Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema

I'm just pleased as punch with myself right now. It's kind of disgusting how proud of myself I am over this recipe. These are just about the best darn tacos I've ever made, and I would put them up against just about any restaurant's.

As you may know, I'm participating in a 500 Taco Summer (though I'm expecting my number to be just upwards of 100). Tacos can be surprisingly cheap, easy, and healthy to make at home, so I've prepared most of the 30 I've eaten so far myself. I wanted to experiment with more vegetable varieties and remembered some yam tacos I loved at a Seattle Mexican joint, Agua Verde. They may have been the only decent thing on the menu, but they were very good. I figured I could make my own version. And boy did I ever!

I started with some tips from Cook's Country on successfully roasting sweet potatoes and tweaked it for my needs. They suggest double roasting sweet potato wedges - first on a rack at a lower temperature, then on a preheated cookie sheet at a high temperature. I adjusted the time for smaller pieces better to fill tacos and created my own seasoning mix. Then I threw together a lime crema that is so slurpilicious you'll want to eat it out of the bowl with a spoon.

As for the cheese, I tried mine with both queso fresco and cotija. Both were excellent, but I liked the salty squeak of the cotija a little better with the sweetness of the potatoes. If you can't find cotija at your local grocer, try substituting queso fresco, feta, ricotta salata, or cheese curd crumbles. This recipe makes four tacos, enough for two people. It doubles easily.

Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema

Roasted Cumin Sweet Potato filling:
2 small sweet potatoes (about a pound), any color, peeled
1  1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

 3/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chile powder, mild

Preheat oven to 325 with rack set to middle position. Chop sweet potatoes into chunks just larger than bite-sized (they will shrink upon roasting). Arrange chunks on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet.

I used one yellow sweet potato and one orange. Purple would work great, too.

Bake until just tender, about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sugar, seasoned salt, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and chile powder in a small bowl. Remove potatoes from oven and increase heat to 425. Wipe off baking sheet and return, empty, to oven to preheat. Cool potatoes on wire rack for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, gently toss potatoes with oil and seasoning mix until evenly coated. Remove heated baking sheet from the oven and arrange potatoes in a single layer. Roast, flipping once, until browned, about 12 minutes.

Lime Crema:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbspn fresh lime juice
2 tsp fresh lime zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp salt

Blend all crema ingredients together in a medium bowl. Makes a full cup of crema. Refrigerate leftovers.

For the tacos:
4 corn tortillas
Roasted Cumin Sweet Potato filling
2 ounces cotija cheese
4 Tblsp Lime Crema

Front taco topped with crumbled cotija. Back taco topped with chopped queso fresco.

Heat tortillas on both sides in a dry skillet over medium heat. Divide sweet potato filling evenly between tortillas. Top with crumbled cotija cheese and lime crema.


  1. These sound delicious! I look forward to trying the recipe soon. Do you suppose I could do the first bake of the sweet potatoes in advance (with the roast to also serve as a reheat), or would you recommend doing it all in one fell swoop?

  2. Just saw your comment, Sasha! I guess I should pay closer attention. I think that would work, since you cool the potatoes between roasting anyway. Definitely don't skip preheating the baking sheet. Hmmm. Try it & let me know how it turns out! If I try it, I'll let you know.