These Loaded BBQ Quinoa Taco Fries feature homemade crispy potatoes, savory taco-spiced quinoa and vegetables and melty vegan queso on to for a festive and delicious plant-based meal or party food.
If you can't get enough crispy potatoes, melty cheese, and taco veggies, you're going to LOVE this recipe for loaded vegan taco fries. The base is a layer of crispy potato wedges, which are topped with spicy and zesty taco vegetables (coated in a homemade taco seasoning), gooey vegan queso cheese and your favorite spicy or creamy taco toppings.
As a result, this fun meal has something for everyone!
How to Make Loaded BBQ Quinoa Taco Fries
This recipe is all about layering, and don't be afraid to really load up your crispy oven-baked fries. They can handle it!
Here's what you need to make these loaded fries with quinoa:
Potatoes. I recommend using russet potato to make the crispy potato wedges. They're better for baking because they crisp up nicely and hold their shape well.
Mixed veggies. You can use any colorful, crunchy vegetables you like on these nachos. I like red onion, bell pepper and tomatoes for the mix of sweet and savory flavors.
Quinoa. This adds the hearty plant-based protein to your taco fries and it really absorbs the taco seasoning well.
Making Taco Seasoning
Making homemade taco seasoning is easy! And chances are, you already have the dried spices you need to make this blend. Here's what I put into the taco seasoning for the vegetables on these loaded quinoa fries:
If you like less spice, you can omit the cayenne or use less chili powder (replace it with smoked paprika or cumin). Or, for a spicier flavor, feel free to use more cayenne!
I like to use spices and seasonings are from McCormick.
Making Vegan White Queso for Loaded Fries
That's right, the melty cheese on top of these loaded quinoa fries is totally dairy-free!
The base of this queso recipe is soaked raw cashews, which blend up into a smooth, creamy, and totally delicious cheese sauce with a few other simple flavorings from:
Jalapenos. Feel free to use more or less of the peppers to suit your piece preference
Nutritional yeast. The must-have ingredient to add cheesiness to vegan recipes.
Lemon juice. For a bit of brightness and acid.
Chili powder and cumin. To complete the queso flavor.
Toppings for Loaded Quinoa Fries
Finally, to top things off, add a drizzle of your favorite BBQ sauce, guacamole, and more jalapenos if you like!
I usually use Stubb's BBQ sauce for this recipe and reheat it on the stove. For extra heat, I like to add a teaspoon of sriracha and a few pinches of red pepper flakes until they came to a slight boil.
You can also make your own Jerk BBQ sauce with this recipe--it's SO good and adds a Jamaican twist to your loaded quinoa fries.
If I have time, I like to also make a Lime Crema sauce to really bring this dish over the top. To make this zesty, spicy sauce, simply combine sour cream, lime juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and dried parsley.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place sliced potato wedges in a bowl adding the extra virgin olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, dried parsley, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir everything together until well coated. Next, spread potatoes out onto the prepared baking pan, so they are not touching.
Bake potatoes for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Once golden brown and crisp, remove potatoes from the oven and let cool slightly before adding remaining ingredients. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa along with the taco seasoning and mix together until everything is well combined and quinoa are fully coated with seasoning.
Make sure that the fries are evenly spread out unto the baking sheet, then top with: quinoa, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
Bake everything for 15-20 minutes, until veggies are tender.
VEGAN WHITE QUESO:
Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the fries from the oven and top with BBQ sauce, vegan white queso sauce, guacamole, additional diced jalapeños. Sprinkle dried parsley, atop if desired.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
BBQ SAUCE: If you choose to use a store-bought version, my favorite brand is Stubb’s BBQ Sauce. If you prefer homemade, see my latest BBQ sauce recipe for my cauliflower bites.
SOAKED CASHEWS: Add cashews to a bowl or measuring cup, cover with fresh cold water and cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp overnight. If soaking for 3-4 hours, add cashews to measuring cup and cover with boiling water instead.
WATER:Instead of using water for the queso, you can always substitute with veggie stock for added flavor.
QUINOA: For tips on how to cook your quinoa, including the recipe, visit my Buddha bowl recipe.