These french onion fries have crispy french fries loaded with caramelized onions and lots of cheese. These cheesy fries are the perfect savory appetizer for game day or a gathering with friends and family!
If you love french onion soup (who doesn't?!), you are going to absolutely die for these loaded fries! They are irresistibly good with that signature sweet onion taste!
I love french onion soup so much because it is sweet from the onions & savory from the cheese. It is just perfect for a cold day or any cozy night! Well these fries are exactly that. The onions are caramelized in butter, the fries are golden brown & salty, and the cheese is rich & ooey gooey goodness!
Loaded fries are just appetizer perfection because you can load them with anything! These fries give classic loaded fries a run for their money. Next time you are craving french onion soup or loaded fries, try these french onion fries!
Potatoes: You will need 2 pounds russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture making them the perfect potato for fluffy & crispy fries. 2 pounds is about 3-5 long potatoes.
Olive oil: Olive oil is used to coat the potato fries and make them crispy when baking. You need ⅓ cup of olive oil. My favorite is Brightland cold-pressed olive oils.
Seasonings: I think just sea salt and black pepper suffices for seasonings on the fries, but you can also use onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, or even cajun seasoning.
Butter: You will need 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. My favorite high quality butter is Kerrygold.
Onions: Onions are the most important part of these fries. I like using yellow onions since they have a sweet natural flavor, but for a more potent onion taste you can use white onions. You will need 2 large onions for these french onion fries.
Garlic: Garlic is added because duh! You will need 4 cloves of garlic, minced.
Flour: Flour makes the french onion mixture thick and creamy. You will need only 2 tablespoons all purpose flour.
Beef stock: Beef stock is added to the caramelized onions to give it that signature french onion taste. You will need ¾ cup.
Seasonings: Salt and pepper is added for taste.
Cheese: Many different cheeses can be used on these loaded fries. I have found the best combination is a blend of creamy havarti and fontina. I like these cheese because they are so creamy and get extra melty when cooked. However you can also use gruyere cheese for more of a sharp flavor but still creamy, american cheese if you love classic loaded fries, or even Monterey jack for a buttery flavor. Have fun perusing the grocery store for your favorite! Just be sure to not purchase pre shredded cheese for these fries. Pre shredded cheese does not properly melt, so for best results, just buy the block and shred it yourself. Buy cheese in bulk and use the excess to make fried chicken mac and cheese or smoked gouda au gratin potatoes!
Herbs: I like to use rosemary for these french onion fries since the fries are so decadent, the strong taste of rosemary cuts the richness. However you could also used italian parsley, thyme, or even sage!
Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!
variations & substitutions 📖
Make em' loaded sweet potato fries! If you are a die hard sweet potato lover, simply replace the russet potatoes with sweet potatoes. The french onion mixture is good on all fries! Also, you have got to try my fondant sweet potatoes with maple sauce, sweet potato gnocchi, or sweet potato crostini!
Experiment with flavors! If there is an herb you love, cheese you love, or if you have a preference on potato or onion, do it! These loaded fries can not be messed up. They are delicious no matter what you do!
tips & tricks 👩🏻🍳
Cut the sliced onion super thin. To make the french onions extra caramelized, cut them into very thin strips! Nothing is worse then when you go to grab a bite of loaded fries a get a big chunk of onion that is not caramelized. You want them to be thin to absorb all the flavor and create the perfect bite.
step by step instructions 🔪
Step #1 - Prepare the potatoes. Wash the russet potatoes and peel the potatoes. (image 1)
Step #2 - Cut the fries. Using a sharp knife, cut the peeled potatoes into long fries, about ½ inch thick. If you want the fries to be crinkle cut, you can use a crinkle fry cutter! (image 2)
Step #3 - Soak the fries. Once the water is boiling, remove from the heat and add the fries. Soak for 30 minutes (image 3). This step may seem annoying but it is really crucial for a crispy fry! It washes off some of the starch on the potatoes which will help them crisp while cooking.
Step #4 - Strain & season. Strain the potatoes and then place onto a hand towel or paper towels. Pat until completely dry. In a separate bowl, add the fries, olive oil, salt, & pepper and toss (image 4). Ensure every fry is evenly coated in oil and seasonings.
Step #5 - Lay. Place the fries in an even layer on the lined baking sheet with about 1 inch spaces between each fry (image 5). The fry needs to have space around it in order to crisp on all sides.
Step #6 - Bake, flip, bake. Bake for 12 minutes. Then flip, and bake for another 15 minutes (image 6). The fries should be super crispy when finished but not burnt. Set aside the fries.
Step #7 - Melt the butter. I like to begin caramelizing the onions as soon as I throw the fries in the oven. That gives about 30 minutes for the onions to get that deep amber color and develop the caramelized flavor. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat (image 7).
Step #8 - Add the onions. Reduce the heat to low and then add the onions (image 8). The onions will need to be stirred often to prevent any burnt bits. It typically takes about 20-30 minutes to have fully caramelized onions. Just keep your eye on them, stir often, and be patient. Do not turn up the heat at any point during the caramelization process, as this will burn the onions.
Step #9 - Add the garlic. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute (image 9).
Step #10 - Add the flour. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute (image 10).
Step #11 - Add the broth. Then add the beef broth into the flour mixture and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze the pan and get up any bits that may have burnt (image 11). Add the salt and pepper.
Step # 12 - Finish caramelization. Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until the mixture is super thick (image 12). Then remove from the heat.
Step #13 - Prepare. Reduce the oven heat to 375F. Grab a shallow dish and rub the inside with olive oil or butter. Add the fries to the dish (image 13).
Step #14 - Add onions. Then add the french onion mixture
Step #15 - Add the cheese. Before adding the cheese on top of the onion mixture, be sure to toss in a bowl to evenly mix the havarti and gruyere. Then add the shredded cheeses on top (image 15).
Step #16 - Bake & garnish. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbling. Then top with chopped rosemary (image 16). Serve warm while the cheese is still melted. Enjoy your mouthwatering french onion fries!
serving suggestions 🍽️
Serve these french onion fries warm topped with chopped fresh rosemary.
storage & reheating ⏲️
Store leftover fries in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Fries can be reheating in the air fryer or oven. Let the leftovers sit out at room temperature for a 5-15 minutes. For the oven, simply place the leftovers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 425F. For the air fryer, place in the basket and fry for 5-6 minutes at 325F.
If your onions aren't browning, they need more time. I know it is tempting to pull the sauteed onions off the heat when they begin softening, but caramelized onions need quite a bit of time to fully caramelize. They should be far deeper in color than just golden.
No, caramelized onions should be brown and silky, not black and crispy. If your onions often burn, be sure to caramelize over low/medium heat. Low & slow is the name of the game when it comes to caramelized onions.
Soaking fries in water removes the starch on the outside of the potatoes which allows for the fries to get perfectly crispy and golden.
other savory side dishes
It warms me up to see you make my recipes! Tag me on instagram @essenceeats so I can see your remakes. If you made this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, please leave a star rating while you're there ☆