French fries are my first love, but cheese fries are like my hot and sultry love affair on the side. I don’t care where I’m eating; If there’s cheese fries on the menu, then there will be cheese fries on my plate.
As a kid, I had a strict diet of french fries, potato chips, Bagel Bites, and donut holes (You can imagine I was really in-shape). And for dinner, I had to have cheese fries at least once a week. If I could still do that today without being the size of a cow, I would. There has always been, and always will be, a special place in my heart and diet for cheese fries. To me, they are the ultimate food.
There’s only so many ways you can do cheese fries, right? You switch out the cheese or add some bacon and green onions. I thought those were the limits of cheese fries too, until I dreamed up this Loaded Cheese Fry Dip.
If it sounds a little weird, stay with me. It’s not cheese dip for dipping french fries into; it’s dip for chips complete with all the components of cheese fries, and it literally tastes like molten cheese fry goodness in every bite. Shredded hashbrowns serve as the starchy potato component, giving you the taste of golden brown french fries but in teeny-tiny bits that can be scooped up by a chip (Whole french fries would be a bit problematic).
It’s creamiest dip ever that’s good and thick, but won’t break your chips. For cheeses, I chose the two most classic choices for cheese fries: sharp cheddar and American cheese. The American is the secret here; it adds incomparable creaminess and that classic American cheese fry flavor.
Then, for some heat, I threw in a third cheese: Pepper Jack. Most cheese sauce-covered fries have that nacho-esque quality, so I combined that with the types of cheese found on fresh cheese-topped fries. Finally, I folded in fresh green onions, a classic topper on cheese fries, for an extra bit of flavor impact.
This dip is so good, you might be tempted to toss the bag of chips out the window and just eat it with a spoon. It’s uncanny how identical to cheese fries it tastes. Any cheese fry-lover like myself will lose their biscuits over this stuff. This Loaded Cheese Fry Dip has now become one of my favorite dips ever, and I will definitely be making it again and again.
It’s time to break away from the classic queso or spinach artichoke dip and give this Loaded Cheese Fry Dip a go instead!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- The tiny frozen diced potatoes (potatoes o’ brien) would work in here as well.
- If you want extra heat, try adding some Rotel.
- The shredded hashbrowns can be found in the freezer aisle of your grocery store.
- Better quality cheese = better melting & tasting.
- Fresh scallions are a must here. They really give this dip something special.
- You could also use bread to dip if you’re feeling indulgent. I wouldn’t advise using potatoes though. That’s too much potato, even for me.
- See how to make your own tortilla chips in just a few minutes here.
- Need more dip? My Spinach-Artichoke Dip is to die for!
- You can find all my appetizer recipes here.
- Make the hashbrowns the night before so they’re all set to go when you’re ready to make the dip.
- Add bacon if you’re a meat eater!
Loaded Cheese Fry Dip
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 3 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns (like Ore-Ida)
- 4 tbsp. butter (half a stick)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped scallions, plus 3 tbsp. more for garnish (remove the very end of the white part before chopping)
- 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 6 oz. pepper jack cheese
- 6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ¾-oz. slices American cheese (I used Kraft Singles)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Cook hashbrowns according to package directions. They should be nice and golden brown, but leave them just a bit undercooked so they don’t get too soft in the dip. Let cool completely. *You can do this the day before and refrigerate until ready to make the dip.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add scallions and saute for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in flour until free of lumps and let cook for 1 minute. Whisk in creamy until completely free of lumps then cover and let simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the cheeses and salt until melted and smooth. Taste test to be sure it’s cheesy enough to your liking. If not, add more. If it gets to thick, whisk in more cream or milk, 1/4 cup at a time. You want it good and thick though; this is dip!
- Reduce heat to low and gently fold in hashbrowns. Let cook, stirring gently and continuously, until hashbrowns are hot. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh scallions. Serve immediately with chips or celery sticks. Keep a lid on top when possible so it stays hot, or you can transfer it to a fondue pot.