Such a fun dinner or appetizer recipe: loaded taco fries! Sweet potato fries form the base and they are topped with taco meat and all the taco toppings you can think of.
These loaded taco fries are “secretly” healthy (or as healthy as a dinner with the word fries can be:)). We’re using sweet potatoes as the base, ground turkey for the meat, and spices to give this dish plenty of flavor. We love these fries as a fun dinner, but they’d also be great as an appetizer.
Loaded taco fries
Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but, if I get to chose, this may be the meal I ask for on my death bed. Sea salt sweet potato fries topped with the most flavorful taco meat ever AND all the best taco toppings? Yes, yes, and yes; these loaded taco fries are amazing.
And I had to get this recipe to you before the big game just in case you want to use this recipe as an appetizer. It’s healthier than most appetizer recipes, but it’s definitely not lacking anything in the flavor department. We use this recipe as a dinner recipe, but I’m pretty certain I’ll be making it to share with others on game day.
So why is this recipe so great? Well besides how it actually tastes (the most important thing), these loaded taco fries are also so simple to make.
- We’re using store bought sweet potato fries and just whipping together a quick taco meat topping.
- All the taco toppings are also store bought so it’s mostly just about assembling, not a whole lot of preparing.
- The spice blend is unbelievably good, but you can use a packet of taco seasoning if you’re in a hurry.
- Another shortcut: use pre-minced garlic AND fresh pre-diced onions. Most stores sell fresh diced onions in the produce section or frozen diced onions can be found with other frozen veggies.
Sweet potato fries
My goal for this loaded taco fries recipe was to keep things as simple as possible. And truly, I adore Alexia’s sea salt sweet potato fries (not sponsored) so that’s how those ended up as the base 🙂
That said, you can make your own sweet potato fries, or roast up some sweet potatoes for the base. Here’s a recipe for our favorite roasted sweet potatoes.
Another alternative would be to use baby Yukon gold potatoes. To do so: cut up some peeled (or unpeeled) baby potatoes and cut them into wedges. Toss them with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, flip and roast another 10-15 minutes or until crisp tender. (Timing will depend on potatoes, how many potatoes, and how thick they’re cut.)
Loaded taco fries quick tips
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: if the fries are too close to each other or overlapping they’ll steam instead of roast. I recommend using an extra large sheet pan (15 x 21 inches) or two large sheet pans.
- Serve quickly: these loaded taco fries don’t sit well. I recommend having the taco meat, cheese, and all the toppings ready before the fries are pulled out of the oven. As soon as the fries are done, top them quickly, and eat right after.
- To serve as an appetizer: serve everything in separate dishes. Have the baked sweet potato fries in a dish, the taco meat (and cheese added into the meat) in a small crockpot keeping warm, and toppings in separate dishes. That way people can serve up exactly how much they want and eat it as soon as they’ve served themselves.
More (ridiculously easy) dinner recipes:
- Margherita Pizza in 15 minutes
- 30 minute Chicken Ramen
- Apple Salad with a simple dressing
- Rotisserie Chicken Tacos
- Quinoa Fried Rice
Such a fun dinner or appetizer recipe: loaded taco fries! Sweet potato fries form the base and are topped with taco meat and all the taco toppings you can think of.
- 2 frozen bags (20 ounces EACH) sea salt sweet potato fries (I use and recommend Alexia; not sponsored)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion (~1/2 of 1 onion)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (~2 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH ground cumin, paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon beef bouillon powder
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup freshly grated Colby Jack or extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Toppings: sour cream (fat free or lite is great), fresh guacamole OR ripe avocados, salsa or pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, fresh lime
SWEET POTATO FRIES: Prepare the fries according to package directions. Make sure to not overcrowd the fries on the pan -- they will steam not roast. While fries are baking assemble the spices, prep the toppings and, finally, make the turkey taco meat.
TURKEY TACO MEAT: When the fries are almost done baking (10-15 mins left), prepare the taco meat. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Grab a large cast iron skillet and add over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and once the oil is hot, add in the diced onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds. Add in all of the seasonings: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon beef bouillon powder. Stir around the spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Nothing should be burning, reduce the heat if needed.
TACO MEAT CONT.: Increase the heat to high and add in the ground turkey. Crumble the meat into small pieces and cook until no longer pink (but not cooked through all the way), about 5 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits (this is where the flavor is!) Let simmer for 3-4 minutes and then remove from heat.
ASSEMBLY: Divide the fries evenly between 4 plates (See Note 1 if serving this as an appetizer). Add even amounts of the turkey taco meat and then sprinkle cheese right on top. The taco meat and fries should be hot enough that the cheese should melt. Immediately add toppings of choice. Our favorites are a big scoop of sour cream (fat free is great!), ripe sliced avocado (or guacamole), a little pico, fresh cilantro, and lots of fresh lime juice. If you like some spice add in some jalapeños or hot sauce. Enjoy while hot and melty. We use forks since the meat and toppings do tend to fall off the fries.
Note 1: To serve as an appetizer: serve everything in separate dishes. Have the baked sweet potato fries in a dish, the taco meat (and cheese added into the meat) in a small crockpot keeping warm, and toppings in separate dishes. That way people can serve up exactly how much they want and eat it as soon as they've served themselves.