My children love cheese fries, actually so do I. Last night for supper they asked for cheese fries, but I had already defrosted a pound of ground beef. I suggested French fry casserole but my eldest doesn’t really care for that. So I wondered if there was such a thing as cheese fries with ground beef.
I searched for recipes and found a recipe for Cheeseburger French Fry Casserole. That recipe has pickles, ketchup and mustard included and I knew that my eldest wouldn’t eat it. So I used the basic idea and created my own recipe, we called it bacon cheeseburger fries.
French Fry Casserole
My husband grew up in a Markham Mennonite family and French Fry Casserole seems to be a favourite meal among the community. I have made this recipe before as written and I have also made it with some changes to get rid of the soup cans.
I used to use recipes that called for a can of cream of something soup but now I prefer to either make the cream soup from scratch or just make a roux and make a sauce to replace the soup can with that.
Here is the recipe as written in my copy of the cookbook titled Favourite Family Foods:
French Fry Casserole
Place 1 lb. raw hamburger in casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Spread on top:
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Top with 2 lbs. frozen French fries. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
Instead of cheddar cheese soup, I make a cheese sauce.
Melt: 2 tbsp. Butter in saucepan
Add: 2 tbsp. Flour
1 onion, chopped Brown slightly.
Add: 2 cups milk stirring till thickened
1/2 cup Cheese Whiz
Mennonites sure seems to love Cheese Whiz and soup cans in their recipes! Seriously though if you are going to prepare a cheese sauce you might as well go all the way and use cheddar cheese.
Cheese fries are simply French Fries that are smothered in cheese and topped with bacon bits and green onions. You can serve them with sour cream on the side. I like Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce on mine.
To prepare them all you do is bake your frozen fries first, when they are done you add grated cheese on top. Usually cheddar, but you may use a combination of cheddar and mozzarella or your favourite melting cheese. Add real bacon bits on top and place back in the oven to melt the cheese. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on some chopped green onions.
Bacon Cheeseburger Fries
For this recipe I cooked my fries and browned the ground beef with half of a diced yellow onion while the fries were cooking. Then I spread the ground beef on top of the fries sprinkled on some bacon bits and grated cheddar and mozzarella. Placed it back in the oven to melt the cheese. I would have added chopped green onions but I didn’t have any.
It was a hit, the whole family really enjoyed it. Will definitely make it again. Usually we try to have fun food Friday at our house. Often we have chicken wings and fries, but these bacon cheeseburger fries will be added to the Friday rotation.
Use whatever proportion size you need for your family. I used 1lb. of ground beef and about 1/3 of a large bag of fries. I sprinkled seasoning salt on the fries before I baked them. The ground beef was seasoned with 2 tsp. of Paula Deen’s house seasoning.
The recipe for that is:
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 garlic powder
Optional ingredient is onion powder. I used 1/4 cup of onion powder in mine.
Loaded Cheeseburger Fries
To make the dish more like an actual cheeseburger you could do the same as above and add sliced dill pickles on top and serve with ketchup and mustard.
Whichever variation you decide on I hope you and your family enjoy this easy and fun meal. We are always looking for ideas to make meal planning more fun.
Some other fun food ideas are, nachos, tacos, Make your own mini pizzas, and poutine. I have also made fries and put nacho toppings on them. Of course wings are always good, I buy plain wings and coat them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper or garlic and onion powder etc. Then I bake them until crispy and my kids eat them plain, I use buffalo wing sauce and my husband prefers barbecue sauce.
Meal planning can be a chore so it is helpful to change it up and add some fun family favourites in your plans. Ask your family for input, if you are feeding picky eaters they will be more likely to eat things that they had a say in.