What Are Carolina Fries?

The Carolinas are renowned for their iconic Southern cuisine, including regional specialties like Carolina barbecue, shrimp and grits, and Carolina fries. With its crispy coating and spicy kick, Carolina Fries are jam-packed with flavor and absolutely delicious.

So, what are Carolina Fries? Carolina fries are a type of french fry which is made by combining french fries with pulled pork, cheese sauce, bacon, barbeque sauce and coleslaw. Some recipes also add diced pepper, cheddar cheese, and homemade onion straws.

Carolina fries are often served as a meal or as an appetizer.

This article will explore the history, regional styles, and cover popular variations like chili cheese fries, garlic fries, and loaded fries.

Hungry yet? Keep reading to become a Carolina fries expert.

What are Carolina Fries?

Carolina fries are a delicious spin on classic French fries, loaded with flavorful seasonings and toppings.

These crispy fries are often made with starchy Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into sticks and deep fried to golden, crispy perfection. Beyond classic salty and peppery fries, Carolina fries come loaded with chili, gravy, garlic, cheese, and more. Spicy variations like Carolina Reaper fries pack some heat. Other popular styles include poutine with cheese curds and gravy, sweet potato fries, waffle fries, tater tots, and disco fries smothered in melted cheese and gravy.

Part of Carolina fry lore includes topping fries with unique local ingredients like pulled pork, coleslaw, Texas Pete hot sauce, and Cheerwine soda. Fries made with local sweet potatoes are also popular. While the exact origins are unknown, Carolina fries likely emerged in the early 1900s and became a staple fair and festival food. Today they are still a cult favorite across North and South Carolina.

Where did Carolina Fries originate?

The exact origin of Carolina Fries is unknown, but they are believed to have originated in the Carolinas in the early 1900s. They are now a popular food item throughout the South and are often served at fairs, festivals, and restaurants.

What are the different variations of Carolina Fries?

There are many variations of Carolina Fries, each with its own unique flavor profile. Some popular variations include:

  • Carolina Reaper Fries: These fries are made with Carolina Reaper peppers, which are one of the hottest peppers in the world. They are sure to give you a spicy kick!
  • Poutine Fries: These fries are made with french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. They are a popular Canadian dish that is also gaining popularity in the United States.
  • Disco Fries: These fries are made with french fries, cheese sauce, bacon, and chili. They are a delicious and decadent treat.
  • Garlic Fries: These fries are made with french fries, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. They are a perfect snack for garlic lovers.
  • Loaded Fries: These fries are made with any combination of toppings, such as pulled pork, cheese sauce, bacon, barbecue sauce, coleslaw, diced peppers, and cheddar cheese. They are a great way to customize your fries to your own taste.

What are the health benefits of Carolina Fries?

Carolina Fries are not the healthiest food option, but they do have some nutritional benefits.

French fries are a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy. Pulled pork is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. Cheese sauce is a good source of calcium, which is important for bone health. Barbecue sauce is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage.

Making Carolina Fries

If you’re looking to spice up your french fry game, Carolina Fries are the way to go! These loaded fries are a delicious combination of pork, bacon, pulled pork, barbeque sauce, cheese sauce and coleslaw, giving you a unique and flavorful experience.

Get creative and add optional ingredients like cheddar cheese, chicken gravy, Fresno peppers, jalapeno peppers, parsley, green onions and Carolina mustard sauce for even more flavor. With this versatile recipe, you can customize your Carolina Fries to your own taste.

So, why not give it a try?

Key Ingredients

  • French Fries,
  • Pork,
  • Bacon,
  • Pulled Pork,
  • Barbeque Sauce,
  • Cheese Sauce,
  • Coleslaw.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Cheddar Cheese,
  • Chicken Gravy,
  • Fresno Peppers,
  • Jalapeno Peppers,
  • Parsley,
  • Green Onions,
  • Carolina Mustard Sauce.

