Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries

~ Mmmmmmm … Pizza Fries … without the guilt! These baked french fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! They’re loaded with awesome, cheesy pizza flavor! Bonus: because they’re baked (and you’re gonna pile ’em high with lots of veggies), they’re healthy, too! ~

This Recipe Is (depending on your choice of optional toppings):     Vegetarian    Gluten Free  

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

You probably don’t envision me spending much time hanging out in mall food courts. Just doesn’t quite jive with the whole “Two Healthy Kitchens” thing, does it?

But, you know what’s located at the heart of every food court everywhere? Yup … restrooms!

And so, after a marathon shopping expedition with my kids last year, I was a woman on a mission. Racing across the food court … you know … every.step.counts …

But suddenly … I skidded to a halt.

Oh, my.

What is this sign? You are in my way, but you are beautiful. I think you are my next obsession …

You are Pizza Fries!

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

I think my heart skipped a beat. I’d like to say it was because I was falling madly in love, but I’m pretty sure my arteries were slamming shut from simply looking at the fried potatoes, globbed with full-fat pepperoni and cheese, the grease practically clogging my veins just because I was standing too close to the cardboard sign.

But I saw through all that. I saw the potential. Mmmmm … possibilities.

I raced onward through the food court (you know … on a mission …), but I didn’t forget that moment. I knew I wanted needed Pizza Fries in my life! I was determined to find a way to recreate them … healthier but still jaw-droppingly drool-worthy …

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Nutritional Mods for Healthier Pizza Fries

Roast ’em, Don’t Fry ’em – The first thing I had to do was just ditch the frying. Obvious, right?!? And totally easy! Roasting potatoes at a high heat in the oven produces a wonderful, crispy, golden-brown exterior and a fluffy interior. So much great flavor and texture without the frying!

Load ’em Up (the Right Way) – These Pizza Fries get a big wallop of flavor from antioxidant-rich spices. Yum! Tasty little antioxidants! And, dipping your fries in pizza sauce offers up even more layers of awesome pizza-y flavor, plus great lycopene from the cooked tomatoes.

Plus … mmmmmmmm … all those pretty veggies! One of the best ways to healthify practically anything is to start by looking for ways to add in more veggies. With these loaded, uber-deluxe Pizza Fries, that’s a cinch! Colorful peppers and onions are fantastic additions, and you can add anything else you like, too – think mushrooms, tomatoes and olives. And sure, you can add some pepperoni or sausage if you’d like. Just be sure you go with reduced-fat options like turkey pepperoni, and try to focus more on the veggies than the meats!

 Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

How to Be a Potato Rock Star

Making the Cut – It’s really up to you how you’d like to cut your potatoes – have ’em your way, for sure! But if you start with jumbo (restaurant-sized) russets, or want to try thin shoestrings or round wafer fries … all of those things will affect your baking time slightly, so just keep an eye on your potatoes while they’re in the oven. For this recipe, we used standard-sized (not restaurant “jumbo”) russets, and cut each into 12 fries that were thin enough to offer lots of golden, crispy exterior, but thick enough (kind of like steak fries) to have satisfyingly fluffy insides, too. Here’s how we cut our potatoes:

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

As you can see, we cut each potato in half, and then cut each half again to equal four quarters. Then, we cut each of the four quarters into three equal pieces, for a total of 12 fries from each potato.

Potato Equality – What’s most important when cutting your potatoes is ensuring that – whatever size and shape you decide on – you make all your potato pieces as similar in size and shape to each other as possible, so they all bake evenly in the oven.

Potatoes Like Their Space! – You know why potatoes are grown on big, spacious farms? Because they definitely like their real estate, especially when it comes to oven-baked taters! Another big key to Pizza Fry success (or success in roasting any veggie) is spreading your veggies out on the baking sheet. Our big 14×17″ baking sheet is at maximum capacity with about 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, but you can see that there’s still just a little space between each french fry. That’s critical for good roasting.

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

During the roasting step, it’s important to keep your potato slices spread out on the baking sheet, as we did on the left before putting our fries in the oven. But notice how, on the right, in the final step of baking (once the potatoes were done roasting), we piled the potatoes all into the center of the baking sheet, layering them with the yummy toppings, before slipping them back in the oven to get all that melty-cheesy-goodness going on.

If veggies are piled on top of each other or closely touching, they tend to steam more than roast, and you’ll miss out on that crispy-crunchy-golden exterior we’re going for here. If you feel like your baking sheet is too crowded or you want to make a double batch, just use two baking sheets instead of thinking you’ll be ok cruising by with only one.

Because really … would you want to skimp on this to save yourself digging out a second baking sheet:

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Nope! I didn’t think so! 😀 See those crispy-golden edges? Real estate, friends. Potato real estate.

So there you have it. My mission to have pizza fries in my life (and my belly!) is now complete. And with the momentous, star-studded, commercial-laden, appetizers-needed occasion of Super Bowl 50 just days away … well, I thought this was the perfect time to share these with you!

