Holy Debauchery! Cowboy Bacon Chili Cheese Fries

go ahead, make a mess.

Hold on tight, you’ll be pleased to know that these chili cheese fries are fresh, home-made, hand-made and fried with only the best yukon gold potatoes and grape seed oil. No need to sneak through the drive-through to satisfy your greasy cravings. You can do that in the sacred privacy of your own home.

Cardiologists will probably hate us for this recipe and what they’d call Early Death Chili Cheese Fries. But for those of us who want who want to indulge in something special and lathered in rich love, we call it Holy Shit Chili Cheese Fries. Better  yet, we’ve cowboy’ed ’em up made them in the style of thick, rustic-cut potato wedges and added a spicy kick to the chili. The sky is the limit.

Bacon. Ground Brisket and Top Round. Super Spicy Chilies. Beer. All cooked together with sweet onion, garlic, spices, masa, and BBQ sauce. It is one hell of a chili.

We tend to like spicy in the WORC household.  We’re growing 4 types of habaneros, some jalapenos, cayenne, and a couple bushes of chilies the Vietnamese affectionately call “Devil Peppers” or “Evil Peppers” depending on how you want to translate it. Homemade Sriracha sauceis a regular part of our pantry, our chicken wings usually get the spice treatment, and we often indulge in our Viet mother’s make-you-want-to-cry spicy Bun Bo Hue soup.

But if you can’t handle it, there are always options to tame the beast.  Change the chilies to something mild or just leave them out all together. If you want another variation, grab a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks where Ree has a great chili recipe. After going through her recipes, we started adding masa to our chili and it was a great addition.  Gives another layer of flavor and texture.

If there is any culinary vice which does us in more than spicy foods, it’s fried potatoes. It feels great to eat fresh, lots of leafy greens, healthy cooking meals, but such angelic eating needs to be balanced by the occasional sinful indulgence and french fries are at the top of our list.

Second version: Eat more chili with your potatoes!

We’ll vary on how lazy or meticulous we are feeling in making our fries.  Going all out, we’ll make them the Les Halles method of soaking, drying, soft frying, then crisp frying the little pa-taters. If we are feeling lazy, then we’ll just slice, wipe, and fry. Either way, we nearly always use yukon golds and either grape seed oil or peanut oil for frying. Gives it that special touch.

You only live once, so don’t hold back.

The joy from the occasional indulgence easily offsets the caloric vice-filled meal. At least in our book it does, just don’t tell the doctor! So what is everyone else’s favorite wintertime indulgence? Share your favorite undoing!

Rock On,

-Todd and Diane

Spicy Bacon Cowboy Chili Recipe

Yield: About 4 cups

Total Time: 1 hour

Two main factors influence the taste in the chili recipe: the BBQ sauce and the choice of chilies.  We'll usually use our homemade BBQ sauce, but use whichever you're favorite it. For the spice factor, habaneros have a great spicy and flavor.  There is a fruity roundness to compliment their Scoville factor which makes them one of our favorites to use, especially the Chocolate, Congo, or Red Sevilla Habaneros.  Go with something more mild, like a jalapeno or thai chili, or even leave out the chilies all together if that is your preference.  Just drop spicy from the name ;)! If you need a recipe for making fries to make chili fries, we suggest the Les Halles fries.  They rock!


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef, combination of top round and brisket is our favorite
  • 6 strips (300g) Bacon, diced
  • 1 lrg Sweet Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 -2 Habaneros, finely diced
  • 1 c (237ml) BBQ Sauce
  • 2 t (10g) Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 t (10g) Chili Powder
  • 2 t (10g) ground Cumin
  • 2 T (30g) Paprika
  • 2 T (30g) Brown Sugar
  • 1 t (5g) fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 c (30g) Masa (corn flour), addition inspired by Pioneer Woman's Chili Recipe
  • 1 12 oz Beer


  1. Heat a large sauce pan (preferably cast iron) over med-high heat.  Add ground beef and bacon and cook until it is nearly cooked through and browned, stirring occasionally. Next add onion, garlic and habaneros and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add BBQ sauce, spices, brown sugar, fresh cracked pepper, masa and beer.  Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, then lower heat to keep at a gentle simmer.  Cook for 30 min - 1 hour, (flavors will develop more with the longer cooking time but isn't a requirement) adding more beer or water if necessary to maintain a good "moistness" to the chili.
  3. Serve the chili warm. Serving suggestions - Toppings- cheese, sour cream, diced green onions. As a base or alongside - tortilla chips, crusty bread, in a quesadilla, on fries, over a sausage dog or burger, as a pizza sauce, with pasta... The variations are endless!
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission and do not re-publish this recipe. Simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Lisa

    I had to laugh at your cardiologist comment. How true though as my blog is devoted to good health from a layperson’s point of view. However, I always confess our sins and yes, my family occasionally eats “junk” food. Thinking of making chili cheese fries for our Superbowl party so I googled it and found you guys.

