Vegan Chili Cheese Fries are the ultimate comfort food! A pile of crispy baked fries, topped with hearty vegan chili, and drizzled with a creamy vegan cheese sauce. You’ll think you’re indulging while enjoying this flavorful, guilt-free meal!
My baked french fries are wonderful on their own, but why not take them to the next level by smothering them with delicious toppings?
Did you realize that chili cheese fries can be healthy? That’s right! The crispy baked fries are oil free. They’re piled on a plate and topped with vegan chili, then drizzled with a cashew cheese sauce. When you find out how delicious and easy this is, you’ll be wanting to make it all the time!
Be prepared for the sloppy goodness of these fries. You’re going to need lots of napkins!
These vegan chili cheese fries are:
- A delicious vegan comfort food
- Perfect for eating while watching your favorite show or game
- A great party food
- Full of plant-based nutrition
- Easy to make!
How to make these oil free vegan chili cheese fries
This recipe is actually three recipes in one: the chili recipe, the baked french fries recipe, and the vegan cheese sauce recipe.
Make the chili
This one pot chili is perfect for these chili cheese fries. To save time, the chili can be made in advance. I like to make big batches of this chili and store it in the freezer in canning jars. Then I can pull out a jar or two when we want a meal like these chilli fries. My Veggie Chili is also a delicious option for these cheese fries.
- Heat a large stainless steel pot to medium high heat. Add the diced onion and diced green bell pepper and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Add small amounts of water to deglaze the pan when the vegetables start to stick.
- Once the onions and peppers are soft, add the jalapeno and garlic. Sauté for about two more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Stir in the spices (chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, cocoa powder and chipotle chili powder). I recommend starting with a small amount of chipotle powder and adding more to your adjust the chili to your preferred level of spice.
- Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and tomato paste. Stir the chili and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Make the fries
While the chili is simmering, make the french fries.
- Scrub your potatoes with a vegetable brush. You can peel them or leave the peels on.
- Cut the potatoes into french fries. I prefer to cut my fries into approximately 1/2 inch thickness.
- Place the cut potatoes in large mixing bowl, and mix in the seasonings.
- Transfer the seasoned potatoes to a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the fries, or they won’t crisp properly.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 450° F, turning at the halfway point, until the fries are crisp and golden brown.
Make the cheese sauce
This cheese sauce can also be made up to a few days in advance. I find my Cashew Cheese Sauce to be perfect for this recipe. But you can use your favorite cheese sauce in its place.
- If you don’t have a high speed blender, soak your cashews in water for 5 or more hours, or overnight. Alternatively, you can soak the cashews in boiling water for 30 minutes. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, this soaking step is not needed.
- Place the cashews in the blender along with water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, turmeric, and salt. (Exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
Making the Chili Cheese Fries
- Pile a handful or two of fries on a plate.
- Spoon some chili on top.
- Drizzle the cheese sauce over the chili.
What can you top chili cheese fries with?
- Vegan sour cream
- Sliced green onions or minced chives
- Sliced jalapeno peppers
- Diced tomato
- Sliced black olives
Frequently asked questions
The chili can be made and stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The cheese sauce can also be made up to a week ahead. The fries, however, should be made immediately before making your cheese fries for optimal crispiness.
Chili cheese fries are best eaten right after they are made. If you do have leftovers, they can be reheated in the oven or in an air fryer. Reheating the the microwave will result in soggy french fries.
Typically, chili cheese fries are made with deep fried french fries, a meat based chili, and a high fat dairy cheese. These healthy chili cheese fries are made with oil free baked french fries, a fat free bean chili, and a non-dairy cheese sauce. It is a great plant based alternative to the standard recipe!
For more vegan appetizers, see:
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Asian Soy Curl Lettuce Wraps
- Air Fryer Waffle Fries
- Homemade Baked French Fries
- Vegan Stromboli
- Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes (Vegan)
- Vegan Nachos
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Vegan Chili Cheese Fries
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cans black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 ½ Tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 Tablespoons chili powder more or less to taste
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
Oil Free Fries
- 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled
- teaspoons Fry Seasoning
Cashew Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ rounded teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
Make the chili
- In a very hot stainless steel stock pot, sauté the onion and bell pepper until they are soft. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, use a small amount of water to deglaze the pan.
- Add the garlic and sauté for about two more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant, but be careful not to burn it.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring the chili to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the chili for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Make the fries
- Peel the potatoes, or scrub them with a vegetable brush if you want to keep the peels on.
- Slice the potatoes into fries, approximately ½ inch thick.
- Add the potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes well and add them to a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the fry seasoning, or your favorite seasoning blend.
- Spread the potatoes out on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. The fries will crisp better if there is some space between them.
- Bake at 450° F for 30 to 40 minutes, turning at the halfway point.
Make the cheese sauce
- If you don't have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, soak your cashews for several hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Then drain and rinse. This step is not necessary if you have a high speed blender.
- Place the cashews and remaining cheese sauce ingredients in a blender
- Blend until the sauce is completely smooth.
Assemble the chili cheese fries
- Pile a couple handfuls of baked french fries on a plate.
- Spoon chili over the top of the fries.
- Drizzle vegan cheese sauce over the chili and fries.