What’s better than crispy French fries topped with homemade chili and cheese sauce?! These chili cheese fries are a favorite of ours to whip up on game day or as an easy party app.
Welcome to the perfect marriage of French fries, chili and nacho cheese. What’s not to love?! I love that this recipe can be as homemade or as store-bought as you wish.
We used store-bought frozen fries as the base and then made our own simple chili and cheese sauce recipes to go on top. You’re more than welcome to use canned chili and a premade cheese sauce, but speaking from experience, homemade is always better!
What You Need for Homemade Chili Cheese Fries
- Frozen fries: you can absolutely make your own fries from russet potatoes, but we found that frozen potato wedges do the trick.
- Chili: this recipe is perfect for leftover chili. We made a super simple recipe with ground beef, onion, tomato sauce, beans, and chili seasoning.
- Cheese Sauce: don’t be intimidated by a homemade cheese sauce. All you need is butter, flour, milk, cheddar cheese, and salt.
Why Potato Wedges?
We love using potato wedges for chili cheese fries for a few reasons:
- Potato wedges work great for scooping chili and cheese sauce.
- They’re also less prone to losing their crispiness when topped with chili and cheese than other styles of thinner French fries.
Alternatives to potato wedges: if you’re not going to use wedge potato fries, we recommend any larger cut fry variety like waffle fries or steak fries.
Cheese Sauce Alternatives
Good news for you, any kind of cheese sauce will work for chili cheese fries. Check out some of our other cheese sauce recipes.
We recommend eating your chili cheese fries immediately, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for a few days.
Chili Cheese Recipes
- Chili Cheese Dip
- Velveeta Chili Cheese Dip
- Chili Cheese Dogs
- Copycat Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burritos
How to Serve Chili Cheese Fries
These chili cheese fries are obviously delicious as-is, but go right ahead and make this recipe your own by garnishing with any of the following toppings:
- Sour cream
- Chopped green onion
- Diced red onion
- Shredded cheese (can’t go wrong with MORE cheese!)
Chili Cheese Fries Recipe
- 1 lb. frozen wedge potato fries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon Lawry’s salt
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ¼ medium white onion minced
- 15 oz. canned tomato sauce
- 15 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 30 oz. canned red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Optional 1.5 teaspoons mac and cheese powder adds color and salty flavor
- 1 tablespoon chives minced
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour the potato wedges into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and toss.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with lawry’s and toss again.
- Spread the fries out on the greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Heat a large pot over medium/high heat. Add the ground beef.
- Break the beef up into small pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add white onion.
- Cook the white onion with the ground beef until the beef is fully browned.
- Add all of the ingredients for the chili (except for the kidney beans) to the pot and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
- Bring the chili to a boil and then turn heat to low and add the kidney beans.
- Let the chili simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat while preparing the cheese sauce.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the flour to the saucepan and whisk the ingredients together until a crumble forms.
- While continually whisking, slowly pour the milk into the saucepan. Whisk until all the milk has been added and all of the crumbles dissolve.
- Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle the cheddar cheese, salt, and cheese powder (if using) into the saucepan. Whisk until all the cheese has melted.
- Transfer the fries to a pan or platter, creating a pile.
- Top the fries with the chili and then drizzle the cheese sauce over the chili.
- Garnish chili cheese fries with fresh chives.