  2. Christine

    WOW. I came upon you by accident through Pinch My Salt. As a Canadian on the west coast, chili cheese fries are not part of the common vernacular BUT DAMN this is the first thing to get me motivated to cook for NFL playoffs (go Green Bay!). Despite all the blogs and email subscriptions starting to promote Superbowl menus and my own personal quest for some kind of tv food inspiration I was coming up with … alot of nothing that seemed even remotely exciting. But now THE SEARCH IS OVER!! Can’t wait to get started- just need to decide whether to double or triple the chili recipe for NFL-sized guys who will be with me. Two pounds really only makes 4c?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Love the enthusiasm over the debauchery!
      We kind of eyeballed the end volume but that should be pretty close to 4c. There isn’t much adding to the volume other than the ground meat and onions. But this chili had a hefty kick and needed to be tamed by mass quantities of potatoes so even 4c goes fairly far. For the big boys, I’d start with tripling it. It keeps pretty well, so maybe make a batch a few days ahead, make a judgement call on if you need more and go from there.
      Hafta admit I love watching GB’s defense attack and swarm right now. After they got Hawk then Mathews Jr a few years ago, I loved watching them develop into a fierce LB core.

      1. Christine

        OK – that was awesome fare! Everyone went back for seconds! I don’t know if I will bother with the double-fry fries again – they were great but took FOREVER it seemed, certainly much longer than Tony B indicated in his instructions – but I’m new to deep-frying so maybe it was me. That said, the bbq sauce was great, the chili even better. Thank you for an amazing menu for an amazing game. Now… what else have you got on here that I can use for next week’s game? Time to start searching!

        1. White on Rice Couple

          We don’t bother with the double fry half of the time either. Especially when the chili is going on top.
          The Pack rocked it! Can’t wait till next week.

          You might want to give the Sriracha chicken wings a try. One our our favorites and might be right up your alley.

          Thanks for the feedback. Glad you loved it!

      2. Christine

        Got the BBQ sauce done – it amazing and complex even at first taste, I’m interested to see how it develops over time – and you got the perfect zing. (Amen) Ground beef and bacon are browning now – I bet this will have a kick! I hadn’t thought through just how much spice that is – thanks for the heads up in the huddle. Got lots of potatoes standing by. (Thank goodness I can see the tv from the pan tomorrow!)

  3. Sharron Clemons

    Sinfully delicious! Those cheese curls are spectacular!

  4. Dinetonite

    What a great perfect its look delicious i will make them soon. Thank you very much.

  5. Nate @ House of Annie

    I’d never get any chili cheese fries at any fast food joint because they are made with substandard ingredients and little care. But if you do everything by hand at home and with love…

    I’d eat that.

  6. Kajal - aapplemint

    Second version for me … 🙂
    Diane n Todd, dropping by after long …but wow ! As always you guys never fail to leave me envious and hungry. Muah … love ya !

  7. Helene

    In Québec we are known for our Poutine: fries, gravy, cheese curbs but I tried not to eat them too often. I have seen many variations of poutine like foie gras poutine but never seen one like yours. That would be a winner I am sure in my house. I would devour this dish. 🙂

  8. Amy at TheSceneFromMe

    Sinfully delicious! Those cheese curls are spectacular!

  9. joey

    These look amazing! Love, love, LOVE! And I agree, we all deserve a little indulgence once in a while! 🙂

  10. Beverly

    “such angelic eating needs to be balanced by the occasional sinful indulgence and french fries are at the top of our list.” Amen.

  11. Tasha @ Voracious Eats

    Holy shit indeed. That just might be the most extravagantly delicious plate of food I’ve ever seen. Thank you thank you thank you. This will be getting cooked and eaten here in my part of the world A LOT.

  12. Mel Kettle (The cook's notebook)

    OMG these look so amazing. Will be making. And soon! Especially as I’ve just discovered I can buy Masa in Brisbane now. mmmm.

  13. grace

    and i drool. this would be one of my top spurge foods of all time, and you’ve created quite a nice batch.

  14. Susan

    Looks delicious! Cheesy fries are the ultimate comfort food for me!

