Loaded Chili cheese fries
Fast Dinner Recipes

Easy Loaded Chili Cheese Fries: Busy Moms Kid-Friendly Series #2

Cooks in 30 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

In our second installment of the easy recipes for busy moms series, we bring you these tasty loaded chili fries. This kid-friendly dish is easily adapted to your family’s preferred toppings. Loads of cheese make these crispy fries a delicious and straightforward family dinner idea.

This recipe is perfect when you are low on energy and need something relatively simple for dinner! It’s like fast food at home. I developed this recipe many years back when I was a teenager who left home far too early. Over the years, it’s been adapted many times, but the basic idea is the same. The spicy chili flavor is a great fall/winter meal for any day of the week.

If you are looking for more quick meal ideas, follow along with our busy moms’ kid-friendly series. Our last installment was for easy ‘scalloped’ potatoes. 

cheesy loaded chili fries

Let’s get these French Fries loaded with homemade stovetop chili!

I love how we can bake the French fries while making the chili mixture on the stovetop in about twenty minutes. If you use thicker french fries, they hold up better to the weight of the mixture. I like using cheap old McCain French Fries that aren’t rapid bake because you can pop them in the oven, and they will take just the right amount of time to bake while you make the chili.

In your fry pan, you will start by browning the ground beef. This is just like any other time you brown ground beef, so you don’t have to do anything special other than break up the beef into smaller bits. You will also add the spices to browning beef so that the flavors infuse the meat mixture.

You will use a heavy amount of chili powder mixed with ground cumin and garlic powder for the spice. If you have a strong chili powder, you can adjust it to taste. Start by adding two Tbsp and add more later if you feel it is needed. I ended up using four tablespoons of chili powder in this, and it created the right amount of bite to the recipe without becoming overpowering. It depends on your spice brand. I was using a no-name spice.

Add the drained canned corn and kidney beans when the beef is almost browning. To that, add one cup of plainer pasta sauce. I used Canadian Red tomato basil jarred sauce. Mix it thoroughly so that the spices can spread throughout the mixture.

Let that simmer for about four to five minutes until any added moisture is cooked off. You want the chili to be a bit drier to not make the crispy French fries soggy.

Remove the French fries from the oven. They should be crisped up nicely. Spread the chili mixture out over them evenly. This is where the cheese comes in. I used a whole package of Mexican shredded cheese from Black Diamond. You can easily use Tex-Mex or any other shredded cheese you have available.

Once the cheese is on, pop the loaded fries back into the oven so that the cheese can melt. Usually, since the oven is already relatively high, it will melt within 5-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and serve.

cheesy loaded chili fries with green onion (2)

Ingredients:

Ground Beef: Lean ground beef is best for this recipe to avoid the extra grease in your chili. If you do use regular ground beef, be sure to drain it before adding the spice.

Chili powder: This recipe was made with no name chili powder. Adjust the amount used in your recipe for more heat or less, depending on your family’s taste buds.

Garlic powder: This adds just the right amount of garlicky undertones to the chili mixture without being overpowering. If you prefer, you can use fresh garlic minced. Again, that will depend on your family’s preference for garlic flavor. I made this recipe milder so that it would be kid-friendly.

Ground Cumin: This spice brings the earthiness to the chili that plain chili powder doesn’t afford. Because it is a more robust flavored spice, we used a minimal amount to add depth without overtaking the flavor of the chili powder.

Tomato Sauce: Tomato is the quintessential ingredient in any chili. Which is used in this dish to create flavor while not making the dish too saucy. I used the Canadian Red sauce brand to avoid too much spice, which would conflict with the recipe.

Substitutions and Variations For the Load Chili Fries

Ground beef: Yes, ground beef is the most common ingredient in chili, but did you know you can easily swap this out for other ground meat? Whether it’s ground chicken, turkey, pork, or even goat?

Garlic Powder: If you are not a fan of garlic or can’t have it because of your dietary restrictions, you can replace it with onion or onion powder

Ground Cumin: Not everyone has this in their cupboard, and frankly, nothing is more annoying than running to the store for one simple thing like a missing spice. So yes, you can make this without cumin at all. You can also switch all the spices out for a packaged taco mixture! How easy is that?

Kidney Beans: Okay, so not many kids love kidney beans. But we have to try, right? You can use black beans or even no beans in this recipe.

Tomato Sauce: Tomato flavor is needed, but you may find your pantry devoid of any sauce. It’s okay; use that tomato paste staring at you from the pantry shelf. You will need to tweak the spice mixture because tomato paste is somewhat sour and acidic in flavor. You will also need to cut down the simmer after all the ingredients are in the pan, as it will be a significantly drier mixture.

Expert tips and serving ideas for loaded chili fries:

What is so perfect about this recipe is how much you can vary the toppings. You don’t have to top with a chili mixture. Loaded fries can be completed with any ground beef or ground meat mixture. In fact, when I first came up with this recipe pre-internet, yes, I may be dating myself; I used plain ground beef and cheese. That sounds a bit dry, it was. But you can add whatever you like to make this a tasty meal.

Serve this loaded chili fries with green onion, as seen, or add a big dollop of sour cream. If you love cheese, try adding some con queso for added cheesiness.

Whatever way you make it, this easy meal idea for busy moms or dads/parents is sure to be gobbled up by hungry kiddos’.

loaded chili cheese fries (1)

Loaded Chili Cheese Fries: Busy Moms Kid-Friendly Series Installment #2

Amber Bondar
This easy loaded chili fries is a family dinner for busy moms! Simple and ready in under half an hour this ground beef dinner will be gobbled up in no time by your hungry kids! Loads of cheesiness on a bed of crispy French fries baked in the oven make it a family favorite.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 Large Baking Sheet
  • 1 Frying Pan
  • 1 Spatula For stirring
  • 1 measuring cup

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs Lean Ground Beef 1.4kgs
  • 4 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 12 oz Canned Corn 341ml, drained
  • 19 oz Canned Kidney Beans 540ml, drained
  • 1 Cup Plain Pasta Sauce (or lightly spiced) 250ml Canada Red Tomato Basil Sauce
  • 1.9 lbs Regular Straight Cut Frozen French Fries McCain 900gram bag regular straight cut
  • 11 oz Mexican Shredded Cheese 320 grams Black Diamond Mexican Shredded Cheese or similar
  • 4 Green Onions Chopped *Optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven according to the frozen French Fry directions and cook on a large baking sheet until crispy.
  • Meanwhile in a frying pan brown the ground beef with spices.
  • Break the ground beef as it cooks so it's minced well.
  • Add the drained canned corn and kidney beans.
  • Measure and add the tomato sauce stir well.
  • Reduce stovetop temperature to simmer. Simmer for 5-8 minutes until mixture is drier.
  • Remove baked French fries and spoon the chili mixture over the surface evenly.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the chili mixture and return to the oven for additional 5-8 minutes until the cheese is thoroughly melted.
  • Remove from oven and add the chopped green onion if using.
  • Serve immediately.
Keyword Chili, easy dinner ideas, ground beef

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