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Chili Cheese Fries | Vegan

Vegan Chili Cheese Fries are plant-strongly amazing! Crispy oil-free fries, topped with layers of tangy spicy chili and creamy vegan cheese sauce. The ultimate heart-healthy comfort food!

plate full of vegan chili cheese fries on wooden table

I never thought I would have chili cheese fries again after switching to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle. This is one time that I’m glad I was wrong. These vegan chili cheese fries are fantastic!

You will love these chili cheese fries because they’re…

  • Bursting with flavor
  • Creamy and spices
  • Completely satisfying
  • Huge hit at parties
  • Healthy
  • Insanely delicious!

Healthier chili cheese fries

The traditional high-fat version was only an occasional treat because, even back then, I knew it was grease-laden. But this much healthier option sometimes finds itself on a plate at my house as a main dish frequently.

overhead of two plates of vegan chili cheese fries

Vegan Chili Cheese Fries tastes every bit as good as they look! Piled high with crispy oil-free, oven-roasted or air fried French fries. Layered with Vegan Chili, Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce, and fresh chives.

How to make vegan chili cheese fries

This dish is really three recipes in one–french fries, chili, and cheese sauce–and each of these recipes can be used with many other dishes.

You’ll want to begin by getting started on the cheese sauce. After that, start the french fries cooking while you make the chili which is super simple.

Making the cheese sauce

Normally, I have some of this vegan cheese already on hand because we use it with so many other dishes. If I don’t happen to have some in the refrigerator, there’s likely some in my freezer.

Making the cheese sauce is as simple as boiling a pot of potatoes, onions, and carrots, adding them to a blender with spices, and blending until smooth. I have a Vitamix blender, so it can cream this cheese sauce up in just about 1-minute. Set this sauce to the side until it’s time to add it to the fries.

This recipe makes approximately 1 quart and can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks to be used on baked potatoes, tacos, lasagna, and so much more!

Start the french fries

Go ahead and prepare the potatoes by washing and slicing them. I like to leave the peelings on, but you can remove them if you prefer.

russett potatoes in basket

The fries can be baked in the oven, but I always use my air fryer because they come out so crispy.

We use our air fryer at least weekly, and these are some of the amazing foods we make in it, Amazing Air Fryer Recipes – French Fries, Tempura, & Burgers.

Air frying french fries

If you are using an air fryer, simply place them in the fryer and season them with garlic powder, onion, powder, chili powder, and a little salt.

sliced potatoes in air fryer before cooked white background

Set the temperature to 400°F and time to 15 minutes. Shake or stir them to rearrange to allow them to get crispy on all sides. Set the time and temperature for another 15 minutes. Cook longer if needed to get them golden crunchy brown.

cooked french fries in air fryer on white background

Baking french fries

If you are baking your fries in the oven, it’s a good idea to parboil them for about 5 minutes before baking. This will help them to be more crispy and less chewy.

After parboiling, remove them from the water and season as described above in the air fry directions. Bake in the oven at 400°F for approximately 20-25 minutes until crispy golden brown.

While the fries are cooking, go ahead and make the chili.

Making the bulgur chili

The chili in these cheese fries surprises people almost as much as the healthy cheese sauce does. It’s made with a combination of bulgur (wheat grain), onions, chili powder, smoked paprika, and more amazing spices. For those avoiding wheat, buckwheat groats can be substituted.

Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is cooked exactly like rice in about 15 minutes. I like to make a big batch of it and store it in the freezer to use in recipes like tacos, stews, chili beans, etc. because bulgur adds a ground beef texture and soaks up flavors of dish you’re preparing.

cooked bulgur in stainless pot with spoon

In a saucepan, saute diced onions in approximately 3 Tbsp of the veggie broth. As they brown and begin to caramelize, add more veggie broth 1 Tbsp at a time. Allow to caramelize well.

Add all other chili ingredients including the bulgur, stir well, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Cover and turn off. Chili is basically done and ready to be eaten.

*NOTE: If you already have pre-cooked bulgur (2 cups) in the freezer that you would like to use, simply omit the veggie broth/water except for about 1/2 a cup, and cook for only 5 minutes. 

stainless pot full of vegan chili with wooden spoon

Layering the vegan chili cheese fries

Now, it is time to layer the Chili Cheese Fries! Start with the crispy fries, spoon chili over the top, then drizzle with cheese sauce. I like to top mine with a few diced green onion chives. Serve and enjoy!

vegan chili cheese fries in dish with pot of vegan chili in background

Follower Comments

I have made this recipe several times and have forwarded it to many of my friends. Even my teenage boy likes and he’s not crazy about many things.–Allison H

Other great comfort foods

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plate full of vegan chili cheese fries on wooden table

Chili Cheese Fries Vegan

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Vegan Chili Cheese Fries are plant-strongly amazing! Crispy oil-free fries, topped with layers of tangy spicy chili and creamy vegan cheese sauce. The ultimate heart-healthy comfort food!

