Chili Cheese Fries

Chili cheese fries

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
962 Calories
60g Fat
43g Carbs
62g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 962
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 60g 77%
Saturated Fat 27g 136%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 2022mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 62g
Vitamin C 14mg 69%
Calcium 589mg 45%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1592mg 34%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Restaurant bar food is fun to recreate at home, and when some of the components are made from scratch, the dish may even be better. This platter of fries is loaded with homemade chili and the perfect velvety sauce made on the stovetop. The combination results in a dish that's creamy, salty, and meaty—ideal for Sunday night football, or any time you want something fun and decadent to eat.

The chili recipe here is quite simple and makes double the amount you'll need for the fries, so you can freeze the extra to enjoy later on. And although you may be tempted to buy jarred nacho cheese, making the sauce is easier than you might think; no roux is required, and the recipe comes together in minutes. The Velveeta helps create a smooth sauce, while the cream cheese and cheddar give it a nice tang. It also gets a little kick from the taco and hot sauces.

Serve the chili cheese fries on their own or along with other game-day food such as Buffalo wings and chips and guac. Just remember to put out forks and a lot of napkins for your guests—these loaded fries are delicious but messy.


Click Play to See This Easy Chili Cheese Fries Recipe Come Together


For the Chili:

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For the Nacho Cheese:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 1/2 pound Velveeta cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 tablespoon taco sauce, plus extra for serving

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

For the Fries:

  • 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen french fries

  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese

  • Chopped scallions, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Chili

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chili cheese fries recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Brown the ground beef and garlic in a large pot.

    Browned ground beef and garlic in a large pot

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Add the tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, salt, oregano, and cayenne to the ground beef mixture. Stir to combine, then simmer on low for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.

    Ground beef with tomato sauce and seasonings

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Make the Cheese Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the milk, cream cheese, Velveeta, cayenne, and garlic powder in a small saucepan on very low heat, stirring frequently.

    Heating milk, cheeses, and seasonings in a small saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Slowly whisk in the shredded cheddar cheese.

    Shredded cheese added to the sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  4. Whisk in the taco sauce and hot sauce.

    Taco sauce and hot sauce added to the cheese sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prepare the fries

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

    Ingredients for the fries gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Spread out the french fries on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet so that they are in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes.

    French fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Stir the french fries halfway through baking to ensure they are crispy on all sides.

    Baked french fries on a parchment-lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  4. Pile the french fries onto the center of the baking sheet and top them with the shredded cheddar.

    French fries topped with shredded cheddar

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  5. Broil until the cheese is just melted, but not browned.

    Shredded cheddar melted over french fries

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Assemble the Chili Cheese Fries

  1. Top the cheesy fries with about half of the chili.

    French fries topped with chili

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Top the chili fries with the homemade nacho cheese.

    Chili Fries topped with nacho cheese

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Add the chopped scallions and a drizzle of taco sauce if you wish. Serve any extra cheese sauce on the side.

    Chili cheese fries with extra cheese on the side

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  4. Serve with forks and plates and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of homemade chili, use pulled pork, carnitas, bacon, or al pastor meat.
  • Test out different cheeses, like Colby Jack or a Mexican blend instead of just shredded cheddar.
  • You can deep-fry or air-fry the french fries if you want to make sure they are extra crispy.
  • Use waffle fries or thick-cut steak fries instead of the regular cut; shoe-string fries are not recommended as they are too thin for the heavy toppings.


  • Make sure when you first bake the fries that they are as crispy as you'll want them once the dish is finished; the chili and cheese will make the potatoes soft as they sit.
  • Add a little water to the chili if it is too thick. You want the chili to be scoopable and to smother the fries.
  • Freshly shredded cheddar cheese is recommended since pre-shredded cheeses often have added anticaking agents that can change the texture of the cheese sauce.
  • You can make the chili ahead of time; it will last three days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to three months.