Low-Fat Chili Cheese Fries

Low-Fat Chili Cheese Fries

Isn't that an oxymoron? Chili cheese fries can't possibly be low-fat, can they? If they are made the #thevegan8way, they can be. These are comfort food, without the guilt or extra lbs. Potatoes are super filling and good for you and so is every other ingredient. So, go on, eat chili cheese fries happily, no shame. This is basically healthy fast food. It takes a little longer than a drive-thru, but certainly worth the health factor and effort. As promised on Instagram, here is the recipe.

Funny little story about that adorable litte hand there. I was standing on top of my wobbly ottoman to capture this overhead shot (the things we do as bloggers) and I didn't even realize my daughter was reaching for the fries. I was focused on centering and just didn't notice it. I did hear her say beneath me, "oh, these aren't cooked yet". Haha. When I was editing my photos, I just beamed when I saw this photo. I swear, something that simple made me so happy. Her beautiful little hand. This is probably one of my favorite photos ever now. I know, I'm a total goober, but I'm just being honest. It was unexpected.

Ok, back to these bad boys.

Big sloppy, messy plate of yumminess right there. This is kind of like a fast food type of chili...simple and few ingredients to meet that craving. If you are wanting a full blown chili recipe, be sure to try my Mexican Chili. It's gotten rave reviews here on the blog and on Instagram and it's 1 Pot!

This recipe is made for anybody really, as it is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, grain-free and nut-free and extremely low-fat. Just 8 ingredients (+ salt & water).

This recipe is full of protein. Who the heck says you can't get enough protein on a vegan diet?? That is the biggest misconception out there, not to mention, there is such a thing as too much protein, which can be harmful to your kidneys. I used to eat a ridiculous amount, yet still felt hungry. Now I eat a balance of protein, lots and lots of good carbs, some fats and guess what, I've never felt better because they are whole foods. Carbs are not the enemy friends...not the natural, plant-based ones. Carbs are full of fiber and vitamins and digest way better than protein. There is practically protein in every plant based food, naturally. Have you ever heard of anybody being protein deficient? Nope. This amazing recipe clocks in at less than 1 g fat per serving and almost 16 g protein!! Yeehaw.

It is super simple too, just following a few steps. You will first bake the potatoes and while they are baking, prepare the incredibly simple chili quickly over the stove and then the cheese.

I decided to get a little creative with the cheese part. After you make this yummy chili mixture, you will take part of it and blend that up with some nutritional yeast and lemon juice and it makes the cheese really flavorful. When combining it all together on the plate, it's a happy tastebud party!

Yum.

Can't wait to hear what you think of these, so please leave me feedback below in the comments after you make them! I love to keep permanent track of my recipe comments, so it’s much appreciated. You can also tag me on Instagram @thevegan8 with hashtag #thevegan8, so I don’t miss it! My feed moves quickly, so without the hashtag, I may miss your beautiful creation!

For another delicious, healthy fry recipe, check out my Low-fat Spinach Artichoke Fries!

Serves serves 4

Low-Fat Chili Cheese Fries

Comfort food made simple and low-fat, without sacrificing flavor! These chili cheese fries are a great way to eat a healthy version of fast food, but actually be good for you. By utilizing the same ingredients in both the chili and cheese, it keeps the ingredient list low and simple. Go ahead, eat some "fast food"!

35 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

1 hr, 10 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes (You'll need about 6 cups chopped 1/2 inch fry wedges)
  • FOR THE CHILI
  • 2 small or 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (184 g, you will need 1 3/4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped (160 g, you will need 1 cup chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (+ 2 more teaspoons towards the end of cooking, see directions)
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (added towards the end of cooking, see directions)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans (290 g)
  • FOR THE CHEESE
  • 1/2 cup of the above cooked chili mixture
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (don't omit!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • Vegan sour cream, green onions, parsley, hot sauce (I only added hot sauce and some parsley)
  • NOTE
  • Please note in the directions of making the chili, you will be adding spices at 2 separate times since you are adding water 2 separate times. This is important to layer the flavors this way.

Instructions

  1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking. No oil is needed! Rinse (don't peel) and chop your potatoes into 1/2 inch wedges. Spread them out evenly on the pan, being careful not to overlap them. Salt and pepper very generously and bake for 30-35 minutes until very golden brown. I did mine for 34 minutes. Then, for extra crispiness, turn on your broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch closely.
  2. To prepare the chili, add all of the ingredients (except the beans and nutritional yeast) listed under "Chili" to a large pan and stir well. Bring to a boil, once it's boiling, turn to medium heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times during. At the end of the ten minutes, all of the water should be gone. Mine took exactly 10 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, roughly mash the beans with a fork, leaving some whole. After the 10 minutes is up for the veggies, add the beans and another 1/2 cup of water, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Adding these at the 2nd part of cooking enhances the flavor, since you are adding more water. Heat through just until thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste and add any more salt or seasoning. I didn't add anything extra. If you want your chili more soupy, add more water, but you may need more spice then. I like mine chunky.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the above chili mixture to a food processor with the remaining "cheese" ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. I didn't add anything else.
  5. Serve the chili over the fries and drizzle some cheese on top. I then added a bit of parsley on top, although I will do green onions next time. Add vegan sour cream, tomatoes or any other toppings you like. I added some hot sauce and oh boy, it took it over the top!

