Put these Campfire Chili Cheese Fries on your next menu if you want something that is fast, cheesy and delicious. You’ve gotta agree, campfire meals in foil are great when you want a no-mess, zero clean-up meal.
This frozen French fries camping recipe is an easy “dump and cook” meal that requires no prep work. It’s great for making easy camping lunches.
If you choose to add optional toppings you may have to slice a few green onions, jalapeño peppers or crumble some cooked bacon.
Cooking Methods & Equipment
If you are making this as one of our easy campfire recipes, you’ll need to get your fire going in order to cook over hot coals (not flames). It really doesn’t matter what type of wood you use because the fries and chili cook in a foil pack so it won’t pick up the flavor of the wood.
This recipe is also perfect if you’re looking for easy grilling recipes for camping. You can cook the packet over a charcoal or propane gas grill.
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed.
Step 2. Build the packet. Layer the frozen French fries, chili and shredded cheddar cheese in the center of a large piece of heavy-duty foil sprayed with cooking spray.
Step 3. Seal and cook. Fold the aluminum, seal the packet and cook over medium heat until the fries are crispy and the cheese melts, about 15-20 minutes.
Hand Test For Cooking Temperatures
You don’t need a thermometer to determine the temperature of your heat source for cooking. Here are steps for the “hand test”.
- Hold the palm of your hand about 5 inches above the heat source (campfire coals, charcoal briquettes, propane grill etc.) you’re using for cooking. (Make sure nothing is flammable, like clothing or jewelry.)
- Pull your hand away from the heat before it hurts and note how many seconds have passed. Example: 6-7 seconds = medium heat.
Step 4. Serve hot. Remove the packet from the heat, carefully open it and add optional toppings, if desired. Serve hot.
Give your chili-topped camping French fries a Mexican flair by sprinkling on a few spices and herbs like cumin, cilantro and a spritz of lime.
If you don’t want to use canned chili, you can always make your favorite chili recipe from scratch. Chili is one of my most-requested one pot camping meals and makes a consistent appearance on my menus. I like making one huge pan for a main meal (knowing we won’t eat all of it in one sitting), then, I re-invent the leftovers for other meals like chili-topped burgers, hot dogs and cheesy fries.
My brother-in-law shared his secret recipe for this amazing Dutch Oven Chili. The tomato paste based sauce is jazzed up with a little beer (or beef broth), Worcestershire sauce, a homemade spice blend and hot pepper sauce.
We travel with a portable tailgate pellet grill smoker and use it to make totally yummy camping smoker recipes. The combination of bacon, ground beef, garlic, chili powder, jalapeno peppers and black beans make this Smoked Ground Beef Chili uniquely delicious.
Homemade chili is an awesome meal that doesn’t contain gluten. Get more ideas to make irresistible gluten free camping food.
What To Serve With This Recipe
I typically serve campfire French fries as one of my camping side dishes with burgers, hot dogs or other simple sandwiches. If I want to get a littler fancier, I’ll serve them with this Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese.
Use my camping menu planner to stay organized when planning meals for your next trip. It’s FREE and you’ll get it delivered instantly to your inbox!
When my husband and I are camping alone, I have actually made this as one of our camping dinner recipes rather than just serving it as a side dish. If you’re looking to create camping meals for two and don’t want to make a whole recipe, just use the button in the recipe card to scale it back to two servings.
It’s really easy to just leave the leftovers in the foil you cooked them in, refrigerate them, and reheat to eat the next day. Try serving a sunny-side-up egg on top of warmed leftovers for breakfast. (You can thank me later!)
If you’re looking for more ideas to get creative with spuds, these Grilled Potato Wedges are fantastic. You just toss some wedges in a little olive oil, rosemary, cumin powder, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper then grill till tender. They’re great with ketchup but even better with my easy Chipotle Mayonnaise.
This Dutch Oven Chili Mac let’s you cook the macaroni right in the sauce so you don’t have to boil the pasta separately. This is one of the best campfire cooking tips because you have less dishes to clean AND you conserve water which is really important when boondocking in the wilderness!
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Campfire Chili Cheese Fries
- 1 small package (14 oz) bag crinkle cut frozen french fries about 1/2 family size bag
- 1 (15 oz) can chili with or without beans
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cooking spray
Optional Toppings (see ** Note)
- Sliced green onions or chives
- Sliced jalapeño peppers
- Crumbled bacon
- Drizzled sour cream
- Start your campfire or charcoal grill to medium heat. (see * Note)
- Lay one sheet of heavy duty foil (or two large pieces of regular aluminum foil) on a flat surface and spray it with cooking oil.
- Spread the frozen French fries evenly in the middle of the sheet (or inside of a large doubled-up sheet of foil if you’re using regular foil.)
- Pour the chili over the potatoes in an even layer.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the chili.
- Fold the aluminum to seal the foil packet.
- Place the packet on a grate over the campfire coals and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese melts over the crispy fries.
- Remove the packet from the campfire and carefully open the foil packet, the steam will be hot.
- If using optional toppings, sprinkle your favorite toppings on top of the fries. Serve hot.