This nacho fries recipe is loaded with all the goodness you can imagine! Cheesy fries meet vegan “meat” and other flavorful toppings. It’s the perfect dish for families which is fun and easy to make.
Have you ever tried out the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell? I wanted to make my own homemade version which is, of course, vegan! At first, I was going to just toss the fries with the flavorful taco seasoning and serve them with my Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce. But that would be too boring, in my opinion.
So, I figured why not make loaded fries with delicious toppings like nacho cheese, salsa, tomatoes, peppers, and vegan “beef”. It turned out to be a success and therefore, I want to share my recipe with you today.
This finger food is great for adults and kids alike, vegans, vegetarians, or even meat-eaters. Because who doesn’t love fries?! If you don’t want to make loaded fries and prefer the Taco Bell version where the fries are just seasoned with Mexican spices and served with warm nacho cheese sauce on the side, feel free to leave out all the toppings.
Since you guys loved my homemade Chili Cheese Fries, I thought you might also fall in love with this loaded nacho fries recipe! The great thing is that you can assemble the loaded fries as per your liking. You can add guacamole, vegan sour cream, make them spicy with hot sauce, Sriracha, red pepper flakes, or jalapeños. Use whatever toppings your taste buds desire!
What Is TVP & What Can I Use Instead?
TVP is textured soy and contains lots of plant-based protein. To resemble beef, which is often used in traditional loaded fries recipes, it’s best to use TVP granules. I had TVP chunks, so I soaked them first in warm water and then processed the chunks in my food processor to make the chunks smaller.
If you have a soy allergy, you can use a couple of different other things. Some options would be to use cooked lentils. They also add plant-based protein and fiber.
Another option would be to use chopped nuts, for example, walnuts or cashews. You can use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version. I would recommend soaking the nuts or seeds in hot water until they are slightly softened. It’s also fine to use a mixture of cooked lentils and nuts.
How To Make This Loaded Nacho Fries Recipe?
The recipe has a couple of steps that are very easy to make though. Check the step-by-step photos below.
STEP 1 – Start with the fries
- Peel and cut potatoes into sticks (you can use a regular knife or a crinkle cut knife). For more texture, you can leave the potato peel on.
- Soak the sticks in a large bowl with cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain the water and pat-dry them.
- Wipe out the bowl with a paper towel, then add back the potato sticks and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Stir to coat the potato sticks with the oil from all sides. I used my hands but you can use a wooden spoon. Cook the potatoes in an air-fryer (at 390 F / 200 C for about 20-25 minutes) or in the oven (390 F / 200 C for about 35 minutes) until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through.
- Finally, add the potato fries back to the bowl and sprinkle with the taco seasoning, toss to combine.
STEP 2 – Make the vegan “meat”
- While the potato fries are in the oven or in the air-fryer, start preparing the vegan “meat”. First, soak the TVP in 2 cups warm water for 5-10 minutes, then drain the water.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic. Heat oil over medium heat and add the diced onion to a pan/skillet. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic and drained TVP.
- Stir in all spices, also add the soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar, frying over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and set the pan aside. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired, adding more spices to taste.
STEP 3 – Assemble the fries
- Now comes the fun part – assembling the fries! First, make a batch of my Vegan Cheese Sauce but add a little water to thin it out until it has a similar consistency to nacho cheese. Skip this step if you use store-bought vegan nacho cheese.
- Prepare all the rest of the ingredients you want to use (salsa, guacamole, diced tomatoes, peppers, vegan sour cream, etc.).
- Arrange the fries on a large platter or on individual plates. Add the vegan “beef”, vegan cheese sauce, tomatoes, peppers, salsa/hot sauce, and all other toppings that you have on hand. Garnish with fresh scallions or chives and enjoy immediately!
Helpful Tips And Variations
Homemade taco seasoning: Use a store-bought taco seasoning or make your own. I used chili powder, sea salt, ground cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder. Check the recipe notes for the measurements.
Soy sauce: You can use gluten-free soy sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
How to store: The loaded fries are best eaten immediately as they get soggy quickly. You can store the toppings covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Variation: You can use store-bought nachos instead of fries for a fun variation.
If you decide to give this nacho fries recipe a try, please leave a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan – I can’t wait to see it!
Nacho Fries Recipe
For the fries
- 700 g potatoes (about 5 medium) cut into sticks
- 1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning (*see notes)
- 1 tbsp oil
For the vegan "meat"
- 1 1/2 cup (140 g) TVP granules (dried textured vegetable protein) (*see notes)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (*see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes or more to taste
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
For the nacho fries
- Cut potatoes into sticks (you can use a regular knife or a crinkle cut knife). I peeled the potatoes but you can leave the peel on if you prefer. Soak in a large bowl with cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain the water and pat-dry the potato sticks.
- Add the potato sticks back to the dried bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Stir with a spoon or mix with your hands to coat the potato sticks with the oil from all sides. Cook in an air-fryer (390 F / 200 C for about 20-25 minutes) or in the oven (390 F / 200 C for about 35 minutes, flipping halfway through) or until golden brown and crispy.
- Add the fries back to the bowl and sprinkle with the taco seasoning, toss to combine.
For the vegan "meat"
- Meanwhile, soak the TVP in 2 cups warm water for 5-10 minutes, then drain the water.
- Heat oil in a pan/skillet over medium heat and add the diced onion. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic and drained TVP.
- Stir in all spices, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Fry over medium for about 4-5 minutes, then turn off the heat and set the pan aside. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Assemble the fries
- Make a batch of my Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce but add a little water to thin it out until it has a similar consistency to nacho cheese.
- Prepare all the rest of the ingredients you want to use.
- Arrange the fries on a large platter. Add the vegan "meat", vegan cheese sauce, tomatoes, peppers, salsa/hot sauce. You can also add diced avocado/guacamole. Garnish with fresh scallions or chives and enjoy immediately!
- Homemade taco seasoning: To make your homemade taco seasoning, use these spices: 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- TVP: Use 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) of cooked lentils instead of TVP. Read the blog post for other soy-free options.
- Soy sauce: You can use gluten-free soy sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
- How to store: The loaded fries are best eaten immediately. You can store the toppings covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Variation: You can use store-bought nachos instead of fries for a variation.
- Recipe serves 5. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
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