58 Comments

  1. Jen

    First of all, that little hand really does make the picture – so adorable! And second, does your Hubby know how lucky he is? I want to marry you myself after seeing this. I am pinning, of course (I should really just start a board dedicated to your recipes already) and I’m thinking next Sunday when we have friends over for football I can fool them all into enjoying a healthy vegan treat! Fabulous job, as usual – thanks for sharing!
    Jen

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Awww you are the sweetest Jen!! Thank you so much for your kind words! Haha, I’ll tell him that he needs to know how lucky he is πŸ™‚ haha! Yes, load them up! I would even add some vegan sour cream, green onions and some hot sauce and I think everybody would love them. You can tell it’s beans and not meat, but very delicious nonetheless. Let me know if you make them! I really appreciate you commenting too πŸ™‚

      • This would be yum on some baked oil-free chips too! Nachos! Will try this ASAP!

  2. Another brilliant recipe, Brandi!! And omgosh how old is your daughter?? For some reason I had this impression of her being so tiny that she couldn’t talk. But that picture is truly adorable!! And these fries look amazingg. I’ve been craving fries like crazy lately so I’m ear-marking these to make soon!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You are so sweet Erika, thank you! She just turned 3 last month, so she definitely talks as good as we do! In fact, too well, I can’t get anything past her, lol!

  3. EVA

    MMMF thank you SO much for making a batch of chili cheese fries that aren’t nut-based! I have an extremely bad gallbladder and gastroparesis, so low fat is a MUST for me. It’s football night tomorrow, and I now know what’s for dinner!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh, you are so welcome Eva!! Yes, I hear you! I love nut-based sauces, but they are definitely high calorie, so I like to create some really low calorie ones too for a good variety. The great thing about this is even though it’s basicall fat-free, it is still very filling because of all the carbs and protein from the beans and potatoes! Doesn’t feel low-fat, but it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy either.
      Please, please let me know how it turns out tomorrow! πŸ™‚

  4. Chilli cheese fries are my must order at any restaurant, your photos are absolutely mouthwatering πŸ˜€
    Haha your daughter sounds adorable, I often sneak food when my mum is cooking too πŸ˜›

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Awww thank you! I really appreciate that, as I really struggled with the photos this day because it was dark and rainy and I thought they turned out horrible, so thank you for thinking otherwise, lol!

  5. Love the look of this dish Brandi! You always introduce me to new things – Chili Cheese Fries?!
    I’ve never tried cooking fries oil-free but yours definitely still look nice and crisp. Your cheese sauce is so creative too!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thanks Emma! Yes, I guess it’s more of an American thing because it’s a big deal here, but it’s known as junk food here because it’s typically full of meat and grease and fatty cheese. High cholesterol and bad news, lol! SO, I just had to create a healthier, low-fat version because healthy chili cheese fries is unheard of around here! I’m happy to say they more than satisfied the craving! πŸ™‚
      Oh, and thank you! I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy the cheesy sauce turned out with the chili mixture blended up!

  6. Brandi those fries look so good. I really do think the photo with your daughters little hand grabbing the potato is beautiful, its perfect. This is a fantastic recipe.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww thanks Suzanne…it was a happy moment for me, for sure!

  7. These don’t LOOK low-fat, which is awesome!! They look SO delicious and rich. I am all over potatoes right now, something about cold weather and root vegetables!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      They definitely don’t taste low-fat either….extremely filling, but not that heavy zombie feeling you get from greasy fattening fries, lol!

  8. I am totally NOT a potato person BUTTTTTTTT I will try this on maybe some squash or spinach or just straight up IN MY MOUTH!

  9. wow this is the epitome of beautiful comfort food! mmm!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Caralyn, I appreciate that! πŸ™‚

  10. Sue

    This recipe is a winner! I made it for dinner this evening and even though the recipe makes enough for four, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the two of us ate all of it! The cheezy sauce is especially delicious. I’ll be making this one again soon!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me wonderful feedback Sue! I’m so happy to hear you and your husband both loved it so much and no worries, it’s so healthy and guilt-free, that eating it all is certainly acceptable, haha!

