Cheater Chili Cheese Fries Recipe -- Vegetarian, Frugal, and Super Easy

Being perpetually exhausted has made me more creative in the kitchen, to an extent. While I love cooking, if I have no energy I need to figure out things that I can make to nourish my body and still taste good, without taking too much prep work if at all (like my French fry tuna casserole). Most quick to prepare foods aren't gluten free or require lots of prepared ingredients, but this one is gluten free, vegetarian, and is relatively "from scratch".

Today I put together this "chili cheese fries" but I call it cheater since it is too easy to actually call it chili. It's more or less "from scratch", using canned beans and ready made French fries. It takes about 2 minutes of prep (depending on how good/fast you are with a knife) and 30 minutes total time start to finish. It gets one bowl dirty, plus a knife and a cutting board. 

While I wouldn't say it is as amazing as my Paleo chili cheese fries, its definitely pretty good for something so quick and easy to make. This makes enough for a large serving for a big eater. If you are smaller eaters, this will be enough for 2 or more.

Cheater Chili Cheese Fries Recipe -- Vegetarian, Frugal, and Super Easy

Frozen french fries (I use enough to cover about half a baking tray, but play around with this)
1 128 gram/4.5 oz can beans in tomato sauce
1/2 onion
1 red pepper
Hot pepper to taste (I used about an inch of a hot pepper)
1 teaspoon taco seasoning or chili powder (whatever you have on hand)
1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder
Salt (as needed)
3-4 slices cheese

1. Spread your fries on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Salt lightly. Bake for 15 minutes.

2. Chop your onion, pepper, and hot pepper, and mix it with your canned beans, chili powder/taco seasoning, and cocoa powder. Salt if needed.

3. Spread over your French fries. Move the outermost french fries towards the middle so they're more covered in sauce, since they are the most crispy by this point. 

4. Top with cheese.

5. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.

6. Serve hot.


What is your favorite fast and relatively healthy recipe? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? If you're a fan of chili cheese fries and make it yourself, what do you put in yours?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. great idea! Will add canned beans to the shopping list. Thanks!

  2. That loks delicious! My fav go to recipe when I want something fast, healthy and delicious: I mix 2 egggs, a cup of tapioka starch, a few enchovies (conserved in oil, I always have them handy because they add so much flavor to everything), one carrot, 2 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds and spices to taste. Today I also added a cup of baby spinach I had in fridge. I mix it all together with immersion blender (in a small tall measuring bowl), it does't have to be perfect, and then fry pancakes on coconut oil. I serve them with blue cheese. They are gluten free, to die for, quickly made, and don't make a lot of mess.

  3. I have made sheet pan nachos a couple of times when there is just 3 of us eating. It is another quick to put together meal. I don't know if my kids would like chili cheese fries. I will have to ask them!

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