Baked Chili Cheese Fries are healthy and vegetarian. Great comfort food without the guilt.
As much as I love summer for all of the fresh-from-the-garden vegetables, sweet berries, and light salads that mark that season, I have to give credit to the cold weather months.
Because this is the season of comfort food. There is nothing like a cold and damp day - where the skies grow dark by 4:30 pm - to help a person truly appreciate the wonderfulness of a warm, cozy table indoors and a hot-from-the-oven, cheesy, rich and satisfying dinner.
These baked chili cheese fries are definitely just the thing for those cold weather comfort food cravings. And, since the “fries” are actually roasted in the oven (until they’re crisp and golden) and since the 10-minute chili is vegetarian (made with black beans and a tasty mix of veggies), this complete dinner is also very healthy and filled with nutrition too. The chili isn’t spicy at all – the seasonings add a rich, smoky flavor instead – so this dish is definitely great for kids too.
These chili cheese fries are also really easy. The most time-consuming part of the recipe is the cook time for the potatoes (they require about 30 minutes in the oven to get nice and crispy and golden). So be sure to get the potatoes into the oven as the first step.
Then chop up the veggies and cook up the chili while the potatoes are roasting away.
I love to top this dish with two ingredients that are the keys to lots of flavor.
The first is grated sharp cheddar cheese for rich, salty deliciousness. Layer handfuls of the oven fries, topped with spoonfuls of chili onto serving plates. Then immediately add the sharp cheddar - the heat helps the cheese just melt right in.
Last step (and the second key to flavor): top with lots of chopped chives for the slightest tasty hint of delicate onion flavor.
This is just the kind of meal a person craves on a chilly, damp evening. And it’s full of healthy, nourishing ingredients too. An easy meatless meal to please a crowd!
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