Being lactose intolerant or vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this classic. Cashew cheese is a great substitute for any creamy cheese recipe, including cheese sauce for chili cheese fries.

The best part is that it’s quick and easy to make at home. Even if you’ve had cashew cheese before and didn’t like it, try this recipe out. It won’t disappoint.

Combining sweet potato with the cashew base kicks it up a notch and creates an addicting flavor, altogether different from plain cashew cheese. Alternatively, you can use roasted red peppers or any other veggies/spices that tickle your fancy, much like hummus.

Continue to customize this recipe to your taste by making your own chili or stick to the simple route and buy canned.

Whether you’re sitting down to watch the game or coming home from a night out, chowing down on these vegan sweet potato chili cheese fries will more than satisfy any cravings you had. Try it out, they won’t disappoint.

Vegan Sweet Potato Chili Cheese Fries

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:20 minutes
  • Total Time:35 minutes
  • Servings:3
  • Medium


  • <b><i>Chili:</b></i>
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Salt
  • <b><i>Chili:</b></i>
  • 1 cup chili (homemade or canned)
  • <b><i>Sweet Potato Cashew Cheese:</b></i>
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 three-inch cube of sweet potato
Photo by Jessica DiFoggio
  • Step 1

    Soak your cashews over night. If you don’t have time for this step, soak them for at least two hours in warm water.

    Photo by Jessica DiFoggio
  • Step 2

    Start cooking the chili if you’re making it from scratch and preheat oven to 415°F. If using canned chili, wait to microwave it until your fries are almost done.

    #SpoonTip: If your canned chili is super watery, you can cook it in a pot and add in quinoa to help thicken it up. It doubles in size and takes about 15 minutes to cook. Put in as much or as little as you think you’ll need.

    Photo by Judy Holtz
  • Step 3

    Save about a 3-inch cube of sweet potato for the cheese. Pop this in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until soft. Then thinly slice the rest of the sweet potatoes into rounds. Toss in olive oil and salt and transfer to a baking sheet. You will probably need 3 baking sheets, depending on how big your sweet potatoes are.

    #SpoonTip: The thinner the crispier, but they can be sliced anywhere up to 1/3-inch thick for good fries.

    Photo by Jessica DiFoggio
  • Step 4

    When the oven is at 415°F, pop the sweet potatoes in. Very thin rounds take about 7 minutes to cook on each side, whereas thicker rounds take about 11 minutes per side. Check the oven after 7 minutes and peak underneath one of the rounds. If it’s starting to get spots, they’re ready to flip. If they’re still bright orange, give them a few more minutes. Some will cook faster than others; take out any rounds that are beginning to blacken and set aside in a bowl.

    GIF by Jessica DiFoggio
  • Step 5

    While the sweet potatoes are baking, start on the cheese. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews, then add them to a blender. Add almond milk, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and salt to the blender and blend on high until creamy. Add the microwaved cube of sweet potato and blend again until all the chunks disappear. If you’re having trouble blending, add more almond milk.

    Photo by Jessica DiFoggio
  • Step 6

    Transfer the cheese to a pot. Turn the stove up to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally so nothing burns. Let simmer until the sauce thickens to your desired thickness. If your blended cheese is already thick enough for you, you can skip this step and just microwave it when you’re ready to pour it over your fries.

  • Step 7

    When the sweet potatoes are done, transfer to a bowl or large serving plate. Cover in chili and cashew cheese. Use the roundness of your sweet potato fries to scoop up the chili and cheese and gently stuff your face.

    Photo by Jessica DiFoggio