Vegan Chili Cheese Fries

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Sometimes, the only thing that will hit the spot is a big plate of chili cheese fries. Unfortunately, that same plate will also cause serious digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, and possible constipation or diarrhea. We didn’t mean to gross you out from the start, but that is just the reality of scarfing down a big plate of chili cheese nachos. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that with this healthier vegan rendition.

This recipe comes together with a handful of pantry ingredients, many of which are rich in fiber, healthy fats, and protein. To accelerate the prep and cook time of this recipe, we opted to use a can of cooked lentils, instead of dried lentils. If you want to soak and then boil the lentils, you can go that route, but expect to add a couple extra hours to the total recipe time. With the canned lentils (try your best to get unsalted or low-sodium), you can drain and rinse them prior to adding them to the pot with the seasonings. Cook for five minutes and your chili portion of the recipe is ready.

For the best chili cheese fries, you need crispy fries. You can bake the fries in the oven, or you can cook them in an air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the fries in batches. Once they are nice and crispy on the outside, the fries are ready. While the fries are baking, you can make the cheese sauce, which is from another recipe, but it was so good that we used it again! Let us know how you like this vegan creation!

Vegan Chili Cheese Fries
  • Prep Time:15m
  • Cook Time:30m
  • Total Time:45m


For the Fries

  • 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the Chili

  • 1 (15-oz.) can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • dash cayenne pepper (optional)
  • green onions (for topping)

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 1 c raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp. pickled jalapeños (plus 2 tbsp pickling liquid)
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. filtered water
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste


For the Fries

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400º F or your oven to 425º F. If using an air fryer, grease the bowl or tray with olive oil or olive oil spray.
  2. If using an air fryer, you\'ll most likely have to cook the fries in batches, tossing a few times during the cooking process to ensure optimum crispiness. Each batch will take about 15 minutes, so long as you do not overcrowd the air fryer.
  3. If using an oven, scatter the fries across a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, pulling the tray out midway through to flip the fries. Remove fries from the oven once they are crispy.

For the Chili

  1. While the fries are cooking, you can make the chili by adding your lentils to a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Whisk to combine and cook for about four to five minutes.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover to keep warm while you prepare the cheese sauce.

For the Cheese Sauce

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Should you want to warm up the cheese sauce, feel free to pour it into a saucepan over medium-low heat and warm for five minutes.
  2. Pour the cheese sauce into a measuring cup with a pour spout and then set aside.
  3. To assemble the chili cheese fries, place the fries on a plate or serving platter. Spoon the lentils over the fries and then drizzle the cheese sauce over the entire plate, reserving some for dipping.
  4. Garnish with green onions and enjoy immediately.


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