Mashed potatoes in a taco? We were skeptical, too. However, after one bite of these crispy tacos filled with creamy mashed potatoes, crunchy cabbage, fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro, we were completely smitten.–Angie Zoobkoff

Four crispy mashed potato tacos on a sheet of white paper with a couple lime wedges on the side.

Crispy Mashed Potato Tacos

5 / 4 votes
These crispy mashed potato tacos, filled with crunchy cabbage, creamy mashed potatoes, fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro, are unconventional yet absolutely delicious.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories461 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour


For the mashed potatoes

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 oz), or as needed 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or milk, or as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the pico de gallo

  • 3/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt

For the mashed potato tacos

  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • Ten to twelve (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges


Make the mashed potatoes

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Place the pot used for cooking the potatoes over medium-high heat and warm 2 tablespoons butter until melted. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the potatoes, 1 tablespoon butter, sour cream or milk, cumin, chili powder, and salt and mash until the potatoes are creamy and smooth. Taste and, if desired, add more butter, sour cream or milk, and/or spices and salt.

Make the pico de gallo

  • While the potatoes are cooking, make the pico de gallo. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, and cilantro and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste.

Assemble the mashed potato tacos

  • In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Spread about 1/4 cup of the mashed potatoes on one side of each tortilla and fold in half to create tacos.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Before assembling your tacos, warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make them softer and more pliable.

  • Working in batches, add a few tacos to the skillet, pressing down on the top of each for about 10 seconds to set its shape. Continue to cook until the underside is golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip with a small spatula and repeat on the other side.
  • Carefully tuck some pico de gallo, cabbage, cotija, and cilantro in each taco. Serve immediately with the lime wedges on the side.

Adapted From

Eat More Plants

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 461 kcalCarbohydrates: 72 gProtein: 12 gFat: 16 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 42 mgSodium: 557 mgFiber: 7 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Molly Krebs. Photo © 2019 Molly Krebs. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I was so excited to try these mashed potato tacos! They’re on the menu at my favorite Mexican restaurant and I order them every time. They cite a place in Los Angeles as the inspiration, so I’m wondering if it’s the same inspiration as this recipe?! If you can’t imagine mashed potatoes in a taco, take my word for it, these are so good!

There are a lot of steps to making these, but each step is small and the tacos come together easily. The toppings really make the difference, so don’t eliminate them. I used small corn tortillas and this recipe made 10. When using this size tortilla, you can expect each person to eat 2 or 3.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve been making similar tacos since the early ’70s. I mix the potatoes with ground beef, about even I’d say. Other than that, everything is the same. Everyone that has ever had them thinks they are the best! My daughter always calls them Farmer’s Tacos and now that my grandchildren are grown with families, they make them, too!