That’s right. Chili cheese fries. On a healthy food blog.
This American bar favorite is easier to “healthify” than you might think. Start with thickly cut crispy potato wedges – roasted with a bit of cooking spray rather than fried in a vat of oil… then layer on a homemade chili that’s heavy on veggies & beans and light on meat… and finish off with a
drizzle pool of low fat – but silky smooth and flavorful – homemade cheese sauce.
A few notes:
- I used a white cheddar, thus the pale-hued cheese sauce. If you’re looking for that authentic cheese sauce color, opt for a yellow cheddar.
- If you don’t have leftover chili hangin’ out in the fridge, go ahead and used a canned version. Amy’s Kitchen has some tasty and healthy options. As canned chili tends to be high in sodium, I recommend omitting the salt from the oven fries and cheese sauce if you’re going the canned route.
- If you prefer lots of cheese sauce, double the amount of butter, flour, milk and cheese; follow steps 5-10 as written below.
- For a thicker cheese sauce, double only the amount of cheese.
Chili Cheese Fries
- 2 large or 3 medium-sized russet potatoes, scrubbed and each cut into 8 wedges
- canola or olive oil cooking spray
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- about 2 cups of your favorite chili (I used leftover Fiery Red Chili)
- 1 Tbsp butter or Earth Balance
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup 50% reduced fat shredded jalapeno cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place potato wedges on a baking sheet, spray evenly with cooking spray, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Bake potato wedges for 40 minutes, flipping once after 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the chili in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot.
- Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add in the butter, and heat until melted. Sprinkle in the flour, and whisk into the butter for 1 minute.
- Slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly.
- Lower heat to medium, and continue whisking until mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, add in the cheese, and whisk until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the crispy potato wedges topped with the hot chili and melty cheese sauce.