These copycat Taco Bell Spicy Potato Tacos put a vegan-friendly spin on the fast food favorite! Crispy baked potatoes are coated in smoky seasonings, then layered in tortillas with vegan chipotle sauce.
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 easy toppings. They’ll easily become your new favorite vegan taco!
Why you’ll love these tacos
- Tacos made with crunchy, golden potatoes! What could be better than that? Every crunchy, savory bite gets even better when topped with chipotle sauce and diced tomatoes.
- Better than Taco Bell: The fresh ingredients and enhanced flavors make these easy vegan potato tacos better than the real thing.
- Easy to make: The ingredients list is simple and baking the potatoes is foolproof. Plus, they’re easy to make gluten free and always vegan-friendly.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Russet potatoes – Russet potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture. This helps them become crispy and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside by the time they’re finished baking. I haven’t tested it, but you could try replacing the Russet potatoes with sweet potatoes.
- Olive oil
- Cornstarch – The potatoes are coated with a thin layer of cornstarch before baking. When the heat hits them, the cornstarch clings and crackles around the potatoes to form a crunchy and golden crust. It’s the same method I use to make golden and crunchy fried tofu.
- Onion and garlic powder – These two are used as the savory base of the seasoning blend. This way, the potatoes aren’t overwhelmed with too much heat and come out of the oven tasting well-balanced and irresistible.
- Paprika – For a subtle smoky and sweet flavor. You can use smoked paprika if you want the potatoes to taste smoky rather than spicy.
- Cayenne pepper – This is the main source of heat in these spicy tacos.
- Tortillas – I like using soft flour tortillas but you can use gluten free corn tortillas or hard taco shells instead.
How to make spicy potato tacos
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
Peel and dice the potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then carefully add the potatoes to the water.
Parboil the potatoes; they should be a bit softer but still firm when pierced with a fork.
Drain the water and let the potatoes dry for a few minutes.
Combine the parboiled potatoes, olive oil, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Toss to coat.
Lay the seasoned potatoes on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake in the oven until they’re golden brown and crispy. Prepare your taco toppings while you wait.
Scoop the crispy potatoes into the taco shells, add your toppings, then enjoy!
The classic Taco Bell potato tacos are topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, and chipotle sauce. We can recreate those same great flavors with vegan-friendly toppings, like:
- Vegan chipotle sauce
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded vegan cheddar cheese (I used vegan Violife Cheddar)
- Diced tomatoes
- Diced avocado
- Pickled red onions
- Vegan sour cream
FYI: The smoky and spicy potatoes don’t HAVE to be used for tacos! Instead, make copycat fiesta tacos by topping them with my Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce and Vegan Sour Cream. It’s a fantastic side dish or main when you don’t feel like assembling tacos.
Frequently asked questions
I haven’t tested this recipe with sweet potatoes but they should work well. Follow the recipe as normal but watch the potatoes carefully as they bake in the oven as the cooking times may vary. Or you can follow the directions in my Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes recipe instead.
You don’t have to, but it really speeds up the bake time and makes for a better texture.
Cayenne pepper gives the potatoes a medium smoky heat. If you don’t like spicy food, reduce the amount of cayenne to ⅛ teaspoon or omit it entirely.
Sure. Boil and season the potatoes as normal, then air fry at 400ºF for 20 to 30 minutes or until crispy. You may need to work in batches to avoid filling your air fryer basket too full.
Want more vegan taco recipes?
Spicy Potato Tacos
- small soft tortillas, warmed
- Chipotle Sauce
- shredded lettuce
- shredded vegan cheddar cheese
- diced tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet or two smaller baking sheets.
- Peel the potatoes and dice into 3/4 inch sized chunks. Rinse 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 boil for 5-7 minutes. The potatoes shouldn't be too soft; you should still feel some resistance when pierced with a fork, since we will also bake them.
- Drain in a strainer and let sit for about 3 minutes until dry. Once dry, shake the strainer a little. You should see some rough starch on the potatoes.
- In a large bowl, combined the parboiled potatoes, olive oil, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. 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 over halfway through, until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Serve in warmed tortillas with plenty of chipotle sauce, shredded cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and is only for the potatoes, not the tortillas or any additional toppings, since this will vary.
- I haven’t tried it, but sweet potatoes might work in place of Russet.
- The potatoes will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the air fryer or oven until warm. They don’t freeze well.