Sweet Potato Nacho Fries from Power Plates
5 from 4 votes
Sweet Potato Nacho Fries from Power Plates | The Full Helping
Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

With Super Bowl Sunday around the corner, I wanted to pop in quickly to share a recipe from Power Plates that’s perfect for game day entertaining—and a tasty party dish for any time of year! It’s the sweet potato nacho fries, which are (you guessed it) a hybrid of baked sweet potato fries and fully loaded nachos, with the sweet potatoes standing in for chips.

I love sweet potato fries as a side dish, but this recipe elevates them to a more meal-worthy status, thanks to layers of black beans, avocado, and creamy cashew queso sauce. If you make the queso in advance, it’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to serve to friends, and it’s a more nutrient-dense alternative to most nacho recipes. You can adjust the spices on the sweet potatoes to be more or less hot, and you can also play around with the fixings: hot sauce, salsa, and pickled jalapenos would all be nice additions. Here’s the recipe.

Sweet Potato Nacho Fries from Power Plates | The Full Helping
Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin


Sweet Potato Nacho Fries from Power Plates | The Full Helping
5 from 4 votes

Sweet Potato Nacho Fries from Power Plates

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 -6 servings


For the sweet potatoes:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes scrubbed and cut into spears
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the cashew queso sauce:

  • 1 ⁄2 cup 65 g raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 ⁄2 cup 120 ml water
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • 1 cup 150 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ⁄2 small red onion finely diced
  • 1 Hass avocado peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 ⁄4 cup 10 g chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 11 ⁄2 cups 270 g cooked black beans, or 1 (15-oz, or 425-g) can, drained and rinsed


  • To prepare the sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the sweet potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with the oil, and toss until evenly coated. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne, adding a bit more cayenne if you like things spicy. Scatter the spice mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss again. Spread the sweet potatoes on the baking sheets in an even layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes, until quite crispy.
  • Meanwhile, make the queso sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a blender (preferably a high-speed blender) and process until totally smooth. If the sauce is thicker than you’d like, add water by the tablespoon until it's the right consistency for you.
  • To prepare the fixings, put the tomatoes, onion, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, agave nectar, and salt in a medium bowl and toss to combine.
  • Put the sweet potatoes in a large serving dish. Top with the tomato mixture, then the black beans. Finally, drizzle the queso sauce evenly over the top. Serve right away, with any other desired toppings.

It’s been a busy week here, and the last couple days have me thinking about the importance not only of self-care routines, but also of cultivating inner peace. Something I’m working on, and I’ll probably have more coherent thoughts to share in the weekly roundup post on Sunday. Till then, I wish you all a happy Friday and a sweet start to the weekend.


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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks
Method: Oven
Ingredients: Black Beans, Cashew Nuts, Sweet Potato
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan

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5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious! I have a cheese sauce recipe I already use but thought I would try this one anyways and I loved it! Definitely making this again, a great weekend “cheat” meal

  2. 5 stars
    My husband cannot have black beans. Any suggestions for another bean that would work well with this recipe. Thank you!
    I would like to make this for the two big basketball games on Saturday.

    • Hi Brenda,

      I think pinto or kidney beans would both work really well. I hope that helps!


  3. I really wanted these to be amazing. Maybe I screwed up somewhere along the way with the cashew queso but the consistency was so thick and it did not taste cheesey? It just smelled like yeast. The potatoes and the seasoning on them was delicious though.

    • Hey Maya,

      I’m sorry you had that experience! If you’d ever like to try it again, next time you might try a little more acid and less nutritional yeast—to me, that sauce tastes cheesy, but everyone has a different palate and maybe the yeast was too much for you? And you can definitely add more water to thin as needed if it’s super thick. That can happen sometimes depending on the cashews you use. I hope it’s better next time and am glad the potatoes were a hit.


  4. This looks great, Gena! I have all your cookbooks including Power Plates and I’m really looking forward to cooking dishes from it.

    How many ounces is a “medium” sweet potato? Thanks!

  5. I preordered Power Plates and am loving it! It’s seriously the most gorgous cookbook I’ve ever seen. I got the Vegan America’s Test Kitchen book this summer which I also really enjoyed however Power Plates is kind of the opposite. ATK recipes helped me learn new techniques but are so time consuming. Power Plates helps me feel confident and at ease putting a dish together quickly and often from what I already have on hand. Excited to try more!