Weeknight Spicy Beef and Potato Burritos
Weeknight Spicy Beef and Potato Burritos

You know those nights when you get home at 6:00 and realize you've got about 30 minutes to pull off a miracle or there are going to be serious meltdowns? Well, I'm here to tell you that miracles can still happen and who knew they would come in the form of spicy beef and potato filled burritos? Gotta be thankful for the little things, right?!!

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I don't care how organized you are--everyone needs a few recipes they can pull out of the hat when times are hectic that will make all their eaters happy and for us, this is one of them. I first made these a couple of months ago but what with all the holiday cooking they got pushed to the back burner, so to speak, and that is why I am only sharing them with you now. Crispy golden potatoes combined with a sort of spicy, tomatoey,  sloppy joe mixture, all wrapped up in a warmed, slightly charred tortilla--mmmnn! 

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And while I mostly make these because they taste so darn good, there's no denying that I turn to them again and again because they come together so quickly in one pan with a minimum of mess and effort. Plus, they are full of stuff I usually have on hand, like canned diced tomatoes, onions, potatoes, tortillas and lettuce. One quick stop for a package of ground beef and a jalapeño pepper and a hot meal is only 30 minutes away!

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P.S. We like these so much that sometimes I make them even when I've got scads of time on my dinner-making hands. Try them. I promise you'll love these little miracles too!!

Weeknight Spicy Beef and Potato Burritos

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes  


  • 1 large Russet baking potato 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  • 1 pound ground beef  
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice  
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • Eight 6-inch tortillas
  • Shredded iceberg or baby arugula  
  • Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack
  • Sour cream, chopped scallions, hot sauce for garnish (optional) 

The Recipe

1.  Peel the potato and chop into small bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté potato for about 7-8 minutes, until golden brown, turning every so often. 

2.  Add the beef, onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring to break up any clumps of the meat, until the meat is browned and entirely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, paprika and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is basically dry and liquid has evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. 

3.  Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat and cook tortillas for about 30 seconds per side to heat and lightly brown them. 

4.  Fill tortillas with beef mixture, cheese, lettuce and any other fixings you like. Roll up, burrito-style and serve immediately. 

5.  Recipe doubles well and mixture can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat in a saucepan over a low light and fill the warmed tortillas.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. I increased the amount of beef, cut the cumin and reduced the amount of salt and paprika. 

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