These cheeseburger fries combine extra lean ground beef, center cut bacon, low calorie burger sauce, and crispy baked fries to make a high protein appetizer. Loaded fries would be perfect for your next game day or shindig, but I’m giving you fair warning, you might not want to share.
Cheeseburger Fries Ingredients
You’ll basically be making deconstructed burgers with 96% lean ground beef. While extra lean ground beef may not be the best choice for actual burgers, this cooking style is the perfect way to satisfy burgers and fries cravings in a slightly healthier way.
If you’re going the loaded route, you’ll want to start with leaner center cut bacon. The crispy bits will go on top of the finished fries, and the ground beef will cook in the rendered bacon fat. But if you want to skip the bacon to save some calories, that’s perfectly fine.
When it comes to cheeseburgers, American cheese reigns supreme. I used thinly sliced Boar’s Head cheese, but your generic Kraft singles will get the job done. You could also use shredded cheese, but I’d definitely go with freshly shredded for the best melt.
Low Calorie Burger Sauce
You’ll need sugar free ketchup, dijon mustard, light mayo, pickle juice or brine, and Worcestershire sauce. This is the same sauce I used to make my low carb cheeseburger skillet. For another sauce option, you could use the spread from my healthy In-N-Out burgers copycat, which is a blend of ketchup, mayo, relish, vinegar, and sugar.
Russet potatoes are the move for making classic fries. I like to keep the skin on, but you can peel your potatoes if you’d like.
For seasoning, the recipe calls for a little black pepper and garlic powder, with salt going on at the end before assembling the cheeseburger fries. If you wanted to get wild, you could use the seasoning blend from my air fryer cajun fries or make the extra crispy garlic parmesan fries from my baked crinkle cut fries recipe.
And don’t skip the olive oil. A little fat is crucial for crispy golden brown baked fries. Nobody wants dry potato sticks.
Nutrition facts note: Since these cheeseburger fries are more of a fork appetizer anyway, you could substitute for the potatoes to save some carbs. Check out these baked zucchini fries, almond flour keto fries, keto rutabaga fries, jicama fries, or my air fryer carrot fries.
Making Fries in an Oven or Air Fryer
Sure, you can do things like soak potatoes in water or boil in water with baking soda to break down starch and make perfect fries, but I think homemade fries are perfect enough without the extra steps. I like to wash the outside really well to keep the skin on, slice them into evenly sized fries, toss them in oil, and get them cooking.
For the oven, you should be able to comfortably fit the two pounds of potatoes on a half sheet pan. While flipping is usually a good idea for even browning, I find that fries tend to break when partially cooked. So I let them ride the entire cooking time on one side.
No matter where you stand on air fryers’ usefulness in the kitchen, their ability to make great fries fast is without question. I found my 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi, which is on the smaller end as far as air fryers go, cooked two pounds of fries in about 40 minutes at 400ºF.
Crispy fries are key to making your cheeseburger and fries bake a success. Make sure your fries are where you want them before adding anything on top. Because once you add things, the fries won’t get any crispier from that point.
The Cheeseburger Topping
I like cutting bacon into small pieces prior to cooking so every piece gets evenly brown and crispy. If you’d rather not dirty up a cutting board, throw it in whole and crumble after cooking.
What isn’t optional, however, is browning your ground beef. The Maillard reaction creates so much flavor, and the key to achieving it is a hot pan and leaving the meat alone for long enough.
You can also do little tricks like pat the surface of the ground beef to remove any moisture and speed things along. Just get some browning on both sides before breaking apart and fully cooking.
Once the ground beef is cooked, you can add the burger sauce and stir everything together. The mixture should be pretty thick without any liquid in the pan. If there is liquid, continue cooking until it’s reduced.
Now it’s time to assemble your cheeseburger fries. Start with a layer of cheese on top of the fries. This provides a layer of protection and prevents the fries from getting soggy with the beef on top. Then follow your first cheese layer with the beef filling and more cheese on top.
Pop it back in the oven for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Then you’re good to go! Don’t forget to add the bacon on top as well as some chives, diced pickles or relish, or any other toppings you’d like.
More Kinda Healthy Appetizers
- Air Fryer Chicken Quesadillas
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Bacon Wrapped Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
- Cheesy Cowboy Caviar Chicken Dip
- Loaded BBQ Chicken Nachos
- Traeger Smoked Twice Baked Potatoes
You should be ready to rock. If you have a question about these loaded cheeseburger fries I forgot to cover, drop a comment at the bottom of this post. And if you try this recipe and love it, I always appreciate recipe reviews!
For the Baked Fries
- 2 pounds Russet Potatoes, cut into fries
- 2 tablespoons (32g) Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2-3 pinches Kosher Salt, to taste
For the Cheeseburger Topping
- 4 slices Center Cut Bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 pound Ground Beef (96/4)
- 1/4 cup (68g) Sugar Free Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons (30g) Light Mayo
- 2 tablespoons (30g) Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoons (30g) Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30g) Pickle Juice
- 4 oz American Cheese Slices
- Toss the fries in the olive oil and season with black pepper and garlic powder. Add to a half sheet pan or large baking sheet and bake at 450ºF for 50-60 minutes until crispy golden brown. You can also air fry at 400ºF for about 40 minutes, shaking every 15-20 minutes.
- In the last 15 minutes of baking the fries, cook the bacon in a pan over medium-high heat before transferring to a paper towel. Brown the ground beef in the remaining bacon grease before breaking apart, fully cooking, and adding the burger sauce ingredients. Turn off the heat and stir everything until the sauce has thickened.
- Once the fries are done, salt to taste and either push the fries together in the center of the sheet pan or transfer to a quarter sheet pan or cast iron skillet.
- Place half the cheese slices on top, followed by the ground beef mixture and remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Top with cooked bacon pieces, chives, diced pickles or relish, chopped pickled peppers, or your choice of toppings.
For best results, use a paper towel to pat dry the potatoes before going in the oil and the ground beef before going in the skillet.
See post above for more ingredient substitution notes and lower carb fries alternatives.
Each serving has 10 WW SmartPoints (blue).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 15gCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 23g