Move aside black bean tacos – Crispy Spicy Potato Tacos are the new vegetarian game in town and we are here for it! Chunks of tender potatoes are panfried with serrano chilies and plenty of garlic, then stuffed into corn tortillas with lime coleslaw for an unbelievably delicious balance of spicy and acidic. You won’t regret putting these into your Taco Tuesday rotation!
The magic of these incredibly simple potato tacos is indescribable – so I’m going to season the moment and try to taco ’bout it.
Too punny? I guess this humor’s nacho type.
Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.
I will say in all seriousness – these tacos are ridiculous. Partly because, as my husband will gladly tell you, the notion that potatoes could rival the likes of steak, ground beef, chicken or even fish is absurd. And partly because the established canon for vegetarian tacos rests firmly in the hands of beans. We’re gettin’ crazy over here!
But I’m happy to be called ridiculous as long as I’m stuffing crispy, spicy potato tacos into my face on the regular from now until as least forever. Join me, will you?
How to make spicy potato tacos
Frugal and delicious mash up in the most magical, mouth watering combination in the form of these spicy potato tacos. Everything about this recipe is simple, and for once taking the easy way out yields unexpectedly great results. New potatoes are parboiled then panfried with chilies and garlic, then wrapped into corn tortillas with lime coleslaw. When it comes to crave-able vegetarian tacos, these guys are right on the mark.
- Make the lime coleslaw first. The flavor and texture are best if you give it at least an hour to marinate. Time permitting, make first thing in the morning for dinner that evening.
- Combine shredded green cabbage and thinly sliced green onions with lime juice, a touch of sugar, and salt. Toss and set aside for an hour at room temperature. If making in advance, store in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Before we dive into the process, let’s discuss chilis for a hot minute. I used serrano chilies for both heat and flavor.
- You can further adjust the heat to your preference by how you slice the chilies. Halve and seed the chilies, then mince, for milder spice; thinly slice whole serrano peppers for a much spicier version.
- The best potato for this recipe is any small, thin skinned new potato. I used baby gold potatoes.
- Cut very small potatoes into quarters, or large ones into a 1″ dice. Keep it all bite-sized.
- Straight-up skillet fried potatoes often finish cooking on the outside before they’re done on the inside. The easy solution? Parboil the potatoes in the microwave. Combine the potatoes with a cup of water and kosher salt in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and microwave for 5 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, then return to the warmed bowl and give them a good toss to evaporate any remaining water droplets. This step is important – if you transfer wet potatoes into hot oil, it will splatter and possibly burn you. Dry potatoes will also yield a crispier crust. Safety + best flavor = best tacos.
- Sautee the potatoes in oil over medium high heat until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Smash a potato with the tines of a fork to check for doneness.
- Push the potatoes to the edge of the pan. Add chilies and sliced garlic to the residual oil and sautee for 2 minutes.
- Season the potatoes with cumin, give all the skillet ingredients and good toss, and saute 1 minute more. Season with a bit more salt and remove from heat.
Let’s build a taco! Layer a corn tortilla with lime coleslaw and sour cream. Top with crispy potatoes and garnish with green onions and sliced chilis. Stuff into your face immediately.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Adjust the heat: seed and mince the serrano chilies for milder tacos; thinly sliced whole serrano chilies for spicier tacos. If you’re very spice adverse, use jalapeno peppers.
- Make the lime coleslaw in advance so the flavors have time to meld and the cabbage softens up.
- Be sure to dry the parboiled potatoes before adding to the hot oil in the skillet. Wet potatoes will cause the oil to splatter!
- Warm tortillas over an open burner for 10 seconds per side, flipping with tongs. Tuck the tortillas into a kitchen towel to keep warm.
More taco recipes
- Skirt Steak Tacos with Cilantro Crema
- American-Style Ground Beef Tacos
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Tacos
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
Did you make this these spicy potato tacos? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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Crispy Spicy Potato TacosPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe
- Microwave safe bowl
- 24 oz baby new potatoes, quartered or diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2-4 serrano peppers, minced or thinly sliced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 8 corn tortillas
- sour cream, to taste
Green Cabbage Slaw
- ½ small green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
- 4 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Prepare the cabbage slaw. Combine the cabbage, green onions, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine. If possible, make earlier in the day or the night before.
- Dice or quarter the potatoes and place into a microwave safe bowl. Add 1 cup of water and the kosher salt. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes; you should be able to pierce a potato with the tip of a paring knife but still meet some resistance. If the potatoes are still too firm, microwave 1-2 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the warm container and gently toss to help any residual water evaporate.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add potatoes and toss to coat in the fat. Pan fry the potatoes, stirring every few minutes, until golden brown and crispy on the outside, and creamy and soft on the inside, 18-20 minutes. Gently smash a potato with the tines of a fork to test for doneness. Push the potatoes to the side of the pan and add the garlic and jalapeno. Sautee, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. Add the cumin and toss to combine all skillet ingredients. Sautee 1 minute more then remove from heat.
- Build your taco. Layer a corn tortilla with green cabbage slaw, then drizzle with sour cream. Top with the fried potatoes and sprinkle with sliced green onions and chilies. Serve immediately.
- Adjust the heat: seed and mince the serrano chilies for milder tacos; thinly sliced whole serrano chilies for spicier tacos. If you're very spice adverse, use jalapeno peppers.
- Be sure to dry the parboiled potatoes before adding to the hot oil in the skillet; wet potatoes will cause the oil to splatter. Safety first!
- Warm tortillas over an open burner set to a high flame for 10 seconds per side, flipping with tongs. Tuck the tortillas into a kitchen towel to keep warm.