  15. deana (lostpastremembered)

    When I saw that picture, well you had me at the image… let alone the recipe… wow. It might be a heart attack on a plate… but everyone has to let go every once and a while… this would be my while… great photos and recipe, thanks!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      deana- it’s definitely a treat to have and if it’s not on a regular basis, then it’s not a heart attack on a plate!

  16. Lauren at KeepItSweet

    omg these look so delicious!!

  17. Lauren

    This just goes to show that homemade versions of favorite foods are superior! These chili cheese fries look amazing :).

  18. Lael Hazan @educatedpalate

    Is it ever too early in the morning for these? I’m hungry now!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Lael- these chili cheese fries are perfect for breakfast! go for it!

  19. Nancy@acommunaltable

    Shhhh…. I’ll let you in on a little secret!! Any cardiologist worth their salt would say “in moderation, this is just fine – just don’t have it every week, ok??”
    At least, that’s what my dad’s cardiologist used to say and he is right – everybody SHOULD splurge now and then and if you are gonna splurge, oh man THIS is what you are going to want to splurge with!!
    Can’t get over that deep color of the chili!! I’m making some chili tomorrow (not as decadent as yours but…) will try adding masa to it and I bet it will be awesome!!

    Quick question – since you are using brisket and round, do you grind your own meat or do you ask the butcher to do it??

    1. White on Rice Couple

      nancy- we grind it ourselves, but on occasion if we’re rushed, then we’ll our butchers to grind it. We like to grind it ourselves because we like our grind thickness better.

  20. Sharlene

    I need this in front of me right now and every day hereafter. LOVE.

  21. Amanda

    Looks delicious, even after Thanksgiving and all the over indulgence of the last weekend!

  22. martin

    love the creativity! and the pics! rock stars in my book, for sure!

  23. mycookinghut

    Looks very very good! Like the second version!

  24. the Fromagette

    Man…I can NOT let my husband see this!

  25. Sues

    Oh. My. God. Is this heaven or what?? I’m not a huge french fry fan (shocking, I know), but when they’re homemade like this, I’m definitely down. And the chili?! Just wow!

  26. Hester

    Are you kidding me? This dish looks ridonkulous! And I just got out of my human nutrition class, too! I’d still eat a big skillet of these 🙂

  27. Jonny

    I think the only place to really fully enjoy such a dish is at home, surrounded by copious napkins, away from the judgmental eyes of the public as one hurts oneself on this! In fact, I might go so far as to suggest fully sequestering oneself in a private room at home and not sharing with family is the best way to proceed. At least, that’s what I’d do. Fabulous work!

  28. Maria

    The tummy ache I would have after eating these fries would be well worth it:)

  29. Roger (Mr. Bunkycooks)

    My Cardiologist would be having a fit if he knew I was even looking at this, but… what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right. I have to tell you that there is a step in the recipe that is missing. There is a final step. 2 laps around the block. I’m getting my running shoes on now.

  30. TheKitchenWitch

    You make your own Sriracha? How rock-star cool are you guys? You are also very, very naughty for posting a recipe like this. My butt is already mad at you. These sound and look amazing…worth every dang calorie!


    oh dear. potatoes in any shape or form is my undoing and these are no exception. i seriously need to take up skiing, jogging, tennis, basketball . . . SOMETHING to justify these beauties . . . or i could just make ’em and eat ’em!!!

  32. Liz

    Looks amazing. Very un-Thanksgiving!!

  33. Cookin' Canuck

    The snow has been coming down for the past 24 hours and I can’t think of anything that would taste better in the frigid weather than a bowl of these fries. Bring on that smoky heat!

  34. Courtney

    Wow, didn’t know fries could get any better. I could eat a plate full of this!

  35. Becky

    Oh my goodness…I think these might be my new wintertime indulgence! The chili sounds fantastic…bookmarking now!

  36. Angela@spinachtiger

    Even after a weekend of gorging, these still look good to me. More than good.

  37. Shaina

    I should be full from Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon, but I would dive into a plate of these right now, no question.

  38. marla {family fresh cooking}f

    Screw the doctors – they eat worse than any of us. At least these potatoes are fried!with love & great ambition. Nice chili too, smoky bacon & fatty ground beef are a sultry pairing for the chilly days ahead. This is ski country food – bookmarking this for Telluride! xo

  39. Jen Yu

    HELL YES! (D, I see a recurring theme here… spicy with fried potatoes. These may be somewhat problematic to take with us into the backcountry though.)

  40. Jessica @ How Sweet

    Oh drool. This is right up my alley.

Leave a Reply