Because trust me … you want need these in your life, too!

But let’s be honest for a moment. This isn’t really about the Super Bowl (just like the Super Bowls’ only kinda-sorta about the football game itself). You’ll want these fries in your life long, long beyond game day, friends.

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

And hey – you don’t even have to make an artery-clogging trip to the mall food court to find them!

You’re welcome.

Shelley sig

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Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries

Preparation 2017-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Cook Time 2017-03-24T00:00:00+00:00
Serves 1 large platter of fries     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Italian cheese blend
  • Your favorite pizza sauce, warmed, for dipping

Finely chopped pizza toppings of your choice (remember – pile on lots of great veggies!) (see note). Here are some ideas

  • green, red and yellow peppers
  • banana or jalapeño peppers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • black or green olives
  • turkey pepperoni or cooked and crumbled Italian turkey sausage

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475ºF.
  2. Cut each potato into 12 long, thin slices by first cutting each potato in half lengthwise, and then cutting each half lengthwise again to yield four quarters. Cut each quarter into three slices.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil to thoroughly coat, and then add oregano, basil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, tossing again to distribute spices evenly.
  4. Place potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading them out and making sure they don't touch or overlap (see note).
  5. Bake potatoes for about 10-12 minutes, then stir and spread them out again. Bake for about 8-12 minutes more. The exact baking times may vary depending on how your potatoes are shaped and how thick the slices are. Check them periodically: you're looking for a warm, browned, toasty bit of color on both sides of your fries, and a roasted exterior with a fluffy interior. You want a good roasted color but you don't want them to burn.
  6. Push your fries into a pile in the center of the baking sheet, layering them as you do so with cheese and your other toppings. Return the fries to the oven for about 5 more minutes, to allow the toppings to warm and the cheese to melt.
  7. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

by

Recipe Notes

Toppings: The combination of toppings we used in the photos throughout this post includes (all finely chopped): ⅓ cup turkey pepperoni, ¼ cup green pepper, ¼ cup red pepper and 3 tablespoons red onion

Spreading out the potatoes: As noted in the post, spreading the potatoes out is key to getting them to roast properly. It they're baked in a pile or with too much overlap, they won't develop a toasty, crispy, beautifully browned, roasted exterior. If your baking pan isn't big enough or you want to make a double batch, don't try to squeeze all your fries onto one baking sheet – simply use two baking sheets, and you'll get a much better result.

We'd love to see your photos of this recipe! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and tag @TwoHealthyKitchens!

 

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries
Author: Two Healthy Kitchens
Serves: 1 large platter of fries
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Italian cheese blend
  • Your favorite pizza sauce, warmed, for dipping
  • Finely chopped pizza toppings of your choice (remember – pile on lots of great veggies!) (see note). Here are some ideas:
  • green, red and yellow peppers
  • banana or jalapeño peppers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • black or green olives
  • turkey pepperoni or cooked and crumbled Italian turkey sausage
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475ºF.
  2. Cut each potato into 12 long, thin slices by first cutting each potato in half lengthwise, and then cutting each half lengthwise again to yield four quarters. Cut each quarter into three slices.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil to thoroughly coat, and then add oregano, basil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, tossing again to distribute spices evenly.
  4. Place potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading them out and making sure they don’t touch or overlap (see note).
  5. Bake potatoes for about 10-12 minutes, then stir and spread them out again. Bake for about 8-12 minutes more. The exact baking times may vary depending on how your potatoes are shaped and how thick the slices are. Check them periodically: you’re looking for a warm, browned, toasty bit of color on both sides of your fries, and a roasted exterior with a fluffy interior. You want a good roasted color but you don’t want them to burn.
  6. Push your fries into a pile in the center of the baking sheet, layering them as you do so with cheese and your other toppings. Return the fries to the oven for about 5 more minutes, to allow the toppings to warm and the cheese to melt.
  7. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.
Notes
[b]Toppings:[/b] The combination of toppings we used in the photos throughout this post includes (all finely chopped): 1/3 cup turkey pepperoni, 1/4 cup green pepper, 1/4 cup red pepper and 3 tablespoons red onion[br][br][b]Spreading out the potatoes:[/b] As noted in the post, spreading the potatoes out is key to getting them to roast properly. It they’re baked in a pile or with too much overlap, they won’t develop a toasty, crispy, beautifully browned, roasted exterior. If your baking pan isn’t big enough or you want to make a double batch, don’t try to squeeze all your fries onto one baking sheet – simply use two baking sheets, and you’ll get a much better result.
Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries ~ These Oven-Baked Pizza Fries are so easy to make, and always a total hit! Loaded with cheesy pizza flavors for a deliciously fun twist! A great snack or appetizer … and perfect for game day! {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
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Comments

Cheesy Oven-Baked Pizza Fries — 41 Comments

  1. Pingback: Awesome Cheesy Recipes - Pins of the Week! - Dishes and Dust Bunnies

    • Mmmmmmm … they really are so delicious! And you know, it’s funny – I actually have no idea what fast food restaurant those pizza fries were being sold at – I can picture exactly where it was in the food court, though, with that enticing sign on a stand, right at eye-level out in front of the store! I haven’t been back to that mall since (it’s a bit of a drive from my house), but I should remember to check next time I’m there and see if they’re still selling them! Oooooh … or maybe to see if they have some wonderful new inspiration for me to healthify (yay!)! ~Shelley

  2. Perfect for my family. It can get the kids to eat veggies, as little or as much as they want to try. And we adults can all feel that we indulged ourselves without breaking any New Year’s resolutions. Awesome!

