Easy Homemade Chili Recipes
Chili is one of those recipes that requires very few ingredients – typically a protein like ground beef, kidney beans, tomato paste or tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder – and even the most novice of home cooks can make it with ease! If you’ve never made chili before, I highly recommend you check out of my super easy recipes!
Whether you’re looking for a meaty chili filled with shredded beef or a plant-based chili with black beans and lentils or a game day favorite made with a hoppy IPA, I’ve got you covered! Here are some of our family’s favorites:
The Best Chili Cheese Fries
Youre about to have the most memorable party ever with The BEST Chili Cheese Fries! Featuring waffle fries made from scratch, a hearty chicken chili, and a luscious cheese sauce, these fries will have your guests wanting more!
You may have been seeing plenty of French friesrecipes on the blog lately. If youre to me on YouTube, then you know Ive been hosting a #funfries collab encouraging YouTube cooks to share their awesome French fries recipes! I know its August now but I just had to extend the collab by another week and end it with a bang! Ive always wanted to make chili cheese fries at home , and wow was I blown away with these! I guarantee that these will be The BEST Chili Cheese Fries youve ever had, and Ill show exactly how to make them!
Having the theme of French fries has totally motivated me to explore fries in ways Ive never thought of before! If you need some motivation to get cooking, then check out my free guide called 5 Tips To Make Cooking Fun! Ive also got a complementary one-month challenge to get your creative juices flowing, Live to Cook, so be sure to sign up to my newsletter to get those awesome goodies and tag me on to show me your fun fries – or any dish Ive inspired you to make!
How To Make This Chili Cheese Fries Recipe
The big thing about figuring out how to make chili cheese fries is simply time management. Basically, you will need to have several things going at once which can get hectic if you arent great with time management.
However, you also could have some things prepped beforehand like chop veggies or make your chili in a slow cooker, as I will explain below.
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Chili Cheese Fries Ingredients
- Tomato sauce can of tomato sauce
- Wateruse the tomato sauce can to measure
- Tomatoescan of petite diced tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Whipping creamheavy whipping cream
- Cheeseextra sharp cheddar
- French friesfrozen French fries
- Jalapeñosfor garnish
- Green onionsfor garnish
Did you make a pot of chili and now you have some leftovers? If you have leftover homemade chili from a previous meal, you could reheat it and use it on top of your fries. Try making our crockpot chili or even a turkey chili.
Your fries will become soft as they sit under the chili, so once youve assembled your dish make sure to serve it right away. In addition to frozen french fries, you could use potato wedges, sweet potato fries, potatoes, or even make homemade fries.
Toppings are an easy and scrumptious way to add extra flavor to your dish. Try adding crumbled bacon on top as well as sour cream, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, or chopped cilantro. You could also kick up the spice by adding a bit of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to your chili.
How To Make Chili Cheese Fries Step By Step:
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What Toppings Are Best For Chili Cheese Fries
Many homemade chili recipes involve chunks of meat swimming in a rich stew. This makes sense when youre eating it out of a bowl, but isnt as successful when ladling it over fries, as it becomes a soggy mess very quickly. Instead, I make a quick and thick stovetop chili. I let the ground beef brown on one side for flavor, then break it up so that no large chunks remain. I also prefer black beans to kidney beans because theyre smaller.
When thinking about cheese, I weighed the pros and cons of topping the fries with grated cheddar or a cheese sauce. In the end, I decided why not both? I took another cue from building sheet pan nachos and topped the base layer with a layer of melted cheese. It provides flavor plus a bit of insurance to help the fries from getting soggy. After the chili comes a generous drizzle of a rich cheese sauce for that ultimate ooey-gooey factor. Its really the best of both worlds.
When it comes to toppings, I stick to the traditional chili toppings, but you can really go all out. Some ideas are as follows:
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Heres How To Make It:
Start with crispy oven baked shoestring french fries. Make sure to stir them halfway through baking for ultimate crispy fries!
Top with shredded cheddar.
Spread chili evenly over the cheese.
Top the chili with even more cheese!
Finish this off in the oven to melt the cheese and heat up the chili. SO good!
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Tips For The Perfect Fries
- You can use any shape fry you like for this dish. I recommend a larger cut fry rather than the shoestring variety. Try using steak fries, waffle fries, or thick cut traditional fries.
- The chili can be made up to 3 days in advance. I often make a pot of chili for dinner, then use the leftovers the second day to prepare this dish.
- Skip the store bought pre-shredded cheese and grate your own cheddar. The shredded cheese that comes in bags is often coated in preservatives and anti-caking agents and does not melt smoothly.
- Serve your cheese fries right away, as the potatoes will become soft as they sit under the chili.
Chili Cheese Fries Recipe Ingredients
As you can probably tell from the name, this classic dish consists of three main components:
Well start with #1: the chili! Typically, chili cheese fries are smothered in beef chili. In my vegan version, I make homemade chili with plant-based ground meat instead. I love its hearty texture and smoky, spicy flavor in this recipe, but if you prefer, you can substitute regular veggie chili. My Easy Vegetarian Chili would be great here!
Next up: the cheese! Shredded cheese and cheese sauce are both common toppings for classic chili cheese fries. Here, I go the sauce route, loading up my fries with my go-to vegan cheese sauce. Its oozy, gooey, and positively cheesy! You wont believe its made with plant-based ingredients like sweet potatoes, cashews, and nutritional yeast.
Last but not least: the fries! Because I make the chili and cheese sauce from scratch, I use store bought frozen fries as the base of this recipe. That way, once the sauce and the chili are ready, it just takes a few minutes to assemble everything.
