Spicy vegetarian chili cheese fries satisfy any and all comfort food cravings, while remaining meat-free and delicious.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by BeyondMeat. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen!
vegetarian chili cheese fries

Oh, so we’re eating our feelings now, are we?

Mine taste like cheesy spicy chili-smothered french fries.



This meant a whole weekend of making “life-altering” (I use the term loosely) decisions about what size address label stickers to use, whether we should put the RSVP cards inside the return envelopes or not, and what the proper way to address a formal invitation is if the wife is a doctor but the husband isn’t (Dr. and Mr., in case you ever find yourself in a similar quandary).

Plus a trip to Men’s Wearhouse that ended in the.boy screaming at the manager that we would not be giving them our business at any point in the near future.

I think we should count our lucky stars that my feelings didn’t also come with a quart of cookie dough ice cream and a vat of hot fudge.

Wake me when November ends?


Thankfully there are few crises in this world that cheesy bowls of comfort can’t smooth over. And these chili cheese fries are no exception. (I’m convinced they would do wonders in the Middle East.)

Not only are they smothered in the kind of ooey gooeyness that makes any day seem like a good one, but they’re kind of good for you. (<–Craziness.)

I’m usually a beans-in-my-chili kind of gal, but sometimes you want something that has a more meaty texture, without the whole came-from-an-animal thing. I recently discovered BeyondMeat’s Beef-Free Crumbles in the freezer aisle at my local grocery store, and they have quickly weaseled their way into my chili pot, which, if you know how highly I value my chili, is no easy feat.

Made from non-GMO pea protein, these beef-free beefy bites have the same protein content and amino acid composition as beef, but without all the cholesterol and saturated fat. Not to mention that they are also gluten-free, soy free, and Kosher. Texturally, they mimic ground beef very accurately, and so it’s no coincidence that BeyondMeat describes them as the “meat” of the future. After all, more and more people are looking to incorporate meat-free meals into their lives, and being that this tastes so much like meat, adding it into your meals is an easy way to do so. You can find out more about BeyondMeat in their NY Times feature or from their stint on The Today Show! Check out their store locator to see where you can find BeyondMeat in your area.

To encourage my readers to try BeyondMeat, they have offered to give away 6 SWAG kits to my readers, which include all kinds of cool products and lots of free coupons, in addition to one $100 gift card to a BeyondMeat product retailer of your choice (Whole Foods would be one of them, but so are many natural food stores!). In addition, every entrant will receive a FREE BeyondMeat product coupon. There’s no downside to entering when everyone’s a winner! See the widget below for details on how to enter!

PicMonkey Collage

I’ve taken a few shortcuts so that these can be on the table A.S.A.P, because I think we all know that when a craving for comfort hits, it comes hard and fast and takes no prisoners.  Frozen fries are thrown in the oven while the chili simmers away on the stovetop, getting all deep smoky and spicy. The chili is then spread on top of the pan of cooked fries along with a hearty sprinkling of grated cheddar, and then the whole hot mess is sent back to the oven for a few minutes to get all melty and whatnot.

So much better than if my feelings tasted like celery sticks, don’t you think?

Vegetarian Chili Cheese Fries
Spicy vegetarian chili cheese fries satisfy any and all comfort food cravings, while remaining meat-free and delicious.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 22 oz frozen French fries
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 11 oz beef-free crumbles
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 6 oz spicy cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Heat oven to 425. Arrange the frozen fries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot. To the pot, add the onions and pepper, along with salt and black pepper to taste. Saute over medium heat until peppers start to soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Stir the beef-free crumbles into the pot and saute for a few minutes, until warmed through.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, smoked paprika, tomato paste, brown sugar, and vinegar into the sauce. Simmer until starting to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. When the fries are done cooking, top them with the chili and the grated cheese. Put back in the oven and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve hot.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

For more cheesy comfort, check out these:

spicy chard mac n cheese bites

Spicy Chard Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites

artichoke enchiladas

Artichoke Enchiladas

eggplant mozzarella and saffron rice bake

Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake

From Around the Web:

Smoked Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Baked BBQ Tofu from Oh My Veggies

Baked Goat Cheese from The Wicked Noodle

Burrata and Jalapeno Corn Grilled Cheese from Climbing Grier Mountain

Peppery Cheese Bread from Taste and Tell

Baked Mozzarella Sticks from Diethood


Share →

66 Responses to Vegetarian Chili Cheese Fries

  1. Sune Moolman says:

    Joanne, this is brilliant!
    When I eat my feelings, it usually involves loads of cheese as well. 🙂
    This looks so inviting – gotta get me some chili cheese fries!

  2. Krista says:

    You’re amazing, Joanne. 🙂 Even in the midst of mayhem and craziness, you still make us laugh. 🙂

  3. I remember those fun times of getting the invites out! So many decisions about the smallest details EVER. 🙂
    I definitely think these chili cheese fries are a must for anyone during the process of wedding planning!

