As soon as it gets colder outside, the craving for hearty comfort food grows as well. And what would be better than a tray full of loaded sweet potato fries? So today I’m showing you a super easy and delicious homemade chili cheese fries recipe. These tasty chili cheese fries can be whipped up in 40 minutes, are super easy to make, and will pleasure kids and adults alike. And the best part? Of course, we use this recipe to turn this American fast food classic into a healthy dinner!skip to recipe
stunning health benefits of sweet potatoes
A few years ago, the sweet potato was still a real exotic in the middle European countries. And although it is not actually related to our beloved potato, the sweet tubers are now a popular alternative in classic potato dishes. Because thanks to their sweet note and orange color, they bring a lot of variety to old-fashioned meals like fries, mashed potatoes and stews. And by the way, sweet potatoes are also full of vitamins and important nutrients. So let me briefly introduce you to a few of them:
First, sweet potatoes have a high amount of beta-carotene. Our body can convert beta-carotene, or provitamin A, into vitamin A. This in turn is important for our immune system and the protection of our cells. In addition, sweet potatoes also contain plenty of potassium and magnesium. Both together have a stabilizing effect on our blood pressure and regulate the body’s electrolyte and fluid balance.
Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, Potassium, Magnesium … the list goes on and on
In addition, the orange tubers also contain an abundant amount of vitamin E. This vitamin is important to bind free radicals in the body. This protects the cells from aging too quickly. Indeed, this also has a nice beauty effect for the body. Because this makes our skin look fresher and firmer, as the cells are thus protected from premature aging. And not to forget, sweet potatoes also have a low glycemic index. This ensures that the blood sugar levels do not rise as quickly and we stay full longer.
All in all, sweet potatoes thus contain a variety of important vitamins and nutrients. And even though they are a bit more calorie dense than the classic potato, we should still eat them regularly. Because as we’ve just seen, they’re full with valuable nutrients. But of course, that only applies to the fresh, unprocessed tubers. So leave all those convenience foods at the supermarket, grab some fresh sweet potatoes, and let’s turn them into some delicious loaded sweet potato fries!
Homemade Chili Cheese Fries
French fries topped with cheese and chili con carne? Well, it’s pretty obvious that this fast food dish comes from the United States. Where else they come up with such lavish, calorie dense meals? Actually, we are talking about a popular dish of well-known American fast food chains. It consists of French fries topped with a portion of chili con carne and plenty of cheese. And although the idea is quite simple, this combination obviously tastes great. But of course, you can also easily make them yourself. And the advantage of homemade chili cheese fries is that they can be prepared in a quite healthy way. And how to make those healthy homemade chili cheese fries, I’ll show you now. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
For your homemade chili cheese fries, you will need …
- three relatively large sweet potatoes ( by the way, we use sweet potatoes here because they not only provide great carbohydrates, but also a huge amount of vitamins and nutrients.)
- two teaspoons of olive oil
- some Taco or Burrito seasoning
- smoked salt (in a pinch, just use some sea salt)
- 400 grams or 14 oz of lean ground beef
- one red onion, some fresh garlic, and two green bell peppers
- tomato paste and strained tomatoes
- black beans
- dried chipotle chili and some cheese of your choice
You can probably tell by just looking at the ingredients how super simple this recipe is. The only ingredient that eventual not everyone will be familiar with is the smoked salt. This is simply a slightly grainy salt that has a wonderful smoky BBQ aroma. The smoked salt also imparts this flavor to the entire dish as it cooks, giving the chili and sweet potato fries a great BBQ touch. For the cheese, I would choose a variety that melts well. That’s why I love a mix of the low-fat Eatlean cheese and regular gooey mozzarella cheese. But bottom line, the cheese just has to be good for gratinating.
Homemade chili cheese fries – here’s how it’s done
The first and probably most involved step in this recipe is cutting those sweet potato fries. To do this, you’ll first need to peel the sweet potato with a peeler and then cut it into thin, french fry-shaped strips. Place the chopped fries straight onto a baking tray. There you can season them with a teaspoon of olive oil, smoked salt and some taco or burrito spice. Next, give everything a really good mix by using your hands. The advantage of seasoning the sweet potato fries directly on the baking sheet is that it also greases the sheet right away and nothing will stick to it later.
Now, put the sweet potato fries in the oven at 200°C or 400°F for 20 minutes. And in the meantime we are gonna make the beef chili.
