Homemade diner-style skillet breakfast potatoes are perfect to whip up for breakfast. You can prep these from the night before, so they take less time to serve up in the morning.

oval metal plate with spoon and prepared breakfast potatoes in small cubes

Take it from someone who’s always had a love-hate relationship with potatoes; these are the BEST breakfast potatoes of LIFE. Golden brown on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside.

I’m so excited to be bringing you one of my family’s favorite breakfast items. They’re easy to whip up, can be prepped ahead of time, so they take less time in the morning, and are perfect with a side of eggs or wrapped inside breakfast burritos.

Once you cook them up in a skillet, these breakfast potatoes developed the most delicious outer crust that’s delicately crispy and dusted with things like garlic and onions and a hint of cayenne.

Take a closer look at ’em with me.

Skillet Breakfast Potatoes Video:

close up of crispy coated cubes of potatoes that are panfried in cast iron
cast iron skillet with seasoned breakfast potatoes on spoon

See all those little brown bits, that’s all butter mingling with spices and crisping up the outside of your breakfast potatoes.

I wanted to share these skillet potatoes with you in the summer, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get that same taste and texture that they do when you order them at your favorite breakfast joint. I tried parboiling the potatoes first, then roasting them in the oven. Don’t get me wrong, they were decent, but they were missing that golden outer layer that gives skillet potatoes their umph. Not to mention, I couldn’t call them skillet potatoes if they weren’t prepared in a *hint hint* skillet.

So then I tried dicing the potatoes and coating them in a little cornstarch, you know, cornstarch on tofu worked out pretty well, plus it dries up all that excess moisture. GENIUS, right? Wrong. They were meh. You know how diner-style breakfast potatoes are always that ideal balance of crisp, well-seasoned, and tender? These certainly were not.

Back to the drawing board!

steamed potatoes on a plate

The winning combination? Steam the potatoes, dice them, and cooking them up in a skillet.

How to steam potatoes when you’re making breakfast potatoes:

You use a steamer basket! You know that weird-looking metal basket with a bunch of holes in it? The one that sits way in the back of all of our pots and pans cabinet. Just fill a pot with a couple of inches of water, bring it to a rolling boil, add peeled and quartered potatoes on top and let steam for 6-10 minutes. The potatoes are done when the knife goes through them with just a little resistance. I have to be honest, before this recipe, I had never steamed potatoes. And for those of us that refuse to get out a pot and a steamer basket just to steam potatoes: this can also be done in the microwave. Just a few minutes on high.

How to prep breakfast potatoes ahead of time:

Let the potatoes cool after steaming them; at least one hour at room temperature. That’s the part that makes this the BEST breakfast potatoes recipe ever. Because this allows you to do some of that prep work ahead of time. I usually do this part the day before. Steam the potatoes, let them come to room temperature, dice them, and then store them in the fridge overnight.

Then, it takes 10 or 15 minutes tops to get these on the table. How perfect is that for Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast and also for every brunch you ever plan on hosting.

close up of texture of breakfast potatoes on grey plate

How to give breakfast potatoes a flavor boost:

  1. heating the oil and butter up with a smashed clove of garlic, a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary. That one minute of time when the oil heats up and the herbs start to sizzle adds so, so much to these breakfast potatoes. I don’t do this all the time. But whenever I’ve got fresh herbs around the house for other meals, I sneak a few sprigs into my skillet to really make these breakfast potatoes a little more special.
  2. make sure to use at least a 12-inch skillet if you’re making the full recipe for these potatoes. You want them to cook in a single layer so they have enough room to move around and crisp up.

Lazy Autumn Saturday morning breakfast wouldn’t be complete without a stack of homemade pumpkin waffles and these hearty skillet potatoes.

Eat until your fall heart’s content.

breakfast scene with pan fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, salsa and coffee on the side
Yield: 4-6 servings

Easy Skillet Breakfast Potatoes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Homemade diner-style skillet breakfast potatoes are perfect to whip up for breakfast. You can prep these from the night before, so they take less time to serve up in the morning.

Easy Skillet Breakfast Potatoes


  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • optional: rosemary, thyme, garlic clove


  1. potatoes: Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place prepared quartered potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and zap for 3 1/2-4 1/2 minutes covered with a microwave lid. Insert a knife into the thickest part of the potato, the knife should go through with some resistance. Let potatoes cool to room temperature. You can also refrigerate the potatoes once cooled and use the next day. Just dice the potatoes up into roughly 1/2 inch pieces before you add them to the skillet. They chop up easier if they've had a chance to hang out in the refrigerator.
  2. cook: Using a 12-inch skillet or larger, place the butter, olive oil, and if using the rosemary, thyme, and 1 smashed garlic clove into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the butter to melt and the olive oil to heat through. When the herbs start popping and sizzling, remove them and the garlic clove, discard. Add the potatoes in a single layer, season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika, toss to coat evenly. Cook the potatoes for a total of 8-10 minute, flipping and tossing them every 2-3 minutes to ensure even browning. Taste for seasonings and adjust to preference. Serve immediately.


  • To use steamer basket: bring 2-3 inches of water to a rolling boil, add the potatoes to the basket and let cook for 6-10 minutes or until they're almost cooked through. You should feel a little resistance when pierced with a knife, you don't want potatoes to cook all the way through.
  • Here's the Lodge 12-inch skillet I own and love.

Have you made this recipe?

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