Best Air Fryer Chili Cheese Fries Recipe

Loaded fries are a meal in and of themselves, but they’re also a great side, snack, appetizer, and game day food!  Now that I’ve learned how to make air fryer chili cheese fries, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. They’re the perfect mix of crispy, cheesy, and delicious!

air fryer chili cheese fries recipe dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chili cheese fries are a great way to use up leftover chili, but you can make them anytime with canned as well. Starting with frozen french fries gives you a leg up on prep time so you can get your loaded fries on the table in just around 20 minutes.

I’ve pretty much always got a bag of frozen fries and some form of nacho cheese on hand, so I can throw this together in a pinch when we’re hungry or have unexpected company. 

chili cheese fries on a plate with a large batch in the background

In fact, it’s easy to swap in things you have on hand, making this a low pressure recipe that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. Plus, it’s simple enough that your older kids and teens can make it themselves!

What You’ll Need

air fryer chili cheese fries ingredients
  • One bag frozen seasoned french fries, any cut (approximately 24-26 ounce size)
  • 15 ounce can prepared chili (any type) or about 2 cups of leftover chili
  • 9 ounce can cheddar cheese sauce (or about a cup of other varieties)

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Any type of frozen fries will do (regular or sweet potato). I like crinkle or waffle cut because I find they hold the toppings on better, but you can use standard cut, wedges, or your favorites
  • Choose seasoned or battered frozen fries for additional flavor, or add some french fry seasoning to plain fries
  • If you prefer to use fresh potatoes, you’ll want about 1.5-2 pounds of russets cut into fries
  • Any type of chili is fine: canned, leftover, with beans, no beans, spicy, vegetarian, or vegan chili – they all work great! You can add more or less as well, depending on your preferences
  • Cheddar cheese sauce works best for that true loaded fries feel. Use jalapeno cheddar or queso if you like more heat. Discover my easy Air Fryer Queso Dip recipe!
  • You can substitute about 1 cup of shredded cheese if you prefer. Cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack, and monterey jack are all great options if you go this route
  • Variations: Substitute cooked, crumbled bacon instead of chili for bacon cheese fries. Omit chili altogether for plain cheese fries

How to Make Chili Cheese Fries in Air Fryer

  1. Cut a piece of parchment paper or foil to fit in your air fryer basket
cut aluminum foil to fit air fryer basket
  1. Preheat air fryer to 400°F
  2. Place the parchment or foil in the basket, and add the frozen fries on top in a single layer (you may need to cook in batches depending on size of air fryer)
add foil to air fryer basket and place frozen fries on top
  1. Air fry the fries for 10-15 minutes, pausing to shake and flip them every 5 minutes, or until they’re crispy to the touch and lightly browned. Very thick fries may need 5 more minutes. For fresh cut fries, cook for 20-25 minutes instead
  2. Pull the basket out, and top the fries with any fry seasoning that’s desired, then add the chili
top partially cooked fries with chili
  1. Return to the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes at 400°F to warm the chili
  2. Remove the basket again, this time topping the chili with the cheese
add cheese on top of the chili fries and warm the cheese
  1. Place basket back in the air fryer, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is warm and melted
  2. Top with sliced green onions, jalapeno slices, sour cream, hot sauce, or anything else you like!
overhead view of a platter of chili cheese fries made in the air fryer

What to Serve With Chili Cheese Fries

  • Corn dogs
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Coleslaw
  • Burgers
  • Sliders
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Sour cream
  • Green onions
  • Hot sauce
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Steak
  • Elote

Try your chili cheese fries with easy White Castle Sliders in the Air Fryer, crispy Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer, or these poppable Air Fryer Mini Corn Dogs.

Recipe FAQs

Can You Make Cheese Fries in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can make cheese fries in an air fryer.  Use parchment or foil under the fries in the basket to prevent the cheese from leaking out.

Cook the fries first, then add the cheese and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until it melts. This method works with both liquid and shredded cheeses, depending on your preference.

Can You Warm Up Chili Cheese Fries in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can warm up or reheat your chili cheese fries in an air fryer. Place the fries on a piece of foil or parchment and air fry at 400°F for 5-6 minutes, or until heated through.

This is a great way to reheat leftovers, whether homemade or from a restaurant.

