Easy Fried Potatoes and Onions
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These easy Fried Potatoes and Onions are crispy and buttery with delicious caramelized onions – the perfect side for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Enjoy these potatoes with eggs and bacon for a satisfying start to the day or serve with roast chicken and collard greens for a hearty Southern-style Sunday dinner!
Fried potatoes and onions come together in one skillet for easy preparation and clean-up. Best of all, you can make them in just 15 minutes using a few simple ingredients. What better way to use up the potatoes in your pantry?
This is one of my favorite potato side dishes along with Smothered Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes and Boiled Potatoes.
Which Potatoes Are the Best for This Recipe?
Some potato varieties are better for frying than others. Russets are a great option, as they are higher in starch with a lower moisture content; however, you’ll need to soak them in water after slicing to reduce the starch for the crispiest potatoes. If you can’t be bothered, then consider all-purpose potato like a Yukon Gold or Red Gold.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Potatoes: Use Russets, Yukon Gold or Red Golds.
- Onion: Yellow onions are ideal here, but you can also use white onions.
- Olive Oil: Refined olive oil is fine, or extra virgin olive oil or even canola oil.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is ideal here. If you use salted, reduce the salt content accordingly.
- Salt: You can use sea salt or table salt as you wish.
- Seasonings (Optional): Smoked paprika and garlic powder give this dish some southern accents, and freshly ground black pepper is always a great addition.
How to Make Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions
1. Thinly slice the onion and set aside.
2. Slice the potatoes into ¼-inch thick rounds. Pat dry with paper towels.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together potatoes, onions, salt and optional seasonings.
4. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter followed by the seasoned potatoes and onions. Fry undisturbed for 5 minutes or until browning at the edges.
5. Using a wooden spoon or kitchen tongs, turn the potato pieces over.
6. Cook for 5 minutes more until the potatoes are tender and the other sides are golden brown. Stir if needed for even cooking or to prevent sticking. Serve and enjoy.
Do You Have to Boil Potatoes Before Frying Them?
By using the right kind of potato like a Yukon Gold or Russet, you do not need to boil the potatoes before frying.
If you only have a waxy variety available including new potatoes, red bliss or fingerlings, then boiling is essential. You’ll need to boil for 10 minutes until almost tender (15 minutes for larger potatoes) and then let them cool for 10 minutes before slicing and frying.
Tips for the Best Fried Potatoes and Onions
- Use butter and oil for the best flavor: Oil gives the potatoes a nice, crispy texture, while butter elevates the flavor. The secret is to use both to get the best of both worlds, as butter alone can make the potatoes soggy.
- Add smoked paprika for extra flavor: Smoked paprika has a rich, smoky flavor without being too spicy. A generous sprinkling of this powder will make the fried potatoes extra tasty.
- Use a heavy non-stick skillet or cast-iron pan: A heavier pan will help to brown the potatoes more evenly for a crispier texture and delicious caramelized flavors!
How Do You Prevent Fried Potatoes from Getting Mushy or Soggy?
You can mostly avoid the risk of soggy potatoes by picking the correct a higher starch potato such as a Russet or Yukon Gold. However, there are a few other tips as well:
- Pat dry the potatoes dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture before frying.
- Use a heavy pan that retains the heat. Also, never cover the pan during frying so the moisture can escape.
- Use oil alone or oil and butter together so the potatoes crispen up as they cook.
How to Serve Fried Potatoes and Onions?
Fried potatoes and onions are a versatile side dish that pairs with many meals. Enjoy them for breakfast with eggs, bacon and pancakes for a wholesome, filling start to the day. They are also delicious with chicken, steak or salmon to make a complete meal.
- Southern Fried Potatoes and Onions: Also known as Southern style hash browns, these potatoes are cut into small cubes, then pan fried in bacon grease until they’re crispy, tender and flavorful. Cajun seasoning adds authentic Southern flavor to the dish.
- Fried Potatoes and Onions with Peppers: Red and green bell peppers add both color and flavor to your skillet-fried potatoes. Slice bell peppers into thin pieces and sauté them with onion and garlic before adding in your cubed potatoes and frying them until they’re golden brown. Toss with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika.
Fried Potatoes and Onions Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, Yukon Gold or Russets recommended, scrubbed clean
- 1 large onion, yellow or white, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted recommended
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or table salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Slice the potatoes into ¼-inch thick rounds. Note: If using Russet potatoes, soak the slices in cold water for 10 minutes to remove excess starch. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture if needed.
- Thinly slice the onion into rings and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the potatoes, onions, salt and optional seasonings. Toss until thoroughly mixed.
- Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat (if you don't have a 14-inch skillet, try using two skillets side by side instead). Wait a minute or two until hot. Then add the oil and butter.
- Add the seasoned potatoes and onions to the pan, spreading them out as much as possible. Fry undisturbed for 5 minutes or until you see them starting to brown at the edges.
- Using a wooden spoon or kitchen tongs, turn the potato pieces over to brown the other side. Alternatively, you can shake the pan to flip the pieces.
- Fry 5 minutes more until the potatoes are tender and golden on all sides. Stir occasionally as needed to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Potatoes: You want to use an all-purpose potato such as Yukon Gold or Red Gold Russets are also fabulous although the slices should be soaked in cold water and dried before frying to reduce excess starch.
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