Not only are they completely customizable and ridiculously delicious, they also played a huge role in me scoring this dreamboat.
I met Mark during my junior year of college. We instantly became friends, bonding over our love of vegetables, Modern Family, and wine. Because we had so many of the same classes, it wasn’t long before we started working on homework together.
One cold and dreary night, however, we decided it was time to take a break. Because of Mark’s crazy-insane love of chips and salsa and my addiction to all-things Mexican food, a little place called Verde was the obvious choice for a quick and delicious late-night meal (you can read more about Verde on my Pittsburgh Favorites page!).
Now, I had been to Verde before, and I was super excited to show it off to the groovy guy I was totally into. Is there a better way to score a boyfriend than by feeding him the best dang Mexican food of his life? Answer: Nope. Food is always the way to a man’s heart.
After indulging in margaritas and salsa, I ordered these stellar Papas y Hongos tacos. For those of you who don’t remember high school Spanish, Papas = potatoes and Hongos = mushrooms. The potatoes were smoked. The mushrooms were sautéed. It was drizzled with lime, topped with pico de gallo…
Guys…this night was one of those nights you look back on and say, “hot dang, that was perfect.” Killer tacos, delicious margs, and the best company. What more could a girl ask for?
Now, I don’t take the title of this post lightly: I promise you that these are the best damn vegetarian tacos of your life. Never has so much flavor been stuffed into a tortilla before. What really makes these tacos special is the smoked paprika. AKA. the ultimate spice. Mark and I throw smoked paprika on pretty much anything, including popcorn (and subsequently, our couch). It adds such an incredible sweet-smokey vibe to these potatoes without the need of a giant smoker. I’m absolutely obsessed with this stuff, and I’m sure you will be, too, after you try it on these tacos!
Oh, and that pineapple is key. You need some sweet tanginess to cut through some of that smokiness from the potatoes. Truth be told, these little golden nuggets of deliciousness may just have been my favorite part of the entire taco.
We loved topping these tacos with a dab of guacamole for creaminess, some Cholula for spice, and shredded romaine for crispness. As you can tell, these tacos are stuffed. And that’s just the way you should be. One simply should not be civilized when shoving one’s mouth full of tacos.
So, I ate The Best Damn Vegetarian Tacos and got a boyfriend. It’s possible that these tacos are magical. If they can accomplish such an incredible feat in my life, what can they do in yours?Print
The Best Damn Vegetarian Tacos
- Yield: 4 tacos
- 4–6 small potatoes (I like using the tri-colored ones here)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp. garlic
- 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. diced onion
- small handful cilantro, divided
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup pineapple, diced
- “Optional” Toppings: shredded/chopped romaine, guacamole, Cholula, cheese
- Make the Smoky Potatoes: Set the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut your potatoes into small chunks. Place the potato chunks on the lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and coat in salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Add spices to taste, but be sure your are liberal with the smoked paprika.
- Place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes, mixing every few minutes.
- Remove the Smoky Potatoes from the oven and add more smoked paprika.
- Make the Garlic Mushrooms: While your potatoes are roasting, make the Garlic Mushrooms. Cut each mushroom into 3-4 slices.
- Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a sauté pan. Over medium heat, add garlic. The moment you start to smell garlic, add the mushrooms and turn to coat in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Allow mushrooms to cook until tender, 5-7 minutes. Be sure that the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Make the Pico de Gallo: Dice tomatoes into small chunks, and place them in a bowl. Add onion, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine and set aside.
- Assemble The Best Damn Vegetarian Tacos of your life: Heat tortillas in the microwave (about 25 seconds wrapped in a damp paper towel will do!). Add potatoes and mushrooms to the tortilla. Top with Pico de Gallo, pineapple, and a squeeze of lime. Top with romaine, guacamole, Cholula, and cheese.
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