Dishing Up the Dirt

Smokey Sweet Potato Fries with Cashew Aioli

I don’t use the “V” word around Taylor. Honestly, if I say something is vegan he automatically assumes there is some weird ingredients involved and usually thinks he needs to run to the nearest brew pub and order a burger.  (Yes, he is an organic vegetable farmer but still.. this word is scary to him!) In order to avoid impromptu (and expensive) trips to the bar I refrain from using the forbidden word.  But here is the thing, my husband has been eating an almost vegan diet for the past 6 months without even knowing it.  He is completely oblivious to the lack of meat or dairy in the house or on his plate. It’s all happened sort of accidentally (I’m not a vegan) but I take this as a huge compliment to my cooking. And don’t get me wrong, there will be cheese on here pretty soon (sorry meat lovers no meat) but for now this whole “v” thing has been working well for us.

Take these sweet potato fries with cashew aioli for example. One of Taylor’s favorite snacks at an old bar we frequented when we lived back east was their sweet potato fries with a spicy aioli sauce. I decided to try a healthier version at home and Taylor was blown away. Okay, I may have lied to him just a tiny bit (I told him I cooked the sweet potatoes in bacon fat. Shhhhh!!!!) Regardless of my white lie he ate this entire plate of fries and was totally convinced it was “legit” bar food. Am I evil? Maybe…..but it’s for his own good. If I didn’t cook on a regular basis this poor guy would either starve to death or eat a LOT of food cooked in bacon fat. Since I love him to pieces and want him to be around for a long time I usually take matters into my own hands.  Thanks to a pinch of smoked paprika these sweet potato fries have that “smokey” flavor that can convince even bacon lovers that these fries are “legit.” The spicy cashew aioli is simply delicious. I ate most of it with a spoon (oops!)

This snack will unite vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters from all over. It’s so stinking delicious and good for you that going back for seconds is encouraged. Dig in my friends!

Smokey Sweet Potato Fries with Cashew Aioli Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: 4 servings

  • 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed clean and cut into 1/4 inch thick fries
  • 2 TBS olive oil + more for oiling the baking sheet
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Fine sea salt to sprinkle
For the Spicy Cashew Aioli Sauce:
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBS fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sea salt to taste
  • Minced fresh cilantro and a splash of lime juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the aioli sauce by combining all the ingredients and processing in a food processor until smooth. Taste test and adjust seasoning as needed. If the sauce is too thick add more water.
  3. In a large bowl combine sweet potato fries with spices and olive oil. Place in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet (if your sweet potato was really big and all the fries cannot fit on one baking sheet in a single layer use two!)
  4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes (checking often to make sure fries don't burn.) After about 10 minutes remove from oven, flip fries and place back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes or until fries are browned on all sides.
  5. Season with salt, minced cilantro and a splash of fresh lime juice.


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

Leave a Reply

23 thoughts on “Smokey Sweet Potato Fries with Cashew Aioli

  1. Jo says:

    I love cashew aioli! This looks amazing.

    1. Andrea says:

      I didn’t realize how much my life was missing the amazing sauce! Love it too!

  2. I can’t believe you told him you used bacon fat!! Haha, that’s hilarious. Sounds like you did a good job and I can imagine that they are just as good as they look. Keep the sweet potato recipes comin’!!

    1. Andrea says:

      That guy will believe anything! I’m at least happy he enjoys vegan food even when he has no idea what he’s eating!

  3. Jazial @ Foxy Fresh says:

    Yum! I am a huge fan of sweet potato fries with aioli so will have to try this out.

    1. Andrea says:

      Let me know if you try it out and how you like it!

  4. Ohhh I think I need this!

    I think it’s perfectly acceptable to lie to husbands in order to feed them healthy food.

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m glad you approve girl! Little white lies never hurt anyone anyway 🙂

  5. too funny!! I did the same thing years ago, I took the family off meat, wheat, and dairy. they didn’t even really notice until going o a restaurant and realizing how difficult it is at times to eat out–healthy vegan style that is!!
    peace & raw health,
    Your food is always soo amazing. I would actually eat this cooked dish–minus the oil.
    Elizabeth marie

    1. Andrea says:

      It is amazing how easy it is to eat healthy and not miss the old “crap.” Thanks for the lovely comment!

  6. Krista says:

    We’re fellow vegans (except for the eggs our chickens lay) in hood river! If you ever need a fellow potluck buddy, I’m your girl.

    1. Andrea says:

      Krista! I would love to meet up for a delicious vegan meal with you. Let’s keep the conversation going! happy to know we are neighbors in the HR area!

  7. Julia says:

    It’s so funny how the term “vegan” can scare people (cough….men…cough cough) away! These fries look amazing! I recently started blending up raw cashews to make vegan sauces and I absolutely LOVE the way they turn out! Definitely making a hefty batch of these fries along with your deeeeeeeelicious cashew aioli!

  8. Haha, my partner is exactly the same – we eat mainly vegan at home which he is generally quite happy with until I actually mention the word “vegan”, which is usually the point at which he’ll suggest we go out for a pub meal soon! These look great, and I LOVE the sounds of that cashew aioli! I’ll have to try these ones down at home (perhaps with the bacon fat line 😉 and see how they go down. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Andrea, just letting you know I made these for dinner last night and they went down a treat! The meat eating boyfriend loved them too, and has requested them again soon – thank you! 🙂

  9. The dish looks great. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. My boyfriend would eat all of these up if I said they were cooked in bacon fat! You are smart. I am totally going to make something similar and add them to my blog. Thanks for sharing!

    P.s. I love your photos and your blog is adorable. Keep it comin’! 🙂

  11. Amber says:

    These look incredible and I want to make them to go with a dinner tomorrow night. I have a question about the aioli, though. When you soaked the cashews how long did you leave them in the water? Do you think overnight is too long? Can’t wait to make them!

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Amber,

      Thanks for you lovely comment! If you go back to my recipe you will notice that I suggest soaking the cashews in water for at least 2 hours. If you decide to soak them overnight that is fine too! Any longer than that, then they might start to sprout (which is totally fine and you can do a lot of wonderful things with sprouted cashews!) I hope this was helpful Amber! Let me know how this recipe turns out for you. It’s a favorite in our household!

  12. Alyssa says:

    I’m not sure what happened, but my aioli turned out rather bland? Any suggestions as to why? I followed the recipe to a T!

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Alyssa,
      I’m so sorry your aioli didn’t turn out super flavorful. The good news is that it’s an easy fix! I’d suggest adding a bit more spice and maybe more garlic. I always suggest people taste test as they go. Perhaps the brand of cumin spice you used wasn’t quite as strong as mine. You could even add a pinch of your favorite hot sauce to liven things up. Let me know if you try it again! Thanks for the feedback!

  13. Alyssa Erickson says:

    Yes, my cumin might be a little old….! Also, could the 1/4 cup of water been too much?

    1. Andrea says:

      We really enjoy the consistency of the aioli with the 1/4 cup water. If it seems like too much water for you add less next time. This recipe is great because you really can adjust it to make it your own! Good luck. Thanks Alyssa! .

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