Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries are Mexican spiced roasted potato dish that is topped with cheese, red pepper and cilantro. It is a delicious side dish for any meal main protein or makes a great party appetizer.

A plate of Southwestern Steak Fries

Potatoes do not belong in the trash

It’s not often I get a craving for a potato.  I hated potatoes as a child. So much so, I tossed them in the trash one Christmas, only to miss the can and hit the floor. I was unaware, but when my Aunt saw the potatoes on the floor, she knew exactly who tossed them! 

I never was a fan of potatoes as a child unless they were in french fry form. As an adult I don’t really crave them often but, once in a while, I will see something on a menu or in a magazine that looks good enough to try.

Since I am a huge fan of Mexican flavors, these Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries really appealed to me. The crispy roasted outside was delicious with the light spice topping. And of course, add cheese and they are golden!

What you need to make Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries

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Baby Potatoes: Choose white, red, or a mixture of both. I recommend baby potatoes since they bake quickly and are tender.

Smoked Paprika: This lends a smokiness that can’t be substituted. If I were to recommend one spice in your cabinet to never run out of, it would be this one. This can be used to sprinkle over deviled eggs or in chili. There are so many ways to incorporate this spice into recipes that are tasty!

Cumin: This spice has a strong earthy, mildly spiced flavor. It is not overpowering or hot. It adds to Mexican flavors without adding heat.

Garlic Powder: This is added to compliment the paprika and cumin on the Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries.

Olive Oil: The oil will coat the steak fries and allow the spices to stick to it. It also will help the potatoes to crisp up in the oven while baking.

Cheddar Cheese: I like to use a mild cheddar for these Southwestern Steak Fries. Anything stronger will overpower the flavors on the fries.

Sheet Pan: I like a heavy-duty sheet pan. One that will hold the heat without burning the food.

Tips for getting crispy outside edges on steak fries

  • Make sure the oven is hot. An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is calibrated correctly. A hot oven is important for circulating the air in a blast, searing the outside of the potatoes while keeping the inside tender.
  • Don’t skip the oil in the recipe. Well, you can skip it if you want, but your Steak Fries will not be as crispy as you may like them to be. Oil also adds flavor and we do need oils in our diet!
  • Be sure the wedges are skin down on the baking sheet. This allows the cut sides to be exposed to the air.

What to serve with these Steak Fries

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing or this Steakhouse Cheeseburger would be great lunch or dinner main sandwich with a side of these steak fries.  

Steak and fries go great as well! Try this Honey Garlic Onion Topped Steak, or this Cilantro Limed Grilled Pork Chops.

Other Potato Recipes you may enjoy

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Chives have 1 ingredient that puts this recipe over the top of all other mashed potato recipes.

Scalloped Potatoes for Two is a great small-batch recipe when you don’t want a lot of leftovers.

Chorizo Jalapeno Potato Puff Bites are made in the oven or Air Fryer and are delicious little spicy bites of potato!

Potato Kielbasa Skillet Recipe is perfect for those who love their meat and potatoes browned in a skillet!

*If you made these Southwestern Cheddar Fries, please give them a star rating*

Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries

Tender roasted potatoes are tossed with Mexican flavored spices and cooked to perfection. Sprinkled with a little cheddar cheese at the end of cooking time then topped with red pepper and cilantro.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheddar Steak Fries, Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 173kcal


  • 1 lb baby potatoes washed and cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 oz finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro


  • Preheat oven to 425.  Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Combine olive oil, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.  Toss potatoes in the mixture to coat.
  • Spread the potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese and red peppers.  
  • Place back in the oven for 2 minutes to melt the cheese.  Prior to serving, sprinkle with cilantro.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Pegasuslegend June 23, 2011 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    We will love these Shelby, the best thing is these look like you can make them ahead of time heat them up and they will still be fabulous!

  2. Nutmeg Nanny June 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Yum yum yum! I love the cheese on top…this is my kind of potato 🙂

  3. Donna-FFW June 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    They sound like a perfect side dish! Love the crustiness of the potatoes!

  4. Lyndsey June 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    I had to laugh…you sound like me and potatoes when I was a kid. We used to have to eat what was on our plate and I would gag down cold (no microwave then) potatoes. I think that's why I don't like potato salad today. 😀 Now these potatoes I would crave too. They look wonderful. I like oven fries and you flavors here are so good!

  5. vanillasugar June 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    this is a winner shel.
    printing this one out for the night we have steak.

  6. honeyb June 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Those do look like the kind of potato I'd love!

  7. Fallon June 24, 2011 at 12:24 am - Reply

    Yum yum, I bet the smoked paprika really makes these potatoes taste extra good! I agree on the bacon advice 😉

  8. bellini June 24, 2011 at 3:26 am - Reply

    I am weak in the knees over potatoes!

  9. Craving Ellie in My Belly June 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    These look outstanding. Hub's favorite side is any thing with a potato so these are on my list.

    Beautiful pic too.

  10. Kathleen June 27, 2011 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Oh Yes please! I sooo want some of these!!

  11. Patsyk June 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    They look amazing! My whole family would devour them! I've checked out that magazine a few times, but haven't made anything from it yet. Might have to pick up another copy soon to see what they have in it again.

  12. Sippity Sup June 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    I can see how these could get gobbled down in a hurry! Great flavors. GREG

  13. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen June 28, 2011 at 3:39 am - Reply

    I love the baby potatoes and the flavor combinations, and I would definitely include the bacon! YUM!

  14. declaratii fiscale July 9, 2011 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Oh my God this looks so good and i`m sure that it is delicious too. I think it is not a very difficult recipe so i will give it a try, thanks a lot for sharing.

  15. Jeanette July 28, 2011 at 2:36 am - Reply

    Love these steak fries and all the spices! Just goes to show, you don't need any bacon to make these beautiful and delicious!

  16. Michele @ Flavor Mosaic April 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    These steak fries look awesome. I'm going to have to make these. They look so good. Pinned and shared.

  17. Bellaisa May 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    The name sounded great, but the pictures are amazing! I seriously feel like I can taste the fries thanks to the pictures. This is on the menu for tonight!

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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