Loaded fries made with waffle fries topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and a garlic aioli for a delicious appetizer to share with friends. Perfect for when you’re craving pub food.
Loaded fries, what isn’t there to love about them? They’re cheesy and bacon goodness that’s sitting on a bed of the most underrated vegetable since the dawn of “healthy” eating. On one of our first visits to Asheville, North Carolina, I came across an Irish pub called, Jack in the Woods. We owe a lot to that first of many JITW visits. Where Brad found Green Man Brewery, I found a love for garlic aioli. I’m not sure how I made it that far in life without aioli but when it came out as a dip to a set of loaded garlic cheese fries, I was forever hooked. Aioli is a Mediterranean sauce that’s made from garlic and olive oil. Varying on location you’ll find egg for a cream mayo like consistency, if it’s just not simply made with mayonnaise to begin with.
Regardless if you take your aioli in true oil form or as a fancy mayonnaise, it’s fantastic on many things. In honor of that first visit to Jack In The Woods, today I’m putting it on Bacon & Cheddar Loaded Fries. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner my uptake in pub food is going to double. No matter if you’re calling them Irish Nachos or Loaded Fries, potatoes topped with cheese or anything else you can throw at it, is my all time favorite bar food. Throw an aioli on the side and you’re going to make my heart sing. So let’s just get into this recipe because my mouth is watering already.
Bacon and Cheddar Loaded Fries with Garlic Aioli
I start this recipe by making the aioli first. The longer it sits together the better it gets, like any sauce really. You can make it the night before if you really want to let it sit for 24 hours to infuse the flavors. While I appreciate the classic way of making aioli, I’m more of an flavorful and ease kind of cook. To make my foolproof aioli I blend together garlic, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and lots of pepper in a food processor. Let it sit while you cook the rest of your ingredients.
If you don’t have a food processor, grate your garlic down to a paste and whisk together all your ingredients until well combined. I make my aioli very strong on the garlic. I’m a 50 Clove Chicken, kind of garlic eater. If you want a tamer garlic taste go for 2 garlic cloves over my suggested 3.
From there you will take a bag of frozen waffle fries (though, you can choose whatever kind you want) and cook them per the instructions on the bag. Mine were 450 degrees in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you haven’t cooked your bacon, I would do so while the fries are cooking. I always try to make this recipe when I know I’ll be cooking bacon in another meal for the week. That way my bacon is already done and I just have to focus on getting it chopped. I also take this time to grate the 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese.
When your fries are 5 minutes from being finished, I pull them out of the oven. I top them with the fresh grated cheddar and slide them back into the oven to finish out the 5 minutes. When you go to pull them out the cheddar should be melted and starting to bubble. Let it cool for 5 minutes because the pan will be hot. Top with bacon and a fresh herb. I personally prefer cilantro but green onion or parsley would be fantastic too. From here you can drizzle on a tablespoon of the garlic aioli you made or serve it on the side as a dip. At this point you’re probably ready to get into their deliciousness. Grab a fork and ready to become an aioli lover yourself.
Loaded fries made with waffle fries topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and a garlic aioli for a delicious appetizer to share with friends. Perfect for when you're craving pub food.
- 3 cups Waffle Fries (Frozen, Roughly 22-24 Ounces)
- 1-1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
- 1/2 cup Bacon (Chopped)
- 1/8 cup Cilantro or Parsley (Chopped)
- 1/2 cup Mayonanaise
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
Into a small blender or a food processor add in all of your ingredients. Blend until smooth and well combined. About 1 minute. Add to a dish and set aside.
Following the 'Oven' instructions on the back of your package cook your waffle fries. Mine took 20 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees.
When they are 5 minutes from being done pull the out of the oven and top with shredded cheddar. Add back into the oven and let cook for remaining 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Once out of the oven top with bacon and cilantro. If you're not a fan of cilantro you can use parsley as a substitute.
Finish the loaded french fries off by drizzling a tablespoon of the Garlic Aioli over the top of the fries. Serving the rest of the Aioli on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
If you don't have a food processor to make the aioli, microplane or grate your garlic down to a paste and whisk together all your ingredients.
Pair me with a Charred Jalaepeño Margarita or a Winter Citius Sour.
Yum! Once you start using aioli you’re going to not stop. I put leftover aioli on sandwiches and burgers. That’s if, there is left overs. I hope if you try this recipe and you love it as much as I do. Whether you cook it for a weekend over drinks with your friends or for St. Patrick’s Day pub themed party, I hope it brings your favorite people around the table. I know my husband comes running to the kitchen when the oven times goes off. We sit around these decadent fries and debate if they should be Irish, American, Mediterranean or French because we’re dipping them in aioli. Foods just fun that way, isn’t it? Until next time, cheers!