Expert Recipe Tips

  • If you prefer to really shake your fries around, you may want to cook them without the parchment. Then, remove fries, add the parchment in, and assemble from there.  However, the basket is hot so use caution
  • I use a spatula to help turn my fries during cooking since I don’t want to tear or move my parchment or foil accidentally
  • When the fries are done, use the foil to lift them out of the air fryer basket and you’ll have a nearly clean basket. Hooray for no cleanup!
  • You can heat your chili ahead of time on the stove or in the microwave to skip that cooking step, but who wants to make extra dishes?
  • Especially if you use shredded cheese instead, don’t overcook and add any additional time desired in small increments, as it burns quickly
air fryer chili cheese fries with jalapenos, sour cream, and hot sauce on the side

More Air Fryer Recipes for Cheese Lovers

Final Thoughts

Making air fryer chili cheese fries is so easy, you’ll want to make them all the time! They’re great for a snack, appetizer, side, or general party food. Since you can cook everything in the air fryer, the cleanup is minimal as well!

Whether you’re using canned chili or leftover chili, they always come out great. They’re easy to adjust to your tastes as well, whether you want some heat or not.

If you love your fries with flavor, make sure to check out our Garlic Parmesan Fries in the Air Fryer as well!

air fryer chili cheese fries recipe dinners done quick featured image

Best Chili Cheese Fries Air Fryer Recipe

This chili cheese fries air fryer recipe cooks completely in the air fryer, with no additional pans required. It’s warm, crispy, cheesy, and easy to make with canned or leftover chili.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 439 kcal

Equipment

  • Parchment paper or foil trimmed to fit in any fryer basket
  • Spatula (optional but recommended)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Bag frozen seasoned french fries, any cut (approximately 24-26 ounce size)
  • 15 Ounce can prepared chili, any type or about 2 cups of leftover chili
  • 9 Ounce can cheddar cheese sauce (or about a cup of other varieties)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F
  • Place the parchment or foil in the basket, and add the frozen fries on top in a single layer (you may need to cook in batches depending on size of air fryer)
    1 Bag frozen seasoned french fries, any cut
  • Air fry the fries for 10-15 minutes, pausing to shake and flip them every 5 minutes, or until they’re crispy to the touch and lightly browned. Very thick fries may need 5 more minutes. For fresh cut fries, cook for 20-25 minutes instead
  • Pull the basket out, and top the fries with any fry seasoning that’s desired, then add the chili
    15 Ounce can prepared chili, any type
  • Return to the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes at 400°F to warm the chili
  • Remove the basket again, this time topping the chili with the cheese
    9 Ounce can cheddar cheese sauce
  • Place basket back in the air fryer, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is warm and melted
  • Top with sliced green onions, jalapeno slices, sour cream, hot sauce, or anything else you like!

Notes

  • Any type of frozen fries will do, and they can be regular or sweet potato. I like crinkle or waffle cut because I find they hold the toppings on better, but you can use standard cut, wedges, or your favorites
  • Choose seasoned or battered frozen fries for additional flavor, or add some french fry seasoning to plain fries
  • If you prefer to use fresh potatoes, you’ll want about 1.5-2 pounds of russets cut into fries
  • Any type of chili is fine: canned, leftover, with beans, no beans, spicy, vegetarian, or vegan chili – they all work great! You can add more or less as well, depending on your preferences
  • Cheddar cheese sauce works best for that true loaded fries feel.  Use jalapeno cheddar or queso if you like more heat
  • You can substitute about 1 cup of shredded cheese if you prefer. Cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack, and monterey jack are all great options if you go this route
  • Variations: Substitute cooked, crumbled bacon instead of chili for bacon cheese fries. Omit chili altogether for plain cheese fries
  • I use a spatula to help turn my fries during cooking since I don’t want to tear or move my parchment or foil accidentally
  • When the fries are done, use the foil to lift them out of the air fryer basket and you’ll have a nearly clean basket. Hooray for no cleanup!
  • You can heat your chili ahead of time on the stove or in the microwave to skip that cooking step, but who wants to make extra dishes?
  • Especially if you use shredded cheese instead, don’t overcook and add any additional time desired in small increments, as it burns quickly
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, additional toppings, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 236gCalories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 10gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7.3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 1332mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 3.9gSugar: 6.9gCalcium: 139mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer chili cheese fries, air fryer fries, best chili cheese fries recipe, cheese fries, chili cheese fries, chili cheese fries air fryer, chili cheese fries in air fryer, chili cheese fries with leftover chili, how to make chili cheese fries with canned chili, reheat chili cheese fries in air fryer
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDinnersDoneQuick or tag #dinnersdonequick!
air fryer chili cheese fries recipe dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating