This Chili Cheese Fries recipe is the perfect appetizer or main dish for parties, game day, or any time the craving hits. Crispy French fries are topped with a smoky chili and a rich, melty homemade cheese sauce. These are a crowd favorite!

There’s nothing more tempting than a big tray of gooey chili cheese fries when you need an easy appetizer recipe. With options like Pepperoni Pizza Dip, Roasted Guacamole, and Meatball Crescent Cups, you’ll never run out of ideas for your next gathering.

fries covered with chili and cheese sauce on a sheet pan

Are you drooling yet? I mean, these melty, gooey, chili smothered French fries are what indulgent foodie dreams are made of!

a spoon dripping cheese over fries

When I dropped this tray of french fry heaven in front of my family, it all but disappeared within mere minutes.

Everyone was a fan, and they’ve asked for it many times since! It’s perfect for game days, Super Bowl parties, and even for weekend movie nights like we enjoyed it for.

fries covered with chili and cheese sauce on a sheet pan

Not only are these chili cheese fries incredibly delicious, they’re easy to make. The chili topping and the cheese sauce are both homemade, making every luscious bite rich and so flavorful.

Ingredients for Chili Cheese Fries

ingredients for chili cheese fries

frozen French fries // ground beef // onion // minced garlic // chili powder// cumin

salt + pepper // tomato paste // can of Rotel // can of kidney beans // butter

flour // onion powder // garlic powder // heavy cream // sharp cheddar cheese

How to Make Chili Cheese Fries – Step by Step

Step 1: Bake the Fries

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper then add the French fries in an even layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even baking.

a sheet pan full of French fries

Step 2: Brown the meat

In the meantime, add the ground beef and onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant.

a skillet full of ground beef, onions, and spices

Step 3: Simmer

Stir in the tomato paste, Rotel, and kidney beans and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until it has thickened.

chili in a skillet

Step 4: Prepare the cheese sauce

While the chili is simmering, prepare the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it starts to turn a light brown color. Stir in the onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and salt.

cheese sauce in a pan

Step 5: Whisk the cheese sauce

Gradually pour in the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. Add cheese to the pan one cup at a time. Allow it to fully melt before adding another cup. Once all the cheese has been added to the pan, continue to whisk until fully melted then remove the pan from the heat.

cheese sauce in a pan

Step 6: Assemble and serve

Add 4-5 large scoops of the chili to the fries then pour the cheese sauce over the top. Serve with freshly chopped parsley or green onions for garnish if desired.

fries covered with chili and cheese sauce on a sheet pan

Tips and Notes 

  • You can substitute the French fries for frozen tater tots, or even tortilla chips for chili cheese nachos!
  • The chili can be made with ground turkey or chicken in place of the beef.
  • This tastes best when served immediately. If the fries sit for too long they can get soggy, but they probably won’t last long enough for that to happen!
  • If making the chili ahead of time or to store on its own, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

fries covered with chili and cheese sauce on a sheet pan

 

More Delicious Game Day Recipes You Might Enjoy!

fries covered with chili and cheese sauce on a sheet pan
5 from 7 ratings

Chili Cheese Fries Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
These Chili Cheese Fries are the perfect appetizer or main dish for parties, game day, or any time the craving hits. Crispy French fries are topped with a smoky chili and a rich, melty homemade cheese sauce. These are a crowd favorite!

Ingredients

Chili

  • 32 ounces frozen regular or steak cut French fries
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 10 ounce can of Rotel, spice level to your preference
  • 16 ounce can of red kidney beans, drained

Cheese Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper then add the French fries in an even layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even baking.
  • In the meantime, add the ground beef and onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, Rotel, and drained kidney beans and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until it has thickened.
  • While the chili is simmering, prepare the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it starts to turn a light brown color. Stir in the onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and salt.
  • Gradually pour in the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. Add cheese to the pan one cup at a time. Allow it to fully melt before adding another cup. Once all the cheese has been added to the pan, continue to whisk until fully melted then remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add 4-5 large scoops of the chili to the fries then pour the cheese sauce over the top. Serve with freshly chopped parsley or green onions for garnish if desired.

Notes

  • You can substitute the French fries for frozen tater tots, or even tortilla chips for chili cheese nachos!
  • The chili can be made with ground turkey or chicken in place of the beef.
  • This tastes best when served immediately. If the fries sit for too long they can get soggy, but they probably won't last long enough for that to happen!
  • If making the chili ahead of time or to store on its own, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Calories: 1037kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 67g, Saturated Fat: 34g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 26g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 187mg, Sodium: 1589mg, Potassium: 1595mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1939IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 392mg, Iron: 8mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.