Tacos are incredible. The versatile treat allows you to combine nearly any ingredients into an easy-to-hold shell.
However, many of us get stuck in the same old taco Tuesday rut, cooking ground beef with taco seasoning to make traditional tacos.
For a delicious twist on a classic recipe, switch your beef out with potatoes and enjoy delightful potato tacos.
Potato Taco Ingredients
The best thing about making potato tacos is that you only need a few simple ingredients:
- Taco shells
- Cooking Oil
- Vegetable oil works best, but olive oil will work
- Spices to taste
- Chili powder
- Taco Fixings
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream
- Pico de Gallo
Of course, the specific type of potato, shell, and fixings depend on your personal preferences; scroll past the recipe for the best tips!
Easy Potato Taco Recipe
Prep time: 10-20 minutes, depending on what type of potatoes & fixings you choose
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Potato Taco Prep
- Dice your potatoes into small 1-2 cm cubes, and place in a mixing bowl
- Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and your favorite taco spices to the bowl
- Fresh garlic cut into small cubes is best, but garlic powder works in a pinch.
- Mix until potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spice
- Place a medium frying pan on the stove with a small amount of cooking oil. Set to medium heat
- Cut and dice your taco-filling veggies
Potatoes diced into cubes are the best choice for potato tacos. Larger cuts get too mushy, making it feel like you’re eating mashed potatoes in your taco shell. Shredded hashbrown potatoes get too crunchy if cooked on all sides and slimy if only cooked on one side, like in a traditional breakfast.
Small diced potatoes are perfect for a nice crisp outside and soft but firm inside. The large surface area also allows it to pick up more tasty taco spices.
Potato Taco Cooking Instructions
- Place diced potatoes evenly in a single layer in your preheated frying pan
- Sauté for approximately 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on all sides
- Heat Your taco shells
- Add the potatoes and fixings to your heated shell for a perfect meal!
The Best Potatoes for Potato Tacos
For the best potato tacos, use red potatoes diced into small cubes. Golden potatoes work well too, and russet potatoes will do in a pinch.
However, time is a limited commodity. If you don’t have time to dice, you can opt for frozen pre-cut potatoes. Ore-Ida frozen diced hashbrown potatoes are the ideal choice. They are cut into the perfect-sized cubes for potato tacos and are easy to heat in the frying pan.
For a more flavorful potato taco without any additional work, opt for the Ore-Ida Potatoes O’Brien that come with onions and peppers.
The Best Taco Shells for Potato Tacos
Soft, corn-shell tortillas are best for potato tacos. However, taco shells are a personal preference. Some prefer flour, while others insist on corn. Some enjoy crunchy shells, while others would rather have soft shells.
If you opt for a corn soft-shelled tortilla, you must cook it correctly.
How to Cook Your Tortilla
Here’s how to make the absolute best tortillas for your potato tacos. Don’t worry. They aren’t homemade! Use your favorite store-bought corn tortillas and heat them correctly for a divine taco!
- Preheat a small frying pan to medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready when a dash of water sprinkled into the pan immediately sizzles.
- Pour a little vegetable oil into a small bowl.
- Dip your tortilla into the oil, covering only the bottom half of the shell with oil
- Transfer the tortilla to the frying pan
- Heat the tortilla for 30 seconds to a minute, continuously flipping it and moving it around the pan to evenly coat it with oil
For crunchier shells, use a little more oil and cook slightly longer. For a healthier option, you can heat tortillas in a frying pan without the oil.
Quick Tortilla Shells
If you’re in a hurry, you can heat your tortillas in the microwave. Place a paper towel on a plate, then space taco shells over the paper towel and heat for 15 seconds. The paper towel is crucial as it will protect your shells from the moisture created in the microwave.
Take your plate out of the microwave, wipe it down with the paper towel to remove access moisture, and you have warm, ready-to-use tortillas.
Make Your Potato Tacos Mouthwatering
The recipe above provides a simple framework for easy potato tacos. However, to make your potato tacos fantastic, consider adding more fillings for an explosion of flavors.
Here are some things you can add to your tacos.
Green Peppers and Onions
If you opted for home-cut potatoes, you might want to spice them up by frying up some peppers and onions with them, making your own potatoes O’Brien.
Frying peppers and onions with your potatoes will inject extra flavor. The aroma of sizzling vegetables will have your family asking, “when’s dinner” again and again.
If potatoes aren’t filling enough, try adding Spanish rice to the mix. Although you can make your own, opt for the Lipton (or Knorr, depending on where you live) rice Spanish rice packet if you’re short on time. The rice is ready in 20 minutes and gives you a pan full of food to stretch your taco ingredients.
Vegetarians and vegans will prefer to stick to potatoes, but sometimes we want meat in our tacos. Ground beef and turkey are the best meats to add to potato tacos.
Brown your beef with cumin and garlic, or add your favorite taco seasoning. If you like softer potatoes, you can cook your meat and potatoes together, but for the most flavorful, crunchy potatoes, it’s best to keep them separate.
Why Do People Put Potatoes in Tacos?
People put potatoes in tacos for numerous reasons. My family first discovered the recipe because my aunt was craving tacos late at night when all the stores were closed. She had all the fixings but lacked ground beef. Upon opening her freezer, she found the Ore-Ida frozen diced potatoes and thought, “why not?” A new family recipe was born.
Here are some other reasons why you might opt for potato tacos.
Potato tacos allow vegans and vegetarians to enjoy tasty tacos without the meat. Potatoes give vegan tacos an excellent base, so they are just as filling as meat-based tacos.
Budget Friendly Tacos
Meat is expensive. Making ground beef tacos for the entire family can get pricey. Combining potatoes with ground beef in a taco stretches your meat budget, allowing you to create tasty, filling tacos that won’t break your budget.
Variety is the spice of life. Sometimes we just don’t want a traditional taco. Mixing it up and experimenting with different taco fillings helps make dinner time a little more fun.
Add Potato Tacos to Your Dinner Rotation
Once you’ve had potato tacos, returning to the basic meat-filled taco Tuesday will be hard. Add this delicious twist to the iconic meal to your dinner rotation for a budget-friendly taco that’s better than the original.
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.