What Fast Food Has Sweet Potato Fries? The fast-food industry has come a long way in recent years. What used to be the staple of unhealthy eating is now being replaced by healthier options, such as sweet potato fries.
What Fast Food Has Sweet Potato Fries? This article will go over which fast-food restaurants serve up this healthy side dish option for your next meal out on the town!
What Fast Food Has Sweet Potato Fries? A Guide to Finding This Tasty Alternative
Sweet potato fries have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional french fries at fast food restaurants. Their natural sweetness and often crisper texture make them a favorite among customers looking for a healthier side. But which fast food joints actually offer this tasty option? Let’s explore some of the top fast food chains that serve up sweet potato fries.
Why Are Sweet Potato Fries Growing in Popularity?
Before diving into where to find sweet potato fries on fast food menus, it’s helpful to understand what’s driving their rise in popularity. Here are some of the top reasons these orange fries are gaining fans:
Sweet potatoes are packed with more nutrients than white potatoes. They contain higher amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins like A, C, and B6.
The natural sugars also make them taste sweeter than regular fries without needing to add as much salt or other seasonings. For customers looking for a healthier side, sweet potato fries are an obvious choice.
Unique Flavor and Texture
In addition to health benefits, many people simply enjoy the flavor of sweet potatoes more than regular russets.
They have a richer, sweeter taste that pairs well with typical burger joint seasonings like sea salt, rosemary, and smoked paprika. And they tend to get crisper than regular fries, providing more crunch. The different texture and flavor profile make them a more exciting alternative.
As with many food trends, there’s also a cool factor associated with ordering sweet potato fries. They convey a sense of healthy eating and awareness of nutrition that aligns well with younger generations. Choosing sweet potato fries can represent a more thoughtful choice.
As sweet potato fries increase in popularity, more and more fast food places are adding them to their menus. Their growing prevalence makes them easy to find for customers seeking out this option. Their rise has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
With the health benefits, unique flavor and texture, trendiness, and growing availability all contributing to the increase in sweet potato fries, it’s no wonder they’ve taken off over the past decade. Understanding why they’re gaining fans helps explain how they’ve taken hold across many major fast food chains.
Top Fast Food Chains Offering Sweet Potato Fries
So which fast food restaurants actually have sweet potato fries on the menu? Here is a breakdown of some of the top national chains where you can find this popular alternative fry:
One of the most iconic fast food chains, McDonald’s, has adopted sweet potato fries as a permanent menu item. They have a signature seasoning that includes cinnamon to complement the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. The cut is also slightly thicker than their regular fries.
Wendy’s launched sweet potato fries nationally back in 2016. Customers can request to swap them in place of the standard fries that come in combo meals. They tend to be soft inside with crispy outer edges.
Carl’s Jr. first tested sweet potato fries in select locations before rolling them out across all restaurants. They have a chipotle seasoning that provides a subtle heat and smokiness that pairs nicely with Carl’s Jr. big burgers.
As the sister chain of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s also carries sweet potato fries systemwide. They use the same chipotle seasoning blend to complement their charbroiled burgers.
Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box hopped on the sweet potato fry train in 2017 with a basic sea salt seasoning. Customers can find them at any location as a substitute for regular fries in combos.
The fried chicken giant Popeyes introduced sweet potato waffle fries for a limited time in 2018. They combined the crunch of regular fries with a sweet potato twist. Fans are hoping for a permanent return.
Arby’s tested loaded sweet potato fries topped with brown sugar bacon crumbles, marshmallow cream, and chocolate syrup for a unique desert-inspired take. Select locations may still have this indulgent sweet potato fry offering.
For a premium fast food burger experience, Five Guys offers Cajun-style sweet potato fries at all locations. Their fries in general are known for being fresh-cut and hand cooked, lending to the premium taste.
Midwestern fast food chain Culver’s has sweet potato fries that people rave over. They’re coated in a cinnamon sugar mixture, providing an almost desert-like delivery of this veggie fry.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Customers of steakburger chain Freddy’s can swap regular fries for sweet potato fries at no extra charge. They provide a thicker cut and crisp exterior like most of Freddy’s menu items.
Sonic Drive-In has featured sweet potato tots on their menu in the past. These bite-sized sweet potato fry nuggets make for great dunking in Sonic’s extensive milkshake collection.
Checkers and Rally’s are sister chains, and both offer crispy sweet potato fries. They have a signature spice blend they use to season the fries that customers love on these thicker-cut batons.
This covers some of the major fast food restaurants that offer sweet potato fries, though there are likely some regional chains or one-off locations of the big brands that also carry them. The popularity has grown so much in recent years that sweet potato fries are becoming a menu staple customers can count on.
How Do Fast Food Sweet Potato Fries Compare?
Now that you know where to find them, you may be wondering how fast food sweet potato fries stack up. Here’s a quick comparison of factors like cut, crispiness, seasoning, and overall taste:
- Cut: Arby’s, Five Guys, and Culver’s tend to have thicker-cut fries, while McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Sonic have thinner fries. Freddy’s lands somewhere in the middle.
