutes. This will make them nice and crispy.
- Take your nacho fries to the next level and add toppings. Treat them like nachos and add anything from jalapenos to guacamole. Experiment and see what toppings you like best on your nacho fries.
- The recipe calls for mixing the spices together. But, if you want a stronger nacho seasoning taste, then toast the spices first. To toast the spices, heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Stir the spices and toast the spices until you can smell them. This should only take a minute at most. Be careful not to burn the spices.
- Toss the fries in the seasoning when they are hot. This will make the spices stick to the fries much better.