Tacos Dorados (Deep Fried Tacos)

Those tacos dorados are made with a delicious potato and beef mixture and then deep fried to perfection. Learn how to make them from scratch for a budget-friendly family meal.

Deep fried tacos dorados served with lettuce, salsa, cheese, cream, and pickled onions.

About Tacos Dorados

Tacos dorados is a Mexican traditional type of taco made of corn tortillas filled with potatoes or meat and then deep fried until nicely golden and crunchy.

The name translates literally to golden tacos and refers to the nice orange-ish color they have after being deep fried.

In Mexico, the name is given to any crunchy, fried taco (rolled or folded) regardless of the filling. But tacos de papa is one of the most popular recipes and is widely offered at any cenaduría (diner) in the country.

Usually, to make those tacos they are first filled, then folded or rolled, and then deep-fried. That’s how an authentic taco dorado is made in Mexico.

Once fried, they will be served with lettuce, cream, and cheese on top, instead of inside. Then generously drizzled with a flavorful tomato sauce.

Tacos dorados, aka deep fried tacos with various toppings on a turquoise surface.

For this particular recipe, I made a mixture of shredded beef with creamy potatoes. It is so flavorful that you can even eat those tacos without toppings, just straight out from the pan!

Ingredients Needed

  • Tortillas: Use medium size tortillas, I recommend corn tortillas because they become crispier when fried.
  • Oil: Any frying oil works fine, I like to use sunflower or corn oil.

For the filling:

  • Beef: You can make our recipe for shredded beef or use leftovers from other preparations.
  • Fresh produce: Potatoes, tomatoes, onion, and chili peppers.
  • Spices: Ground cumin, salt, and pepper.

For the tomato sauce:

  • Fresh produce: Ripe fresh tomatoes and onions.
  • Spices: garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Chilies: Optional, I used chile de árbol but you can use any type of hot chili peppers available to you.

Toppings:

Various toppings for tacos dorados displayed on a marble surface.

How To Make Tacos Dorados

Make the filling

  1. Peel potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Place them into a pot, cover with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook potatoes until very tender. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté until transparent. Add tomatoes, season with cumin, salt, and pepper, then sauté everything for 3 minutes.
  4. Add shredded beef to the pan and mix well.
  5. Add potatoes, mix and then smash them well with a potato masher. Use a little bit of water or beef stock to smooth a little the mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Tacos dorados filling ready on a pan.

Assemble

  • Heat a skillet or no-sticking pan over medium heat. Heat tortillas from both sides until soft and pliable.
  • Place them between a kitchen cloth to keep them warm.

Related article: How to warm a corn tortillas, by bonappetit.

  • Place a flat tortilla on a surface, and spread two tablespoons of the potato and meat mixture in the middle.
  • Fold them into a half-moon or roll them.
  • Keep assembling tacos until all mixture is gone. You might need more tortillas, so just remember to warm them first so they can be folded easily.
Tortillas filled, folded, and rolled, on a surface with a pan with more stuffing mixture on the side.

Fry

Place 4-5 tacos into the oil (carefully), using a spatula firmly press down the edges while frying, to prevent tacos from opening.

Tacos dorados deep frying on a pan.

Fry until both sides are golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Remove tacos and place them onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Tacos dorados deep fried and placed on a plate lined with paper towels.

Make the tomato salsa

Roast tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chilies (the last is optional).

Roasted ingredients on a comal to make salsa for tacos dorados.

Place everything into a blender and add two cups of water. Blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a sauce pot. Add sauce and let it simmer for about half a minute. 

Salsa for tacos dorados on a pot.

Add cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then set heat to low. Let the salsa simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool down a bit before drizzling your tacos.

Showing the texture of salsa for tacos dorados.

Garnish and serve

Place tacos on serving plates. Add lettuce on top, then pickled onions. Drizzle with cream and salsa. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure you use plenty of oil if you want golden, crunchy tacos. Pan-fried won’t work just the same.
  • Check out that oil is nicely heated up before adding the tacos or they will absorb too much oil.
  • Add them carefully to the hot oil, place them in a spatula then slice them into the oil.
  • When stuffing the mixture into the tortilla make sure is nicely placed in the middle and not too near to the edges or it will fall out when frying the tacos.
  • For perfectly fried tacos with a nice crunch, don’t overfill the tortillas or they will be too soft in the middle.
Deep fried tacos dorados placed standing up on a plate with paper towels.

