Crispy Potato Tacos
Crispy potato tacos or “tacos dorados de papa” are a delicious and simple Mexican crunchy taco recipe. These crispy potato tacos are loaded with spiced potatoes and melty cheese, fried to perfection. I love topping them with shredded lettuce, crema, cilantro, cotija, and thinly sliced onion. You already know I’m all about the toppings and these tacos are perfect for loading them on!
Crispy potato tacos are perfect for your next game day, taco night, or any kind of party where you want delicious tacos that are easy to prepare.
Crispy Potato Tacos: A Vegetarian Delight
This is another recipe that my dad introduced me to. He would make crispy potato tacos for us all the time growing up. Not to mention, every taco shop in San Diego has some version of potato tacos on their menu. This recipe is a staple of my childhood and I know you’ll love them!
In Spanish Tacos Dorados de Papa translates to golden potato tacos because they’re fried perfectly until golden brown. These tacos are crispy crunchy, cheesy, and so, so good.
Crispy potato tacos are a wonderful weeknight meal because they’re so easy to make and customize! You can also prep them ahead of time and just fry right before serving. Potato tacos are also budget-friendly and a favorite for any game day, Taco-Tuesday, or casual parties.
If you’re looking to eat more plant based, these vegetarian crispy potato tacos are perfect! Even though they’re vegetarian, you won’t miss the meat at all.
How to Make Crispy Potato Tacos
These crispy potato tacos are so easy to make! They’re an easy taco recipe to turn to when you’ve got a couple of leftover potatoes to use up, or some leftover mashed potatoes!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes. I love using Yukon gold potatoes here, but you can swap in russets.
- Onion. You can leave these raw for a stronger onion flavor, but I like to saute them a bit until soft.
- Spices. Chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano are classic Mexican spices.
- Corn tortillas. Choose some nice quality corn tortillas.
- Cheese. I always use Oaxaca cheese here because it’s so melty. You could swap in monterrey jack, pepper-jack, or even mozzarella if that’s what you have on hand.
- Canola oil. You’ll need a high-temp oil like canola, grapeseed, avocado, or sunflower oil.
- Toppings. You can really go wild here, but my favorites are shredded lettuce, Mexican crema, cotija cheese, cilantro, and thinly sliced white onion.
- Step one: Peel and cut your potatoes into large chunks. Throw them in a pot with cold water and bring to a simmer. Add some salt and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain them and let them cool then transfer them to a mixing bowl.
- Step two: While the potatoes cook, saute the diced onion in a small skillet until soft. Add them to the mixing bowl with the potatoes. Add the spices to the potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix them until they’re the texture of clumpy mashed potatoes. They should be somewhat spreadable.
- Step three: This is an optional step, but I find that flexible tortillas are way easier to work with. Preheat an oven to 350 F. Spray your corn tortillas with nonstick spray and spread them on two baking sheets. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the tortillas cool slightly. They should feel soft and pliable.
- Step four: Lay a tortilla flat and spread one half with about 1/3 cup potato filling. Top with a sprinkling of the Oaxaca cheese and then fold into a half moon. Press the tortilla so that it sticks to the potato filling a bit.
- Step five: Heat a thin layer of oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet (about 1/2 cup) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add two tacos to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden and crispy. Transfer them to a paper towel lined tray to drain any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining tacos.
- Step six: Top the tacos as desired and serve!
What to Serve with Crispy Potato Tacos
You can easily turn these crispy potato tacos into a whole Mexican fiesta! Here are some of my favorite Mexican side dishes and appetizers.
- Elote Queso
- Shrimp Ceviche
- 5-Ingredient Guacamole
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Easy Stovetop Mexican Rice
- Homemade Salsa Verde
Making Crispy Potato Tacos Ahead of Time
Planning a party or gathering? No problem, because crispy potato tacos are easy to prep ahead of time!
Prep the filling. You can make the filling up to 4 days in advance! Let the potato filling cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use, but I recommend letting it come to room temperature before filling the tortillas so it’s easy to spread.
You can also freeze the filling. Add the cooled potato filling to a freezer-safe ziplock bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before using.
Prep the tacos ahead of time. You can follow all the steps up to filling the tortillas with potato and cheese. You can layer them on a sheet between sheets of parchment paper and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Alternately, you can freeze the assembled potato tacos in a single layer on a baking sheet and then fry them directly from frozen, no need to defrost the potato tacos.
Customizing Crispy Potato Tacos
I love these crispy potato tacos for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorites is that they’re so easy to customize! You can adapt this recipe to your tastes and dietary needs.
Add a protein. You can enjoy these potato tacos as-is, but you can also add some protein to bulk these crispy potato tacos up. My favorites include seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken, chopped shrimp, and even meatless options like tempeh, beans, or meatless crumbles.
Add some veggies. Have some veggies you need to use up? Throw them in the filling for crispy potato tacos! Roasted poblanos or bell peppers would be amazing. You can also add some sautéed zucchini, fresh corn, carrots, etc.
Make crispy potato tacos vegan. If you need an easy vegan taco recipe, these crispy potato tacos are it! You can either omit the cheese, or swap in your favorite plant-based cheese. Skip the crema on top and top these with your favorite red or green salsa recipe.
More Taco Recipes to Try Now
This post contains affiliate links from which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links allow me to keep providing great recipes for free and I never recommend products that I don’t love and personally own.
Crispy Potato Tacos
- 1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese
- canola oil, for frying
- kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Mexican crema
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Add the potatoes to a sauce-pot and cover with cold water. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain them and let them cool a bit. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- While the potatoes cook, heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute and diced onions for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the onions to the potatoes and add all the spices. Mix well until the potatoes are the texture of clumpy mashed potatoes. They should be fairly spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat an oven to 350 F. Spray the tortillas with nonstick spray and lay them out on two baking sheets. Bake the tortillas for 4-5 minutes, until soft and flexible. Cool slightly.
- Lay a tortilla flat on a work surface. Gently spread about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling on one side of the tortilla. Sprinkle with some of the shredded Oaxaca cheese and fold into a half moon. Press down so that the tortilla sticks to the potato and stays closed.
- Heat a thin layer (about 1/2 cup) of oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the tacos in batches for 2-3 minutes per side until golden and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined tray to drain excess oil.
- Top the crispy potato tacos as desired and serve warm!