How to Make Pan-Fried Potatoes and Onions

By LeafTV Editor
  • Start to Finish: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
Fried potatoes
credit: Piotr Krzeslak/iStock/GettyImages
How To Make Pan Fried Potatoes And Onions

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Pan-fried potatoes and onions is considered a breakfast staple in America. But this hearty fare is also served at dinner time as it pairs well with almost any type of meat. Often referred to as "home fries" or "house fries," the real plus to creating this dish is that even the most inexperienced cook can tackle a skillet full of fried potatoes and onions. If you're starting with raw potatoes, ensure to steam-fry them first to obtain a finished product that is soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

  • 2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 4 to 6 white, yellow or red potatoes, peeled and diced or sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic or 1 or 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter or bacon grease and olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick or iron skillet.

Add the sliced or diced potatoes, onions, garlic, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir to evenly coat the potatoes and onions in the melted fat.

Place a lid onto the pan and allow the potatoes to steam for about 10 minutes. Do not disturb them during this process.

After 10 minutes, remove the lid and flip the potatoes and onions. Fry the potatoes and onions (without the lid) an additional 10 minutes until they are browned and tender. Flip them another one or two times, depending on the preferred degree of crispiness.

Serve immediately.

Add a sliced or diced green bell pepper during the steaming process for an added boost of flavor. This is often referred to as "Potatoes O'Brien." Alternatively, kick up the heat with 4 or 5 shakes of hot pepper sauce in the final stages of cooking. Add sliced, fresh mushrooms in the first 10 minutes of cooking for an additional variation on the standard fried potatoes and onions.

It is not necessary to peel the potatoes before frying. However, ensure to scrub them with a soft brush under cool water to remove any dirt, and then pat them dry with a paper towel before slicing or dicing.

To expedite the pan-frying process, use leftover baked potatoes. If you have extra potatoes, grill or bake them a day or two ahead to use in your pan-fried potatoes and onions. To make baked potatoes on the grill, slice each potato lengthwise and sprinkle the sliced sides with sea salt, garlic salt or seasoned salt. Add a pat of butter to one exposed side and replace the other half so that the butter is in the middle of each half. Wrap each potato in foil and grill for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Alternatively, use leftover oven-baked potatoes. Refrigerated baked potatoes last for 5 to 7 days.

For extra-crispy pan-fried potatoes, reduce the heat to medium during the last stage of the cooking process. Flip them every 3 to 5 minutes until the potatoes are evenly crisp. Ensure to reduce the heat to prevent them from burning.