French fries are one of our favorite foods — they’re perfect dipped in ketchup, topped with cheese or slathered in gravy. So when we heard about pizza fries, we couldn’t wait to dig in. This treat gives plain French fries the “pizza treatment” by topping them with sauce, cheese and meat before quickly broiling the dish. Not only does this produce melty and golden brown loaded fries, but the combination of toppings makes for an absolutely irresistible snack. And we love that all you need is one sheet tray to cook the concoction for evening browning and easy cleanup later on. So if you’re looking to add pizza fries to your snack rotation, keep reading for the tricks to making them for crunchy (not soggy) fries and nicely caramelized toppings.
What pizza fries are made of
Classic pizza fries consist of oven-baked fries that are layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. This dish is then broiled and served warm so the cheese is melty and the toppings are perfectly tender. It may seem like piling on these ingredients makes the fries mushy, but a couple easy tricks help produce fries that maintain their crispness.
2 steps to the crispiest oven-baked fries
Oven-baked fries can have the same crunchiness as the deep-fried kind without being greasy or needing to be cooked in batches. How to achieve this? Two easy steps. First toss the potatoes in cornstarch until they’re lightly coated. The cornstarch absorbs moisture within the potato, which helps them crisp up as they’re baking.
Second, pre-heat your baking sheet. Adding the coated fried to an already-hot baking sheet speeds up browning and promotes even cooking to create bronzed fries that are ready to be topped with ingredients. Thanks to these tips, your fries will hold up to any amount of toppings — allowing you to be generous when piling them on!
A crowd-pleasing pizza fries recipe
This recipe comes from AllRecipes.com user “What’s for dinner, mom?” with the exception of the fries. We prefer cutting russet potatoes into even-sized fries over using the frozen kind as the spuds add a buttery flavor and texture to the dish. The fresh fries also bake quicker since they don’t need to defrost before the heat starts cooking them.
However, in a pinch, a 32-oz. bag of your favorite frozen fries will work fine — just omit the cornstarch since they’re already formulated to crisp up in the oven. Nonetheless, this pizza fries recipe is a gooey, saucy and crunchy snack that your loved ones are sure to devour!
Loaded Pizza Fries
- 2 lb. russet potatoes (around 5 medium-sized spuds), cut into ½”-thick sticks
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1½ cups jarred pizza sauce, or to taste
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 (12 oz.) package shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 (8 oz.) package sliced pepperoni
- 1 tsp. dried parsley fries
- Yield: 8 servings
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place large baking sheet in oven during preheating.
- In large bowl, toss fries in oil, cornstarch, salt and pepper together until potatoes are coated. Once preheated, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully place parchment paper on top of sheet and spread fries in even layer. Bake until crisp and tender, around 15 to 20 minutes, flipping as needed.
- Mix pizza sauce and oregano together in small bowl. Pour sauce over cooked fries before sprinkling mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices and parsley on top (in that order).
- Turn oven’s broil setting to high. Once heated, broil fries until cheese is browned and bubbling, 2 to 4 minutes. Keep an eye on fries to prevent burning.
- Remove from broiler and cool 3 to 5 minutes before serving with forks.
5 delicious ways to upgrade pizza fries
Just like a regular pizza, you can mix-and-match ingredients for these loaded fries to create your ideal flavor combination!
1. Swap tomato sauce for Alfredo or vodka sauce.
Alfredo or vodka sauce is the perfect swap for marinara if you prefer rich and creamy pizza fries. Also, these velvety sauces pair well with the earthiness of the oregano.
2. Add more of your favorite meats.
If you want to go all in on the meat, top the pizza fries with cooked crumbled sausage and/or bacon bits before broiling. This turns the simple snack into a hearty meal.
3. Place thinly sliced vegetables on top of the pizza fries.
Whether you sprinkle them on prior to broiling or afterwards, sliced bell peppers, onions and mushrooms make the fries more filling and give them a pungent kick.
4. Top the snack with pickled vegetables.
For a touch of acidity, garnish the cooked fries with pickled red onions, olives or sliced jalapeños from a jar. Chopped banana peppers and even dill pickles are other pickled veg options that add a nice tang to pizza fries.
5. Serve the pizza fries with ranch dressing.
Ranch dressing is a zesty and creamy addition to pizza fries, whether drizzled on top of the cooked dish or served on the side. (If you don’t have ranch on hand, whip together this sour cream salad dressing — which only requires two ingredients!)
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