Ingredients

Potato Fries

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste

Vegan Chili

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup broth from veggies, reserved
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, OR 1/2 cup white beans
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • small pinch cayenne pepper, optional

Instructions

Potato Fries

  1. Begin by washing and slicing large potatoes. I leave the peelings on mine, but they can be removed if you prefer.
  2. If you are using an air fryer, simply place the sliced potatoes in the fryer and season them with garlic powder, onion, powder, chili powder, and a little salt.
  3. Set the air fryer temperature to 400°F and time to 15 minutes. Shake or stir them to rearrange to allow them to get crispy on all sides. Set the time and temperature for another 15 minutes. Cook longer if needed to get them golden crunchy brown.
  4. If you are baking your fries in the oven, it's a good idea to parboil them for about 5 minutes before baking. This will help them to be more crispy and less chewy.
  5. After parboiling, remove them from the water and season as described above in the air fry directions. Bake in the oven at 400°F for approximately 20-25 minutes until crispy golden brown.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  1. In a medium pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in the pot and allow to cook until veggies are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how small the veggies are diced. While these are cooking, start working on the chili.
  2. When veggies are tender, drain and place them in a blender. NOTE: reserve 1 cup of the broth, and add to blender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
  3. Now, it's ready to use in chili cheese fries, nacho cheese dip, mac-n-cheese, topping for steamed broccoli, or anything else you need a creamy, cheesy sauce in. This makes approximately 1 quart and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Chili

    1. In saucepan, saute diced onions in approximately 3 Tbsp of the veggie broth. As they brown and begin to caramelize, add more veggie broth 1 Tbsp at a time. Allow to caramelize well.
    2. Add all other chili ingredients, stir well, and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cover and turn heat down to warm or off. Chili is basically done and ready to be eaten.
    3. *NOTE: If you already have pre-cooked bulgur (2 cups) in the freezer that you would like to use, simply omit the veggie broth/water except for about 1/2 a cup, and cook for only 5 minutes. 

Chili Cheese Fries

  1. Now, it is time to layer the Chili Cheese Fries! Start with the crispy fries, spoon chili over the top, then drizzle with cheese sauce. I like to top mine with a few diced green onions. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 1.7gCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 16gProtein: 14.9g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

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Vegan Chili Cheese Fries

Doris

Tuesday 13th of October 2020

I'm trying this recipe tomorrow I'm new to plant based food so far its been pretty good but needs cheese in my diet I hope this works for me thanks for all the recipes.

Sue Foley

Friday 17th of July 2020

Hi. A question I can't seem to get answered. Is bulgur the same as nutritional yeast? Can it be used the same way? Tks in advance! Sue

Terri Edwards

Saturday 18th of July 2020

Hi Sue- Bulgur and nutritional yeast are completely different. Bulgur is a grain, much like rice and this article will help with understanding how to use it https://eatplant-based.com/what-is-bulgur-cook-recipes/ . Nutritional yeast is just a nutty cheesy flavoring for foods, and this article explains more about it https://eatplant-based.com/nutritional-yeast-recipes/ . Hope this helps.

Teresa White

Monday 25th of March 2019

Would Kamut be similar to the bulgur? I only have that and really want to make this tonight:)

EatPlant-Based.com

Monday 25th of March 2019

I haven't tried it with kamut so can't say for sure. The texture would definitely be a bit different, but certainly worth a try. Let us know!

Sharon Brown

Wednesday 25th of July 2018

I am Gluten intolerant. In the recipe "Chile Cheese Fries" could I use cauliflower rice in place of bulger in the chile part of the recipe?

Love your site. Thank you.

EatPlant-Based.com

Wednesday 25th of July 2018

I haven't tried it with cauliflower rice but think it would work just fine. This article also has other substitutes for bulgur that might be helpful. They are listed at the bottom. https://eatplant-based.com/what-is-bulgur-cook-recipes/

Myriam

Saturday 6th of May 2017

Another great recipe is the vegan cheese sauce. I made it the day before yesterday for my pizza, and it was really good. I had it yesterday with your black bean burgers and it was even better. Finally this morning we used it as a "sauce hollandaise" for our poached eggs (which we still have occasionally, because a life without poached eggs is not worth living) and thought it was absolutely awesome!

We felt the sauce gets better with time.

Thank you for this recipe!

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