Chili Cheese Fries (Plus The Secret for Crispy Fries!)

Oven baked fries piled high on a baking sheet, topped with homemade chili, melted cheddar cheese, and garnished with green onion.
Recipe At-A-Glance
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Game Day1 hour
Learn how to make the ultimate chili cheese fries right at home. Get the inside scoop on the secret to getting the fries to be crisp as well as how to top them.

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Chili cheese fries are no longer just something to nosh on while you watch a game or while you’re at happy hour with your friends. Now you can make delicious, from-scratch chili cheese fries right at home!

Our chili cheese fries start with a base of crispy, seasoned baked fries. Then they are topped with our speedy stovetop chili, tons of cheese, and all of your favorite toppings! Grab the napkins and dig right in.

Overhead of oven baked fries on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.Overhead of cut potatoes in a large bowl soaking in beer.

How do I make my fries crispy?

I’m going to let you in on the secret to crispy homemade french fries: soaking! If you’ve never soaked fries before making them, I highly, highly recommend you try it out. Soaking the fries helps remove extra starch that makes potatoes stick together and lose their crispness—something that is important regardless of your cooking method, but particularly important when you are making oven fries.

Wholefully Protip

Soaking potatoes before you make oven fries is the difference between roasted potatoes and fries. Crisp and crunchy on the outside. Soft and fluffy on the inside. Seriously kids, soak your potatoes.

Did you say these fries are beer soaked?

Yes! You don’t have to use beer if you don’t want—plain ole water works, too (although, c’mon, beer-soaked fries, people). These don’t really taste overwhelmingly like beer, but they do have a light beer hint to the taste—I think it’s really nice, because I’m a huge beer fan, but if beer isn’t your cup of tea (pint of brew?), you could use water and get the same crisp-fry-making results.

A serving of homemade chili cheese fries on a white plate.Close-up of homemade chili cheese fries on a baking sheet garnished with green onion.

Tell me about this homemade chili.

This speedy chili recipe is a nice way to quickly whip up a small batch of chili without slaving over a stove all day. It’s also the perfect consistency for all your chili-topping needs—coney dogs, baked potatoes, chili mac.

It comes together in about half an hour, too. Just brown the ground beef, sauté it with some onion and garlic, and then simmer it with the rest of the ingredients for 15-20 minutes. Easy-peasy!

What cheese is good for chili?

I like to use a good old sharp cheddar because its flavor stands up well to the strong flavors in the chili, and it has a great texture when melted. We recommend shredding your own cheese for the best taste and texture, but bagged shredded cheddar cheese will also do the trick.

Oven baked fries on a baking sheet topped with homemade chili, melted cheese, and fresh green onions.

What do I do with leftovers?

Unfortunately, even when reheated, leftover fries are pretty lackluster. We recommend gathering your friends and family and eating as much of these fries as possible fresh out of the oven. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge, and then reheat in a 350°F conventional or toaster oven until warm and gooey.

Can these chili cheese fries be frozen?

We don’t recommend it. Potatoes tend to behave unpredictably when stuck in the freezer. This is a dish to enjoy fresh.

Recipe Variations To Try:

Enjoy!

 

 

Beer-Soaked Chili Cheese Fries

Beer-Soaked Chili Cheese Fries

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

Learn how to make the ultimate chili cheese fries right at home. Get the inside scoop on the secret to getting the fries to be crisp as well as how to top them.

Ingredients

For the Fries:

  • 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed clean, cut into 1/2" fries
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 12-ounce beer (recommend: a wheat or pale ale)
  • Water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Chili:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles {recommend: Muir Glen Organic}
  • 1 cup salsa {recommend: Amy's Organic}
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed {recommend: Eden Organic BPA Free}
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Toppings:

  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Place the fries and salt in a large mixing bowl, pour over the beer, and then fill the bowl with water until the fries are completely submerged. Soak in the refrigerator for at least two hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Drain the fries, rinse thoroughly, and then pat dry.
  3. Whisk together the oil, paprika, and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl, add in the fries, and toss to coat. Spread the fries out on a large baking sheet, making sure the fries are only in one layer (you may need more than one baking sheet if your potatoes were particularly large).
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking. The fries will be golden brown on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside.
  5. Meanwhile, begin preparing the chili by browning the ground beef in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until just fragrant and tender, about five minutes.
  6. Add in the diced tomatoes with chiles, salsa, chili powder, cumin, water, beans, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. To assemble the fries, preheat the broiler. Pile the fries in the middle of a baking sheet, spoon on the chili (you might not need it all), and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted. Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Notes

Don't like beer? No worries, water works, too.

If you prefer, you can use melted coconut oil, but the end result will taste a touch sweeter and, well, coconutty!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 996Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 2586mgCarbohydrates: 114gFiber: 20gSugar: 12gProtein: 50g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

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