Chili cheese fries don’t always come smothered in greasy chili and gloppy cheese sauce. This easy rendition from Joy the Baker is made with chile powder and spice and a smattering of Cheddar. Less mess. Just as much flavor.
Chili Cheese Fries
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Serves 2
Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and slick the paper with olive oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, chili powder, paprika, cumin, chili flakes if using, cayenne, and salt.
Rinse the potatoes under cool running water and peel them. (You can leave some skin on the potatoes if you want to go for a more rustic feel.) Using a sharp knife, slice a 1/4 -inch piece off each potato lengthwise. This gives you a stable base. Rest the potatoes, cut side down, on your work surface and slice them into 1/4- to 3/8-inch planks. Stack the planks in piles, 2 to 3 planks high, and slice the stacks lengthwise into 1/4- to 3/8-inch strips. Look at that! French fries!
In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, Worcestershire sauce, and grill seasoning mix. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the fries and, using tongs, toss them together, making sure that every potato is well coated. Spread the fries on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. (For the crispest results, make certain the fries don’t touch one another. If you need a second baking sheet, so be it.)
Bake the fries, removing from the oven 2 or 3 times to toss them and then rearrange them in a single layer, until the potatoes reach the desired crispiness, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, scatter the Cheddar over the fries, and then return them to the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese. Slide the chili cheese fries onto a platter, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.
*How Much Salt To Add
Some grill seasoning mixes, including McCormick’s, contain salt. Always check the ingredient list on your grill seasoning mix and if you see salt, you may not need to add much additional salt to these chili cheese fries. If you use a grill seasoning mix that doesn’t contain salt, well, you’ll need to add a decent size pinch of salt to help bring out the flavors.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Rather than follow the directions for slicing potatoes into 1/4″ planks, I opted to use my mandoline. These fries are very satisfying. My husband and I ate most of them straight from the pan before they even hit our plates! There is something comforting and almost primal about them. I particularly loved the crispiness and those fries on the edges that were mahogany brown. Then there were those fries that were almost in clumps due to the melted cheese clinging to them. Mmmm. What a satisfying dish. You could even just make a big old batch of these without the need for anything else. Next time I would add quite a bit more chili, but that is our taste and we do not fault the recipe for it.
First order of business: Find russets that are more squat than elongated. This will ensure that your fries are the perfect length and not too long and floppy. My fries took a lot longer than the recommended 30 to 40 minutes–in fact, they took closer to an hour– but were well worth the wait to dip into some sour cream. I could also dial back the chili powder just a bit.