You’ll love this easy paleo-friendly appetizer recipe. These beef potato bites are cute in mini using small potatoes, but you can also make them for meals using sweet potatoes.
These itty bitty beef potato bites are perfect for popping in your mouth and the taste is “Could you please make this every game day party?” good. I nearly ate all the Whole30 compliant bites (i.e. – the ones without cheese) before the Godfather got home, and he was home under an hour after the photoshoot. So basically it was an early dinner for me.
Whole30 or not, these bites will be a new standard on my party food menu for two reasons. One, they’re easy to make. It does take a little time to scoop and stuff, but you can totally do that a day in advance and then reheat just before the party. And just like store-bought potato skins, you can prepare this recipe up to the point of baking, then freeze for heating later.
The second reason is that they are VERY budget-friendly when feeding a crowd. Potatoes are inexpensive, as is ground beef. For the amount used in this recipe, you get quite a few servings even when purchasing grass-fed beef. So that’s a pretty nifty additional perk.
Do I have to use white potatoes to make these beef potato bites?
No, you don’t. I use white potatoes when making this recipe in finger food form. White potatoes are allowed on both paleo and Whole30 diets in moderation, so this recipe as is fits both eating plans. But if you aren’t ready to eat white potatoes, just use sweet potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are larger though, so your final dish will be more “entree-size”. They actually pair really well with a salad for a tasty meal. If you’re serving as an appetizer though, you’ll probably want to cut the cooked potato skins into thirds or halves depending on the size of your potatoes.
How do I make this recipe in advance?
When I originally created this recipe, it was something I made in a day. But walking down the grocery store’s freezer aisle gave me an idea. If store bought potato skins can be frozen, why couldn’t I freeze my version? So I tried, and it works great, especially when I make this recipe as part of meal prep using larger sweet potatoes!
To freeze, you’ll do most of the preparation in advance. You’ll see that you cook, scoop, and stuff the potatoes before freezing. To prevent any discoloration, I spray the tops of the stuffed potatoes with a little olive oil before putting in the freezer. Freeze the potato skins in a single layer, then wrap in an airtight container.
To freeze the potato bites, place in layers in a freezer container, use a sheet of parchment between each layer of bites to prevent sticking. If you’re freezing larger potatoes, wrap each individually, then place in a large freezer bag. When you are ready to heat, unwrap and cook straight from the freezer. You will need to add 5-10 minutes to the baking time. Although, for single portions, I’ve found that the cook time is the same as the unfrozen baked time using my air fryer. All you need is to heat the potato and filling all the way through.
The aioli doesn’t freeze as well, so either make it fresh, or use another topping.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings!
- 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes (about 15)
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- coarse salt for sprinkling (like a coarse kosher salt or pink Himalayan)
- 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 c fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c olive oil
- If you haven't made the aioli in advance, do so before you start the potatoes.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F and bake the potatoes for 30 minutes until cooked through. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
- While the potatoes are cooking, place the meat in a large skillet and cook over medium heat.
- After about 3-4 minutes, add the onions, salt, pepper, and cumin, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break up any clumps in the beef. Remove from the heat once cooked through.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each in half and scoop out the middle using a small spoon. Place the scooped potato in a mixing bowl and line the skins on your baking sheet. Brush the skins with olive oil and sprinkle with your coarse salt
- Mash the scooped potato, then add the beef mixture and your chopped jalapeno.*
- Spoon the filling mixture into your potato skin shells. At this time you can cover the pan and refrigerate the potatoes up to one day until you are ready to bake. Or you can freeze in a single layer, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze up to two months. Just add a few minutes to the baking time.
- To brown the tops of the bites, spray lightly with a little olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes until warmed through and browned on top.
- If you are using cilantro aioli as a topper, you may make the aioli up to 5 days in advance and store in the refrigerator, then just place aioli in a zip-top plastic bag and snip off a corner or in a piping bag and snip then end. Drizzle over the potato bites just before serving and top with fresh chopped cilantro.
To make the cilantro aioli:
- Place all ingredients for the aioli except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse 5-6 times until the cilantro is chopped and the ingredients are somewhat blended.
- Start running the food processor and, while it is running, slowly drizzle in the 1/2 cup of olive oil. Continue running the food processor until the aioli has reached a thick consistency and you see it "stick" to the sides of your processor.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*This recipe is not spicy at all. Potatoes absorb heat/spice, so the jalapeno will add flavor, but will hardly even achieve a mild level of heat. I used a fairly spicy pepper, and would use two in the future if I want to achieve a medium heat level.
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