Tacos de papa is a simple and vegetarian Mexican dish made with creamy spiced mashed potatoes and cheese.
Those Mexican potato tacos are also budget-friendly and a favorite for any game day, Taco-Tuesday, or casual parties.
About Mexican Potato Tacos
Tacos de papa, known in English as fried potato tacos is a Mexican dish you can find anywhere in the country. From humble diners and street-food stalls to the fanciest and most luxurious restaurant.
Potato tacos are a very popular recipe during Lent Season (Cuaresma) as they don’t contain any meat, but truth is, you can find them also all year round because they’re cheap, delicious and so easy to make!
The traditional recipe calls only for mashed potatoes seasoned with salt and that’s it. But from family to family, some variations included adding spices, cheese, and vegetables.
How To Make Tacos de Papa
Wash potatoes thoroughly and place them into a large pot. Cover with water and boil them until very tender.
Transfer potatoes to a bowl and let them cool enough to handle, peel them and mash them with a potato masher to your desired consistency.
Add to the bowl the crumbled cheese, paprika, cumin, pepper, and garlic powder. Season with salt and mix until combined. Set aside.
NOTE: The mixture should be somehow creamy enough so it can be spread easily onto a tortilla, and not crumbly that will fall apart. So, add a little bit of cooking water in the case is needed.
Next, heat corn tortillas on a hot skillet or griddle until soft and pliable. Wrap them with a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.
Lay one tortilla flat and fill half with a spoonful of the potatoes mixture. Fold in half and press down lightly so that the tortilla sticks a bit to the potatoes and stay closed.
Place tacos in the refrigerator while continuing the recipe, this will make tortillas “stale” a bit and make them easy to fry.
Make the salsa
Place tomatoes on a saucepan and cover with water, boil until you see the skin is falling off. Reserve 2 cups of water and discard the rest.
Peel tomatoes, place them into a blender and add garlic, cumin, and pepper. Pour in one cup of tomatoes cooking water and blend until smooth.
In the same saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce and let it sizzle for about half a minute.
Add the remaining cooking water and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, adjust with salt and add oregano. Mix well and set aside.
Before starting, prepare a large plate or bowl lined with paper towels.
Heat about 1.5 inches (4cm) oil on a frying pan over medium heat.
Carefully place 3 or 4 tacos into the oil, using a spatula firmly press down the edges of tacos while frying, to prevent them from opening.
Fry until both sides are golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the fried potato tacos from the hot oil and place them onto the plate with paper towels.
Repeat the process until all potato mixture is used.
Place fried potato tacos on plates and add lettuce on top, pour sauce, and finish with onions and crumbled cheese. Serve immediately.
- For crispy and evenly fried potato tacos use enough oil.
- Cooking potatoes with the skin on and without cutting them into chunks prevent them from absorbing too much water and forming bubbles that will splatter when tacos de papa are frying in hot oil.
Other toppings you might like
- Queso Fresco – Authentic Queso Fresco goes amazing with these tacos de papa. Use store-bought that you can find at Mexican supermarkets or make your own at home.
- Fake Guacamole Sauce – A Guacamole without avocado? Yes it’s possible and is also delicious drizzled over crispy tacos.
- Salsa Bandera – Also know as Pico de Gallo this sauce is easy to make and add a fresh kick.
- Mexican Chili Oil – This is my favorite sauce for Fried Potato Tacos, is very spicy indeed but the flavour is amazing.
Make Ahead And Store
Want to serve tacos de papa at a party, bring them to a potluck or just have them ready for when you crave them? Here are some tips to do so:
- Make the potato mixture up to 4 days ahead and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Assemble your tacos up to 3 days ahead, layer them in a container and store in the fridge. Or arrange them in a single layer and freeze them for up to 3 months! You won’t need to thaw them before frying, just just fry them right away.
- Make the salsa 3 or 4 days ahead, reheat in a saucepan before drizzling over your tacos de papa. Or freeze it for up to 3 months, thaw and reheat before using it.
More Crispy Tacos To Try
- Chicken and cheese taquitos.
- Beef tacos dorados.
- Chicken rolled tacos (flautas).
- Picadillo tacos.
- BBQ chicken tacos.
- Tex-Mex tacos.
Crispy Potato Tacos
For the potato mixture
- 18 oz (500 gr) potatoes
- 1 cup (130 gr) Queso Fresco or Cotija cheese (or cheedar if you prefer)
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt (to taste)
- 24 Corn tortillas
- Oil for frying
For the sauce (optional)
- 1.1 lb (500 gr) tomatoes (about 3 medium)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Salt (to taste)
- Cotija, Queso Fresco or Feta cheese (as needed)
- Shredded Iceberg lettuce (as needed)
- Onions (sliced)
MAKE POTATO MIXTURE
- Boil potatoes until tender. Peel them and transfer to a bowl.
- Mash them with a potato masher to your desired consistency.
- Add crumbled cheese, paprika, cumin, pepper and garlic. Season with salt and mix until combined. Set aside.
- Heat corn tortillas on a hot skillet or griddle until soft and pliable.
- Lay one tortilla flat and fill half with about 1 tablespoon of the potatoes mixture. Fold in half and and press down lightly.
- Place tacos in the refrigerator while continuing the recipe.
MAKE THE SAUCE (optional)
- Boil tomatoes until you see the skin is falling off. Reserve 2 cups of water and discard the rest.
- Peel tomatoes, place them into a blender and add garlic, cumin and pepper. Add one cup of cooking water and blend until smooth.
- In the same sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add sauce and let it sizzle for about half minute.
- Add the remaining cooking water and season with salt and pepper.
- Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, adjust with salt and add oregano. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat about 1.5 inch (4cm) oil on a frying pan over medium heat.
- Carefully place 3 or 4 tacos into the oil, using a spatula firmly press down the edges of tacos while frying, to prevent them from opening.
- Fry until both sides are golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the tacos from the hot oil and place them onto a plate with paper towels to absorb excess of oil. Repeat the process until all tacos are fried.
- Place tacos on plates and add lettuce on top, pour sauce and finish with onions and crumbled cheese. Serve immediately.