These Chili's Texas Cheese Fries are made with homemade fries, shredded cheese, bacon, jalapeños and green onions, served with a side of ranch.
Ingredients in cheese fries
You don't need many ingredients to make these yummy cheese fries! Here's what you need:
- olive oil
- Russet potatoes (or frozen fries and no oil)
- cheddar cheese, shredded
- bacon or turkey bacon
- green onions
- pickled jalapenos
- ranch dressing
How to make this recipe
Here's how to make these delicious loaded fries:
- Wash potatoes, then slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Rinse to remove starch, then dry thoroughly.
- Add fries to a parchment-lined baking sheet, then toss with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Alternatively, skip these two steps and just use frozen fries.
- Bake fries for 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prep toppings while fries cook.
- When fries are cooked, top with cheese and bake until cheese is fully melted.
- Remove from oven then top with bacon, green onions and jalapenos.
- Serve with side of ranch and enjoy!
What are Texas cheese fries?
In addition to being ridiculously delicious, these fries are a popular appetizer at Chili's restaurants, and many other restaurants as well.
Basically, they are fully loaded French fries. As in, toppings galore! Bacon, cheese, scallions, sour cream, and jalapenos. What more could you want in pure comfort food?!
- Potatoes – The best potatoes to use for fries are either russet potatoes or sweet potatoes. You could also use frozen fries to cut down on cooking and prep time.
- Cheese – I use cheddar but honestly, you can use any type of shredded cheese that you like. For the gooiest cheese, you'll want to use a soft cheese; they melt better than hard cheeses.
- Bacon – If you're watching your sodium intake, you can use low-sodium bacon, or to cut the calories a tiny bit, use turkey bacon.
- Jalapenos – You can sub in banana peppers for less heat, or leave out the jalapenos altogether if you don't like a lot of spice.
Tricks to homemade fries
Unless you own a deep fryer, when you make French fries at home, it is done a bit differently than how they're made at a restaurant.
But the good news is, because they're baked and not fried, these homemade fries are healthier too! Here are some tips for making them perfectly crispy:
- Use the right type of potato. It's super important to use a starchy potato like russets (Idaho). Thin skin (waxy) potatoes like baby reds are only going to dry out in the oven. Simply put, they do not have enough moisture content.
- Soak the potatoes, and parboil them if you have time. At the very least, rinse the excess starch from the potatoes. Boiling them for 3 minutes to partially cook them before they go in the oven is even better.
- Apply oil generously. To brown and become crispy, the potatoes need some fat. Ghee, avocado or olive oil, or clarified butter work well. Don't be shy about it… drizzle them well, but don't drown them.
- Don't forget the seasoning! Salt is a flavour enhancer; don't be afraid to use it.
Calories in my recipe vs Chili's
There is a huge difference in calories between oven baked fries and those that are fried in oil.
One serving of my fries, including the toppings, has 490 calories. In comparison, a half-order serving of Chili's Texas cheese fries has 1,340 calories! (source)
More topping ideas
There are plenty of things you can pile on top of the fries. Pretty much anything that goes well on a baked potato will taste great on these fries.
- Sour cream
- Black beans
- Shredded beef or chicken
- Avocado or guacamole
- Pico de Gallo
Storing and reheating
Cover any leftovers on a plate with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cheese will turn a bit slimey if you try to store them for any longer than that.
If you have ever tried to reheat fries from a restaurant, you know that it can be tricky. Not impossible, but tricky.
You'll have the best success reheating them on a sheet pan in a very hot oven. I suggest baking at 425 F. for about 15 minutes, then check to see if they're warm enough for you. If not, pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes.
More Chili's copycat recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on storing any leftovers
Chili's Texas Cheese Fries
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Russet potatoes cut into fries
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 slices bacon or turkey bacon
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp pickled jalapenos
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing, to serve
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Wash potatoes, then slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Rinse to remove starch, then dry thoroughly. Add to a parchment-lined baking sheet, then toss with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Alternatively, use frozen fries.
- Bake fries for 14 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fry bacon in a pan on the stove and prep cheese, green onions and jalapenos.
- When fries are cooked through, top with cheese and cook another 3-5 minutes until cheese is fully melted.
- Remove from oven then top with bacon, green onions and jalapenos. Serve with side of ranch and enjoy!