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Vegan Chili Cheese Fries – Minimalist Baker Recipes

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Large plate of vegan chili cheese fries topped with vegan cheddar cheese sauce, pickled red onions, vegan sour cream, and jalapeños

Sometimes the only thing that will do is chili cheese fries. Y’know? Luckily, you can now satisfy that craving with this equally comforting vegan version! It feels decadent and special but comes together quickly with wholesome pantry staples (including fiber-rich lentils!).

Just 10 ingredients required to nourish your body AND soul, friends. Let us show you how it’s done!

Lentils, coconut aminos, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, spices, olive oil, potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast, cashews, and tapioca starch

Since they’re called chili cheese fries, let’s start by talking about 1) the CHILI, then we’ll get to 2) the CHEESE and 3) the FRIES!

For the vegan chili, we went with a wholesome base of lentils and seasoned them with chili powder, smoked paprika, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and coconut aminos. It’s a smoky + savory mix that cooks until thick and flavorful. It’s not too saucy because soggy fries are not a winning move!

Sautéing lentil chili in a skillet

Now, on to the CHEESE! We opted for our cashew + carrot vegan cheddar, which is also good on grilled cheese sandwiches and in mac ‘n’ cheese. It has a neutral, cheesy flavor and is SUPER creamy and delicious!

Stirring vegan cheddar cheese in a saucepan

For the oven baked fries, we kept it simple with potatoes, avocado oil, and salt. Cooking at a high temperature (425 F / 218 C) ensures they get golden brown with crispy edges (a.k.a. fry perfection!).

Homemade potato fries on a baking sheet

Put the three parts together and you’ve got CHILI CHEESE FRIES! Cue the face stuffing.

Drizzling vegan cheddar cheese over chili and fries

Keep it simple or make them beautiful and extra special by topping with quick pickled onions or pickled jalapeños, vegan sour cream, green onions, and/or cilantro.

Picking up a vegan chili cheese fry from a plate

We can’t wait for you to try these vegan chili cheese fries! They’re:

Savory
Spicy
“Cheesy”
Satisfying
Comforting
& SO delicious!

This dish is the perfect meal for satisfying the comfort food craving and getting your fiber in at the same time. It would also be perfect for enjoying when the “big game” is on (or whatever the sporting folks say).

More Comfort Food Classics

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Vegan chili cheese fries speared onto a fork

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Servings 3 (Servings)

Course Entrée

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month (stored separately)

Does it keep? 2-3 Days

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FRIES

  • 2 large (~1/3 lb each) potatoes, scrubbed clean but NOT peeled, cut into 1/2 inch “fries” (Yukon gold or russet work well)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

CHILI

  • 1 (15-oz.) can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tsp chili powder (or store-bought // if salted, start with less coconut aminos)
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil, for cooking
  • CHEESE: if serving with homemade Vegan Cheddar Cheese, begin soaking your cashews and carrots now: 2/3 cup (80 g) cashews + 1/2 cup (64 g) thinly sliced peeled carrots covered with boiling water. Set aside.
  • FRIES: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). For easier cleanup (but slightly less crispy fries), line a baking sheet with parchment paper (we didn’t). Add sliced potatoes to the baking sheet and toss with oil and salt. Spread the fries out so they are all on a flat side with the peel facing up, and ensure that no fries are overlapping. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until beginning to brown on the bottom, then carefully toss and bake for another 8-10 minutes until tender but crispy.PRO TIP: If your fries are sticking, use a metal (or other thin/hard) spatula, flip it upside down, and push it under the fries to lift and flip, keeping all the crispy goodness (think scraping rather than scooping).
  • CHILI: While the fries bake, add your lentils to a mixing bowl along with the chili powder, smoked paprika, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, coconut aminos, and cayenne (optional). Toss until evenly coated.

  • Heat a 10-inch or larger nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add avocado oil and place your lentil mixture into the skillet. Distribute the mixture in the pan, ensuring an even layer. Cook for 4-5 minutes, undisturbed. It should be sizzling and bubbling nicely — if it’s not, turn up the heat a bit.
  • Once some of the liquid has cooked off and the mixture is slightly browned on the bottom, use a spatula to flip sections as evenly as possible to brown the other side for another 3 minutes. Once the mixture is darkened in color and looks thick and chili-like, turn off the heat and set aside.

  • CHEESE: Finish making the Vegan Cheddar Cheese at this time. Stop cooking when the “cheese” looks creamy and thick like queso but before it firms up too much.
  • Time to assemble! Plate your fries and top with lentil chili and vegan cheese sauce (there will be extra cheese sauce*). Garnish with pickled onions (and/or pickled jalapeños), vegan sour cream, green onions, and cilantro (all optional). Leftover chili and vegan cheddar keep (stored separately) in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 489 Carbohydrates: 66.7 g Protein: 19.4 g Fat: 18.6 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 10.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 652 mg Potassium: 1527 mg Fiber: 13.6 g Sugar: 9.6 g Vitamin A: 2687 IU Vitamin C: 9.5 mg Calcium: 136 mg Iron: 11.1 mg



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