Spread a layer of fries in a large bowl, on a baking sheet, or on a plate. Top them with spoonfuls of the cheese sauce, followed by scoops of the chili. Drizzle more sauce on top. Finish the fries with your desired fixings, and enjoy!
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Chili Cheese Friesfor Dinner
These chili cheese fries taste decadent: but theyre actually lighter than most recipes. In fact, you can get away with calling them dinner. Heres why:
- The fries are just potatoes and olive oil. This is part of a healthy diet!
- The chili is vegetarian and made of mostly vegetables. Black beans, corn, quinoa, tomatoes, onions: all healthy, good-for-you ingredients! You can choose a meaty chili if you like, which will make this recipe heavier and more caloric.
- The cheese sauce is minimal. Many cheese sauces pack in loads of cheese. This recipe has just enough. If youd like to go even more minimal, simply sprinkle with a few handfuls of cheddar cheese and pop it in the broiler to melt the cheese.
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Making The Easy Cheese Sauce
The genius part of this chili cheese fries recipe? The easy cheese sauce! Most cheese sauces require you to make a roux by heat flour and butter together first to give the sauce a thick body. But weve created an even easier spin that requires two main ingredients: milk and cheese!
- This 2-ingredient sauce has a slightly lighter texture than most. Its not as thick because it doesnt use flour. This also makes it gluten-free!
- Use whole milk. This makes for the richest, creamiest body.
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Roasted Potato Wedge Recipe
The base for these chili cheese fries is my Roasted Potato Wedge recipe. They are perfect alone, let alone topped with chili and cheese! Most of the ingredients you probably have on hand, so grab some potatoes and get started. This recipe can be done in four simple steps cut, soak, season, and roast.
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How To Make Chili Cheese Fries
Chili cheese fries are a savory treat thats ready in no time.
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How To Make Sonic Chili Cheese Fries
Before you discard your old peanut oil from your turkey fryer try making some sonic chili cheese fries ! This side snack starts off by fresh sliced potatoes soaked in water for about a hour or frozen seasoned battered French fries . If your using frozen fries like I used please be carful and make sure theres no ice clogs in the fries this could cause fryer to boil over which can cause a fire. Start off by heating the oil if your not going to strain the oil , heat to about 325-350. Place frozen fries in a basket drop basket slowly into the hot oil for crispier fries leave fo about 6-8 min. After frying let fries drain for a few then dump into a clean aluminum baking pan. If you have Traeger place a whole big can of hormel bean less chili on the rack with temp set on 250 and the chili can lid opened 95% all the way around but still attached cracked open 1/4 inch. Let the chili heat for about 8 -10 min or desired temp. When the chili hits desired temp remove from Traeger. Take a aluminum pie pan fill with deep fried fries then pour chili over the fries then top with cheese of your choice this video I used Mexican four cheese blend. Place on Traeger that is still on and running at 250 degrees for 6-8 min serve and enjoy!
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Cutting A Potato Wedge
Cut the potato in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into quarters, making 8 wedges per potato. If you have an extremely large potato you can cut the wedges smaller, but make sure that the cut size is relatively consistent so you dont affect the cooking time. If your wedges are uneven, it is highly probable that they will cook unevenly as well.
- 1cupColby Jackshredded
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What Are Chili Texas Cheese Fries
Essentially, chili Texas cheese fries are smothered fries, loaded with all kinds of topping goodness like cheese, onions, jalapenos, etc. There are variations into the meat source, though. Some recipes for chili cheese fries call for bacon and other toppings like green onion and sour cream, whereas others have ground beef chili or a chili made with beef stew meat.
Most of the Texas chili cheese fries variations I have tried were no bean chili varieties. This includes the Texas cheese chili fries on the Big Orange menu which I have modeled my homemade chili cheese fries after.
Also, many versions of Texas style chili do not seem to have a heavy tomato base as you often find in other chili.
How To Make The Best Chili Cheese Fries
If you choose to use dried beans:
Rinse the beans and add to the pot of the Instant Pot. Fill the pot with water such that the water covers the beans by 1 inch. Add 1 bay leaf and season with salt
Close the Instant Pot lid and set the Instant Pot to Sealing mode. Select Pressure Cook setting and cook for 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally once done cooking.
Drain the beans and set aside for later.
Start with the chilli:
Set and pan on medium heat and once warm, add the olive oil. Add chopped garlic and onions. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in the minced meat and break any large chunks of meat into smaller pieces. While the meat cooks, add the dried spices and the can of Mexican green chilies. Add a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook until the mixture is fragrant and the meat is no longer pink.
Add diced tomatoes, all of the beans , broth, sugar, tomato paste and 1 Tbsp of fresh oregano. Season with some more salt, stir well and bring to a simmer.
Turn the heat to low to maintain a lazy simmer. Gently cook for at least 20 minutes to 45 minutes until the gravy has thickened slightly to your liking. Check and adjust for seasoning.
While the chilli is simmering, start the fries:
Rinse and wash the potatoes well. You may peel the potato or keep the skin on.
Add the cut potatoes in a large bowl and fill with cold water and soak for about 25 minutes . In the meanwhile, set a large pot of water to boil.
Set Air Fryer to Air Fry mode at 400F and cook for 15 minutes.
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How To Make Chili Cheese Fries:
What To Serve It With
What I like best about this chili cheese fries recipe is that it goes well with so many other types of food.
- Pair it up with Chicken Bacon Skewers
You can also treat this like an appetizer or just decide that all you want to eat is a massive plate of chili cheese fries. Its totally up to you.
Change it up and enjoy every single bite loaded with cheese and chili. Loaded fries dont get any better than this!
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