SHARE

Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries

August 13, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
This Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries recipe will make you re-imagine nacho fries in a new way without the dairy! This one pan meal comes loaded with flavor and customizable ingredients for the whole family to enjoy!

Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries

These Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries are the best you’ll ever taste! No need to spend countless hours trying to come up with this easy meal that is super filling and perfect for any weeknight or weekend dish for the entire family to enjoy. These nacho fries come loaded with french fries as the base, and topped with cooked quinoa, bell peppers, jalapeños, poblano pepper, diced tomatoes, and corn; then drenched with BBQ sauce and a dairy-free 'cheese' sauce. Bursting with flavor! Gluten-Free option.

Nacho fries in a sheet pan with spatula and spoon with a side of ketchup.

If you can't get enough of crispy potatoes, melty cheese, roasted veggies, and taco seasoning, then you're going to LOVE this Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries recipe. The base is a layer of crispy french fries, which are topped with filling cooked quinoa (tossed in taco seasoning), roasted veggies, BBQ sauce, and gooey dairy-free cheese made into a queso-like sauce. Definitely the perfect one pan meal that can be topped with your favorite ingredients for the most satisfying bite. They're a real crowd-pleaser! Plus, this Chipotle Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla [Dairy-Free] is one for the books!

Of course, when it comes to the french fries, I like to use frozen organic fries for convenience whenever I don't have the time to make my own. However, in most cases, I enjoy these nachos fries with my Seasoned Crinkle Cut Fries, Crispy Seasoned French Fries, or Crispiest Jumbo Garlic Herb Fries for a nice twist! Plus, you can totally mix and match your topping options based on your personal faves and I mention more choices further below in this post. So, if you're a fan of one pan dishes or nacho-like meals, then you'll certainly love this Dairy-Free Mexican Street Corn Nachos and Loaded Vegan Queso Skillet Nachos. Such major hits!

If I had to describe this nacho fries dish, it definitely would be: savory with a hint of sweetnessfilling without meatflavorfuleasy to make, entirely dairy-free with a gluten-free option, works as a great make ahead meal, the whole family can enjoy, and works perfectly as a meal, snack, or appetizer.

Jump to:

What are Nacho Fries?

Basically, nacho fries are just like traditional nachos, except the fact that the base is made with french fries as opposed to tortilla chips. The same concept of loading the base with your favorite toppings still applies along with a creamy nacho-like cheese.

Ingredients including BBQ sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings, chopped peppers, corn, and quinoa.

How to Make Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries

This Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries recipe is all about layering, and don't be afraid to really load up your crispy oven-baked fries. They can handle it! Simply add your fries as the base then top with ingredients, bake until fries are crispy + the veggies are tender and roasted, then make your dairy-free cheese sauce, and spoon on top for a nice finish! Wallah!

The Ingredients

Here's what you need to make these loaded nacho fries with quinoa:

  • French fries. You'll need about 8 cups of french fries and you can totally use frozen for convenience. However, if you'd prefer to make your fries from scratch, you can make my Seasoned Crinkle Cut Fries, Crispy Seasoned French Fries, or Crispiest Jumbo Garlic Herb Fries which you'll just need to sauté or roasted the toppings prior to assembly to ensure that everything is cooked evenly.
  • Quinoa. This is a great meat alternative for the same "filling" feel as you would get from traditional ground beef or turkey. I used a brown rice/quinoa blend, but regular quinoa will do. See further below on tips for cooking the perfect quinoa!
  • Tomatoes. You will be dicing up the tomatoes for a nice bite. I like to use on-the-vine ones, but roma tomatoes work too! Also, feel free to use organic canned diced tomatoes for convenience-----just drain them before adding as a topping.
  • Peppers. I like the extra spicy flavor mixed with a bit of sweetness, therefore, I use jalapeños, poblanos, and bell peppers----all chopped. Remove the seeds for less spicy.
  • Dairy-Free Cheese Shreds. I love using 'cheddar shreds', however, you can use whichever you prefer. Be sure use high-quality brands that melts well for the cheese sauce. I love using Violife!
  • Taco seasoning. You can totally use a high-quality store-bought blend, but if you'd like to make it on your own, you'll need: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, + cayenne pepper.
  • Corn. I use frozen white sweet corn, but you can use 2 ears of organic corn and cut them into 1-inch pieces for an easier bite.
  • BBQ sauce. I like to offset the heat of the spicy flavors by adding a bit of BBQ sauce for a sweetness factor. You can use a store-bought brand or make your own (I talk more about that below).
  • Almond milk. Or any unsweetened dairy-free milk you like. If you're thinking of making your own homemade almond milk, you'll love how easy this Almond Milk [without soaking] is!
Bag of frozen french fries on a wood table.

