These spicy potato soft tacos are one of my favorite easy weeknight meals! If you've never had potato tacos, but you like tacos and potatoes, you've got to try them.
Potato and chorizo tacos are a common street food in Mexico. Mexican chorizo isn't always easy to find, so I chose to substitute ground beef. This potato taco recipe also makes for a delicious and super satisfying vegetarian meal - simply leave out the meat! I guess they would be sort of like copycat Taco Bell potato tacos then, but not totally sure because I've never had them.
Even though I include the recipe for the chipotle lime sauce here, it's such a versatile condiment, I actually have a whole separate post dedicated to it. Check it out if you're not sure what to do with leftover chipotle sauce after making these tasty potato and chorizo tacos!
Here's everything you'll need to make these quick & easy spicy potato tacos:
- Small flour tortillas - or you can use corn tortillas. I usually go for corn tortillas, but for these potato tacos with beef or chorizo, I actually prefer the flour tortillas. Street taco size or regular taco size both work well.
- Potatoes - I like to use russets because they become almost creamy inside after you cook them, but you can use any kind of potato. You don’t necessarily need to peel them, especially if you’re using a small thin-skinned variety, but I do recommend peeling russets.
- Ground beef or Mexican chorizo - adding meat is totally optional. I feel funny calling it optional because obviously everything is optional! You can follow this recipe as closely or as loosely as you’d like and cater it to your own preferences. I’m just here to tell you that these tacos will be delicious if you add chorizo or ground beef. And also to confirm they’ll still be delicious if you don’t.
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil - or any other neutral oil with a relatively high smoke point.
- Chipotle sauce - I linked the recipe here, or it's also listed below if you scroll to the bottom. These potato and chorizo tacos also taste great with salsa verde instead of (or in addition to) the chipotle sauce.
- Optional garnishes - queso fresco, fresh cilantro, red onion, shredded lettuce, lime wedges for serving
- Optional seasonings - chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Cook Potatoes for Tacos
The crispy potatoes are really the star of this dish! To ensure crispy exteriors and soft, pillowy interiors, follow these steps:
The first trick to getting crispy potatoes is patience. In order for the potatoes to get crispy, you have to let the outsides come in contact with the hot oil long enough. And that means letting them sit for a good 5+ minutes before stirring.
After they are browned on one side, give them a good stir to get browning on the other sides too. For even browning, you might want to use tongs to make sure the lightest parts are in contact with the oil next.
It's also important to not overcrowd the pan. If the pan is too crowded, it will create steam and release moisture, which inhibits browning.
After the potatoes are well browned, I put a lid on them to create steam. You want to avoid steam at the beginning, but once they are browned, steam will help them cook more evenly. The result is potatoes that have a perfect contrast of textures-- crispy golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside!
How to Make Spicy Potato Tacos with Chorizo (or ground beef)
To make spicy potato tacos, start with cooking with chorizo or ground beef (if using).
To make it easier, I cook the meat and potatoes in the same pan! Cook the meat first, then remove the meat to cook the potatoes in a combination of vegetable oil and leftover fat from cooking the meat, which enhances the flavor.
If you're not using meat, skip step 1 and start by cooking the potatoes in vegetable oil. Add salt, pepper, and additional spices if using.
That's really all there is to it! Once the potato filling is done, serve alongside tortillas and garnishes and assemble your tacos.
You won't need any specialty equipment to make this easy weeknight meal! Here's a complete list of what you'll need to make spicy potato soft tacos, with or without chorizo or ground beef:
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Nonstick skillet with a lid - you can also use a regular stainless steel skillet too, but I prefer the nonstick for potatoes so they don't stick
- Tongs - for warming the tortillas
- Knife and cutting board
- Vegetable peeler - for peeling the potatoes. Make sure you replace yours every so often if it's getting dull!
Once you assemble the tacos, they won't hold up for too long without getting soggy. But keep the individual components separate, and this has great potential for leftovers or a make-ahead meal.
- Chipotle sauce - lasts for a week in the refrigerator. I like to keep mine in a mason jar or squeeze bottle.
