Spicy Potato Tacos – Nora Cooks

These Copycat Taco Bell Spicy Potato Tacos put a vegetarian-friendly spin on the fast food favorite! Crispy baked potatoes are coated in smoky seasoning, then layered on tortillas with vegan chipotle sauce.

Women pick up a spicy potato taco from a row of other potato tacos

If you can make pizza crusts and salads out of potatoes, you can use them as taco filling!

These copycat spicy potato tacos are a riff on the version sold at Taco Bell. White potatoes are seasoned with smoky and spicy seasonings, baked until crispy, then loaded into taco shells with chipotle sauce and other simple toppings. They will easily become your new favorite vegan taco!

Why you’ll love these tacos

  • Tacos made with crispy, golden potatoes! What could be better than that? Topped with chipotle sauce and shredded cheese, this is a touristy bite.
  • Better than Taco Bell: Fresh ingredients and enhanced flavors make these easy vegetarian potato tacos better than the real thing.
  • Easy to make: The ingredient list is simple and foolproof in baking potatoes. Plus, they’re gluten free and always easy to make vegetarian-friendly.
A spoonful of chipotle sauce is drizzled over the potato taco.

Required components (including substitutions)

  • Russet potatoes – Russet potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture. This helps them to be crispy and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside by the time they finish baking. I haven’t tested it, but you could try replacing the russet potatoes with sweet potatoes.
  • olive oil
  • Cornstarch – Potatoes are coated with a thin layer of cornstarch before baking. When the heat hits them, the cornstarch clings around the potatoes and creates a crunchy and golden crust. This is the same method I use to make golden and crispy fried tofu.
  • salt
  • Onion and garlic powder – These two spices are used as the savory base of the mixture. That way, the potatoes aren’t overwhelmed by too much heat and come out of the oven balanced and unctuous.
  • cumin
  • paprika – For a subtle smoky and sweet flavor. If you want the potatoes to taste smoky rather than spicy, you can use smoked paprika.
  • pepper – This is the main source of heat in this spicy taco.
  • Tortillas – I like to use soft flour tortillas but you can use gluten free corn tortillas or hard taco shells instead.
Ingredients for vegetarian potato tacos in separate white bowls.

How to Make Spicy Potato Tacos

Find the full recipe with measurements below on the recipe card.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then carefully add the potatoes to the water.

Boil the potatoes; They should be slightly soft but still firm when pierced with a fork.

Drain the water and let the potatoes dry for a few minutes.

Combine boiled potatoes, olive oil, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne in a bowl. Toss the coat.

Slice boiled and seasoned potatoes in a large white bowl.

Place the mashed potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until they are golden brown and crispy. Prepare your taco toppings while you wait.

Scoop crispy potatoes into taco shells, add your toppings, then enjoy!

Ripe potato chunks are laid out on a large baking sheet.

Taco toppings

Classic Taco Bell potato tacos are topped with shredded cheese, lettuce and chipotle sauce. We can recreate the same great flavors with vegan-friendly toppings, such as:

Serving advice

Make it a meal and serve tacos with Spanish rice and beans, black bean and corn salad, and tortilla chips with guacamole and red salsa.

FYI: Do not use smoky and spicy potato tacos! Instead, make copycat fiesta tacos topped with my vegan nacho cheese sauce and vegan sour cream. It’s a great side dish or main when you don’t feel like assembling a taco.

Crispy potato, tomato, lettuce, and cheese in a small flour tortilla.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this with sweet potatoes?

I haven’t tested this recipe with sweet potatoes but they should work well. Follow the recipe as usual but watch the potatoes carefully when baking in the oven as the cooking times may vary. Or you can follow the instructions in my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Recipe instead.

Should potatoes be boiled before baking?

You don’t have to, but it really speeds up the baking time and creates a better texture.

How spicy are potato tacos?

Red chilies give potatoes a medium smoky heat. If you don’t like spicy food, reduce the amount of turmeric to ⅛ teaspoon or omit it altogether.

Can you air fry potatoes instead?

sure Boil potatoes and season as usual, then air fry at 400ºF for 20 to 30 minutes or until crispy. You may need to work in batches to avoid overfilling your air fryer basket.

Top 2 potato tacos next to each other with shredded cheddar cheese, chipotle sauce, lettuce and tomato.

Want more vegetarian taco recipes?

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet or two small baking sheets.

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4 inch pieces. Wash the potatoes in cold water. In a large pot, bring water to a boil (enough to cover all the potatoes). Carefully add the potatoes and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Potatoes should not be too soft; You should still feel some resistance when piercing with a fork, since we’ll be baking them too.

  • Drain in a strainer and let sit for about 3 minutes until dry. When dry, shake the strainer a bit. You should see some rough starch on the potatoes.

  • Combine boiled potatoes, olive oil, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne in a large bowl. Toss well to combine.

  • Transfer the coated potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, flipping the potatoes halfway through, until they are golden brown and crispy.

  • Serve on warm tortillas topped with a generous amount of chipotle sauce, shredded cheese, lettuce, and shredded lettuce. Enjoy!

  1. Nutritional information is an estimate only and is for potatoes only, not tortillas or any additional toppings, as this will vary.
  2. I haven’t tried it, but sweet potato might work in place of the russet.
  3. Potatoes will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat in air fryer or oven until hot. They do not freeze well.

Worship: 16 servings | Calories: 295kcal | Sugars: 49g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fats: 7g | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg

Course: Main proceedings

Recipe: Mexican-inspired

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