The food experts on The Kitchen are all about making delicious dishes quick, easy and fun — and these super-simple chili cheese fries from co-host Sunny Anderson are like a fast-pass to flavour city.
Sunny’s genius nunya business shortcut? Pre-made marinara sauce makes a hearty chili in a fraction of the time. Once it comes together, the rich, beefy chili teams up with tangy nacho cheese sauce, all poured over a mountain of hot crinkle-cut fries. Why choose crinkle over straight or shoestring varieties? The crinkled ridges are essential for catching all the yummy, saucy goodness. The final result? These fries are the perfect pick for a crowd-pleasing game-day — or any day, really — snack.
Sunny’s Nunya Business Chili Cheese Fries
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
One 28-to-32-oz bag frozen crinkle-cut french fries
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 lb ground beef (80% meat/20% fat)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups marinara sauce (pick one with personality!)
One 15-oz jar nacho cheese sauce (mild, medium, spicy — your choice)
3 scallions, sliced on the bias
1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
Related: 55 Crowd-Pleasing Chili Recipes
1. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Arrange the fries on the sheet tray in a single layer. Bake according to the package instructions. Season with salt.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook until the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beef, salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, breaking the beef into bits while browning, until fully cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and stir to coat. Let cook for 5 minutes to let the flavours meld.
3. Heat the nacho cheese sauce according to the package instructions. Top the fries with the chili and nacho cheese sauce, then garnish with the scallions and pickled jalapenos.
Can’t get enough of Sunny’s time-saving hacks for comfort food classics? Try her tasty take on late-night mac and cheese — all made in the microwave, in one mug.