  4. So exciting!! Getting back all the responses is the best. I rarely get mail, so seeing all the little envelopes with “will attend” inside made me so happy!! Also, these fries? I love.

  5. If this is what your feelings taste like, I’ll gladly take a big ole plate of em. Because I stopped eating meat when I was basically in the womb, I’d never had chili cheese fries until I was 24! I have a lot of lost time to make up for, starting with these. NOMMMM.

  6. My 16 year old son is vegetarian now and I am trying to get him more variety in his meals. I haven’t heard of this product so thanks for sharing!

  7. Julia says:

    My feelings taste like an entire pizza with a “side” of vegetarian chili fries, and by “side” I mean that ther whole tray of yuuuuuuuuum! Plus washed down with an ice cold marg. I’m dying here, sister!

  8. Hannah says:

    So freaking awesome! I’m an unapologetic fan of Beyond Meat and everything they make, which is a semi big deal since I’m typically hesitant to try most faux-meaty products. I love how you’ve used the beefy crumbles to turn french fries into a legitimate meal, so now I can easily convince myself that this is a balanced dinner option. Score!

  9. Johanna GGG says:

    I want to like this but am unsure about the meat crumbles and unsure about anything – even ketchup – on my fries and yet it looks so delicious and sounds so good that maybe I might have a little taste and maybe just love it – and I hope it was the sustenance you needed after getting the invitations out – must feel like yet another milestone passed

  10. I’m all about cheesy fries even if they’re vegetarian. Still fries!

  11. Wow, talk about a delicious looking meal! I used to love chili cheese fries, but these vegetarian ones are obviously lighter!

  12. Christina says:

    Your planning updates bring laughter to my Mondays. Thank you 🙂 These fries look delish!

  13. Ummmm yes please! I would like to eat ALLLLL of them! Love the use of the crumbles in this too! I know this would fool any meat lover!

  14. Can’t wait to get my invite in the mail!!

  15. danielle says:

    One of my all time favorite comfort foods/guilty cravings.

  16. Monique says:

    Looks amazing!
    BTW, Brent hated Men’s Warehouse for his wedding day attire. He is now getting a suit from Askel Paris in Soho. Tailor made suits around $800. I don’t know how your fiancé likes his suits but if he hated Men’s Warehouse maybe he has something in common with brent lol.

  17. A lot of things could be made better by eating a batch of these cheese fries!

  18. Hi!! I don’t believe I’ve ever read your blog (although I’ve known of it, of course) and I’m so happy I finally did. Your writing is fantastic. Love your sense of humor and what great photography! Not to mention that I need these fries immediately! I’m not a meatless girl but this may convert me (not kidding).

  19. ps. I forgot to thank you for linking to my Baked Goat Cheese. Thank you 🙂

  20. oh, wedding invites. i am quite familiar with “dr. and mr.” and “reverend and mr.” and all other variations. it was a mess, and someone the address spreadsheet got messed up and some of my husband’s distant relatives had their last names switched which resulted in receiving an angry email from his great aunt saying they would NOT be attending because i was so rude. ummm, okay? this was over 5 years ago and i still haven’t met them, haha.

    on the other hand, these chili cheese fries sound fab!!

  21. Wow! I definitely need to check out Beyond Meat because these chili cheese fries look incredible!

  22. I am dying for these – I WANT THE WHOLE PAN!

  23. So chili cheese fries may be my absolute favorite homemade eat-your-feelings-food. I LOVE this!

    Also, happy start of the “Yes! Someone Else Responded!” phase 🙂

  24. One step closer to getting all the wedding preparation done! The pea protein sounds very interesting 🙂

  25. Tina says:

    Great post and wonderful giveaway, Joanne! I am not on Facebook so alas, I can’t enter but it is a great giveaway. When I was vegetarian (twice in my life for a 6 year and then 9 year period) I love the texturized vegetable protein for my chili or casseroles. Great stuff here. So. Jealous!

  26. chloe says:

    this is making me to hungry right now!

  27. I’m happy to help you eat your feelings any time, I’m very good at that!

  28. I could totally sink my teeth into these! Now I’m really hungry for cheese fries.
    Happy Monday!

  29. cheri says:

    This is exactly what I am craving this time of the year, comfort food. I need a break from all the salads.

  30. o man..I want to dig in the tray! This looks amazingly delicious and comforting!

  31. Kate says:

    I love “bar food” like chili fries and nachoes. And I make them just like you – baking tray so each piece gets a little topping!

  32. Veronica says:

    I’m excited about those crumbles! I love that they’re not soy-based and are still close to the real thing. I hope to find them in my area. As for the fries. Off. the. hook.

  33. Joyti says:

    OMG, this. looks. AMAZING.

    And also, a HUGE congratulations on the wedding invites going out. So exciting! Side not, I sort of wish there was a honorific for lawyers, i.e., that we could use “dr.” (technically I guess we can but it’s frowned upon, and “esq.” seems so pretenious, to me anyway).

