These baked sweet potato fries are sprinkled with spices, then smothered in an easy and deliciously zesty chili and cheese topping. Perfect as a colorful and mouthwatering side or as a scrumptiously decadent appetizer to set in the middle of the table and share, these baked sweet potato fries with chili cheese are an irresistibly fun treat!
Baked Sweet Potatoes Fries Go the Chili Cheese Route
When a decadent, delicious and cheesy appetizer really sounds super inviting and tempting, then chili cheese fries are a terrific way to go.
Crisp, salty, golden and topped with a simple and saucy spiced beef mixture and a copious amount of gooey cheese... I mean, what's not to love and absolutely crave?
And while chili cheese fries are something that we typically order up at our favorite diner-style eatery, I've come up with a scrumptious recipe using baked sweet potato fries—a healthier alternative—generously smothered in a rich, beefy chili-style sauce and lots of melted cheese!
Finished with a hint of green onion for a bit of extra color and fresh flavor, these flavorful, fun and delicious baked sweet potato fries with chili cheese are the perfect side to burgers, or a colorful appetizer to share with a tableful of family or friends!
How to Bake Sweet Potato Fries with Chili Cheese
When sliced into nice, thick wedges and seasoned with lots of spices, sweet potatoes make for really tasty baked sweet potato fries—savory yet slightly sweet, crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside.
But when you smother those fries in a homemade chili sauce and lots of cheese, you take them over the top and create a whole new fun dish, one that you can imagine ordering up and enjoying at your favorite local restaurant!
Sweet potato wedges roast up in the oven in no time at all, and while those are becoming nice and tender, I whip up a quick and easy beef chili sauce with some organic ground beef, finely diced onion, garlic, spices and a hint of tomato paste.
Black beans would also be a great addition to this quick chili sauce, but for this recipe here, I leave them out to keep things smooth and rich, and more sauce-like. However, feel free to add some beans if you wish!
As for the cheese, I opt for jack cheese for its ooey-gooey meltability and flavor. But using cheddar, or even a combo of both jack and cheddar (or your preferred variety of meltable cheese), would be delicious.
Here's a peek at my baked sweet potato fries with chili cheese recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe below...)
- First, while my oven preheats to 400°, I cut my sweet potatoes into wedges, and season them with salt, pepper, spices and a drizzle of avocado or olive oil.
- Next, I add the seasoned wedges in an even layer to my large cast-iron skillet and roast in my oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until crisp on the outside yet tender on the inside. (You could also use a medium baking sheet or baking dish, and line with foil for easy cleanup).
- While the sweet potato fries bake, I prepare my chili sauce using half a pound of organic ground beef, some diced onion, garlic and spices, plus tomato paste and a touch of beef stock, and simmer just until rich and thick.
- Once the baked sweet potato fries are roasted, I spoon over the chili sauce, top with lots of cheese, then bake for a few minutes more, just until the cheese is completely melted.
- To serve, I sprinkle over some fresh green onions and/or cilantro, and serve.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chili Cheese
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 510 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 sweet potatoes (the bright orange variety), cut in half then sliced into wedges
- Avocado oil
- Black pepper
- ½ onion, finely minced
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons flour
- ¼ cup beef stock/broth or water
- 1 ½ cups shredded jack or cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°, and have either a cast-iron skillet on hand, or a baking sheet lined with a bit of parchment paper.
- In a small ramekin, combine the chili powder and the ground cumin, and set aside for a moment.
- Add the sweet potato wedges to a large bowl, drizzle over a tablespoon or so of the oil, sprinkle over some salt and pepper, as well as about half of the chili powder/cumin mixture, and toss to coat well; add the wedges to the cast-iron skillet or baking sheet in as single a layer as possible, and place into the oven to roast for roughly 35 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife.
- While the sweet potato fries are baking, prepare the chili topping by placing a large skillet over medium-high heat; add in about 1-2 tablespoons of the oil, and once hot, add in the finely minced onion and saute for a couple minutes until softened.
- Crumble in the ground beef, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the meat very well so that it becomes a fine crumble; add in a pinch of salt and pepper, along with the remainder of the chili powder/cumin mixture, and stir to combine.
- Once the beef is cooked through, stir in the garlic, and once aromatic, add in the tomato paste and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir to incorporate, then pour in the beef stock/broth or water, and allow the mixture to simmer and cook for a moment or two to thicken slightly; set aside for a moment, keeping warm.
- Once the baked sweet potato fries are tender, reduce the heat to 350°, and carefully remove the cast-iron skillet or baking sheet from the oven and onto a heat-proof surface; sprinkle over top of the hot fries about ½ cup worth of the grated cheese, then spoon over the beef chili sauce evenly, to cover all the sweet potato fries.
- Top with the rest of the cheese, and bake for 5-10 minutes more, until the cheese is gooey and melted.
- To serve, sprinkle over some chopped green onion and/or cilantro, and serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chili Cheese:
- Medium-size sweet potatoes, unpeeled: If you can find some medium or small sweet potatoes, these will be easier to cut into wedges. Also, skip the step of peeling your sweet potatoes—the skin adds lots of flavor and texture, and helps keep the wedges intact.
- Smoky spices: I'm using a combo of chili powder plus some additional cumin and coriander here, but feel free to only use chili powder if that is what you have on hand. You could also add more “kick” to these with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper—it's up to you and how spicy you like things!
- Good quality ground beef, or other options: Using lean, organic (if possible) ground beef creates a rich, flavorful sauce here, and I only use ½ pound in this recipe. If you prefer not to use beef, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken, or even use a vegetarian option such as a ground soy alternative, which can look and taste similar to ground beef.
- Ooey-gooey, meltable cheese: I love jack cheese because it melts really well and has a mild, creamy flavor, but other terrific options are cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, muenster or even pepper jack cheese—just opt for something that will melt well.