Unlock your inner chef and add a touch of flavor to your meals with these ingredients! Whether you’re looking to experiment with new tastes or find a combination that works perfectly for your family, these ingredients will be sure to give your dishes a unique touch.

Instructions – Store Bought Ingredients

Smoking the pork is the only cooking involved in this recipe, and it only takes 12 hours over low heat.

To save time, you can always pick up over-the-counter frozen french fries. Once the ingredients are ready to go, all that’s left to do is to assemble.

Get a large bowl and stack, top or toss the ingredients together.

In no time, you’ll have your own homemade batch of Quick Carolina Fries, ready to be enjoyed!

Instructions – Made From Scratch

These portion sizes serve up to 4 people. 

– 8 medium sized Russet Potatoes
– Pork Shoulder: 2 lb
– 1 Tablespoon Salt
– 1 Tablespoon Pepper
– 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
– 2 Cups Of BBQ Sauce
– 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
– ½ cup sour cream
– ½ cup sliced scallion
– ½ cup sliced red onion

1. Cut the potatoes into slices and then cut these slices into strips of around ½ inch (1 cm)

2. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) while you place the potato slices on a sheet of baking paper with the pork shoulder by their side. 

Please make sure that the potato slices and pork do not touch each other. 

3. Now spray olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle the potatoes and pork with salt and pepper. Rub the potato strips together to coat them with salt and pepper evenly. 

4. Pour one cup of barbecue sauce over the pork and rub it on all sides to coat the pork evenly. 

5. Now bake this mix of potato strips and pork in the preheated oven at 425°F (220°C) for 45 minutes. 

6. Remove the fries and place the pork at the center of the tray. Place the tray in the oven again and bake the pork for two hours at 350°F (175°C). 

7. Remove the pork from the oven and place it in a large bowl to shred it with two forks. 

8. Mix the pork with the remaining cup of barbecue sauce. 

9. Take a baking tray or skillet and spread half of the fries on its surface. Spread half of the pulled bbq pork, cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, red onion, and cheddar cheese in an order of your liking. Repeat the same layer of ingredients over the existing layer and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese melts.

10. Treat yourself and your friends and family to some delicious, homemade Carolina Fries with a tangy side of sour cream. Enjoy the perfect combination of flavor and crunch with this delectable side dish!


What part of the pork should you use for Carolina Fries?

The delectable and succulent taste of pork shoulder makes it an ideal choice when preparing Carolina Fries.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, you could try smoked and pulled pork stomach, which is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

What other toppings can you use for Carolina Fries?

If you are a fan of crispy snacks, why not try Carolina Fries with fried onion rings instead of sliced red onions? This delicious snack will be even tastier if you add Carolina Mustard Sauce, a regional staple.

For those with Italian roots, or who enjoy everything pizza-related, adding pizza sauce to the mix can make your Carolina Fries even more delicious.

What types of potatoes are used to make Carolina Fries?

When preparing Carolina fries, Rosetta Potatoes are the preferred choice for their hard surface and low sugar content. Other popular options include sweet potato fries, crispy beer battered waffle fries or regular take-away fries.

Many households and restaurants opt for frozen fries from the store or their favorite fries from a nearby restaurant.

Regardless of the type of fries chosen, Carolina fries are sure to be a hit.

Can I change the measure of the ingredients?

This delicious Carolina Fries recipe offers an estimate of the ingredients needed to tantalize your taste buds!

Whether you are cooking for a few or many, you can easily adjust the portions of each ingredient to suit the needs of your guests or family members.


Carolina Fries are an all-time favorite snack that is made with a mix of french fries, pulled pork, cheese sauce, bacon, barbeque sauce, and coleslaw. These fries can be garnished with ingredients of your choice to add flavors and make it even more enjoyable.

Whether you choose to make it a quick meal or prepare it from scratch, Carolina Fries are sure to tantalize your taste buds and make your day complete.