- Crispy potatoes - last for 3-4 days. They're also great leftovers for breakfast home fries!
- Ground beef or chorizo - once cooked, it will be good for 4 (ish) days in the fridge.
- Diced red onion - should last about a week, refrigerated. Put them in wraps or sandwiches, perfect garnish for a hot dog!
Technique: Warming Tortillas for Potato Soft Tacos
My favorite way to warm tortillas for tacos is using your stovetop. If you have a gas stovetop, turn a burner on low and using tongs, carefully place the tortillas one at a time over the open flame. All they need is about 10 seconds per side and it gives them a light char. You can also do this on a grill.
If you have an electric stovetop, you can still follow this method. Set a small burner to medium-low heat. Then, place the tortillas directly onto the burner one at a time. It will take a little longer-- about 20 to 30 seconds on each side. If you're nervous about placing the tortillas directly on the burner, you can warm them up the same way in a dry skillet, and turn the heat up to medium-high.
After you char the tortillas on the stove, you want to make sure they stay warm and pliable. The easiest way to do this is place them into a tortilla warmer. I don't have one of those. So instead, I'll place them on a plate lined with dampened paper towels so that it creates a pocket between 2 layers of damp paper towel. Since the tortilla is warm from the stove, it releases heat and creates steam, which keeps them pliable. Keep adding the warm tortillas to the paper towel pocket as you go.
What’s the difference between Mexican and Spanish chorizo?
Spanish and Mexican chorizo are actually totally different from each other. Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage, similar to an Italian sausage, but with Mexican spices instead. Like Italian sausage, it's sold raw, and can come in loose/bulk form, or cased in links.
Spanish chorizo, on the other hand, is a dried cured sausage similar to a salami. So it's ready to slice and eat right out of the packaging. For this recipe, I am using Mexican chorizo in loose/bulk form. You can also buy links and remove the casing before cooking.
Can I make tacos using oven-roasted potatoes?
Sure! There are lots of different methods to make crispy potatoes, so whatever works for you. Oven-roasting definitely has its benefits. It’s more hands off, and it’s probably a better choice if you’re making a large batch.
I prefer browning the potatoes on the stovetop because it's a little quicker, and I think they turn out more evenly browned. I also find that the potatoes are less likely to stick to a nonstick skillet. Sometimes the potatoes will stick to a sheet pan or a sheet of aluminum foil.Print
Spicy Potato Soft Tacos with beef or chorizo
Potato tacos are a common Mexican street food, and they're often served with chorizo. If you can't find Mexican chorizo, you can substitute ground beef, or leave the meat out for a tasty vegetarian option. Either way, these spicy potato soft tacos are the perfect easy weeknight meal!
- Prep Time: 5 min.
- Cook Time: 30 min.
- Total Time: 35 min.
- Yield: 8-12 tacos 1x
- Category: Quick & Easy Meals
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 6 oz. ground beef or Mexican chorizo (optional)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1 ½ lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
- 1 package small flour tortillas
- Queso fresco, fresh cilantro, red onion, and/or chipotle sauce for garnish (recipe below)
Chipotle Sauce Ingredients
- ½ small can chipotle in adobo sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (i.e. Cholula)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Pinch cayenne
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- If using chorizo or ground beef, add it to a large nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat until browned. Remove the ground meat from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the vegetable oil, let it heat up for a minute, then add the diced potatoes. Let them sit until golden brown on the bottom, then add salt and pepper and other spices if using, and stir to evenly coat. Continue to cook them, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until evenly golden brown on all sides. Once they are brown, cover with a lid to let them steam until the interiors are soft.
- Remove the lid, and add the meat back to the skillet briefly to reheat.
- Warm the flour tortillas on the stovetop (see technique section above) or in the microwave between layers of lightly dampened paper towels. Serve the warm tortillas with the potato filling and other suggested garnishes.
For the chipotle sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you have questions about the chipotle sauce, see the full recipe post here.
Keywords: spicy potato soft tacos, potato tacos, easy potato tacos