Oh, tachos! That happy place where nachos and potatoes intersect for all the cheese and carb loving snackers! Also the perfect vehicle for using up leftover turkey (or chicken) in the most fun way!
Potato Tots + Nachos = Tachos!
Tachos have everything nachos have! Melty cheese (a must), toppings like beans and meat, and all your favorite garnishes.
They are really simple to make and an excellent way to use up leftover meat (say, from your Thanksgiving turkey or crockpot meal).
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Gather Your Ingredients
- Frozen potato tots — any brand you like! You can use traditional tot shapes or the kind that look more like little patties. Even miniature tots will work.
- Cooked turkey — use up those leftovers! You can cube or shred the meat.
- Poblano peppers — these are mild peppers, but packed with flavor.
- Black beans — I love beans as they are packed with protein and fiber. You can certainly leave them off if they’re not your thing.
- Olive oil — feel free to use canola or avocado oil instead.
- Taco or fajita seasoning — homemade or store-bought, mild or spicy. This will season the toppings and bring extra flavor to the party.
- Salsa — this adds moisture to the toppings (especially if you’re using turkey breast meat…you know what I’m talking about). I used salsa verde.
- White cheddar — whenever possible, buy block cheese and shred it yourself with a box grater. Doing this extra step means your cheese doesn’t have any of the additives of pre-shredded bag cheese, which can mess up that beautiful cheese melt. I used Cabot Vermont Sharp and it was fabulous!
- Garnishes — here are some suggestions…sliced scallions, cilantro, pickled or fresh jalapeños, sour cream, and lime wedges.
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How To Make Leftover Turkey Tachos
- Bake the potato tots on a sheet pan until they’re extra crispy.
- In a nonstick skillet, sauté the poblano peppers, then add the beans and seasoning. After a couple more minutes, add the turkey and salsa.
- Top tots with the turkey mixture. Sprinkle the cheese all over. Pop the pan under the broiler to melt the cheese.
- Garnish with your desired extras and dig in!
Related video: watch how to make tachos in this Instagram Reel!
Variations + Substitutions
Make this recipe your own by swapping out ingredients. Here are a few suggestions…
- Instead of tots — use tortilla chips for regular old nachos (but, still delish!), or stick with the potato theme and use french fries. For a low-carb (and yes, healthier) version, try using halved mini bell peppers or sliced zucchini.
- Instead of leftover turkey — sub in a rotisserie chicken any time of the year. You could also sauté some ground meat or sausage (like fresh chorizo). Have leftover carnitas or brisket? That works, too!
- Instead of poblano pepper — if you’re not a fan or they’re not available, you can substitute green bell pepper (or another color) one for one. Anaheim peppers would work, too, but use only one instead of two. Anything spicier, use less and at your own risk! 😉
- Go vegetarian — omit the meat and double up on the beans. Add other fresh veggies to the sauté, like diced squash, corn, onions or bell peppers.
- Salsa choices — I love salsa verde with this combination, but your favorite tomato based salsa is great, too. You could also try it with enchilada sauce or even some chicken or veggie broth…just something to add a little moisture and flavor at the same time.
- Instead of cheddar — other great melting cheeses are Monterey jack, pepper jack or American. A combo of cheeses is great, too. If you can get your hands on some, try this with Mexican queso asadero. I would stay away from cheese sauce…it’ll make your tachos gloopy.
Helpful Recipe Tips
Bake the tots for the maximum amount of time listed on the package, then test for yourself if they are crispy enough. I have added as much as 5 extra minutes to get them really crispy, without turning them to rocks. Because we’re topping them with ingredients containing moisture, extra crispy tots will retain their shape and texture better.
Unless your hands are made of teflon, take care when handling peppers…even a milder variety like poblanos. The ribs inside contain the bulk of the heat. Use protective gloves to keep this off your skin, or wash thoroughly after handling. (You’re safe with bell peppers, though.)
Line your sheet pan with parchment paper, or aluminum foil spritzed with cooking spray, for easy clean up after you devour those tachos!
These are intended to be served up right from the sheet pan making it easy to go from oven to table. You can also transfer the tots to a cast iron skillet or pretty casserole before you load on the toppings and cheese. Garnishes can go right on top or serve them on the side for everyone to customize.
What to Sip
My favorite beverage with nachos (especially if I load up on jalapeños) is anything that cuts the spice — margaritas, palomas or a crisp beer!
Mocktail versions of those drinks are great, too, including this pineapple lemonade! Anything acidic to balance the rich texture of beans and cheese and spicy elements are a nice accompaniment…ginger ale, lemon or limeade, and other citrus juices.
When to Make Turkey Tachos
Uh, anytime? Game days, snack dinners, or parties!
But, let me paint this picture…your relatives have descended on your house for the holidays, and after a long day of entertaining, you and your favorite cousins are staying up late to catch up and play board games. When it’s time for a midnight snack, you could plate up a bunch of leftovers, but a pan of these tachos are way more fun!
So, go ahead and add some tots to your grocery list now…you’re going to need them!
If You Like This Recipe, Check These Out
- Turkey Wrap with Cranberry + Bacon
- Spicy White Bean Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- Easy Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo + Sweet Potato
- Goat + Gouda Pimento Cheese Spread
- Olive Oil Whipped Potatoes on Russet Coins
- Air Fryer Cheddar + Bacon Potato Croquettes
- Baked Lemon Ricotta Dip with Blackberries + Honey
Tachos with Leftover Turkey
- 32 oz frozen potato tots I used Ore-Ida
- 2 tbsp olive oil or canola or avocado oil
- 2 medium poblano peppers seeded + diced
- 1 cup black beans rinsed + drained
- 2 tsp taco or fajita seasoning homemade or store-bought
- 2 cups cooked turkey diced or shredded
- ¼ cup salsa your favorite (I used spicy salsa verde)
- 8 oz white cheddar shredded from the block (I used Cabot Vermont Sharp)
- scallions sliced
- jalapeños pickled or fresh sliced
- sour cream
- lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil + a spritz of cooking spray (for easy clean up later). Arrange the tots in a single layer and bake on the center rack for the maximum suggested time per the package instructions, flipping them halfway through (see note below). Remove when done and season with a bit of salt. Turn on the oven broiler.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the poblano and cook for 4 to 5 minutes; it's okay to get some charred edges. Add the beans and seasoning blend. Sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes, then stir in the turkey and salsa to warm through.
- Push the tots into the center of the sheet pan. Top with the turkey + bean mixture. Sprinkle the shredded cheese all over. Pop the pan back in the oven (on the center rack) to melt the cheese.
- Serve with desired garnishes.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.
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