  11. Oh my word, I LOVE your daughter’s cute chubby hand so much! What a sweet picture. This recipe sounds amazing and I love that it could be a one course dinner and I think all the kids would love it! Great idea!!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Melanie!! πŸ™‚

  12. Yummers!!!!
    These look so good! That sauce/chilli looks great spread over the big chunky fries. Now thats a great recipe when you think you want to splurge (even though you really aren’t splurging ;-))

  13. These vegan chili cheese fries – oh my gosh! They look amazing!!! And I loveee everything that you said about protein, carbs – all of it! “Who the heck says you can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet??” <– Can I get an amen? πŸ˜‰ Love it! Excited to try these for dinner this week πŸ™‚ Pinned!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Ceara! They have been a huge hit already with readers, so I’m hoping you love them too! πŸ™‚

      • Okay so we LOVE LOVE LOVE these! They have become a regular around here! Such a delicious meal with such simple ingredients (I typically have all of these in my pantry at all times!). My boyfriend LOVES them as well! We both couldn’t get over how “cheesy” they are with absolutely no cheese in sight (and he’s not a vegan at all but a big fan of delicious vegan meals like this!!). This meal is one of those meals that is straight up comfort food and such a crowd pleaser! I only made a couple additions when I made it last time – I added a couple tbsp of cashews when I blended the cheesy sauce and about a cup of tomato puree to the chilli. DELICIOUS! Thanks again for the wonderful recipe πŸ˜€

  14. This is the first of your meals I’ve ever made and if this is any indication of how good your food is I will be making many more. the ingredients didn’t seem like anything special, but how they are layered together creates this wonderful dance of flavors. Hubby and I loved it and he said this tasted just like chili we used to eat when we were Omni. He absolutely loved it! Thank you again and look forward to more great recipes!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Estee for the wonderful feedback and for taking the time to do it!! I’m so happy both you and your hubby loved it! Yep, ingredients are nothing fancy, just simple and easy, that’s what makes this such a go-to recipe for anybody to make! Thanks again πŸ™‚

  15. As soon as you posted the teaser for this recipe on Instagram I knew I had to try it, and I was not disappointed. I was very impressed by your technique for layering the flavours, it works so unbelievably well and the result was amazing. So decadent but completely nourishing and healthy. I made this for my family who aren’t vegan, and they completely loved it. It was so great with lots of coriander and spring onion sprinkled on top. Will be making this one again for sure. Cannot wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks again Brandi! πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Bea, thank you so much for this wonderful feedback!! I’m so happy to hear how much you loved the recipe and I love the idea of coriander on top, yum! Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous photo on Instagram as well! πŸ™‚

  16. […] remarked on how much they love how I layer flavors in my recipes, particularly on my recent post, Low-fat Chili Cheese Fries.Β So, I thought I’d give my personal reasons and a few tips on how to end up with a fully […]

  17. I WANT SOME GODDARN CHILI CHEEZE FRIES NOW. I can’t believe I’m drooling all over your scrumptious dish tonight. I love cheese + fries + chili + everything else on it. What is your favorite hot sauce brand? I’m curious to know your favorite hot sauce! πŸ˜‰

  18. Made these tonight and DEVOURED them! Another awesome recipe, Brandi!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay!! So glad to hear that Megan, thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it! πŸ˜‰

  19. […] Low Fat Chili Cheese Fries […]

  20. […] I posted my Low-fat Chili Cheese Fries last month, they became a popular recipe quickly. Everybody loved them and what’s even better […]

  21. I am SO making these when I go home for Christmas! I totally know what you mean about the protein – such a silly myth! For a while I was eating way too much protein by accident and ended up suffering for it. My protein/carb ratio is sorted now, but I neglect potatoes, purely because I can’t eat them quickly enough by myself and then they turn into tentacled tubers from outer space. Looking forward to making up for it with this recipe:D

  22. My husband and I made this recipe, and it is crazy good! Thank you for sharing it!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Drew! Yay, so glad it was a hit and thank you for letting me know, I love hearing from my readers!

  23. […] originele recept komt van The Vegan 8,Β maar ik heb een aantal dingetjes veranderd. Het volgende recept verdient een plekje heel hoog op […]

  24. […] Brandi’s Low-Fat Chili Cheese Fries from The Vegan […]

  25. Made this tonight and it is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! I’m actually really sad I have to wait till tomorrow to have the leftovers! I would be happy if this is all I ate 3 times a day! Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy to hear you loved it so much and thank you so much for the wonderful feedback, I truly appreciate you taking the time to leave it! Haha on waiting on leftovers….I know how you feel πŸ™‚

  26. […] Nutrition per serving (based on 4 portions): 308.7 calories, .675 g fat, 15.9 g protein, 62.5 carbs, 5.7 g sugar – See the recipe here. […]

  27. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are wonderful!
    I was sitting here wondering what on earth we would have for dinner that was something more exciting for us – this is it πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to try them tonight!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Awesome Sandy! Please let me know how it turns out!! I hope you love it!

