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The Cold-Water Secret to Making Waffle Fries *Better* Than Chick-fil-A

Plus, 5 flavorful seasoning combinations that make them extra delicious!

French fries come in various shapes and sizes, but if we had to pick the best one, waffle fries would definitely be a strong contender. These fries are a wonder as they’re full of crisscross ridges that help the potatoes become ultra-crispy. Plus, the shape allows the salt and other seasonings to shimmy into all the nooks and crannies.

Don’t get us wrong, fast food restaurants including Chick-fil-A make some darn good waffle fries that we love to nosh on. But making waffle fries yourself requires only three ingredients and allows you to satisfy your salty snack cravings at any time from the comfort of your own home. You can also get creative with seasonings and customize your flavor options to produce the tastiest batch of fries imaginable.

Keep reading for a pro tip that makes waffle fries perfect every time, plus an easy recipe and five delicious seasoning combos that are sure to please any fry fanatic.

The origin of waffle fries 

Although the history of traditional, straight-cut french fries reportedly dates back to the 1700s, waffles fries are a more recent creation. In 1979, an inventor named Edgar Matsler patented a potato slicer that cut a lattice pattern into spuds — thus, creating the waffle fry. This tool revolutionized fries as we know them, which eventually led to waffle fries becoming a staple on fast food menus and in the freezer aisle.

Nowadays, in order to create that signature waffle-fry shape, you’ll need a cutter, such as the TEMI Potato Lattice Waffle Maker (Buy from Amazon, $13.88). While this cutter looks like a regular mandoline, it has crisscross blades that create ridges within the potato slices. It also comes with a handguard that protects your fingers from the blades, helping you avoid a painful kitchen accident.

The pro secret to perfect waffle fries 

Amanda Biddle, founder and editor of Striped Spatula, shares her foolproof recipe for waffle fries that put the frozen kind to shame. How? Biddle soaks the potato slices in cold water for a half hour before frying them, which removes excess starch and results in super-crispy fries. Ready to try your hand at whipping up a batch? Check out this easy recipe:

Homemade Waffle Fries

Homemade waffle fries
From_my_point_of_view/Getty Images


  • 2 to 3 medium-sized russet potatoes, rinsed and peeled
  • Salt (or other spices)
  • Vegetable or olive oil
  • Ketchup, mustard or other condiments (optional)


  • Active: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
  1. Using waffle fry mandoline, carefully slice potatoes into even planks, turning 90 degrees after each slice to get waffle pattern. Soak slices in cold water 30 minutes, and dry thoroughly with clean towel.
  2. In deep fryer or large skillet, heat oil to 375°F. Fry slices in batches, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. 
  3. Remove fries and drain on paper towels. Season fries immediately with salt, and repeat process with remaining slices.
  4. Serve cooked fries with condiments and enjoy.

5 flavorful ways to upgrade your waffle fries

Want to infuse your fries with more flavor? If so, here are five variations from Zoë Biehl, managing editor for Gluten-Free Palate, that you can try and tweak to your liking.

  1. Garlic Parmesan waffle fries: For a savory and cheesy twist on waffle fries, opt for a garlic Parmesan flavor combination. This involves tossing the entire batch of fries with 1 tsp. of minced garlic, ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
  2. Truffle waffle fries: To turn waffle fries into a gourmet treat, give this truffle-infused version a go. Simply drizzle 1 to 2 Tbs. of truffle oil such as Epicurean Specialty White Truffle Oil (Buy from Walmart, $9.92) over the fries and give them a good toss. Top them with ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbs. of freshly chopped parsley.
  3. Chili cheese waffles: If you’re aiming for a hearty snack or even a meal, you can’t go wrong with chili cheese waffle fries. All you need to do is generously top the fries with meat or veggie chili, then add a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Afterward, garnish with a sprinkle of chopped onions and sliced jalapeños and dig into this spiced and cheesy treat.
  4. Loaded waffle fries: Another tasty option that delivers on salty, creamy and oniony flavors is loaded waffle fries. Similar to a baked potato, you can top each portion of fries with your desired amount of bacon bits, sour cream, fresh chives and shredded cheese.
  5. Buffalo waffle fries: If you’re in the mood for a snack with a spicy kick, Buffalo waffle fries are an irresistible choice. You’ll want to toss your fries in ¼ cup of Buffalo sauce and serve them with blue cheese or ranch dressing.

For more fantastic potato recipes, check out the stories below:

Your New Entertaining Secret Weapon: A Baked Potato Bar — It’s Delicious, Easy and Makes Everyone Happy

5 Chef Secrets for the Tastiest Julienne Fries — Plus the Must-Do to Make ‘Em Extra Crispy

This Trick for Crispy Oven Fries Will Make You Say Goodbye to Drive-Thrus

Chef Reveals the Secrets to Making the Best Steak + Fries (Steak Frites) At Home

​​How to Reheat Fries in the Oven, Microwave, or Air Fryer so They’re Crispy, Not Soggy

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