Let’s make some super quick and easy chili
To make the chili, first dice a red onion and two cloves of garlic. Fry them briefly over medium-high heat with the remaining oil and a pinch of smoked salt. Next, add your ground beef and fry until it becomes crumbly, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, you can already wash the bell peppers and dice them finely.
When the beef is browned and crumbly, you can add the peppers and some flavors. For seasoning, you just need some smoked salt once again and your taco or burrito spice. If you don’t have any on hand, you can also use a mixture of cumin, paprika, dried coriander and some cayenne pepper.
After a few minutes, the peppers are nicely soft and you can turn down the heat a little. Now add the strained tomatoes and the tomato paste. And of course the beans. I mean, what would a chili be without beans? I like to use black beans for a change, which are also my absolute favorite beans, by the way. But of course you can also use kidney beans instead. And if desired, you can also add some sweet corn as well.
Just before your sweet potatoes are done, add some heat to the chili. I prefer to use a pinch of dried chipotles, but jalapenoes or any other type of chili will work great too. And if you don’t like it spicy, you can skip this step as well.
Are you ready for some loaded sweet potato fries?
After twenty minutes, remove your sweet potatoes from the oven. They should be nicely soft on the inside and crispy on the outside by now. In order to turn those sweet potato fries into some chili cheese fries, spread the chili evenly over the fries. The only thing missing now is the cheese. Simply cut it into very thin strips and spread it evenly over the chili. Finally, put your chili cheese fries back in the oven for another 5 minutes and then they’ re ready to serve!
I like to serve my chili cheese fries on the base of some fresh baby spinach leaves. This not olny provides more veggies and nutrients to our chili cheese fries, but also gives the whole thing a nicely fresh kick. You can also add sour cream and some mashed or sliced avocado on top of your homemade chili cheese fries. Bottom line, anything that goes well with chili con carne also tastes great on top of these sweet potato chili cheese fries.
I hope you like this easy homemade chili cheese fries recipe and that you give it a try the next time, you are creaving some savory, cheesy comfort food. As always I’m looking forward to your feedback and comments to this post. And in case you want to take a look at the behinde the scene of a JBR photoshooting, I encourage to follow me on Instagram. 🙂
You might also like …
- cheesy, oven baked sweet potato fries – check out my healthy cheese fries recipe
- some healthy Mexican soul food – my super easy Enchiladas
- or maybe you’d prefer a mix of pasta and mexican food? If so, check out my mexican pasta casserole
Homemade Chili Cheese Fries
- sheet pan (oven tray)
- large pan
- cutting board and a sharp knife
for the chili cheese fries
- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes (about 300g each)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- smoked salt
- taco or burrito seasoning
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 400 g 95% lean ground beef (14 oz)
- 2 green bell peppers
- 15 g tomato paste (approx. 1 tbsp)
- 100 g strained tomatoes (~ ⅓ cup + 1,5 tbsp)
- 150 g black beans (~½ can)
- some dried chipotle chili flakes or another kinde of chili
- 30 g low-fat cheese e.g. Eatlean Protein Cheese (~1 oz)
- 50 g sliced mozzarella cheese alternatively grated mozzarella (~1.8 oz or ~½ cup grated cheese)
- 100 g fresh baby spinach leaves (~3.5 oz)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into thin, relatively even, fries-shaped strips. Place on a baking sheet, season with 1 tsp olive oil, smoked salt and a generous amount of taco or burrito seasoning, stirring with your hands to distribute the oil and seasoning evenly. Bake sweet potato fries in oven for 20 minutes or until crispy.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely dice onion and garlic. Heat a skillet with the remaining oil over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, and sauté with a pinch of smoked salt until translucent. Add ground beef and use wooden spoon or a meat tenderizer (see below) to pound it until it becomes crumbly. Sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, wash and finely dice the bell peppers.
- Once meat is crumbly and lightly browned, add bell peppers and season generously with smoked salt and your spice blend. Sauté for another two minutes, then deglaze with tomato paste and strained tomatoes. Reduce heat, add beans and chipotle chilies and simmer over low heat until sweet potatoes are done.
- Remove sweet potatoes from oven, spread the ground beef mixture evenly on top. Cut cheese into thin strips and spread on top of chili, place tray back in oven for 5 minutes until cheese is completely melted.
- Wash spinach leaves and spread evenly on plates. Remove Chili Cheese Fries from oven and serve on top of spinach. Enjoy with sour cream or fresh avocado if desired.
- calories: 579 kcal
- fat: 15 g
- carbohydrates: 66 g
- protein: 43 g