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My recipe for cheesy potato tacos is an easy-to-make, authentic Mexican dish. Corn tortillas are stuffed with a deliciously creamy potato mixture and fried to crispy perfection.
These potato tacos are an insanely tasty Mexican treat. Simple and scrumptious, they are made by stuffing corn tortillas with a cheesy mashed potato filling. Then, a quick turn in the frying oil transforms them into a savory, satisfying vegetarian treat.
Also known as tacos de papa, potato tacos are a quick and comforting snack that are easy to prepare and bursting with flavor. Make this potato taco recipe as an appetizer, snack, or feature it as the centerpiece of a meatless meal.
Table of Contents
- Potatoes – I use regular russet potatoes, but feel free to use red, Yukon gold, or any other potato variety.
- Spices – Pungent garlic powder, smoky cumin, and bright paprika infuse the potato filling with complex and warming flavors.
- Queso Fresco – Gives the potatoes a salty, mildly tangy flavor and a rich, creamy texture.
- Vegetable Oil – We’ll be using high heat, so be sure you choose an oil with a high smoke point.
- Corn Tortillas – Give the tacos a crunchy texture and sweet, earthy flavor — especially when fried. You can make this recipe with flour tortillas in a pinch, but you’ll be missing the crunch factor.
- Sauce – Jazz up your tacos with an easy DIY sauce made from fresh tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Enjoy this potato taco recipe as is or add in a few of your favorite ingredients.
For veggies, you could incorporate onions, peppers, peas, or carrots.
For a bit of protein, you could add a bit of cooked ground beef or shredded rotisserie chicken.
When it comes to spices, adjust any way you prefer! Just be sure not to overstuff your tortillas, or they will fall apart.
- Prepare the Potatoes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender enough to be pierced with a fork.
- Blend the Sauce. Trim the stems off the tomatoes and cut an x-shape into the bottom of each. Place them in a saucepan with 3 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the tomato liquid, peel the tomatoes, and put them in the blender. Add one cup of the cooking liquid along with the garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Puree the mixture until smooth.
- Heat the Sauce. Add oil to the saucepan and return it to medium heat. Add in the freshly blended sauce and let it cook for around 1 minute. Then, stir in the rest of the cooking liquid, letting it simmer for about 5 minutes as it reduces and thickens. Set aside.
- Mash the Potatoes. Drain the boiled potatoes and return them to the pot. Combine them with the butter, garlic, salt, paprika, and cheese, mixing and mashing as you go until everything is blended. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Warm the Tortillas. Working in batches, warm the tortillas until they are soft and pliable. You can use a hot skillet, or wrap them in paper towels and microwave for 10 seconds.
- Fill & Fold. Lay each warmed tortilla flat and add 2 heaping tablespoons of mashed potatoes to one side. Fold in half and press down gently.
- Fry the Tacos. Place a frying pan with oil over high heat until it is hot enough to sizzle when you add the tortillas. Carefully add the tacos to the hot oil using tongs, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You want a crunchy texture and golden brown color. Transfer the fried tacos to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Add Sauce & Serve. Serve cheesy potato tacos with the prepared sauce, shredded cheese, lettuce, and any of your favorite toppings.
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Before filling your potato tacos, be sure to warm the tortillas so they are soft and pliable, but not so much that they get flimsy. You especially need to watch out for this if you warm them in the microwave.
Then, when assembling the tacos de papa, be sure not to overstuff your tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and gently press down to spread out the potato filling and seal around the edges.
Finally, when frying the tacos, only do 3-4 at a time. Keep a close eye on them and press down gently to help hold them together.
Tacos de papa — or potato tacos — are undoubtedly Mexican in origin. Some sources say that these crispy, cheesy, potato-filled tortillas originated in Jalisco in Western Mexico, while others claim they originated in Northern Mexico where potato harvests are more bountiful.
Tacos de papa make a great vegetarian appetizer, snack, or light meal. Here are a few of my top suggestions:
– Serve them by themselves with a selection of toppings like iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, Pico de Gallo, Classic Salsa, and Guacamole.
– Enjoy them with a bowl of Green Chile Chicken or Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup.
– Have them alongside a fresh salad like this Thunderbird Salad or Southwest Chicken Salad.
– Weave this potato taco recipe into a complete vegetarian feast with Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans, Yellow Rice, and other hearty plant-based sides.
Cheesy Potato Tacos (Tacos de Papa)
- Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt boil to a boil. Add potatoes, turn heat to medium and cook until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Make the sauce.
- Trim stem end off tomatoes and make a "+" sign on the opposite/bottom of each. In a sauce pan, boil tomatoes in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of cooking water. Peel tomatoes, transfer to a blender and add garlic, cumin, oregano, pepper, salt and one cup of cooking water. Puree until smooth.
- In the same sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add sauce and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining cooking water and simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce and thicken. Set aside.
- Drain potatoes and transfer back into the pot. Add butter, remaining tablespoon salt, garlic, cumin, paprika and cheese. Mash the potatoes until everything is combined. Season to taste with salt if needed.
- Wrap tortillas in 2 batches with paper towels. Heat in microwave for 10 seconds or on a hot skillet or griddle until soft and pliable to avoid cracking. Lay tortilla flat and fill half with heaping 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes. Fold in half, pressing gently. Continue with remaining.
- Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan until very hot (dip edge of tortilla in and if it sizzles, it’s good to go).
- Using tongs, carefully fry 4 tacos at a time for about 2 minutes or until tortilla looks golden and crunchy, turning to fry both sides. Remove tacos from the oil and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Continue with remaining tacos.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.