    • So well put, Kim! I think you pretty much summed it up perfectly! And the great thing is when you see the kiddos digging in to so many more veggies than they might normally choose, happily munching away and not even thinking about how many veggies are in there! Score! ~Shelley

    • Thanks, Summer! You know, it’s interesting – someone commented on our Facebook page that this Pizza Fry recipe was a great alternative for people who can’t have pizza because of the bread. I hadn’t really thought of it in that way – as a breadless pizza recipe – but it actually is! You still get all the great pizza flavors you love, just with a different “crust” as the base! A neat twist I hadn’t even considered! 🙂 ~Shelley

    • Yep! Gotta love gorgeous, colorful veggies – for so many reasons! Delicious and so nutritious, too! Veggie pizzas are always my top choice! Definitely go ahead and pile those veggies right on! Mmmmmmm … you’ll be so glad you did! ~Shelley

  3. I don’t know if I could have said no to the pizza fries in the food court. Pizza in combination with fries sounds like heaven. But I love your healthier version, it doesn’t look like “health” food. I think I need your pizza fries now!

    • Yeah … those pizza fries in the food court … luckily I was kinda on a mission, or I might have been seriously tempted! 😉 But seriously … I feel so much better about this healthier version, and you’re right that they don’t make you feel like you’re eating healthfully or compromising at all … you’re just too busy thinking, “Oh, yum!!!” Hope you love them as much as we do! ~Shelley

    • Thanks for your kind words, April – I’m really glad you found the tips helpful! And I’m so with you on the fact that it feels just awesome to look at decadent, not-so-healthy foods and devise ways to make them way more nutritious but still so satisfying and yummy, too! These Pizza Fries are all that, for sure! ~Shelley

    • I honestly don’t know if I would have thought of it, either, if I hadn’t had that epiphany moment in the mall food court! From there, it just seemed so obvious … clearly something that just HAD to happen! Can’t wait for you and your husband to try these! ~Shelley

    • Kathryn, I’m so thrilled you’re excited about this recipe! If you’re a potato lover, than these Pizza Fries are definitely for you! Plus, I know you love eating healthfully, too! And hey – thanks a million for the pin – so appreciated! 🙂 Shelley

    • Thanks so much, Cyndi! Definitely – besides the fact that these Pizza Fries are baked instead of fried – one other thing about them that really offers great nutrition is topping them with lots of healthier, fresh veggies instead of loading them down with tons of full-fat meats and cheese! You’re so right – total winner, for sure! Yay! ~Shelley

    • Hi there, Heather! I hope you guys enjoyed these just as much as we always do! Sorry I’m a bit belated in getting back to you, but I hope you had a great Super Bowl party! We had a houseful and it was a total blast! Just one more great reason to have people over for a party – gotta love it! 😀 ~Shelley

    • Haha! Ashlyn – I love this!!! As a healthy food blogger, I (of course!) want to help people find ways to eat more nutritiously … but first and foremost, I just want them to say “YUM!” Your comment makes me so happy! Thank you!!! 😀 ~Shelley

  4. These fries have my name all over them!!
    I never usually have them because of the fat but oven baked are just fine. I know the kids would love the pizza toppings on them too 🙂
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

    • Hi, Julie! It’s always so nice to hear from you! And I know what you mean about never usually having fries – it’s just something I tend to skip without even thinking about it when we’re out at restaurants. I just know it’s not worth it! But these Baked Pizza Fries are ever-so-worth-it and so much healthier, too! Yay! 😀 ~Shelley

    • Definitely! Just focus on using lots of veggie toppings for these fries and skip loading on less-healthy pizza toppings like full-fat sausage, pepperoni and other meats. I can tell you that my family goes crazy for these Pizza Fries, so I really think your family will love them, too! 😀 ~Shelley

    • Oh, Megan, I definitely think your family really will love them because I know how much my family does! It was so, so hard for us all to hold back from just diving into them on the day we photographed. And by the time we were finally done shooting … they were GONE in a flash! So yummy! ~Shelley

    • You’re always so sweet – one of our very best cheerleaders EVER! Thank you so much! I hope you love them as much as I really think you will! They absolutely get devoured here at my house! 🙂 ~Shelley

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