One of our co-workers told us about Taco Potatoes a few months ago and dinnertime has been way better ever since! The base is always – spoiler alert – taco meat and potatoes. But after that, you can let yourself get creative! Toppings like cheese, salsa, beans, olives, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños… These taters are pretty diverse.
Prevent Taco Shells From Breaking
While I absolutely love tacos, there is one things I can’t stand- when the crunchy shell breaks and falls apart and you are left with a big taco mess. If you are an avid taco eater like me, I’m sure you know exactly what I am talking about. And the thing is, I’m not a fan of flour tortillas or any kinf of soft taco shell. I like that crunch and I like the flavor of the crisp corn tortillas. However, I am sooooo tired of how hard it is to eat a food that should just be delicious and easy!
One bite into a taco and the shell inevitably cracks down the bottom, spilling out the entire contents of the taco onto your plate (if you’re lucky enough to have a plate underneath them…otherwise, it’s tacos on the floor which is way worse!). There has to be a better way to get that taco taste without the crunchy, messy shell. Someone has to have solved this taco problem. Well, there is a better way! Taco potatoes is the answer.
Combing Taco Meat with Potatoes
Now this recipe came about completely by chance but has quickly become a staple in my household. I was planning on making tacos for dinner one night and I had already started cooking the meat when I realized that I had no taco shells, no burrito wraps, no tortilla chips… nothing that would traditionally resemble tacos.
So what now? What do I do with all the taco meat I just cooked and all the toppings I had patiently prepared? It was too late to start making another meal and I was not giving up on this taco theme- I was craving Mexican food by now! There had to be a way to save this dinner without running out to the store just to buy taco shells which would inevitably just break when I over stuffed them with my tasty taco fillings.
While the tacos were planned mainly for my husband and I, my daughters dinner consisting of roasted potatoes (and taco sides) was also in the oven. The smell of her potatoes made me start thinking…potatoes could work. Potatoes pairs with tacos….so guess what, my daughter has to share her potatoes! That’s when the idea came to me to simply put the taco meat and toppings on the potatoes.
Similar to a burrito bowl with rice and burrito filling, I would make a taco bowl with potatoes and taco fillings! I chopped up a few extra potatoes and into the oven they went. Dinner plans were saved! Potatoes would be the carrier for all the taco accessories and there would be no need for shells.
How to Make Mexican Potatoes
Once the potatoes were nicely roasted and just turning golden brown, I removed them from the oven and separated the potatoes into bowls. I topped them with the cooked taco meat and added a little cheese (okay a lot of cheese) for good measure. Then, I microwaved the bowls for about twenty seconds to melt the cheese and look at that, dinner is ready!
Want to know the best part? My young daughter who is a super picky eater will eat these taco potatoes too (I mean cheese, potatoes and yummy ground beef, who wouldn’t love that!). Any meal that I can cook that suits the whole family is a definite win and those are usually very hard to come by!
Sure, she kind of picked the potatoes out of the taco bowl, carefully eating them first and then continuing on to the meat once she finished the potatoes. Still, that is an improvement from her old habits! If this sounds familiar to you, check out my guide about picky eaters and you’ll find a few healthy snacks that even the toughest little food critics will love (think chocolate…).
Mexican Potato Taco Toppings
Of course tacos aren’t really that great without a whole bunch of toppings to go with them. I usually keep my toppings separate and serve them in small bowls at the table. It’s like a fancy taco bar just for us at home! However, when I make taco potatoes, I will put most of the toppings on before I place the bowl in the microwave to melt the cheese. This way, the toppings heat up slightly and the cheese melts over everything evenly.
- Chopped tomatoes
- Diced jalapeños
- Shredded lettuce
- Black beans
- Canned corn
- Diced avocado
All of these are just a few of the usual taco toppings that go perfectly with these taco potatoes. Oh, and don’t forget the sour cream and extra cheese! Both are very important to taco potato success. If you are feeling very ambitious, whip up some guacamole to take these taco potatoes to the next level. A salsa verde or a regular red salsa would also help take this simple taco potato recipe to the next level. But really, any topping you would want on your regular tacos will be perfect.
Roasted Potato Taco Success
Needless to say, my roasted potato taco bowls were a hit that first night I made them and have become a standard in our house. I have made them with ground beef, ground turkey and also with ground chicken and each time they get gobbled up. Taco Tuesday has no become Taco Monday, Taco Tuesday, Taco Wednesday…. we seriously eat these all the time.
This is also a great dish for dinner parties as it is quick to throw together and the assortment of toppings will let your guests personalized their meal. It looks fancy and impressive, pleases everyone and is perfect for absolutely any occasion! Or, if you don’t feel like setting up a whole taco bar for your party, just back one or two big, massive trays of taco potatoes and just put them out when they are done with a great big spoon. People can dig in and just enjoy. The best part about this is you will only have the one casserole dish to clean up after the party- can’t beat that!
Easy Taco Dinner
While there will always be a special place in my heart for traditional tacos and those hard to handle taco shells, taco potatoes are my new favorite dinner. They are easy to make, easy to eat (no taco shells breaking and making a mess) and my entire family can enjoy them together.
I make this recipe ahead of time too and it heats up perfectly. Bake it completely the day before and then, when you are ready to eat, just reheat the taco potatoes and serve! You can also bake the taco potatoes, wrap and freeze them and then just defrost when you are ready to eat. Talk about a perfect make ahead meal!
Now that you are probably craving tacos and also craving potatoes, go ahead and give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed and you will never have to deal with crumbling taco shells ever again!!
Hope you Enjoy! =)
Using potatoes as a “bowl” then filling them with delicious taco filling is like a whole new way to eat Mexican inspired foods- you’re going to love it!
- 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
- 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 4–6 small potatoes (diced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
- shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400(F) degrees and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place potatoes on sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt + pepper. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- While potatoes are roasting, cook meat in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until browned. Add seasoning.
- When potatoes are done, carefully remove sheet from oven. Evenly divide prepared meat and toppings of choice over potatoes. Place sheet back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
- This recipe is gluten free!
- Serve with a side of tortilla chip scoops and then forks aren’t even needed!
- Opt for ground beef that is low in fat and drain any excess grease off after cooking before you put it on top of the potatoes
- Use red bliss potatoes and you can keep the skins on
- Rather than dice the potatoes, bake them whole then sliced them in half and fill with the taco meat and toppings for a new twist on the same recipe
- Make this recipe and divide in to pre portioned containers. Wrap tightly and freeze. Next time you need a quick, individually sized dinner, pull one out and reheat it in the microwave! They keep in the freezer for up to one month.
- Serving Size: 6