This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McCain Foods USA, Inc. ©. The opinions and text are all mine.
A family-friendly chili recipe kids love, this Happy Cheesy Chili Bake literally smiles right up at you – thanks to McCain® Smiles® fries!
Cheesy Chili Bake Recipe
I never thought I’d be the mom chauffeuring her daughter from activity to activity (especially since I’m an introvert and all I wanted to do at the end of the school day was hide in my house), but Ella’s crazy energy levels and diverse interests have slowly filled our weekdays with a variety of different extra-curriculars.
I try to have a balance of home days and “activity days” – even if just for my own sanity – but learning how to balance healthy eating with our busy schedule has been a process of trial and error.
What I’ve found works best for us is for me to make a large meal on a “home night” that promises plenty of leftovers. I can then enjoy those leftovers for lunch the next day, and it works as a great on-the-go supper. Not only do I cut the number of days that I have to cook in half, we also avoid the drive-thru trappings that can be a real issue for busy families with lots of extra-curriculars.
This week, after polling my Facebook friends to see which recipe they’d like to see next, I decided to make a Cheesy Chili Bake with a fun twist – McCain Smiles perched on top, making this a Happy Cheesy Chili Bake!
I purchased everything I needed for my recipe at Walmart. You can find the McCain Smiles in the freezer aisle, along with other tasty McCains fries, like their Seasoned Curly Fries – yum!
This recipe is great for a low-key family night, and it also makes a great recipe for potlucks, tailgating, or casual entertaining. I also like to bake the rest of the McCain Smiles package to serve alongside the chili bake because I just can’t get enough!
Since this recipe only needs 1 pound of ground beef, it is also a great way to use up leftover ground beef, or you can just double the amount of beef you’re cooking for taco Tuesday and save half for this recipe.
Be sure to check out our quick recipe video to find out how to make this homemade chili recipe, and then scroll down to grab your free printable recipe:
Ingredients for Cheesy Chili Bake
- McCain Smiles
- 1lb ground beef
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, or more to taste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1- 18 oz can kidney beans, drained
- 1- 20 oz can tomatoes
- 1 – 4.5 oz green chiles
- 1 – 12 oz corn
- 2 cups cheese, shredded
Tip: swap out any veggies that your family doesn’t like for ones that they do. Chopped carrots would be a great addition!
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- 9″ x 13″ casserole dish
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Cheese shredder
- Serving spoon
How to Make Homemade Chili
To start, cook your ground beef in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Season with the taco seasoning.
Break apart the ground beef with a wooden spoon and cook until no pink beef remains, or an internal temperature of 160ºF.
You can optionally add the onions and garlic into the pan with the ground beef, if desired.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
In a large casserole dish, combine the cooked ground beef, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, green chiles and corn. Stir together well.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top and then position a few of the McCain Smiles fries over the cheese layer.
Bake for 8 minutes, until the fries are golden and the cheese is melted.
Grab your free printable for our Happy Cheesy Chili Bake recipe:
This super simple recipe for a Cheesy Chili Bake is the best chili recipe for families, packed with plenty of vegetables, lots of flavor, and topped with Smiles!