Chili Cheese Fries

Chili cheese fries

Leah Maroney

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 tray (serves 6)

This platter of fries is loaded with homemade chili and the perfect velvety sauce. Making nacho cheese is way easier than you think. No roux is needed and it comes together in minutes. The Velveeta helps create a smooth sauce, while the cream cheese and cheddar gives it a nice tang. It gets a little kick from the taco and hot sauces.

Added to the fries with chili, you get a dish that's creamy, salty, and meaty—everything you want for Sunday night football, though any night can be brought to a new tasty level with chili cheese fries. Just remember that you're going to need a fork and about a thousand napkins to make your way through the tray.

Ingredients

  • 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen french fries
  • For the Chili
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 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 shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon taco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Chili

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  2. Brown the ground beef and garlic in a large pot.

    chili cheese fries
    Leah Maroney 
  3. Add the tomato sauce and spices to the ground beef mixture. Stir to combine, then simmer on low for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney

Prepare the Cheese Sauce and Fries

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  2. Spread out the French fries on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet so that they are in an even layer. Bake in a preheated 425 F oven for 25 minutes.

    chili cheese fries
    Leah Maroney
  3. Heat the milk, spices, cream cheese, and Velveeta in a small saucepan on very low heat, stirring frequently.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  4. Slowly whisk in the shredded cheddar cheese.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  5. Whisk in the hot sauce and taco sauce.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  6. Stir the French fries halfway through baking to ensure they are crispy on all sides.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  7. Pile the French fries onto the center of the baking sheet and top them with the remaining shredded cheddar.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  8. Broil the baking sheet until the cheese is just melted, but not browned.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  9. Top the cheesy fries with about half of the chili.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  10. Top the chili fries with the homemade nacho cheese.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  11. Add chopped scallions and extra taco sauce if you wish.

    chili cheese fries
     Leah Maroney
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Make sure when you bake the fries that they are as crispy as you want them. This may require some flipping and stirring while they're in the oven. You can also deep fry the fries if you want to make sure you have extra crispy ones.
  • Add a little water to the chili if it is too thick. You want the chili to be scoopable and to smother the fries.
  • Make sure to freshly shred the cheddar cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses often have added anti-caking agents that can change the texture of the cheese sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • You can create amazing loaded fries with lots of different ingredients. Try out pulled pork, al pastor meat, carnitas, or bacon instead of homemade chili.
  • Test out different cheeses, like Colby Jack or a Mexican blend instead of just shredded cheddar.