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Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries

I must confess, I’ve never tried the Taco Bell Nacho Fries. So when I tell you this healthier version is better than the real deal, know that’s coming from a place of serious authority. 

Jokes aside, I can say these healthier nacho fries have significantly fewer calories and an option to boost the protein. The souped up version of these fries, for example, has 31 grams of protein if you use the cheese dipping sauce! 

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Ingredients for Nacho Fries

The fries on their own are super simple. All you’ll need is a large Russet potato, a tablespoon of olive oil, and some spices. Here’s a quick rundown of the spices:

  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Ground Coriander (optional)

You can also add a bit of black pepper if you’d like a bit more kick. 

nacho fries seasoning blend

Beyond the basics, these nacho fries use a specialty ingredient you’ll be familiar with if you’ve tried my cheesy air fried potatoes or cheesy garlic air fryer bread recipes—cheddar powder!

What is Cheddar Powder?

Cheddar powder is essentially dehydrated cheddar cheese that can be reconstituted to make cheese sauces like you see with the cheese dipping sauce or used as a dry seasoning on fries or popcorn. I love the stuff and use it in all kinds of recipes on my blog. 

You might be able to find this ingredient in some stores, but I order mine from Amazon. I have both products I use on my Amazon shopping list, if you’re interested. If you wanted to pick something up in your local grocery store, you could probably find the cheddar popcorn seasoning Matt from Cheat Day Design used to make his spicy Doritos french fries.

How to Cut Potatoes for Fries

I’ve pulled the photos and brief rundown of how I like to cut potatoes for fries directly from my Wingstop Fries recipe. 

how to cut a potato for french fries

If you cut almost to the bottom of the potato, it will hold together while you cut the remaining slices. Then you can easily finish cutting them all the way through.

Once you’ve cut the potato vertically, split the potato in half (2-3 layers per side) and place the middle of the potato face down. You can see the outside of the potato facing up in the photo above. Then it’s as easy as slicing from one end to the other to create thin strips. And that’s it—fries.

air fryer fries tossed in the nacho fries seasoning

Final Nacho Fries Recipe Notes

On your cooking method, I used a 6.5 qt Ninja Foodi. If you’re using a smaller air fryer, you may want to shake the fries a few times during frying or cooking multiple batches. And similar to ovens, different air fryers may affect cooking time. Check on your fries periodically to avoid burning. 

If you’re looking for more copycat fries recipes, check out my Wingstop fries or Five Guys cajun seasoned fries recipes next! 

Okay, get to frying! Be sure to let me know how your nacho fries turn out. Take a photo of your creation and tag me on Instagram @mason_woodruff. Or you can join my free Facebook group and share it with the Proton Party.

two nacho fries dipped in a low calorie cheese dip over a white plate with more fries

Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Fries

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A healthier remix on the infamous nacho fries.


  • 1 large (12 oz) Russet Potato, cut into 1/2" fries
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1-2 Tbsp (7-14g) Cheddar Powder, optional

Cheese Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 C (113g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Taco Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (14g) Cheddar Powder


  1. Wash and dry the potato before cutting it into 1/2" fries. Pat dry with a paper towel and add to a large bowl with 1/2 Tbsp (8g) olive oil. Toss to coat and add to an air fryer basket.
  2. Air fry for 20 minutes at 400ºF or until the fries begin to turn golden brown. While the fries cook, mix the spices and cheddar powder together in a small bowl.
  3. After the fries have cooked, add them back to the large bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil before adding 3/4 of the spice blend. Toss/stir well to evenly coat the fries. 
  4. Add the fries back to the air fryer or oven for another 3-5 minutes until crispy. Be careful not to burn them! Transfer back to the bowl and toss with the remaining spices/cheddar powder.
  5. Mix the cheese sauce ingredients together and serve with warm fries. Enjoy! 


Nutrition facts are for nacho fries only—no cheese dipping sauce.

Each serving has 7 WW SmartPoints (blue).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Servings Serving Size: 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 8gCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 5g

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Megan Keenen

Wednesday 15th of April 2020

We used these as a base for loaded fries- piled refried beans, ground beef, peppers and onions on the fries then topped with the cheese sauce. Easy, delicious, filling meal that felt like “cheating”, but fit in my macros super well!

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