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.

womans hand lifting a spicy potato taco from a row of other potato tacos.

If you can make pizza crust and salad out of potatoes, then you can absolutely use them as a filling for tacos! 

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.
drizzling a spoonful of chipotle sauce over a potato taco.

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.
  • Salt
  • 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.
  • Cumin
  • 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.
ingredients for vegan potato tacos in individual white bowls.

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.

parboiled and seasoned potato chunks in a large white bowl.

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!

seasoned potato chunks laid out on a large baking sheet.

Taco toppings

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:

Serving suggestions

Make it a meal and serve the tacos with a side of Spanish rice and beans, black bean and corn salad, and guacamole and red salsa with tortilla chips.

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.

crispy potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese on a small flour tortilla.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make these with sweet potatoes?

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.

Do you have to boil the potatoes before baking?

You don’t have to, but it really speeds up the bake time and makes for a better texture.

How spicy are potato tacos?

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.

Can you air fry the potatoes instead?

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.

close up on 2 potato tacos next to each other topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chipotle sauce, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Want more vegan taco recipes?

close up on 2 potato tacos next to each other topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chipotle sauce, lettuce, and tomatoes.
5 stars (16 ratings)

Spicy Potato Tacos

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.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

Spicy potatoes

  • 4 large Russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For assembling

  • small soft tortillas, warmed
  • Chipotle Sauce
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded vegan cheddar cheese
  • diced tomatoes

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

  1. Nutrition information is an estimate only and is only for the potatoes, not the tortillas or any additional toppings, since this will vary.
  2. I haven’t tried it, but sweet potatoes might work in place of Russet.
  3. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 1069mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , , , , ,

you may also like:

Comments

  1. These were incredible! My husband, who is addicted to the real thing, ate 6 of these bad boys in one sitting. The potatoes on their own were delicious and I couldn’t stop snacking on them while I put the tacos together. I want to prepare all of my potatoes like this from now on!

    1. I agree potatoes are awesome cooked like this! Thank you for your wonderful review! I’m glad you guys loved the recipe!

  2. My boyfriend is a vegetarian and tacos have always been boring until I found this. I was very careful not to over boil the potatoes because several people had that problem. I watched them closely and they turned out perfect. The potatoes were crispy and delicious. We can’t wait to eat this again. Thank you so much for such a great recipe.

    1. You are welcome, Alysia! We love these tacos as well! Thanks for sharing your fabulous review and feedback!

  3. This was my request for my birthday dinner tonight. At first I wanted your sweet and sour tofu (So freaking good!) but then decided since I was having your chocolate cake for desert I should go with something with a less sweet profile for dinner. They were amazing! I am on a chipotle kick so am always looking for a reason to open up a can of chipotle peppers. I did not cook this myself but I can say that my partner NEVER deviates from a recipe and these turned out perfect! Just as a side note: Sweet and sour tofu will now be tomorrows dinner. 🙂

  4. These were awesome! My husband, who is suspicious of anything vegetarian, went back for seconds! I can’t wait to use the Chipotle Sauce as a condiment for veggie burgers.

    1. I’m thrilled the tacos were a hit with your husband! Thank you for your fabulous review and feedback!

  5. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience while eating something? You just know the caveman-like nature by which you are engorging on your meal and you must just look horrifying to any other human (maybe even your dog) but you don’t care. That was my experience eating these tacos.
    BEST. TACOS. EVER!!!!

    1. LOL. Thank you for sharing your fun and descriptive visual, Mariam! That is a meal enjoyed for sure! I am thrilled you love the tacos! I appreciate your awesome review! Happy cooking!

  6. Love this recipe! These are my go-to when I’m craving Taco Bell. I was in more of a rush today and totally missed the boiling for the potatoes. Will it alter their texture a lot? Thanks, Nora!

    1. My kids are obsessed with the Taco Bell ones, which is why I created this recipe, and now they say mine are better! Not boiling first will change the texture some, but they should still be good. They might need a bit longer in the oven though!

  7. Nora, Nora, Nora, how do I thank thee! Each recipe of yours I have made, I have been obsessed with and this one is no different! These spicy potato tacos taste so much better than Taco Bell’s! I love the crunch and the seasoning on the potatoes, combine that with a corn tortilla, your chipotle adobo sauce, and veggies, I give this a chefs kiss! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

    1. I’m thrilled you love the tacos!! Thank you SO much for your kind words and wonderful review 🙂

  8. I tried your recipe as written and it was delicious! We will be having these again! Thank You for sharing such great recipes!

  9. These were so delicious. The potatoes are wonderfully crunchy and flavourful and I just love everything about it. Definitely is going to become a staple in my house!

  10. I absolutely love these! Followed the recipe as written and they came out amazing every time. The smokiness from the chipotle peppers pulls everything together really well! Highly Recommend to anyone, regardless of skill level 🙂 Thank you for the recipe Nora!

  11. I have to say these potatoes were so very good. And I agree with another reviewer, this is not enough! I made the chipotle sauce, and that certainly will find its place in other meals.

  12. Followed the recipe except i left out the cumin as I don’t like it. I didn’t have russets so I used red potatoes. They turned out great! I will definitely make again. These potatoes are good on their own also even if you don’t make tacos.

    1. Hi Brenda. I agree the potatoes on their own are fantastic! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review!

    1. 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. (This information is included at the end of the recipe for future reference!)

  13. This recipe is INSANELY DELICIOUS!! I didn’t make the sauce because I still had some Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Vegan Mayo left but OMG, these potatoes!!!! I suggest making more than the recipe says because you won’t be able to stop eating them before you even make the tacos. I’ll be making them for breakfast too. And dinner. And company. YUM, thank you Nora!!

    1. Thanks for your fabulous feedback and review! I’m so glad you loved the potatoes! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  14. Hi! I am about to make my third batch of these. They are AMAZING! My husband, a former meat-eating Taco Bell lover, thinks they are even BETTER! Of course they are, it’s by Nora! Nora, you have done it again, and we are grateful for you! 🙂

    1. Hi Catherine. What terrific feedback! I am thrilled that you guys loved the tacos! Thank you for your fabulous review! Happy cooking!

  15. We use your website all the time – this is my first comment. This recipe was terrific! We followed the directions exactly and made the chipotle cream sauce as well. Truly a copycat recipe of Spicy Potato Tacos from Taco Bell – tasted exactly the same. Our whole family LOVED it. Adding this recipe to our rotation! Thanks so much for a terrific website – we are making the vegan shamrock shake today (St. Patrick’s Day).

  16. Just had these for dinner and WOW! They were so delicious!! We added bell peppers to the potatoes halfway through crisping and used an avocado sauce instead of the chipotle sauce (I didn’t have chipotle peppers on hand). These will be apart of our dinner rotation from now on!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you already made these and enjoyed them! Thanks for leaving a review. Avocado sauce sounds great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.