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Here’s how to make an epic french fry bar for your next party. Tons of baked fries plus dreamy sauces galore equals true happiness.

many types of french fries and sauces on a large platter
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Why we love this recipe

I’m such a big fan of generous, gently curated boards, bars, and platters at virtually every kind of party. A French fry bar or board with a wide variety of spud styles and sauce types makes a fabulous anchor for a game-day or other casual party buffet. It translates my dreamy memories of our summer trip to Belgium — where fries are a cultural and culinary phenomenon — into an instant American classic.

This recipe:

  • Pleases kids and adults equally
  • Comes together quickly, with make-ahead elements and ingredients that are easy to keep on hand
  • Easily scales to the size of your crowd
  • Works beautifully as-is or with virtually any additions and substitutions you’d like to make.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredient you’ll need to make this recipe.

The fries

For the best effect, use a wide variety of French fry types, shapes, and flavors. Peruse the freezer section of your grocery store for your favorite types — you really can’t go wrong. Aim for about a quarter pound of fries per guest.

bags of fries
  • Yukon gold fries are both classic and a little extra delicious. (You can make your own if you’re so inclined — though I usually save that move for smaller gatherings.)
  • Sweet potato fries make a nice contrast to white potatoes — and there’s always at least one guest who likes them best. I’ve pictured a plain version here and a chipotle version in the video and platter.
  • Waffle-cut or crinkle-cut fries add textural interest and are great for dipping.
  • Oven wedges are a nice, thick variety that’s also great for dipping. I’ve pictured a rosemary parmesan olive oil variety in the video and platter.
  • And don’t forget the tater tots, which also come in a nice variety of flavors.

The sauces

The only real rule for sauces is to lean hard into the options and have fun with them. Here are many of my favorites — some pictured, some not.

sauces in bowls
  • I’ll usually include two mayo-based sauces in a nod to European tradition (and deliciousness). Some of my favorites are sushi restaurant-style spicy mayo, umami-rich black garlic mayo, and cilantro mayo.
  • Cilantro sauce is one of Umami Girl’s all-time most popular recipes, and it’s especially great with sweet potato fries.
  • I like to include good old Heinz ketchup; dijon, grainy, or yellow mustard; and a hot sauce like Frank’s or Cholula straight from the bottle.
  • There’s no such thing as too much cheese — consider including: Mornay cheese sauce, pretzel cheese dip, or vegan cheese sauce.
  • Truffle salt or another seasoned salt makes a nice addition if you like.
  • Finally, ranch is never out of place, either straight from the bottle or homemade.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make an epic French fry bar. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Bake frozen fries of your choice according to package instructions. The ones we use generally get baked at 425°F for about half an hour, on baking sheets in a single layer. No hint of a fuss.
  2. Make the sauces and put them into little bowls. You can make all of our homemade options the day before and keep them tightly sealed in a cold fridge.
  3. While the fries bake, arrange the sauce bowls on a big platter.
  4. When the fries are ready, arrange them artfully but unfussily onto the platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges if you feel like it. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What’s this about Belgian fry sauces?

Oh, friends. They’re fabulous. If you’re so inspired, you can learn more about traditional Belgian fry sauces here.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can make the sauces up to several days in advance and keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Bake fries and arrange platter right before serving.

More favorite epic boards

We’re obsessed with these bedhead-style party boards (meaning, oh hi, I just woke up all gorgeous like this). They’re a casual and abundant-feeling way to anchor a party buffet. Try one, try them all!

Epic Fries Board | Umami Girl 780-5

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Epic Fries Board | Umami Girl 780-2
4.72 from 7 votes

French Fry Bar (Epic Fries Board)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
With a variety of baked fries and some killer sauces (some homemade, some purchased), this platter will please virtually everyone without a whole lot of work. You can easily scale this recipe to the size of your crowd, and you can use any combination of baked fries that you like. Include at least a quarter pound of fries (total) per person and about 1/2 cup of each sauce.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients 

The fries (1/4 pound+ total per person)

  • Yukon gold fries
  • Regular or chipotle sweet potato fries
  • Rosemary parmesan olive oil oven wedges
  • Tater tots
  • Waffle-cut fries
  • Crinkle-cut fries

Mayo-based sauces

More favorites

Cheese sauce options

Ready-made toppings

  • Ketchup
  • Dijon, whole-grain, or yellow mustard
  • Hot sauce, e.g. Cholula or Frank’s
  • Truffle salt
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions 

  • Bake fries according to package instructions (generally in a single layer on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes at 425°F).
  • Meanwhile, spoon sauces and truffle salt into small bowls and arrange on a big platter.
  • When fries are ready, arrange them on the platter. You can see this in action in the video.
  • Garnish platter with cilantro leaves and lime wedges, and serve.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. Yukon gold fries are both classic and a little extra delicious. (You can make your own if you're so inclined — though I usually save that move for smaller gatherings.)
  2. Sweet potato fries make a nice contrast to white potatoes — and there's always at least one guest who likes them best. I've pictured a plain version here and a chipotle version in the video and platter.
  3. Waffle-cut or crinkle-cut fries add textural interest and are great for dipping.
  4. Oven wedges are a nice, thick variety that's also great for dipping. I've pictured a rosemary parmesan olive oil variety in the video and platter.
  5. And don't forget the tater tots, which also come in a nice variety of flavors.
  6. Cilantro sauce is one of Umami Girl's all-time most popular recipes, and it's especially great with sweet potato fries.
  7. I like to include good old Heinz ketchup; dijon, grainy, or yellow mustard, and a hot sauce like Frank's or Cholula straight from the bottle.
  8. There's no such thing too much cheese — consider including: Mornay cheese sauce, pretzel cheese dip, or vegan cheese sauce.
  9. Truffle salt or another seasoned salt makes a nice addition if you like.
  10. Finally, ranch is never out of place, either straight from the bottle or homemade.
  11. You can make the sauces up to several days in advance and keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Bake fries and arrange platter right before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcal, Carbohydrates: 37.5g, Protein: 4.5g, Fat: 18.9g, Fiber: 3.9g, Sugar: 3.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Platters
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.72 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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