These crinkle-cut crab fries are liberally dusted with Old Bay seasoning and served with a Cheddar cheese sauce. This popular Philadelphia side dish is the ultimate comfort food and perfect to serve with any of your game day favorites.
What are crab fries?
Despite the name, there is no crab meat in this delicious crab fries recipe. Instead, crab fries were popularized by Chickie's and Pete's in Philadelphia. They use a crab seasoning blend on crinkle-cut French fries and serve them with a white cheese sauce. You will now find this regional favorite served at many stadiums.
Chickie's and Pete's seasoning has become such a big deal you can even buy chips flavored with their crab seasoning.
Ingredients you will need to make them
- Crinkle Cut French Fries - Or use homemade French fries
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Half and half
- Cream cheese
- Cheddar cheese
Making the French Fries
Traditionally crinkle cut fries are used with this recipe because the ridges hold the seasoning best. You can pick up your favorite brand of frozen fries at the grocery store and bake them in your oven, or deep fry them by following the package instructions. Obviously, deep frying would be more authentic.
As a general guideline, frozen crinkle cut fries can be baked at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or deep fried in 375 degree hot oil for 5 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.
After the fries are cooked, place fries in a large bowl and give them a couple of tosses with Old Bay seasoning. If your fries are too dry for seasoning to stick you can lightly spray them with non-stick cooking spray or toss them in oil. Using an olive oil sprayer would be ideal.
Making the Cheese Sauce
These Old Bay fries are served with a modified version of my cheese sauce recipe for fries. If you don't feel like going through the effort of making a cheese sauce from scratch, you can always cheat and buy a premade sauce from the grocery store.
Making your own cheese sauce from scratch is easy though. You start by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and mix in the butter to form a roux. Keep mixing for 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
Next, melt in the cream cheese and stir it in until no lumps can be seen. Then begin adding the half and half a few splashes at a time, followed by the milk. Once the liquid has been added you can melt in the Cheddar a handful at a time.
Tip: If your cheese sauce is too thin let it simmer briefly, it will thicken as it cooks. If it is too thick, dribble in a little milk.
What to serve with these fries
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- 16 ounces crinkle cut fries frozen
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ cup milk
- 6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Bake fries in a single layer on a baking sheet for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Alternatively, for crispier fries, they can be deep fried in 375 oil for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. The total time can vary so please refer to your package directions.
- Place fries in a large bowl immediately after finishing cooking and add Old Bay seasoning to season fries. Toss to coat.*
- While fries cook prepare the cheese sauce by first melting butter in a medium saucepan then mixing in flour. Cook the mixture for three minutes while stirring.
- Stir in the cream cheese and mix until it is blended with the flour mixture and no lumps are seen.
- Slowly mix in half and half and milk a couple of splashes at a time until all of it has been added. Then melt in the Cheddar cheese a handful at a time and add salt.
- If the sauce is too thin, simmer it briefly to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick dribble in a little more milk.
- Place fries in a serving dish and top fries with cheese sauce or serve on the side.