Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries start with spiced French Fries and are topped with homemade Taco Bell style cheese sauce, and your favorite nacho toppings like taco meat, salsa, jalapenos, sour cream and cilantro. They are full of flavor and a fun Mexican dinner or appetizer for a party.
It’s no secret that eating out is way more expensive than eating at home. But, some days just call for that fast food that you really love. So, why not make it home and save money…and you don’t have to drive anywhere!
The copycat taco bell nacho fries are the ultimate comfort food and game-day appetizer. They taste exactly like the real thing, but even better!
With a delicious homemade cheese sauce and perfectly seasoned fries, this easy recipe will have you thinking you’ve just gone through the drive-thru.
And if you love this sheet pan recipe, then check out these sheet pan quesadillas to go with your nacho fries!
Why You’ll Love Nacho Fries
- They are the perfect appetizer for game-day or a large crowd of people!
- This recipe is really easy to follow and only takes 40 minutes to complete. And most of that is just time for the fries to cook in the oven!
- They are very adaptable and can serve even the pickiest eaters. You can adjust the cheese sauce, spice level, toppings, and more.
Ingredients for Nacho Fries
- Frozen straight-cut fries – Just grab a bag of your favorite frozen french fries! Any straight-cut fries will work.
- Cooked taco meat – Follow this recipe for really easy-to-make taco meat.
- Taco Seasoning – You can use your favorite packet of taco seasoning or follow this really simple recipe to make your own homemade taco seasoning.
- Cornstarch – Using a little bit of corn starch in your cheese sauce will help it thicken.
- Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter, either will work.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – I prefer the bold flavor of sharp cheddar cheese for the cheese sauce, but you could use mild cheddar if you prefer.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – Heavy cream will make your cheese sauce perfectly creamy.
- Guacamole – Guacamole is a great topping for these! Make homemade guacamole for best results.
- Jalapeño – Slice up a fresh jalapeño, or use pickled jalapeño slice.
- Sour Cream – Feel free to omit this topping if you’re not a fan of sour cream.
- Salsa – This homemade salsa pairs perfectly with this recipe.
- Cilantro – A little fresh cilantro totally elevates this recipe.
How to make Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries
Pour frozen french fries onto a clean sheet pan and evenly coat them in taco seasoning. Then, cook them in the oven following the instructions on the package.
While the fries cook, prepare the cheese sauce.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the cornstarch, stirring continuously.
Pour the heavy cream into the saucepan and stir to incorporate. Once bubbles begin to form, reduce the heat and add in the shredded sharp cheddar cheese and taco seasoning.
It is important to keep the heat low after adding the cheese so that the cheese doesn’t curdle.
Stir until combined and keep it warm until the fries are complete.
Prep any toppings for the nacho fries and once the fries are done, assemble everything on a serving plate and eat up!
Serving Tips for Nacho Fries
They are best served hot, right out of the oven! Assemble everything and then serve them immediately.
You can add any toppings you want. The ones listed above are great, but you could also add refried beans, charro beans, lettuce, avocado slices, and so much more.
If you’re letting people build their own, make this crock pot taco meat to keep the meat perfectly warm!
How long do leftover nacho fries last?
Though I recommend eating these fresh, you can store leftovers. Keep the french fries, cheese sauce, and toppings separately.
Store leftover in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
I do not recommend freezing leftovers.
Reheat the leftover french fries in the oven and pop the cheese sauce in the microwave at 30 second increments.
Do I have to use cheddar cheese for my cheese sauce?
Cheddar cheese will make the best nacho cheese sauce, but you can use any cheese! No matter what cheese you use, I recommend shredding your own from a block of cheese. It will melt better and be extra creamy!
Can I cook my french fries in the air fryer?
Yes! If you want fries that feel like that “fast food” experience, pop them in the air fryer. Be sure you still add the taco seasoning before cooking them. We have an entire post on how to air fry frozen French Fries if you want to check it out!
Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook the fries in batches.
- Try to time the cooking of your fries to be ready at the same time as your sauce. The fries are best when they’re nice and hot! Most frozen french fries take between 15 and 20 minutes, and the cheese sauce will only take about 10 minutes to make. If your timing is a bit off, not to worry. You can keep the fries warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
If your cheese sauce gets too thick, add a splash of milk or a little more butter to thin it out.
For best results when serving these family style or as a game day appetizer, load up a sheet pan with fries, taco meat, and cheese sauce. Everyone can take their serving and then add their own toppings.
This nacho fries recipe is so deliciously easy. Make it for your next gathering and listen to your guest rave!
More Copycat Recipes You’ll Love
- Want to make Asian food at home? Try this Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat.
- If you need some more copycat Taco Bell recipes, check out this Crunchwrap Supreme recipe.
- Nothing quite hits the spot when you’re sick like a Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea, and now you can make it at home!
- Craving fresh bread? Try these copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls.
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon taco seasoning
- *optional pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 package frozen straight-cut fries
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
Ingredients for Serving Loaded Nacho Fries:
- 1 pound cooked taco meat
- Salsa, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro for serving
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over french fries on a sheet pan. Toss the fries to ensure they are evenly coated and cook to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt butter with cornstarch on medium heat.
- Slowly add the heavy cream and stir together with the cornstarch butter mixture. Cook until small bubbles appear.
- Reduce heat to low and then add the cheese and taco seasoning. Stir until smooth and combined about 5 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Prepare nacho toppings and once the fries are ready, serve immediately with warm cheese sauce and toppings of choice.