Beef Taco Loaded Baked Potatoes: Everyone loves a loaded baked potato but why not stuff your next one with taco meat and all your favorite toppings?! These potatoes make for a hearty and quick weeknight meal the whole family will absolutely love!
I don’t think there’s a time of year when I don’t love tacos. But it seems like the cold and snowy winter weather always makes warm, cheesy tacos all the more inviting.
And I find that especially true with beef tacos. With the exception of a delicious marinated and grilled flank steak, to me, beef is a winter food. French beef stew. Red wine short rib ragu over pasta. One pot taco mac. And especially, these brisket tacos!
What I also can’t get enough of in the fall and winter months are baked potatoes. Those steamy, fluffy potatoes with crispy skins drenched in melted butter and sour cream! Man oh man!!
So it was kind of a natural solution to my winter cravings for tacos and baked potatoes that I would smash them together into one recipe. I did this recently when I made chicken taco loaded baked potatoes and I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious those potatoes were!
Made with my taco flavored Instant Pot shredded Mexican chicken, I loaded those potatoes up with sour cream, shredded cheese, and crushed Fritos. What a meal!!
Easy Beef Taco Filling
This new recipe plays off of that same idea of a taco loaded baked potato, except that I used beef taco filling instead of chicken. I made the filling with:
- lean ground beef,
- my homemade taco seasoning,
- canned tomato sauce,
- brown sugar,
- apple cider vinegar, and
This is a crazy easy and super flavorful way to make tacos using pantry ingredients that I always have stocked in my kitchen. It’s kind of like my taco lasagna in that way, where I simply have to pull out a few ingredients from the pantry and fridge in order to make a killer meal.
The brown sugar and cider vinegar may seem like strange additions here but they both balance the acidity from the tomato sauce and spices, which allows you to actually taste all of the flavors in the filling.
How to Make the Most Delicious Loaded Baked Potatoes
Every delicious loaded baked potato MUST start with a fantastic baked potato.
Please, just forget about unevenly cooked and plastic-y tasting microwave baked potatoes! And don’t even suggest a baked potato with limp, soft skins!
I refuse to make baked potatoes any other way than using this method. It’s simple, straightforward, and ALWAYS results in the very best, perfectly baked potatoes. I started using that method to bake my potatoes when I made these chorizo, broccoli, and cheese loaded baked potatoes a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
So once you’ve got your potatoes in the oven, go ahead and make your beef taco filling. To do this, you’ll sauté the ground beef, add in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, and then let everything simmer for a couple of minutes so the flavors can meld.
After you pull the baked potatoes from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes, you’ll scoop out some of the potato filling to make room for the taco filling (use the extra potato for mashed potatoes or gnocchi), and toppings.
Toppings for Taco Loaded Baked Potatoes
Now, the toppings for these beef taco loaded baked potatoes are completely up to you here. Top them with whatever you love most on your tacos!
Here are some of my favorite suggestions:
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- melted queso
- pickled jalapeños
- crushed Fritos or tortilla chips
- raw or pickled red onions
- sliced scallions or chives
What We Love About these Beef Taco Loaded Baked Potatoes
It’s pretty easy for me to sing the praises for these loaded baked potatoes. I mean, I made them with my absolute favorite baked potato recipe so they’re already ahead of the game here!
The beef taco filling is REALLY good, you guys! I’m not a huge ground beef taco fan but this recipe is a great one and if you only have beef taco eaters in your house (as opposed to family members that are open to ground chicken or turkey tacos), they will LOVE this recipe.
Potatoes and beef are a naturally delicious combination so this recipe makes use of all that goodness. The juicy taco filling just melts into the soft and fluffy baked potato instead of dripping down your hand and onto your plate so this is an automatic winner of a meal for us!
And what I think we loved most about this recipe is that it’s a great way to use up leftover taco meat, which we always seem to have banging around in the fridge until I realize it’s been there longer than I can remember. Whoops!
I almost always have a few baking potatoes (Russet or Idaho) in the pantry bin so this makes for a super easy meal to throw together mid-week when you inevitably forget to take the chicken (or whatever) out of the freezer. I know I’m not the only one!
Just pull that leftover taco filling and some toppings from the fridge and bake up some potatoes for these truly outstanding beef taco loaded baked potatoes.
And then watch how fast your family comes running to the table for dinner!
For the beef taco filling (see notes below):
- ½ lb lean ground beef
- 1 ¼ tbsp store-bought or homemade taco seasoning
- 4 oz canned tomato sauce
- ¼ tsp light brown sugar
- ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Sour cream
- A few chives or ½ scallion, sliced
- Small handful Fritos chips, roughly crushed up (optional)
- Slice the baked potatoes open on the top lengthwise with a long cut and horizontally with a short cut. Push the ends together to open up the potatoes. Scoop out a few tablespoons of each potato into a bowl. Use the extra potato to make a small portion of loaded mashed potatoes with some of the filling ingredients or gnocchi.
- To make the beef taco filling: During the last 15 minutes of baking time for the potatoes, heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Crumble it up as you cook the beef until it's no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Mix in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and water until thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- To serve: Add a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the inside of each potato. Divide the taco filling between the potatoes (about ¼ cup for each) and then top with some shredded cheddar, sour cream, chives or scallions, and some crushed Fritos. Serve while the potatoes are still hot.
- Feel free to bake your potatoes using your preferred method. However, if you're tired of your plain ol' baked potatoes and want crispy skins and fluffy insides every single time you make them, or you need to know how to make baked potatoes, you must try my tried and true oven baked potato recipe that I linked to above in the Ingredients list.
- If you have leftover taco meat in the fridge, feel free to use that here in place of making my recipe.
- You can also double my taco recipe above to make tacos another night during the week or freeze the leftover filling for a quick dinner in the future.
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