  34. This looks awesome! I love chilli with fries, but I’ve never tried vegetarian chill. It must be even more delicious! Great recipe, Joanne. Pinned 😉

  35. sandra says:

    HA. I cannot come up with a better non-feeling food than celery. I am not a huge fan either.

  36. Trisha says:

    When the invitations go out, that means it’s really happening! EEK! So terrifying/exciting. Also, I want all the vegetarian chili cheese fries RIGHT NOW, as I’m stress-eating my law through law school interviews.

  37. Susan says:

    You came up with a wonderful recipe for the crumbles, Joanne! Hopefully, The Boy has calmed down now 🙂

  38. Teffy Perk says:

    Can’t believe your wedding invitations are going out! That is so exciting!!
    I can’t remember the last time I had chilli cheese fries, but those look like the ultimate comfort food!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  39. Amazing looking dish Joanna!! I am sure it tastes amazing too. love this chilli cheese fries. . 🙂

  40. alyssa says:

    Oh man! I can’t look at a picture of cheese fries right now without craving some. I see something similar in my future. You are going to have to come to Seattle and run with me to burn off all these calorie-laden preggo meals you are inspiring me to eat! 😉

  41. Zainab says:

    Oh I am eating my feelings big time right now. Not helpful for anything lol! Love these fries!!

  42. P says:

    This looks awesome! I hate how I can never get chili fries in places like arenas and such since they always have meat in them. That’s why I take advantage of vegan restaurant menus that make their own version.

  43. Sues says:

    If my feelings looked like this, I wouldn’t have any feelings at all because they’d all be consumed!! Does that make sense? I think you get it 🙂

  44. Isadora says:

    I really shouldn’t have looked at this post immediately after I ate dinner, because now I’m hungry all over again! Chili cheese fries are one of my weaknesses and these look amazing! Congrats on getting your invitations out! As much as it seems like such a small part of the wedding it really is hard work!

  45. I would eat the whole pan of the chili cheese fries, they are making me so hungry.
    Don’t worry too much about your wedding, I am sure it will all come together and it will be a day of love, laughter, and fun!

  46. These chilli cheese fries is my new favorite comfort food. And it being a vegan food makes my conscience much more at ease.

  47. This reminds of the animal style fries at In-N-Out. They look so yummy! And hooray on finishing your wedding invites!

  48. I am going to say these are a wee bit healthier since they have veges involved 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  49. Joanne, you´re getting married! How exciting is that?! 😀
    Lovely recipe, it´s a full menu in just a few steps.

  50. Sending you best wishes on your upcoming marriage…that’s so great! And why not celebrate with these amazing smothered-in-spicy-cheesy-deliciousness fries? It’s a really fun recipe that is definitely going on my to-do list!

  51. Megan says:

    I wish I’d had a plate of these to dig into after we sent our wedding invitations. There are definitely so many decisions and nuances involved!

  52. that looks 100% comfort food.. so glad they are vegetarian! I might swap out the fries for TJs sweet potato fries!! same calories – less guilt!

  53. Eileen says:

    Sometimes you just need a giant vat of fries for dinner, and that’s okay. In fact, in many ways, that’s EXCELLENT. 🙂 I hope all of your wedding planning & prep starts to come together soon!

  54. Oh my goodness! This is the most beautiful tray of fries I have ever seen! All that cheese and meatless too? I think I’m in love!

  55. Hotly Spiced says:

    Congratulations on getting your wedding invitations out. My husband’s brother is a colonel in the army and also has a PhD so it’s always a challenge wondering how to address an envelope to him. Is is Col Dr or Dr Col. He’s also a ‘Fellow’. Some people just have too many titles. Your chilli fries really do look like the ultimate in comfort food xx

  56. Victoria says:

    I eat my feelings quite regularly, and I do so with food covered in cheese. Chili cheese fries (whether veggie or meaty) sound like the perfect comfort dish 🙂

  57. Reeni says:

    So much excitement! I’d be face planting into the tray! They look amazing! I don’t like those faux meat soy crumbles so I’m happy to see these are made with peas.

  58. These fries….oh, gosh. Can I even explain how much my face needs them like asap?! All that cheesy fry goodness….gahhh! Can you puh-leeeeze come over and make these for me? 😉

  59. grace says:

    vegetarians are allowed to splurge too. 🙂
    this is major comfort food!

  60. Yes, yes, and yes! Girl you are speaking my language!!!

  61. Wow, these fries look amazing! Love the fact they’re completely veggie! I will be trying the recipe out! 🙂

  62. I tried finding Beyond Meat a few months ago and couldn’t track it down. Bummer! These chili cheese fries look wonderful!

  63. Athina says:

    What are beef free crumbles? Any substitute? Sorry I am in New Zealand & have not heard of these 🙂

Leave a Reply

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