- Crispiness: Five Guys, Freddy’s, and Checkers/Rally’s score high marks for outer crunch. McDonald’s and Wendy’s fries are generally softer.
- Seasoning: For savory seasonings, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, and Five Guys add the most flavor. Sweeter seasonings like cinnamon sugar are the star at McDonald’s and Culver’s.
- Taste: Culver’s, Freddy’s, Five Guys, and Checkers/Rally’s tend to be fan favorites for best tasting sweet potato fries at fast food restaurants. Wendy’s and McDonald’s get more mixed reviews.
So for premium sweet potato fries in terms of cut, texture, seasoning, and fresh potato flavor, chains like Five Guys, Freddy’s, Culver’s, and Checkers/Rally’s edge out the competition. But the wider chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s win on convenience and availability at thousands of locations.
How Are Fast Food Sweet Potato Fries Made?
Now that you know where to find these tasty fries, you may be wondering how fast food restaurants actually make them. Here’s a quick look at the typical process:
- Potato Selection – Most chains use a Covington or Beauregard sweet potato variety that provides a balance of moisture, starch, and sugar for optimal fry-making.
- Cutting – Fries are cut from raw sweet potatoes in different widths and sizes depending on the chain. Most now use mechanical cutters for consistency.
- Washing – The cut fries are washed thoroughly to remove surface starch and sugars that can cause burning.
- Blanching – Some par-cook the fries by blanching briefly in hot water or oil to start cooking.
- Seasoning – Dry seasonings like sea salt, chipotle powder, or cinnamon sugar are added prior to cooking.
- Frying – Fries go into hot oil, usually around 350-375°F, for 2-3 minutes until crisped and cooked through.
- Portioning – Cooked fries are shaken in baskets and portioned into fry cups, bags, or paper sleeves while hot.
So while the origins are a rather unappealing, starchy sweet potato, the transformation of cutting, cooking, and seasoning morphs these fries into craveable fast food perfection. The preparation may seem simple, but perfecting the crisp-soft balance and ideal flavor takes skill the big chains have mastered.
What Dipping Sauces Go Best With Sweet Potato Fries?
Sweet potato fries offer versatility when it comes to dipping sauces and condiments. Here are some tasty dip pairings to consider:
- Honey mustard – The tanginess and sweetness complement the natural sugars in the fries.
- Ranch – A cooling, creamy ranch perfectly balances the spice some fries are seasoned with.
- Ketchup – The classic dipping sauce for regular fries works just as well with sweet potato fries.
- Chipotle mayo – Addictive smoky flavor that enhances spiced fries.
- Maple syrup – Pancake syrup takes advantage of the subtle sweetness of sweet potatoes.
- Queso – For Tex Mex-style sweet potato fries, nothing beats melty, cheesy queso for dipping.
- Marshmallow dip – An outside-the-box dessert-inspired sauce pairing.
- Chocolate sauce – Another fun sweet dip for those with a major sweet tooth.
So whether you like sweet, savory, mildly spicy, or cool and creamy sauces with your fries, there are endless options to pair with sweet potato fries. The natural sugars and flavors make them incredibly versatile across cuisines.
Do-It-Yourself Sweet Potato Fries – Tips for Making at Home
While getting sweet potato fries from a fast food place is quick and easy, making them at home lets you customize everything to your taste. Here are some tips for DIY sweet potato fries:
- Choose firm, unspoiled sweet potatoes – Pick sweeter orange varieties like Jewel or Garnet over paler-fleshed types.
- Peel before cutting – Peeling helps remove any tough skins that won’t get crispy.
- Soak in cold water – Soaking cut fries removes starch for a crispier end result.
- Spread out on a baking sheet – Cut fries need space between them to get crispy, not crowded.
- Toss lightly in oil – A tablespoon or two of olive oil or avocado oil helps fries caramelize.
- Roast at 400-425°F – Higher heat helps achieve fast food style crispiness.
- Flip once mid-roasting – Flipping halfway through ensures even browning.
- Track cooking times – Most ovens need 25-35 minutes for crisp exteriors and fluffy centers.
- Season generously – Sprinkle on your favorite spices as soon as they come out of the oven.
With the right prep and roasting technique, you can achieve crunchy, crave-worthy sweet potato fries at home to rival any fast food version.
Are Sweet Potato Fries Ultimately Healthier Than Regular Fries?
With their impressive vitamin and antioxidant content, sweet potato fries seem like they’d be a healthier choice over traditional white potato fries. But does substituting sweet potatoes make a significant difference health-wise once deep fried? Here are some considerations around the nutrition of the two fry varieties:
- Vitamins/Minerals – Sweet potatoes have way more vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, and more. This does provide more nutrients.
- Fiber – Sweet potatoes’ natural fiber is higher, promoting better digestion and satiety.
- Sugars – Sweet potatoes have more natural sugars, but white russets absorb more oil.
- Calories – When fried, both options end up having similar calorie content per serving.
- Fat – Again, with deep frying, both absorb a good amount of oil bringing up fat content.
So while sweet potato fries have some extra vitamins and minerals over white potato fries, the deep frying process negates a good amount of the health advantages. There are likely only marginal differences nutritionally once put through the fryer.
