Transform ordinary french fries into a hearty restaurant quality dish! Served as an appetizer or a family-style meal, these crispy Chili Cheese Fries are an easy comfort food classic.
Reasons to Make this Recipe
Have you ever made chili cheese fries at home? It’s easier than you think! Once you know how to make these delicious fries yourself, you’ll never order them from a fast food joint again.
- This chili cheese fries recipe uses frozen french fries. So easy and you get perfect results without the hassle.
- Easy chili topping. Browned ground beef gets combined with beans and spices for a simply spectacular chili.
- Buffalo hot sauce adds a perfect kick of heat.
- This recipe works as an appetizer or a casual meal to share with the family.
How to Make Chili Cheese Fries
Making your own cheesy chili fries at home is simple. Here is a break down of what you’ll need, and what you’ll do. Remember, the full printable recipe, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of the page. This portion is for discussion, helpful tips and answering common questions about the recipe.
- Frozen French Fries: Shoestring, steak fries or even waffle fries, whatever you prefer or have on hand.
- Ground Beef: Feel free to use ground turkey or even your favorite meat substitute.
- Chili Beans: Choose your favorite type of chili beans. If you want to make this recipe easier, you can just substitute of can of chili for the browned beef and chili beans
- Green Chile Enchilada Sauce: You can also use red enchilada sauce. If you don’t have enchilada sauce available, you can use your favorite marinara sauce.
- Buffalo Sauce: If you don’t want this as spicy, use normal buffalo sauce. I used Franks Buffalo Hot Sauce. This will make your chili spicier, but adds a great flavor. If you have an aversion to spice, you can cut this amount in half.
- Seasonings: Chili powder (Gebhart’s is my fave), garlic powder and onion powder.
- Cheese: Any type of cheese that melts well will work here as well. Try pepper jack, Colby jack, Mexican style, mozzarella, etc. Grating cheese yourself will give you the best melting!
- Garish As Desired: Green onions, black olives or sour cream are garnishes we enjoy.
Steps To Take
Making this recipe is easy. Begin by making your french fries according to package directions. While fries are baking, brown your ground beef and prepare your chili mixture.
Once the fries are cooked, and chili mixture is ready, simply spread the chili mixture over the fries on a baking sheet, and top with shredded cheese. Pop back into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese, then it’s time to dig in!
I love to serve chili cheese fries right off the sheet pan. It invites the family to gather around the table and connect–while we indulge in some delicious cheesy fries!
Tips & Tricks for Homemade Chili Fries
- What kind of fries to use. All kinds of frozen fries will work. Steak fries, seasoned fries, battered fries and even curly fries are delicious with this recipe. I’d avoid shoe string fries as they won’t hold up as well to the hearty toppings.
- Canned chili hack. In a hurry? Substitute a can of ready made chili for the beef and chili ingredients in this recipe.
- Check cook time. Depending on your oven, your chili fries may need more or less time. Keep an eye on the fries as they cook to prevent burning.
- What cheese to use. Any kind of cheese that melts well is a great option. Cheddar, Colby jack, pepper jack and mozzarella will all work.
- Adjusting spiciness. For a spicier chili fry, use hot buffalo sauce. For a milder flavor, reduce the chili powder by half and use a mild hot sauce.
Can I make this recipe with homemade fries instead?
You sure can. If you have a favorite recipe for french fries from scratch, go ahead and use those instead of frozen fries. Air fryer french fries would be tasty too!
What’s the best way to serve Chili Cheese Fries?
Depending on the occasion, you can serve these fries straight from the sheet pan like I do, or you can place the fries on oven-safe plates before layering with chili and cheese. Heat the chili fries for the last 5 minutes in the oven, plates and all. Make sure you are using oven safe kitchenware if you decide to put any dishes into the oven.
How do I store these Chili Cheese Fries?
Homemade cheese fries are best enjoyed right away. There’s nothing like the hot bubbly cheese paired with crispy fries fresh from the oven. We never have any trouble polishing off a whole tray of this appetizer in one night.
However, whatever leftovers you have can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy reheated in the oven within a couple of days.
More Amazing Recipes
You’ll love these other easy recipes:
- Frito Chili Pie
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Crockpot Beef Chili
- Pizza Casserole
- Easy Calzones
- Air Fryer Cheeseburgers
Chili Cheese Fries
- 1 32 oz. package frozen french fries
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 2 15 oz cans chili beans between 22-30oz chili beans works fine
- 1/3 cup green chile enchilada sauce
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp buffalo sauce hot or mild, depending on taste
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded other cheeses can be used as well
- Green onions, sliced optional garnish
- Preheat the oven according to french fries package directions. Place french fries on baking sheet and prepare as directed on the package.
- Brown meat in a medium saucepan, then mix in the green chile sauce, chili powder, buffalo hot sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder and stir on low for just a couple of minutes.
- Once the fries are finished cooking, spread chili mixture evenly over fries and sprinkle a layer cheese on top.
- Cook in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Plate and serve with sliced green onions as a garnish, optional.