These boldly-flavored BBQ Ranch Fries make a great game day appetizer, or an easy-to-make snack to be shared over an at-home happy hour.
Even though I don’t live in Southern California I still follow many of the restaurants and bars that I used to go to on social media. And a few months ago, Tony’s Darts Away posted a bbq ranch curly fry appetizer they were featuring for the week. I was immediately enamored and saved it so that I could make something similar!
For this version, I’ve not included a cheese sauce, but have added young jackfruit browned and then simmered in barbecue sauce, and it’s reminiscent of pulled bbq chicken. I’ve also included the amazing Ranch dressing recipe from Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant-Based Meal Prep for y’all because I love you, obviously.
Substitutions + Tips:
- Fries – I used frozen crinkle cut fries here, but shoestring, curly, or even waffle fries would be great for this! You will just need to adjust the cooking time based on what the packaging recommends.
- Young jackfruit – this is the kind of jackfruit that is harvested before ripe and stored in brine (you can find it canned). Once prepped properly, it has the texture of a softer shredded chicken or pulled pork.
- Barbecue sauce – not all sauces are vegan-friendly, as some contain worcestersher sauce which can contain anchovies, or even honey, so make sure to double check ingredients!
- Ranch – while there is a recipe for homemade vegan ranch in the recipe card, of course you can use store bought to make it easier on yourself.
- Spice blend – I used a mortar and pestle to grind it finer so that it sticks to the fries better, but a spice or coffee grinder will also work.
- Green onion – they add flavor and freshness, but a lil’ fresh cilantro wouldn’t hurt, as well!
- As mentioned this is a great appetizer to share, and if you want it to keep it casual, just serve it up on the sheet pan that the fries are baked on.
- Pairing wise, I suggest eating this with a beer that’s on the lighter side, like a lager, pale ale, or a dry cider.
Luckily for me, I’m into hockey, so game day isn’t relegated to one or two times a week. It’s almost everyday, LOL. Another amazing fry appetizer are these Mushroom Asado Fries!!
Cashew Ranch from Vegan Yack Attack's Plant-Based Meal Prep (makes 2 cups [475 ml])
- 7/8 cup (120 g) raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds (907 g) frozen fries (crinkle cut, shoestring, etc.)
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 14-ounce (397 g) can young/green jackfruit, drained
- 2 teaspoons mild-flavored cooking oil
- 1/3 cup (32 g) diced yellow onion
- 1/3 cup (78 ml) barbecue sauce
- 1/3 cup (78 ml) vegan ranch, or more to taste
- 1/3 cup (78 ml) barbecue sauce, or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons (4 g) diced green onion
- For the ranch, (skip this if using store-bought) place cashews in a small pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the cashews are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Drain the cashews and rinse them with cold water. Transfer the cashews to a blender, followed by 1 cup (235 ml) water and the vinegar, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Blend until smooth, let sit for 5 minutes, then blend again until very smooth. (Ranch will seem thin at first, but will thicken significantly once chilled.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- For the fries, preheat oven to 450F, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the fries in a large mixing bowl, and place all spices in a mortar and grind them with the pestle until uniform in size, and well-combined. This can also be done in a spice or small coffee grinder. Sprinkle this over the fries and toss to evenly coat.
- Spread fries out on baking sheet and baking for 20-25 minutes, flippig them over halfway through, or go by the suggested cooking time on the package. You want them to start browning on the edges.
- While the fries are baking, start on the jackfruit, place the pieces of jackfruit in a colander and break them apart using your fingers to press on them. Once shredded-looking, rinse them well under cold water and then press on the fruit to remove all excess moisture.
- In a small saute pan, over medium heat, place cooking oil. Once oil/pan are hot, add onion to the pan and saute for 5 minutes. Add jackfruit to the pan, spreading it into an even layer, and saute for 12 minutes, only stirring every 3 minutes, so that the jackfruit starts to brown, and dry slightly.
- Once edges have browned, add 1/3 cup (78 ml) BBQ sauce, and stir to coat, then adjust heat to low to keep warm while the fries finish baking.
- For the assembly, once the fries have reach desired color/texture, either leave them on the baking sheet or transfer them to a platter for serving. Season with a pinch more of sea salt, then top with shredded jackfruit, drizzle with ranch and barbecue sauce, then top with green onions and serve while hot!