Smothered Fries with “Animal Style” Sauce

Whether you’re enjoying a big game, craving some loaded french fries, or just looking for a new way to enjoy potatoes, these Smothered Fries with “Animal Style” Sauce are exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Crispy, oven-baked fries get topped with an easy burger sauce and an unassuming line-up of toppings. What follows is a complete party in your mouth, and it doesn’t stop there. While these fries have a healthy array of goodies piled on top, you can completely customize your own toppings to fit your taste. Love cheese on your french fries? Layer it on! Don’t have ground beef? Use ground chicken, sausage, or even shredded pork. As long as you get crispy fries as your base and lots of that “animal style” sauce, you can’t go wrong with whatever you add on top! Let’s make them!

Ingredients needed to make Smothered Fries with “Animal Style” Sauce

I love the earthy taste of russet potatoes in this recipe. It compliments the grass-fed ground beef extremely well. If you don’t have russets or don’t care for them, this dish would also be excellent using sweet potatoes, another variety of white potato, or even a bag of frozen french fries. As long as you’ve got one form of potato, you can make this recipe. Here’s everything you’ll need to pull these fries off:

Tools used to make Smothered Fries with “Animal Style” Sauce

You’ll need basic equipment to make these delicious fries: a large cutting board, a sharp knife, a rimmed sheet pan, a skillet, a stirring utensil, and a mixing bowl. That’s it!

How to make Smothered Fries with “Animal Style” Sauce

The secret to any great oven-baked fry recipe is simple: preheat your sheet pan! By placing your sheet pan in the oven while the oven heats up, you ensure that the fries immediately start crisping up on contact. It works like a charm.

To begin, set the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and place your sheet pan inside, as described above. Cut the potatoes into fries and coat in avocado oil, salt, and pepper.

Once the oven has preheated, carefully remove the hot sheet pan and add the fries to the hot pan in an even layer. They will sizzle upon contact. Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15-20 until the fries are cooked through.

Meanwhile, you’ll prepare the ground beef, “animal style” sauce, and other toppings. Brown the ground beef in a skillet and break up all the clumps. Combine mayo, ketchup, relish, honey, vinegar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir well. Chop up the red onion, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños and set aside.

Once the fries are done, top with the ground beef, red onions, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, and drizzle all over with the sauce. If desired, other toppings may be added. Serve the fries hot with extra sauce on the side!

Looking for other game day food ideas?

Try these other recipes from The Ardent Cook!

Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Celery Salsa

Baked Goat Cheese with Herbed Orange Olives

Mom’s Checkerboard Chicken Chili

Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings

Recipe Ingredients

1 1/2  pounds russet potatoes, sliced into thin fries (3-4 large)

2 Tbsp avocado oil

1 Tsp salt, plus more to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1lb grass-fed ground beef

½ cup mayonnaise 

3 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp dill relish

1 Tsp honey

1 Tsp white vinegar

½ red onion, finely chopped

Fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Pickled jalapeños, chopped (optional)

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange an oven rack to the lowest height possible. Place a clean sheet pan in the oven to heat as the oven heats. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cut fries, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Once the oven and sheet tray are preheated, spread potatoes out into an even layer on the sheet tray. Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes, toss, then bake again for another 15-20 minutes until browned and cooked through. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the ground beef until browned and cooked-through, breaking up any large clumps, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. Make the sauce. Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, honey, and vinegar. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Spread the cooked ground beef evenly over the finished fries. Spoon the sauce over the fries and ground beef, then top with chopped red onion, cilantro, and pickled jalapeño. Serve immediately.

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.