This easy chili cheese fries recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, perfect for game day, entertaining guests, or a delicious sharing platter for dinner. With crispy fries covered with homemade chili sauce and melted cheese, these chili cheese fries are hard to resist!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Chili cheese fries are the perfect party food - they're easy to make, everyone loves them, and they're always a hit. In just over half an hour, you can have them on the table and ready for sharing.
The recipe is also perfect for home cooks on a budget, as the chili recipe uses minimal ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
The chili is also packed with spicy flavors, thanks to the combination of diced tomatoes with green chiles and chili powder. And the key to making perfectly crispy French fries is to bake them in the oven before smothering them with chili and cheese.
This simple technique guarantees perfectly crispy fries every time and means you don't have to stand over a hot fryer.
If you're looking for something fancy to impress your spouse with a fancy dinner, cook up a meal for a large family, or entertain guests without spending lots of money, our carefully curated list of the best cheap dinner ideas is definitely worth a look!
🍽 Key Ingredients
These easy chili cheese fries take minutes to prepare and taste delicious. All you need is some pantry staples and a pot to get you started.
5- ingredient chili - For this recipe I use my easy chili recipe that includes basic ingredients like chili powder, beans, onions, ground beef and diced tomatoes.
Frozen French fries - Be sure to use frozen French fries for this recipe, as they will be crispy and hold up well under the chili and cheese.
Shredded cheddar cheese - Melted cheddar cheese is the perfect finishing touch on these chili cheese fries.
You could use ground turkey, chicken, or pork instead of beef.
Diced tomatoes with green chiles
An easy substitute for a can of tomatoes with green chiles is to use 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 can of diced green chiles or chipotle chiles.
To combine with the heat of the chili, sharp cheddar cheese works best, but if you don't have it, other types of cheese like, pepper jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, or Swiss cheese will work.
Homemade French fries, waffle fries, sweet potato fries, or steak fries work well in this recipe if you don't have frozen French fries at home.
🔪 How to make chili cheese fries
This chili cheese fries recipe will have everyone around the table in a hurry with the wonderful aroma created by the homemade chili. Just follow the steps below to get started!
- Finely dice one white onion.
- Remove and drain the beans from the can.
Cook the 5 ingredient chili following the easy step by step instructions. You can always make in advance and have it ready to assembly this chili cheese recipe.
Use cooking spray or a thin layer of olive oil to coat a baking tray and place the frozen fries in a single layer across the tray. Cook the fries in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until crispy or according to package instructions.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the fries to a skillet.
Spoon the homemade chili over the top of the fries, followed by the shredded cheese, and return them to the oven.
Turn the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and bake for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.
Topping suggestions: shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, bacon bits
💭 Cooking tips
Use block cheddar cheese.
For best results, grate your own cheddar cheese so that it melts perfectly. Some packaged pre-shredded cheese has a coating around it that prevents it from melting before it burns.
Coat the fries in olive oil.
Depending on the brand of Frozen French fries you're using, you may need to lightly coat them in olive oil before baking them. Check package instructions for further directions.
If you're looking to switch up this chili cheese fries recipe, try one of the following variations:
Chili fries cheese nachos
Create a double layer of crispiness with a layer of nachos on top of the chili, followed by the cheese.
Chili fries with cheddar cheese sauce
Make a creamy cheddar cheese sauce to pour over the top by mixing 1 tablespoon of butter and flour in a pan until melted and browned, then add 1 teaspoon of onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder.
Whisk and pour 1 ½ cups of heavy cream into the pan until thickened, then add the shredded cheese until it has melted. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the chili fries.
Chili cheese spicy fries
Give your fries a coating of spice by mixing 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and chili powder with 2 tablespoons of olive and brushing the fries with the spice mix before baking.
🥗 What to serve with
Chili cheese fries are great on their own or served as part of a tasty sharing platter with other appetizers like:
These crispy air fryer tortilla chips are perfect for scooping up the chili and melted cheese. They take just 4 minutes to prepare, making them a great last-minute option for sharing platters.
Baked cheese chips
These baked cheesy chips are a delicious alternative to tortilla chips, and they only take 10 minutes to bake. The recipe is as simple as baking mounds of shredded cheese sprinkled with garlic powder until melted and crispy.
This easy Dorito casserole is a delicious creamy recipe that combines ground beef, salsa, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and Dorito chips. It's perfect for feeding a crowd and can be made ahead of time.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I make the chili ahead to save time making chili cheese fries?
Yes, the chili can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and reheated when you're ready to make the fries.
Can I make chili cheese fries in the air fryer?
Yes, but only to air fry the fries to get them nice and crispy. Once the chili and fries are prepared, assemble them as instructed and broil them to melt the cheese.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
Any leftover chili cheese fries are not good for storing as the fries will eventually go soggy, but the chili is great for storing and reheating.
Fridge - To store the chili, wait until it has cooled, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for 3 days.
Freezer - You can also freeze leftover chili for up to 3 months by transferring them to a freezer container or freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheating - When you're ready for some chili cheese fries, bake the fries in the oven as instructed and reheat the chili in a pot until hot, then assemble with the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.
👪 Serving size
This chili cheese fries recipe provides 4 to 6 servings, which is great for sharing with the family.
Chili cheese fries are a quick and easy recipe that's perfect for busy weeknights. The hearty chili and crispy French fries topped with melted cheese make a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to become a home favorite!
Easy Chili Cheese Fries
For the chili
- 1 pound Ground beef
- 1 small White onion - diced
- 3 (15 oz.) cans Diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 2 (15 oz.) cans Beans - drained (black beans, kidney beans)
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
For the chili cheese fries
- 1 package frozen french fries
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- green onions
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- Finely dice one white onion.
- Remove and drain the beans from the can.
- Cook the ground beef over medium-high heat in a stockpot until slightly browned.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked beef from the pot to a separate plate and set aside. Leave 1 tablespoon of beef fat in the stockpot and discard the rest.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Add the tomato sauce with green chiles, beans, chili powder, and cooked beef to the stockpot and stir to combine.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the chili is simmering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or package instructions) to cook the fries.
- Use cooking spray or a thin layer of olive oil to coat a baking tray and place the frozen fries in a single layer across the tray.
- Cook the fries in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until crispy or according to package instructions.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the fries to a skillet.
Assembling the chili fries
- Spoon the homemade chili over the top of the fries, followed by the shredded cheese, and return them to the oven.
- Turn the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and bake for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.