Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries

published Jan 10, 2022
Nacho Fries Recipe

This copycat Taco Bell favorite smothers seasoned french fries in cheesy beef for the ultimate crossover between fries and nachos.

Serves6

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 35 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
sheet pan of nacho fries, a hand pulling away a few fries
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

A few years ago, Taco Bell came up with the idea to add french fries to their menu, creating what they called nacho fries. Crunchy seasoned french fries came with a side of their nacho cheese sauce for dipping, and they took it even further by loading up the fries with taco beef and all the fun, tasty toppings.

With the help of a bag of frozen french fries, you can make these loaded nacho fries at home. It’s the perfect snack to serve at your next game or movie night, or when watching your favorite sports team play on TV.

What Are Taco Bell Nacho Fries Made Of?

Here are the main elements of Taco Bell loaded nacho fries.

  • Seasoned french fries: The extra seasoning on these fries makes these nachos tastier. You can use straight cut or go with waffle cut for a shape that’s closer to a tortilla chip. If you can only find regular french fries, make sure to season with some salt before baking.
  • Seasoned ground beef: All you need is lean ground beef and a taco seasoning blend for this, or you can use a plant-based ground beef instead to keep the nachos vegetarian.
  • Cheese sauce: Melt shredded cheddar cheese and Velveeta processed cheese in milk to create a smooth, easy cheese sauce.
  • Diced tomato, scallions, and sour cream: Tomato and scallions are classic Taco Bell garnishes that give a pop of freshness. The sour cream adds some cooling creamniess against all the savoriness of the meat and cheese sauce.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

How Do I Make Taco Bell Nacho Fries at Home?

Start by throwing a batch of frozen seasoned french fries in the oven. Cook the whole bag, but spread the fries out onto two baking sheets so there’s plenty of room for them to crisp up rather than steam. While the fries bake, brown ground beef and season with taco seasoning to make the seasoned beef. Turn it into cheesy beef by adding milk, shredded cheddar cheese, and Velveeta so that a smooth cheese sauce forms. Combining the beef and cheese sauce together means it’s easier to spoon over the fries and almost acts like a glue to keep the beef in place.

When the fries are ready, combine onto one baking sheet or a serving platter, top with cheesy beef, and garnish with tomatoes, scallions, and sour cream.

Can I Prep These Fries in Advance? 

You make the cheesy beef a few days ahead and just rewarm when the fries are ready. No one likes soggy fries, so only bake them when you’re ready to eat.

Nacho Fries Recipe

This copycat Taco Bell favorite smothers seasoned french fries in cheesy beef for the ultimate crossover between fries and nachos.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 35 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (28- to 32-ounce) bag

    frozen seasoned french fries, such as Ore-Ida Zesty straight fries

  • 1

    medium Roma or plum tomato

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 4 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese, preferably yellow, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 4 ounces

    Velveeta processed cheese

  • 8 ounces

    lean ground beef or plant-based ground beef

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1 tablespoon

    store-bought or homemade taco seasoning

  • 1/4 cup

    water

  • 1/3 cup

    sour cream

  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 425ºF (or the temperature on the package directions for the fries).

  2. Divide 1 (28- to 32-ounce) bag frozen seasoned french fries between 2 rimmed baking sheets and arrange into a single layer. Bake until the fries are light golden-brown and crisp, stirring the fries halfway through and switching the baking sheets between racks, 25 to 35 minutes total or according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings and cheesy beef.

  3. Cut 1 medium Roma tomato into small dice (about 1/2 cup). Thinly slice 2 medium scallions (about 1/4 cup). Grate 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup). Cut 4 ounces Velveeta processed cheese into 8 pieces.

  4. Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add 8 ounces ground beef and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat up into bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.

  5. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon taco seasoning and stir to combine. Stir in 1/4 cup water and simmer until mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Add 1 cup whole or 2% milk and bring to a full simmer. Add the cheddar and Velveeta, and stir until the cheeses are completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.

  6. When the french fries are ready, transfer all the fries onto one baking sheet (or large serving platter) and arrange into an even layer. Spoon the cheesy beef (if it’s cooled off, rewarm over low heat first) evenly over the fries. Dollop 1/3 cup sour cream in small spoonfuls over the fries. Sprinkle with the tomatoes and scallions. Serve with hot sauce if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cheesy beef can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Let cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat over low heat before using it to top the fries.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.