Sweet Potato Tacos

Topped with jalapeño-lime crema and pickled red onions

Sweet Potato Tacos

The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 8 tacos

When you consider taco fillings, sweet potatoes might not be the first thing to cross your mind—but they should be. The naturally sweet, creamy vegetable is a delicious base for bright sauces and toppings and makes for a satisfying vegetarian meal.

This recipe is inspired by Guerrilla Tacos, a modern taco restaurant in Los Angeles that is beloved for its delectable sweet potato taco. The potatoes are first boiled whole in salted water until tender before being sliced and lightly crisped in a hot pan. This easy method gives you both creamy and crispy textures and makes it easy to prep—you can boil the potatoes ahead of time and stash them in the fridge. Long, thin sweet potatoes work best since they cook more quickly and evenly.

These sweet potato tacos are topped with an easy jalapeño-lime crema and pickled red onions which add lots of bright flavors. You can easily add more toppings or swap these out for your favorites.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (long and thin work best)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 scallion (chopped, white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Garnish: pickled red onions

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the sweet potatoes to a large pot and cover with cool water. Add a few big pinches of salt.

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, turning them occasionally so they cook evenly, or until you can pierce the thickest part of a sweet potato easily with a sharp knife.

  4. Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle.

  5. Meanwhile, using metal tongs, carefully char the jalapeño over a high heat gas flame, blackening the skin on all sides. Alternatively, place on a small pan and char under the broiler for about 5 minutes, turning often.

  6. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag to let steam. Once cooled a bit, wipe off the peel and discard the stem. Roughly chop the pepper. If you'd like a spicy sauce, leave the seeds. If you'd like a milder sauce, discard the seeds.

  7. Add the jalapeño, sour cream, scallion, cilantro, and lime juice to a blender or small food processor. Season with salt.

  8. Blend until smooth, tasting for seasoning. Add up to a teaspoon of water to help the mixture blend, if needed.

  9. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch slices. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.

  10. Once hot, add the butter and melt. Add the sweet potato slices in one layer and let cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned around the edges on the bottom. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Flip and cook on the other side, about 4 more minutes. If needed, cook in batches.

  11. To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas. Top with slices of sweet potato followed by the sour cream sauce, pickled red onions, and cilantro. Serve.

How to Store

  • You can boil the sweet potatoes and make the crema ahead to save time. Cool and store the boiled potatoes in a container in the fridge for up to two days, letting them sit on the counter and warm up a bit before frying them.
  • The crema will last for a few days in a container in the fridge.
  • Leftover fully cooked sweet potato filling will keep in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat and re-crisp in a skillet before serving.

Tips

  • Long, thin sweet potatoes work best for this recipe since they cook more evenly when boiling.
  • If you don't have pickled red onions handy, you can quick pickle some at home.
  • Make this recipe vegan by using vegan sour cream and non-dairy butter or oil.

Recipe Variations

Try swapping out the toppings in this recipe or adding to them using these suggestions:

  • Chipotle sauce: swap the jalapeño and cilantro for a chipotle pepper along with a spoonful of the adobo sauce
  • pepper Jack or cotija cheese
  • Guacamole salsa
  • Sliced avocado
  • Refried beans
  • Escabeche

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