Beef & potato tacos

Channeling the taste of empanada for these ease beef & potato tacos! Crispy corn tortillas are packed with a spicy beef and potato mix, lots of cheese and pickles.

"Empanadas" in taco form: beef & potato tacos

In college, a good friend of my roommates and I made empanadas a few times. We were completely obsessed with them and asked him to do them again and again. While I seriously love empanadas, I admit they are not made very often at my house. With making the dough and stuffing, they can be quite time consuming to make, and frankly I don't love deep frying.

So after referring to this "famous" recipe from a LA restaurant, I had to try it. One bite in, and the tacos completely reminded me of empanadas. Except they are so much easier to make. I speak 30 minutes easily! And while these tacos aren't overly healthy, this recipe is much better for you than deep-fried empanadas, so I'll take it :). These beef & potato tacos create a good, budget-friendly type of cooking; we use (cheap) potatoes and vegetables (onions) to bulk out the meat, and we keep the taco filling to a minimum. In fact, only 2 toppings were needed: cheese and pickles!

I've made a few adjustments to the original recipe and am happy to share my version of beef & potato taco with you today. So let's start with how to make these tacos.

How to make beef & potato tacos

  • Boiling potatoes: depending on the potato size, it may take some time, but it is super easy. Cover the potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil and cook until the fork is tender. Alternatively, you can make roasted potatoes. We have tried both boiled and roasted potatoes in these tacos and there were not big enough differences in the end.
  • Cook the beef: start by sautéing an onion and some garlic before adding any beef. The beef is cooked and crumbled until browned and then seasoned with a light spice mix of 4 spices (plus some salt and pepper).
  • Step tortillas: To get that empanada feel, the tortillas are fried quickly in some canola or vegetable oil until lightly browned. Immediately fold the tortilla in half after increasing it for easier assembly. More on roasting corn tortillas below.
  • mounting: toss potato with the beef and stuff the stuffing into tortillas. Immediately add some cheese so it can melt from the filling and warm the tortillas. And last but not least, add some pickles. Fold it up and enjoy!

How to Roast Corn Tortillas

While the filling for these beef & potato tacos is about to end, it's time to quickly fry the tortillas. Here's how you do it:

  1. Grab a heavy roast and heat it medium high heat.
  2. Add 2-3 tablespoons rape or vegetable oil to the pan and heat. (The oil is warm enough when it is shimmering, or a drop of water sizzles / pops when added in)
  3. Add tortilla (s) (as many as you can fit without overlapping) and cook for 10-30 seconds per minute. page or until lightly browned and cooked.
  4. We aim to keep the tortillas still soft and pliable – they should not be crispy.
  5. Immediately after removing the tortillas, drain on a plate lined with paper towels and fold the tortillas in half (for easier filling). (I like to do this by folding a paper towel in half, adding the warm tortilla to one side of the paper towel and folding the other side on top. Add the next tortilla on top of it and continue with layers of paper towels.)
  6. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.

Beef and potato taco tips

  • Have upstairs ready: Chop some pickles and grate the cheese so it is ready to fill the beef & potato tacos with as soon as the stuffing and tortillas are done. The goal is for the cheese to melt from the heat of the meat filling and fried tortillas.
  • Add some spice: If you like spicy tacos, drizzle some hot sauce on top and / or add some cayenne pepper to the beef mixture (1/8 to 1/4 tsp).
  • Optional dip / sauce: If you're craving some creaminess, add an avocado to the tacos or serve a light aioli dip on the side. To make it dip: whisk together 1/2 cup of good mayo (I like Hellmanns / Best Foods), 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce (the sauce around the canned adobo trainer) and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve these beef & potato tacos together a simple salad like this fruit salad, Italian salad or Panzanella salad.

More taco recipes:

Beef & potato tacos

Channeling the taste of empanada for these ease beef & potato tacos! Crispy corn tortillas are packed with a spicy beef and potato mix, lots of cheese and pickles.

Course: Noon

Food: American

Keywords: beef & potato tacos

Servings: 4-6 servings


  • 2-3 medium yukon gold potatoes (2 cups dice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dice yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound of lean meat
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon EVERY: garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons bell peppers
  • Salt and pepper
  • Soft corn tortillas (See Note 1)
  • Canola or vegetable oil (for roasting tortillas)
  • toppings: fresh grated crisp cheddar cheese, kosher dill pickle slices, optional: hot sauce


  1. POTATOES: Scrub the potatoes thoroughly. Add to a large saucepan and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Place the pan on the burner at high heat. When the water is boiled, the water is salted – approx. 1 teaspoon per Pounds of potatoes. When the water is boiling rapidly, heat is not reduced to medium-high and boil quickly with speed until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, approx. 15-20 minutes depending on size. (Super large potatoes will take longer). When the fork is tender, drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.

  2. LAND BEEF: Meanwhile, season the spices, dice the onion and chop the garlic. Add a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and drizzle in 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is shiny, add 1/2 cup dice, yellow onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes and then add 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Stir for another 30 seconds, then press the onion and garlic to the edge of the pan. Increase the heat to high, and add the ground beef to the center of the pan. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. Turn to the other side and cook for 30 seconds undisturbed. Cook the ground beef, crumble into small pieces with a wooden spoon until it is no longer pink. When you cook and crumble the beef, integrate the onion and garlic into it. Add all the spices: 1 and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, oregano and cumin. Add the 2 tablespoons bell pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 tsp each). Stir until fragrant, 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.

  3. END OF MEAT MIX: Meanwhile, cube the boiled potatoes into small 1/2 inch pieces. Add to the beef mixture and stir to coat.

  4. tortillas: add a few tablespoons of rapeseed oil to a nonstick sauté pan and place on medium high heat. When the oil is shiny, add 1-2 tortillas in (or as many as you can fit without overlapping). Roast tortillas until each side is slightly golden brown, approx. 10-30 seconds per Side (tortillas should still be soft and pliable). Empty the tortillas on a paper towel and fold in two immediately (place a paper towel or heavier towel over the tortillas to keep them folded in half). Repeat for all tortillas, and add more oil to the skillet as needed.

  5. SERVE: To serve, heat the hot beef and potato mixture in the hot fried tortillas. Immediately add some grated cheddar cheese so it can melt. Top each taco with a few slices of pickles and serve immediately with hot sauce on the side.

recipe Notes

Note 1: the amount of ant tortillas used varies depending on the size of the tortillas used and how full the taco is filled.

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