  28. K

    Made these today and they were great. I had only a can of “chili beans” so I used those with the sauce and left out the extra chili powder and water. With the cheese sauce I added a roasted pepper and the water from the jar since I had them and I’ve really liked the effect in other cheeze recipes. Also decreased the nutritional yeast amounts, I usually do in recipes, just personal taste preference. I probably used 1 Tbsp total. So, sorry I bastardized it a little bit πŸ™‚ but it turned out great! Very flavorful, and much simpler and easier than you would think looking at the final product. Thanks!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and made it work for you! I really appreciate the feedback! πŸ™‚

  29. This recipe looks amazing and easy! I’m a snowboard instructor nightly after my day job, so going from one job right to the next gets tricky with eating. I’m always looking for something satisfying for lunch that will hold me throughout the night. I’m making this chili and cheese recipe today but I’m having it over some whole wheat penne pasta instead of potatoes! I can’t wait to taste it!!! Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜‰

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful Di! Over pasta sounds fantastic! Please let me know how it turns out, I’d love to hear!

  30. I finally made these tonight, and OH MMMMMM GEEE!!! These are so freaking good! lol. This is definitely one of my most favorite recipes I have made, EVER This will be on my dinner rotation for sure! Thank you again so much for making these delicious recipes that don’t require much work, which is awesome for a mom of 3 like me. Thank you again!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy you loved them so much Kinsey! What wonderful feedback, I really appreciate you letting me know and for your kind words!! πŸ™‚

  31. Could you clarify the directions in step 2?
    “To prepare the chili, add all of the ingredients (except the beans and nutritional yeast) listed under “Chili” to a large pan and stir well. Bring to a boil, once it’s boiling, turn to medium heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times during. At the end of the ten minutes, all of the water should be gone. Mine took exactly 10 minutes.”

    Almost none of my water was gone after 10 minutes, and I can’t imagine how it could be if you’re cooking the pan covered.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi there! With all the veggies and the 1 cup of water, it should be nearly gone after 10 minutes. I’ve made this multiple times and it’s the same result every time. It actually does boil and cook faster covered. Did you measure the veggies to make sure there was enough? Also, it just may be that different stove tops cook faster. You can always raise the heat to make it cook quicker if it’s taking too long. Hope that helps!

  32. I am concerned about the beans, I don’t like those beans I feel sick just looking at them. I don’t have a problem with baked beans though, weirdly. What can one substitute the beans with?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You can try baked beans if you like, but since they are smaller than red beans and have a different texture, you may need to cook them longer to soak up the liquid.

  33. […] aforementioned experience as well as the fact that I’ve never found it appetizing…but this recipe by The Vegan 8 intrigued me, if for not just pure nostalgia and the desire to spread the word about […]

  34. The unexpected things often make the best photos! They’re clearly a great finger food. πŸ˜‰ What a great recipe, thanks for sharing it!

  35. So — as I promised — I MUST share this on your blog with the world πŸ™‚

    I have no words to describe this awesome dish… I made it almost immediately after you posted (ran to the grocery store!) and even my husband, who refuses to try anything from my “vegan cuisine”, found that delicious! But I didn’t share it with him because it was just too delicious; even the leftovers are still ALL MINE πŸ™‚

    THANK YOU!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You are the best Barbara, thank you so much for leaving such wonderful feedback! I’m so happy to hear you loved these so much, thank you!

  36. Hello there!

    Thank for your blog and instagram. They have really motivated me getting into vegan eating. A lot of other recipes call for tofu and things of that nature but your recipes are with real food!. Today I tried finding the nutritional yeast to make these fries but was unable to find it. I went to Wal-Mart and I also live in houston. Do you know which places sell it?

    And also, I see that you use a lot of cashew! Do you know where would be the most economical place to buy it at?

    Thanks so much!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Fernanda! The nutritional yeast is usually in the health food section of the grocery store, it’s carried in most stores these days. I would ask a manager maybe, or you can always order online. I now order mine here from Amazon. It is best because it is not artificially fortified. http://amzn.to/1JQtpS0
      Also, krogers and heb sell it as well.
      As far as cashews, I buy them in the bulk bin section at Heb πŸ™‚

  37. […] 1. Chili Cheese Fries – The Vegan 8 […]

  38. […] Chili Cheese Fries – The Vegan 8  […]

  39. Made these last night again in a long time. I forgot how good this combo is and to take part of the chili to make a sauce is genius. We loved it.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Estee! It’s been a while too since I’ve made them, thank you so much for reminding me I need to make them! So glad you loved them πŸ™‚

  40. I made this half the yukon gold potatoes and half sweet potatoes. OMG and kids πŸ’˜ it. Thank you for amazing recipes!!!!!

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