Salad + Fries dinner is the latest (and certainly most delicious) trend sweeping social media. In the vein of the snack-plate-as-a-meal phenomenon called #GirlDinner, The Wall Street Journal reports that diners are increasingly ordering sides in place of an entrée. In particular, people are going for the combination of a savory salad with crispy fries.
As @SarahhChia puts it in her TikTok video, it’s all about balancing “healthy with a side of fun.”
The best part? It’s vegetables with a side of vegetables. Not only are potatoes nutrient-dense themselves, but also, research suggests potatoes are a pathway to increased vegetable consumption: people who eat potatoes, on average, consume significantly more potassium and more vegetables in their diets.
Yes, you can have your fries and eat them, too. A peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared adults who ate a daily 300-calorie serving of either fries or almonds and found no evidence that the fry eaters had significantly greater fat mass or body weight gain!
Read more about potato nutrition.
Add a protein to your salad, and salad + fries is a well-rounded meal.
This trend isn’t just for eating out, though. It can be a quick dinner at home that doesn’t require much prep with the help of frozen fries to go along with your salad. Not only are they fast, but just like other forms of potatoes, frozen fries deliver essential nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C.
Read more about cooking with frozen potatoes.
If you want to give this trend a try, here are four ways to make salad and fries even more delicious.
1. Potato Dressing
That’s right, you can top your salad with a creamy dressing made better by using potatoes. Check out this Caesar Flavored Potato Dressing, which has about half the calories, significantly less fat, and less sodium than a typical bottled Caesar Dressing. Not in the mood for Caesar? Potatoes can enhance other salad dressings, too! These are also a great dip for your fries.
2. Potato Croutons
Let potatoes add the crunch to your salad as croutons. Roast cubed Russet Potatoes in the oven for a salty, crispy topper that’s not far off from fries. Try this recipe for Crispy Potato Croutons with Baby Kale and Grilled Chicken that checks all the boxes. Tater drums also work on top of a salad; they’re a savory complement on this Fall Harvest Salad.
3. Homemade Fries
With the help of an air fryer, making your own fries at home is easier than ever. You can play with different seasonings to complement your salad flavors. They can also be healthier without the deep fryer, but just as crispy. Cut cooking time in half—compared to using a traditional oven—with this recipe for Spicy Garlic Fries that includes a variation for air frying them.
4. Fry Dips
Ketchup and fries are a classic, but if you want to branch out, try a different dip or sauce for your fries. Malt vinegar and mayonnaise are also common—though you can add different flavors like garlic, mustard, or curry to your mayo to take it up a notch. And if you want to make your meal heartier, whip up a gravy to go on your fries.
Bonus: Potato Soup + Salad
Not in the mood for fries? Don’t forget the classic combo of soup and salad. You can get the filling goodness of potatoes alongside your salad with a Quick Potato Soup, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, or one of these other potato soups.
Whether you’re ordering out or eating at home, you can make a satisfying and delicious meal out of salad and a side of fries! If you try any of these recipes, be sure to leave a review.