Easy Skillet Breakfast Potatoes
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. These taste just like home fries from your favorite breakfast place!
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. And it sure beats the basic breakfast staple of potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Serve them up with pancakes, crispy turkey bacon, sausage, and lots of ketchup to dip them in!
The list of ingredients on this recipe isn’t big and 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 powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and a hint of cayenne.
Take a closer look at ’em with me.
Skillet Breakfast Potatoes Video:
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 ASAP, 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!
The winning combination? Steam the potatoes, dice them, and cooking them up in a skillet.
Ingredients for homemade breakfast potatoes:
- Potatoes: I like to use russet potatoes for this recipe as they have the best texture for skillet potatoes. You can use other potatoes as well, such as red potatoes, if that’s what you prefer.
- Butter + Oil: You’ll want a couple tablespoon of butter and olive oil to help fry the potatoes.
- Seasonings: I use a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat, a ½ teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. The smokiness help give these potatoes the most amazing flavor! You’ll also need kosher salt and black pepper.
- Fresh herbs: these are optional, I like to have a stem of rosemary, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and a smashed clove of garlic if time permits. This helps infuse the flavors into the oil before you fry up the potatoes.
How to steam potatoes when you’re making breakfast potatoes:
Peel potatoes and quarter them first. Then 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, toss 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 easy 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 place potatoes in the fridge overnight.
Then, it takes 10 or 15 minutes tops to get these on the table. How perfect is this side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast and also for every brunch you ever plan on hosting.
How to make the best crispy breakfast potatoes:
- Infuse the oil. 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 sizzling and frying is just enough to flavor 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.
- Ensure there’s plenty of space. Make sure to use at least a 12-inch skillet if you’re making the full recipe for these potatoes. You want them to sauté 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. And it sure beats the hockey puck hash browns from the grocery store! If you’ve got leftovers, you can pop them into an airtight container and and store them in the refrigerator. Reheat them in a skillet, air fry them, or heat them in a toaster oven for a few minutes.
Eat until your fall heart’s content.
Easy Skillet Breakfast Potatoes
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
They turned out amazing!! Much better than what you get at restaurants
This recipe has become a staple for our Sunday morning breakfast. My whole family loves them, even the little ones!
I like using bacon fat instead of olive oil, and a chopped onion. So good!
I don’t own a black iron skillet. Will they brown and come out just as nicely using a high quality non-stick Caphalon?
They will brown but might require slightly more time to do so. Cast iron retains heat better than stainless steel so it’ll take just a bit longer and the potatoes may not get as crispy as potatoes cooked in a cast iron skillet. That said, they should still be delicious! 🙂
I have to say the way you wrote about country potatoes was just like reading a novel with a fantastic ending. it’s not fair. I wasn’t really planing on making country potatoes. I was going to make potato salad, but our get together changed to Christmas breakfast. I was still going to make the salad because everybody still needed lunch, but after reading your mini novel and adding the fact that I steam all my vegetables, I hardly have a choice. Regardless of my choice for Christmas I have to make some now it’s too good to pass up. Thank you.
FINALLY. I could have written the first half of your post myself (I’d even tried the corn starch!) and had honestly given up on ever making breakfast potatoes at home. Thank you for not giving up!! After making these potatoes twice, my only tweaks are to fry them in the drippings from a pound of bacon (because BACON) and add the powdered spices when I turn them for the last time, as mine seem to burn if added with the potatoes. I love the step of infusing the oil/drippings with garlic and herbs ahead of time–so much flavor for so little effort! Thank you thank you!!!
I don’t have a microwave, will I still be able to make this recipe? If so, how will I prep the potatoes in the beginning? Thanks!
Hi, in the notes section she has how to do the potatoes in a steamer ?
Awesome! I was looking for a recipe for BREAKFAST POTATOES and found it on your blog again. Just follow the detailed instructions, everything becomes very easy. I was finally able to make it myself at home. Thanks for your sharing
I just made this and it’s phenomenal!! I’d post a picture but I haven’t a clue how. Thanks for the recipe!!
This was delicious! I am still a beginner cook and some recipes are kinda intimidating. This, however, was perfect! So easy to follow with great results. Will make this again.
Unbelievable! Amazing! This recipe is incredible. Great crisp to the potato. Thank you for sharing!!!
My 14 year old son made these potatoes for our breakfast this morning. They were FABULOUS! He did them with the optional garlic, thyme and rosemary…I think that is a must do. We will for sure be printing out this recipe and putting it in our family cookbook for future breakfasts! Thanks for the awesome recipe.
Best potatoes I ever had! I used bacon butter instead of butter and oil. Perfect potatoes. Will make again.
Thanks for this recipe! I’ve made it twice and both times the potatoes came out perfectly crisp even though I am actually parboiling the potatoes instead of steaming (I don’t have a microwave right now nor a steamer basket!) So it might be helpful to know that you can parboil the potatoes, put them in the fridge over night, and make them the next day and they will still turn out terrific!
Andrea – when you parboiled the potatoes, did you peel them first or leave them with the skins on? Also, did you quarter them before boiling or leave them whole? I want to put them in the fridge overnight as well but dont want them to get brown.
Thank-you for the recipe! It was exactly what I needed.
Made this recipe for my boyfriend and I and it’s defiantly my new go to breakfast potato recipe. Fast, easy, and restaurant quality. They turn out so crispy and flavorful and I am obsessed! So happy I found this recipe, will 100% be making again.
Thank you so much for the recipe! We loved it. I skipped the butter and the garlic, but it was still super good. 😀
Excited to make these but had a few questions – do you peel the potatoes too or just dice them? If Diced and stored in the fridge, do they need to be kept in water to avoid browning?
does anyone know the calories?
My son and i loved it. So flavorful with the spices. I will have to get a iron skillet for extra crispy.
These are amazing
So happy to hear you enjoyed them, Kara!
Thank you for posting this recipe! It is perfect and wonderful and I love it!!! Seriously this is better than restaurant and I can’t wait to share it with others.
I’m so so happy to hear you enjoyed them, Lora! 🙂
So helpful for a lazy person like me for breakfast. Thank you for your amazing recipe!
I wanted to try something different for breakfast and I came across this recipe. I made it and it came out pretty good! I microwaved it because I don’t have a steamer. I was a bit confused with the part of instruction that said I should discard the garlic, rosemary etc after its heated…i wasn’t sure if I should put the potato in the skillet with or without them because the instruction didn’t mention them again after that.. so I seasoned the potato then throw the mixture in and stir it…then continue stirring until golden. It was delicious and flavorful! I’ll definitely make it again!
Made this recipe. Although I didn’t let the potatoes sit after being simmered they still turned out amazing!
This is the only recipe o use for breakfast potatoes, I love these more than I can describe with words (I also omit the cayane as in not a fan of spice)
Golden brown on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside!
Yummy! Thank you!!!
So glad you enjoyed them, Paige!!
Great recipe, turned out great, best crispy potato’s ever cooked, and have tried many times. The steaming ahead of time is really the key.
So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, John! Appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment 🙂
These are perfect. Thank you for the great recipe!