There are two things I can't resist: homemade French fries and a good chili recipe. There is something so incredibly comforting about both. My usual chili recipe takes well over an hour to put together and have simmering on the stove, so I'm happy to have this quick and simple chili recipe as a substitute when I'm pressed for time and energy. Topped over freshly baked fries, it is a delicious lunch!
I used my mandoline slicer to make the fries. Three potatoes and about 30 seconds was all it took to make two trays of perfectly cut fries. However, if you don't have a mandoline and you aren't sure how to cut fries, do a quick Google search for a video tutorial to learn how.
The only thing that makes these vegetarian instead of vegan is the cheese and sour cream toppings, so if you're vegan, just leave those out and enjoy the rest!
This recipe is from "The Canadian Living Vegetarian Collection" by Alison Kent.

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Cook time: 50 minutes 

Total time: 70 minutes 

Yield: 4 servings

Quick and Delicious Chili Fries


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other high heat oil)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 can tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 pounds baking potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 green onion, sliced
Cooking Directions
  1. If you're making your fries by hand, then you'll want to start with them. Once they're in the oven, you can put together the chili and let it simmer while they finish baking. However, if you're using frozen fries, then you can put them in the oven once you set the chili to simmer (step 3). Either way, preheat your oven now to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for fresh fries, and whatever the package states for frozen fries.
  2. To make the chili: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion, celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, chili powder, paprika, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often for another 2 minutes.
    chili fries
  3. Add in the diced tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes. Add in the beans, reduce the heat to very low, and let the chili simmer, covered, while you make the fries.
  4. To make the fries: Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide sticks or smaller. Place the sticks in a large bowl and run them under cold water to rinse. Empty them onto a towel, pat them dry and return them to the bowl.
    chili fries
  5. Toss them with grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Spread the fries evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the center rack of the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, flip them, and bake another 15-20 minutes. If needed, turn and continue to bake another 10-15 minutes to make sure they're perfectly crisp and golden.
  6. On a plate, spread a layer of fries hot from the oven. Ladle chili over the top of them. Garnish with cheese, sour cream and green onions if desired. Enjoy!

chili fries

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Quick and Delicious Chili Fries
For fun family dinners, this easy recipe is a winner.