Recipe Variations

  • With chicken: Replace shredded beef with shredded chicken, you can use a rotisserie chicken or boil one or two chicken breasts.
  • Vegetarian: Use mushrooms or zucchini instead of meat to make the most amazing vegetarian tacos dorados ever!
  • Cheesy: If you want some cheesy tacos, sauté tomatoes and onions, then add potatoes and mash everything as said in the recipe. Allow the mixture to cool down then add 2 cups of shredded mozzarella or cheddar, mix well and fill your tacos.
  • Bake: For a healthier version, you can brush uncooked tacos with a little bit of olive oil, secure them with toothpicks, then place them in a single layer on a baking tray and bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 10 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Other toppings: Feel free to add other toppings such as slices of avocado, diced onions, fresh tomatoes, sliced radishes, etc.

What To Serve With Deep Fried Tacos

Even though those deep fried tacos are served as a main dish, you can also serve them with other sides.

My favorite way of serving tacos dorados is with sopa de fideo or conchitas soup, they just make the perfect side!

If you want to include more veggies, try a side of calabacitas or champiñones a la Mexicana. Or top them with this healthy nopales salad.

Last, other salsas are perfect to serve with, like green tomatillo salsa or guacamole salsa.

Deep fried tacos dorados in a plate topped with lettuce, sauce, onions, cheese, and cream.

How To Store And Reheat

  • Leftovers: Store leftover tacos for up to 4 days in an air-tight container. To reheat them pop them into the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 4-5 minutes.
  • Make ahead: You can make the meat and potato mixture 2-3 days ahead and store it in the fridge in a container well covered.
  • Freeze: The beef and potato mixture freezes pretty well for up to 3 months in a bag or container. Thaw it overnight and make your tacos dorados the next day.
Deep fried tacos dorados with various toppings.

Tacos Dorados (Deep Fried Tacos)

author Maricruz
25
These deep fried tacos dorados are made with a potato and beef mixture so delicious and easy to make that you will love them! They make the perfect appetizer for gatherings or a nice Mexican meal for any weeknight dinner.
prep 20 minutes
cook 1 hour
total 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients 

For beef and potato mixture

  • 2 cups beef meat (cooked and shredded)
  • 1 lb potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1 small tomato (diced)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

For tomato salsa

  • 3 tomatoes
  • ½ small onion
  • 3 arbol chilies (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper

For toppings

  • Pickled onions
  • 3 cups lettuce (shredded)
  • 1 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • 1 ½ cups Cotija, queso fresco or any cheese your prefer (crumbled)

Instructions
 

Make the filling

  • Boil potatoes until very tender. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and peppers until transparent.
  • Add tomatoes, season with cumin, salt, and pepper, then sauté everything for 3 minutes.
  • Add shredded beef and mix.
  • Add potatoes, and smash them with a potato masher. Use a bit of water or beef stock to smooth the mixture. Adjust salt to taste.

Make the tomato consome salsa

  • Roast tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chilies.
  • Place into a blender and add two cups of water. Blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a sauce pot. Add sauce, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Allow the salsa to simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit before drizzling your tacos with this.

Assemble tacos

  • Warm tortillas on a skillet or pan until soft and pliable. Put them between a kitchen cloth to keep them warm.
  • Place a flat tortilla on a surface, spread two tablespoons of the meat and potato mixture in the middle.
  • Fold the filled tortilla into a half-moon. Or you can also roll them to make taquitos.
  • Keep assembling tacos until all mixture is gone.

Deep fry tacos

  • Heat a good amount of oil on a frying pan and fry tacos until golden and crispy, use a spatula to press down the edges while frying, to prevent tacos from opening.
  • Remove tacos and place them onto a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Garnish and serve

  • Place tacos on serving plates. Add lettuce on top, then pickled onions. Drizzle with cream and salsa. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Make sure you use plenty of oil if you want golden, crunchy tacos. Pan-fried won’t work just the same.
  • Check out that oil is nicely heated up before adding the tacos or they will absorb too much oil.
  • Add them carefully to the hot oil, place them in a spatula then slice them into the oil.
  • When stuffing the mixture into the tortilla make sure is nicely placed in the middle and not too near to the edges or it will fall out when frying the tacos.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 301IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My favorite tacos ever are indeed tacos dorados. I like them just with potatoes but the beef mixture seems delicious too.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these tacos dorados and let me tell you that they were the best I ever had! the filling is really flavorful, nothing I had before. Definitely those are now my favorite tacos dorados for life.