However, the added benefits of more fiber, antioxidants, and sweet potato nutrition likely still give them an edge for being a somewhat better-for-you indulgence. But for optimal health, baked and roasted sweet potato preparations would be the best way to get the full benefits.
Satisfy Your Cravings for Sweet Potato Fries
As you can see, sweet potato fries have become a staple menu item across leading fast food chains, and for good reason. Their delicious flavor, crispy texture, and trendy appeal have made them a fixture that’s likely here to stay.
The next time you get a craving, you’ll know exactly which spots to visit to get your fix of sweet potato fries and the perfect dipping sauces to go with them.
Though not the healthiest preparation, they do pack more nutrients than regular fries for a somewhat better-for-you splurge. Now go out and indulge in sweet potato fries to satisfy those savory and sweet cravings!
Does any fast food serve sweet potato fries?
The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Many fast food chains serve sweet potato fries, but the only way you’ll know for sure if they have them on the menu is by checking their website and looking at their online menus. McDonald’s does offer french fries as an option in some of its locations,
So it may be worth contacting your local Mickey D’s and asking about whether they carry sweet potatoes fries (or go in there one day).
Some other places may include Burger King, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, and Chipotle, all having varying options regarding ordering these items.
What Type Of Sauce Goes Well With Sweet Potato Fries?
You’ll want to complement the natural sweetness when dipping sauces for sweet potato fries. Sweet and tangy condiments like honey mustard, sweet chilli sauce, and orange ginger dressing pair wonderfully with the sweet potato flavour.
Cool and creamy sauces like ranch, sour cream, and avocado dip also balance out the crispy fries nicely. Warm cheesy sauces like queso and nacho cheese are addictive dips for sweet potato fries.
And you can’t go wrong with sweet dessert sauces like chocolate, caramel, maple syrup, and marshmallow dip, either.
More savoury sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce, chimichurri, and spicy mayo are also great compliments. Finding sauces that balance or enhance the signature sweet potato taste is critical.
Are Sweet Potato Fries Healthier Than French Fries?
Compared to regular French fries, sweet potato fries edge them slightly in nutritional value. They contain more fibre, which aids digestion. Sweet potato fries also have higher levels of vitamins A and C than French fries. They pack more antioxidants like beta carotene as well.
And they contain more minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium. However, when fried, sweet potato fries and French fries still absorb significant oil, spiking calories and fat. Any batter or heavy seasoning decreases the health factor, too.
So, while sweet potato fries are a somewhat better choice nutritionally, the frying process does minimize the extent of the health benefits of French fries.
Going with oven-baked sweet potato fries instead of fried provides more nutritional payoff. But as an occasional indulgence, sweet potato fries are a bit “less bad” than standard French fries.
How To Use Sweet Potato Fries?
Sweet potato fries are incredibly versatile. They make a great side with burgers, sandwiches, ribs, fried chicken, and other hearty main dishes. You can top salads and bowls with them for an extra crunch factor.
They’re also delicious, loaded with cheese, bacon, salsa, pulled pork, or other toppings. Sweet potato fries work well as an appetizer or shareable with various dipping sauces. You can bake them into sliders, sandwiches, wraps or other handheld meals.
They can replace tater tots in loaded casseroles. Use them as a base for nachos piled with fixings. And, of course, they’re fantastic on their own as a snack, movie food, or game day finger food. Chop them up in hashes, home fries, and potato pancakes too.
So get creative with sweet potato fries! Their versatility makes them perfect to incorporate into so many meals and recipes.
Are frozen sweet potato fries bad for you?
Frozen sweet potato fries are not as bad for you as they may seem. Generally, the frozen versions of this side dish will be slightly lower in calories and sugar while still providing that same flavor!
Of course, it is always best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, so if you have diabetes or heart disease, we recommend keeping these on the “do not eat” list.
Are sweet potato fries healthier than regular French fries?
There has been a lot of debate over whether or not sweet potato fries are healthier than regular French potatoes. Many say that because the root vegetable is less starchy and lower in calories, it is automatically better for you!
Others argue that they only contain 50% more vitamin A while also being higher in sodium; this can be bad as too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure!
Are baked sweet potato fries healthy?
Baked sweet potato fries are a better option than their fried counterparts. Are baked sweet potato fries healthy? The answer is yes; they’re even more beneficial than the regular type of white potatoes that you fry in oil!
They contain less fat and fewer calories but provide just as much fiber as the traditional version. Plus, since they don’t have to be tossed in oil after being cooked on a baking sheet with some salt for seasoning, there’s no possibility of creating partially-hydrogenated oils like those found in fast food chains’ French-fried potatoes.
Some people will tell you this makes them taste worse because it takes away from their greasy goodness – but we say give your tastebuds a break! On top of that, the absence of hydrogenated oils will help keep your blood sugar in check.
Here are the fast-food chains that have sweet potato fries so that you can get your fix. If there’s a restaurant with sweet potato fries not on this list and it’s near you, please let us know! We would love to hear about what you think of them in the comments below.