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Tailgate Recipe: 3 Ways with French Fries

If you’ve been hankering for some French fries at your tailgate and wondering how on earth you’re going to make it happen on the grill, we’ve got you covered.

Believe it or not, French fries cook up hot and tasty on your grill, with minimum effort. You can make them plain with just a dash of sea salt to bring out their flavor or load them up with lots of extras.

Because you’re talking tailgating, we prefer the fully loaded option because it can turn your French fries into a main dish of their very own.

And, since they are the quintessential finger food, they’re the perfect choice for a casual, outdoor party like a tailgate.

We do include recipes for oven-made fries, just in case you’re tailgating at home, so don’t worry about having to have a grill on hand.

Any way you slice it, these potato-centric recipes are tailgate party gold!

3 Ways to Serve French Fries at Your Next Tailgate

As we mentioned, there’s no need to shy away from serving French fries at your next tailgate party.

Whether your party’s at home, in your backyard, or outside the stadium, we have a recipe that will help you bring French fries to center stage.

Let’s start with one straight from your oven. While you can make these entirely from scratch using fresh potatoes, it’s super easy — and just as delicious — to make them from frozen fries.

If you’ve got a lot of cooking to do, using frozen French fries can be a real time saver.

Loaded Baked Potato Fries

There’s nothing like some crispy potato-y goodness all covered in the traditional fixings you know and love — cheese, sour cream, chives, bacon — whatever your heart desires.

Friends and family won’t be able to keep their hands off these delectable fries, so make extra for all the seconds they’ll be asking for!

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen French fries (or use the fries recipe here if you want homemade)

5 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked and chopped

Cheese sauce ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 cup flour

1 1/2 cups milk

7 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping

4 oz. grated Monterrey Jack cheese

Garnish: Sour cream, chopped chives

Directions:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with paprika and cayenne powder. When melted and just starting to bubble, stir in 1/8 cup flour. Let brown, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute, and whisk in 1 1/2 cups milk.
  • Continue to stir the milk mixture until it thickens, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and blue cheese until melted.
  • To assemble, add fries to a large serving dish. Sprinkle bacon over the fries, then pour over the cheese sauce. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkle of chopped chives.

Note: If you buy frozen French fries, trying cooking them in the oven, and then fry them up in some hot oil so they get extra crunchy/crispy on the outside.

An easy hack if you don’t want to make the fries ENTIRELY from scratch.

If you have space, set up a fixings bar with individual portions of whatever suits your tastes and let your guests top their own plates of fries to customize their dish.

BBQ Pulled Pork Tailgate Fries

There’s nothing like a heaping plate of French fries topped with succulent pulled pork to really put the spotlight on a tailgate recipe.

This recipe features a mash-up of good old-fashioned barbecue flavors with coleslaw, pulled pork, and fries all lending their distinct medley of textures and tastes to this dish.

Best of all, it uses easy-to-find and easy-to-cook frozen French fries, so you can spend more time with your guests and less in the kitchen — or over the grill — cooking.

Coleslaw Ingredients:

2 cups finely shredded red cabbage

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon vinegar

salt and pepper

BBQ Pulled Pork Fries Ingredients:

1 (26 ounces) bag frozen extra crispy crinkle cut fries

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

3 cups  Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients for coleslaw together in a bowl. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Heat a grill for indirect heat to 450 degrees.
  • Toss French fries with oil.
  • Combine BBQ sauce and pulled pork.
  • Tear off four, 12-inch pieces of aluminum foil. Crimp the ends together to make boats.
  • Divide French fries among the 4 boats so that they lay in a single layer. Cook on grill for 15 minutes. Turn and cook another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Divide cheese evenly among fries. Divide pork evenly among fries. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove from grill top with coleslaw and green onions. Serve immediately.

These were cooked on the grill, which is convenient when you’re partying on location or in the backyard.

But, the glory of this recipe is that it very easily can be made at home in your oven, so you can serve it no matter where your party is going on.

Plus, if you make extra pulled pork, you can offer guests a choice of these fries or a pulled-pork barbecue sandwich without having to create another whole menu item.

Carne Asada Nacho Fries

Who doesn’t love nachos covered with warm, gooey cheese and sprinkled with well-seasoned carne asada meat?

These nachos use frozen French fries in place of traditional tortilla chips as a base, and the results are out of this world.

The smoky flavor of the carne asada sets off the crispy, starchy fries perfectly, and the sprinkles of cilantro and jalapeno add the perfect bit of spice.

Cool it down with sour cream or pair it with guacamole — any way you fix it, this recipe is a winner.

Ingredients:

3 large Yukon gold potatoes

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

Guacamole

Sour cream

Pico de gallo

For the Carne Asada:

1 pound flank steak

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 jalapeno, roughly chopped

1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

2 limes, juiced

1 orange, juiced

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions for Nachos:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Slice the potatoes into thick wedges. Each potato should yield about 8 wedges. Place the wedges into a plastic bag and add the seasonings and olive oil. Give the bag a gentle shake until the potatoes are coated with the seasoning.
  • Lay the potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the potatoes over and let them bake for another 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  • Place the potato wedges onto an oven safe plate. Cover with chopped carne asada and cheese and place back into the oven until the cheese is melted. Top with pico de gallo and guacamole.

Instructions for Steak:

  • Place the flank steak in a large baking dish and cover with the marinade for 4-5 hours.
  • Heat a grill over high heat and grill the flank steak for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and let rest before slicing. Chop for the fries.

Your guests will be hanging over your shoulder while you cook this because the smells are so incredible. Be prepared for some fry-stealing bandits to make off with a few fries before game-time!

Carne asada keeps well in the fridge, so leftovers — as if there will be any! — won’t go to waste.

Out of the Fryer — and into Your Tailgate Menu

French fries are the perfect party food for your next tailgate — and now you know you don’t have to worry about deep-frying them — or indeed, even making them from scratch.

Frozen French fries cook up perfectly on the grill or in your kitchen’s oven, so you can create any of these recipes no matter where you’re celebrating.

Surprise your guests at your next game night party with one of these delectable, French-fry-based recipes and watch them smile — and ask for more!

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