Why You Will LOVE these Nachos Fries

  • They're a flavor explosion-- Spicy, sweet, savory, and downright addictive!
  • Totally customizable---use only your favorite toppings and ingredients.
  • Crowd-pleasing--perfect for gatherings and easy dinner nights.
  • Textural bliss, the perfect balance of tender and crunchy in each bite.
  • Make everything from scratch for fresh, homemade ingredients OR store-bought for total convenience!
  • You can make things ahead of time or the same day, depending on your needs!
  • Totally dairy-free + meatless with a gluten-free option for those with a sensitivity.

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 nacho fries:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne

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!

You can make a double or triple batch of the taco seasoning and store it in your spice cabinet for up to two months. Any longer, and the spices will start to lose their robust flavor.

French fries on a sheet pan with corn and quinoa topping.

PERFECTLY ROASTED VEGGIES

Knowing how to roast all vegetables (in general) perfectly is definitely a learned skill. All veggies are different and they all have vast cooking times.

The most common rule of thumb is to roast thicker vegetables at a higher temperature because they can handle the heat. For example, corn, poblano peppers, potatoes or sweet potatoes can roast at a higher temp because of their thickness. Broccoli, on the other hand, lends well to a lower heat when cut into florets.

Best Nacho Fries Toppings

Everyone is different when it comes to nacho fries toppings in general, which is why I love using a variety of ingredients. However, for these Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries, I like to add ingredients that compliment the bold flavor of both the BBQ + taco seasoning.

This is a great opportunity to teach children about what they like, how much to add, and helps to develop their palate—which is what I try to do with my son. Plus, maybe they’ll try something new on their own—who knows?!

Some of the most popular nacho fries or taco toppings in my house are:

  • Bacon or shredded chicken (if meatless isn't required)
  • Ground beef or turkey (to make with taco seaosning)
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Shredded jackfruit
  • Roasted veggies (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Caramelized onions or fresh onion slices
  • Cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Sour cream or yogurt
  • Beans (think black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.)
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Vegan queso
  • Herb roasted tomatoes

The Secret To Tasty Quinoa

OK, so I’ve heard so many people talk about not really being a huge fan of quinoa recipes because they have no taste or the taste is so bland. Honestly, the KEY is to build flavor for every component of your dish so that together, the flavor is EXPLODING, including with your quinoa.

MY SECRET? Veggie stock or chicken stock (for non-vegan/vegetarian options). Yup. Instead of using water, I just substitute with some sort of stock, adding salt or whatever based on necessity. Trust me, your quinoa will NEVER BE THE SAME after this delicious trick.

Fries on sheet pan with corn, quinoa, and peppers as topping.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

To make your own BBQ sauce for these loaded fries is rather simple and doesn't require a lot. You can whip together my Best Homemade BBQ Sauce—a blend of tangy, smoky and slightly spicy flavors that's sure to elevate your grilling game.

Fries on sheet pan with corn, quinoa, peppers, and diced tomatoes as topping.

Make-Ahead Tips

You can make these Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator prior to serving by prepping the topping ingredients and storing them in separate airtight containers until ready to assemble. Also, you can make the french fries (if doing homemade) up to 2 days before and store them in the fridge.

Lastly, you can make the dairy-free cheese sauce 1-2 days prior, storing it in an airtight container in the fridge and reheating it in a saucepan when ready to use. You may need 2-3 Tbsps of milk when reheating to ensure that it's smooth and creamy.

Fries on sheet pan with all toppings including seasonings.

Can I Make these Nacho Fries Gluten-Free?

Yup! To make this recipe gluten-free, simply ensure that any frozen fries used are GF-friendly, and ensure that all other ingredients are also GF-friendly (i.e. BBQ sauce, substitute corn with broccoli or cauliflower, etc).

Nacho Fries Tips

These are my top tips to make sure your nacho fries are as crisp and loaded as possible in the best way:

  • Let the oven come fully to temperature before you add the fries to the oven. It needs to be a nice and hot environment.
  • It's best to pre-cook or roast your veggies before assembly to ensure that everything cooks on time and evenly, especially if using homemade french fries which would require a quicker bake time!
  • Only assemble ingredients + toppings on right before serving to avoid any soggy-ness.
  • Fully load the ingredients atop fries for a nice spread of flavor and texture. Don't skimp on toppings!
  • Always bake these nacho fries at the bottom rack for the most crispiest finish. Just check on them at the halfway point and keep an eye to ensure that they don't burn.

Do You Season the Fries?

For this recipe, I chose to season the quinoa, however, you can totally add an extra layer of seasoning by tossing the fries the in taco blend or simply just seasoning the fries instead.

If desired, you can reduce the amount of taco seasoning used slightly. Please know that this recipe is bold in flavor, so feel free to adjust based on your tastebuds.

