Crispy, delicious Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions is a great potato side of fork-tender fried potatoes to complement practically any breakfast or dinner! The potatoes are a versatile side dish that tastes just as good with your eggs and bacon as they do with a whole roasted chicken!
Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions Recipe
These super tasty skillet potatoes are deliciously crispy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside! Skip the extra step of boiling potatoes first, and cook your potatoes with my simple method for perfect pan fried potatoes and onions!
Crispy fried potatoes are a super easy side with your scrambled eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, or french toast for breakfast or a hearty brunch. They’re also wonderful when paired with a roasted or rotisserie chicken, meatloaf, a pork roast, or Salisbury steak for dinner.
What are Pan Fried Potatoes with Onions
Pan fried potatoes and onions are a breakfast tradition and a staple side dish that is extremely versatile. You may also see them called ‘home fries’ or ‘skillet potatoes’ and they are the base of those ‘skillet breakfasts’ served at many American diners and cafés.
Simply, they are pan-fried diced potatoes with grated or diced onions and seasoning.
How To Make Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions
The name kinda says it all, but these are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Potatoes – My favorite for fried potatoes are russet potatoes. I’m originally from the Northwest so I really appreciate a good Idaho russet potato. They’re just better, truly! Idaho has the ideal conditions ( climate, volcano-rich soil, good drainage ) that make the true Idaho-grown russet potatoes a superior potato. However, use whatever potato variety that you have on hand because this is not a complex dish that requires a special trip to the store!
- Onions – Sweet yellow onions or white onions are my top picks for this easy side dish. Another throwback to living in the Northwest is that I really love the Walla Walla sweet onions, plus it’s fun to say! I grate my onions so that they caramelize right onto the crisped potatoes and add so much flavor. If you have kids or family members that aren’t fans of onions in their foods, you can use shallots which are the milder cousin of onions. Or omit the onions completely.
- Seasoning – Start with a base amount of salt and pepper, smoked paprika ( or paprika ), and some garlic powder. Taste the fried potatoes and onions in the last few minutes of cooking time, and adjust your seasoning as needed. Other great seasoning choices include turmeric, chili powder, garlic salt, or seasoning salt.
- Oil – I’m using extra virgin olive oil since I’m cooking over medium heat. If you fried these potatoes at a higher setting, you would want to use refined or virgin olive oil, or another oil with a higher smoke point like vegetable oil.
Stir-In ideas that you might like to include: minced garlic, diced red or green bell peppers, shallots, green onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or diced heirloom tomatoes. You might also use fresh herbs including chopped parsley, sprigs of rosemary, or a bunch of thyme.
Once you have your ingredients gathered, follow these steps to cook the potatoes and onions:
- Grate the onion, then wash and cube the potatoes to pieces that are roughly 1/2 – 3/4 inch in size. The more uniform the potato pieces are, the more evenly they will cook. Heat your skillet and oil to medium heat.
- Add the potatoes to the heated skillet once the oil begins to shimmer. Spread the potatoes out into an even flat layer, season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder then place a tight-fitting lid onto your skillet or frying pan. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Uncover and stir the potatoes and onions until all sides are crispy and lightly browned, about 5 – 10 minutes. Your potatoes should be fork-tender when done. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Best Potatoes For Frying
I’m going to advocate russet potatoes as the best potatoes for pan frying. It makes sense, they make the best french fries too! However, russet potatoes have a high starch content and if they are not cooked correctly they can end up soggy.
To avoid soggy fried potatoes, be sure to heat your oil before adding the potatoes to the skillet or frying pan. This partially covered method works to cook the potatoes all the way through, but you need that uncovered last half of the cooking time to burn off moisture.
Do You Need to Boil Potatoes For Frying
Never! It’s a completely unnecessary additional step. Use the method here to get perfectly tender fried potatoes and onions every time!
Pan Frying Potatoes in Oil vs Butter
Butter will burn if used at a high enough heat to really get a good ‘fry’ on your potatoes. Using oil prevents your potato dish from burning before it even hits your plate.
If you like the taste of butter, reserve it for adding at the end when the heat can be reduced slightly before serving.
More Great Potato Side Dishes
- Au Gratin Potatoes
- Fondant Potatoes
- Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Roasted Mashed Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions
- 2 lbs russet potatoes (washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, cubed)
- 1 medium yellow onion (grated or finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (more as needed, enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan)
- 1/2 tsp each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or paprika)
- Grate a medium yellow or white onion and wash and cube potatoes. *It is optional to peel the potatoes.
- Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan, skillet, or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add the grated onions, cubed potatoes, and seasoning (salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder - unless you'd like to use minced garlic, reserve the minced garlic for the uncovered cooking time).
- Stir the ingredients together then spread them in an even layer over the bottom of your pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- After the 10 minutes of cooking while covered, uncover and stir the potatoes and onions (add minced garlic, if using). Leave uncovered to finish for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until your potatoes are fork-tender and have reached your desired level of tenderness.
- Remove from heat when the potatoes are done cooking and serve immediately.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma’s kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!