This might be the sort of recipe that you see flying through Facebook and Pinterest and think to yourself: Looks cool, but too much work. Hang with me though! These Chili Tornado Potatoes really are about as easy as a delicious baked potato, except they have crispy bits and “tornado-ing” the potato allows all the delicious spices to penetrate better.

The preparation is a bit more than tossing some whole potatoes in the oven, but it pays massive dividends. The first one will take you a few minutes to spiral cut, but you’ll get really fast at it by the end. And, more importantly, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some of your spirals may be a bit wider or narrower. Or, SHOCK/HORROR, you may actually cut through the potato, ruining the spiral look.

No worries. It’ll all taste delicious when you brush it with butter and bake it with a liberal sprinkle of chili spice. So, please, Pin this recipe and share it on Facebook or whatever, but also – like – make it.

How to Make Tornado Potatoes VIDEO

What kind of potatoes work best?

While you could use russet potatoes for these, I think Yukon potatoes work best. They aren’t as starchy and are still a good size so you get a nice spiral effect from cutting them.

You could also use red potatoes if you want as those are very similar to Yukon potatoes.

Idea! Try this same technique with sweet potatoes! The spice mix is really nice on sweet potatoes and it’s a fun twist on the classic sweet potato fry.

Preparing the Spiral Potatoes

You cannot make these spiral potatoes (or tornado potatoes) without some skewers. You could use bamboo skewers provided you soak them really well, but this is one time that I prefer the metal skewers.

Scrub your potatoes well and then dry them off. Skewer each potato right in the center and then use a paring knife to start spiral-cutting the potatoes. As you cut around the potato, you’ll hit the skewer which ensures that you don’t cut too deep and by cutting at a slight angle, you’ll achieve that spiral look!

Starting the spiral potato on a skewer.
Start the spiral!

The finished potato is a thing of beauty! Brush each one with some butter and make sure to get it in all the spirals.

Brushing butter on the tornado potatoes.
Butter baby.

Crunch Time Tips

It should go without saying that you can very easily do this spiral potato work in advance. Just make sure to cover the potatoes loosely with plastic wrap once you spiral cut them so they don’t dry out too much!

Spice Mix for Tornado Potatoes

You could bake these with just salt and pepper and they would be great, but it’s worth the work to mix up a little spice mix to take them to the next level.

I mixed up a quick Tex-Mex-inspired spice mix for my tornado potatoes. To be honest though, you could put almost any spice on these spiral potatoes.

Chili Tornado Potatoes Spice Mix
Simple spices.

Feel free to use a liberal hand with the seasonings on these. Flip the potatoes to make sure you season all sides also!

Chili Tornado Potatoes ready for the oven.
Liberally seasoned.

When it comes to cooking, I baked these for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. There’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t toss them on a grill though. Just start them over indirect heat so they don’t cook too quickly and give them plenty of time to get tender and crisp up.

Chili Tornado Potatoes

These are good right out of the oven, but if you want to take them to the next level, sprinkle each tornado potato with some crumbled queso fresco, fresh cilantro, and maybe a dash of hot sauce.

Tornados are my new favorite potato!

Chili Tornado Potatoes

What to Serve with Tornado Potatoes?

These are a great side dish for SO many recipes. Here are a few ideas.

  • Serve these as a side dish with any steak instead of the classic baked potato.
  • Grill these and serve them instead of french fries with a backyard burger like my steakhouse burgers.
  • Great as a side dish to serve with chicken fries instead of tater tots or french fries!
  • Use leftovers chopped up with eggs for a hash breakfast!

My Chili Tornado Potato Recipe

Chili Tornado Potatoes

4.84 from 6 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Perfectly seasoned potatoes cut in a swirl and baked. Topped with a crumble of cheese and cilantro. A great tex-mex or side or party appetizer!



  • 4 medium Yukon potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco
  • Cilantro, garnish
  • Hot sauce, garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Scrub potatoes well, then dry and skewer onto metal skewers. Try to get the skewer in the center of the potato, longwise.
  • Use a small paring knife to cut the potato into a spiral. As you work down the skewer, cut down to the skewer at an angle. If you accidentally cut through the potato, it’s okay! It’ll still taste good.
  • When you have all your potatoes spiraled, place them on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Brush the potatoes liberally with melted butter. Then sprinkle with seasoning mix.
  • Bake potatoes for 40-45 minutes, turning once halfway through so they cook evenly. Finished tornado potatoes should be cooked through and tender, but crispy in spots around the edges.
  • Remove potatoes and sprinkle with queso fresco, fresh cilantro, and a little extra seasoning mix. Serve while warm.



Serving: 1potato | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 1364mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 546IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizers, Side Dishes
Cuisine: American

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @crunchtimekitchen

Here are a few other great potato recipes!