Melted dairy-free nacho cheese in a saucepan with a spoon.

Common Q + A's for these Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries

How to best store leftovers?

Best if consumed within the same day. Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven when ready to serve.

How to Air Fry frozen fries?

Basically, you'll air fry frozen fries as you would fries that you were making from scratch. The only difference is that the cook time will be less, but everything else remains the same. If air frying, check on the fries every 5 minutes to shake the potatoes so they do not stick.

You'll set the temperature to 400 degrees and after 5-10 mins, check for doneness every few minutes. Both the oven and the air fryer make excellent crispy potato french fries!

Do I have to use quinoa?

Not at all! You can totally substitute quinoa with taco beef or turkey, shredded chicken, mushrooms, cauliflower, jackfruit (shredded), chickpeas, etc. Although quinoa is a great gluten-free friendly ingredient that's jam-packed with fiber and protein.

Can I use any dairy-free cheese shreds for the sauce?

Honestly, all brands aren't created equal as you know. Personally, I love how Violife's cheese shreds melt fully and becomes smooth and creamy as I need it to be. But you can definitely use your favorite brand of dairy-free cheese or make your own vegan queso like my Vegan Jalapeños Queso!

Baked loaded fries topped with melted dairy-free nacho cheese.

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you make this Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love, rate, comment below, + share!

Awesome Meatless Recipes to Try Next?

If you make this Loaded Nacho Fries or any other recipe from us, then you'll want to check out these delicious meatless options:

Loaded fries in a sheet pan with a spatula, avocado, and a side of ketchup on a wood table.
Nacho fries in a sheet pan with spatula and spoon with a side of ketchup.

Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries

August 13, 2023
5 from 7 votes
Loaded BBQ Quinoa Taco Fries are a unique and totally delicious way to eat plant-based protein, colorful veggies and of course, melty cheese!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

FRIES:

TACO SEASONING:

  • 1 Taco Seasoning Recipe

DAIRY-FREE "CHEESE" SAUCE:

  • 2 cups dairy-free cheddar shreds, premium
  • ¼ cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)

TOPPINGS:

  • 2 cups Cooked quinoa (See post for more details)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (See Notes!)
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped or diced + seeds removed
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce, store-bought or homemade (You can make my homemade BBQ Sauce)
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Instructions

FOR THE FRIES:

ASSEMBLY:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, add the cooked quinoa along with 1-2 Tbsps of taco seasoning (depending on your desired flavor level) and mix together until everything is combined and quinoa is fully coated.
  • Add the fries to the baking sheet and spread out evenly. Then top with quinoa followed by chopped peppers, corn, tomatoes, and jalapeños. Now, top with BBQ sauce drizzling atop everything.
  • Bake everything for 35-40 minutes minutes or until veggies are tender and fries are crispy.

TO MAKE THE DAIRY-FREE 'CHEESE' SAUCE:

  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the cheese shreds and milk, whisking frequently until cheese begins to melt, about 3-4 minutes. Once smooth and combined, remove from heat.
  • Generously spoon the dairy-free cheese sauce atop everything in the sheet pan and serve by scooping everything with a spatula.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Best if consumed within the same day. Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven when ready to serve.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator prior to serving by prepping the topping ingredients and storing them in separate airtight containers until ready to assemble. Also, you can make the french fries (if doing homemade) up to 2 days before and store them in the fridge. Lastly, you can make the dairy-free cheese sauce 1-2 days prior, storing it in an airtight container in the fridge and reheating it in a saucepan when ready to use. You may need 2-3 Tbsps of milk when reheating to ensure that it's smooth and creamy.
  • SPICES/HERBS: If desired, you can reduce the amount of taco seasoning used slightly. Please know that this recipe is bold in flavor, so feel free to adjust based on your tastebuds.
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply ensure that any frozen fries used are GF-friendly, and ensure that all other ingredients are also GF-friendly (i.e. BBQ sauce, substitute corn with broccoli or cauliflower, etc).

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1078mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 2416IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 4mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Xx, Shanika in script writing

Love this Post? SHARE!

LOVE THIS RECIPE?
LET US KNOW!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Love this Recipe?




  1. These loaded chicken taco fries have all the good stuff and make for a great snack for parties or Friday night.

  2. Chicken tacos and fries are a fan favorite for game day at this house. Can' wait to add then to this weekends menu.

  3. You have just got my full attention with lots of bright orange color of this meal. Sounds so appetizing! Cannot get enough of looking at your pictures...

  4. This recipe looks amazing! I’d love some time alone with these fries but not the guilt afterward. Lol!

jQuery(document).ready(function($) { $('.clicked-1').addClass('showme'); $('.clicky-1').addClass('shown'); $('.click-1').addClass('active'); });