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These smothered potatoes are full of delicious Southern flavors! This easy side dish features spuds, onions, garlic and bell peppers with Cajun seasoning. Smothered potatoes and onions come together in just 20 minutes on the stovetop!
Look no further than this smothered potatoes recipe for a fabulous Southern-style side dish. These potatoes are crispy o tender on the inside, crispy on the outside and you can customize them in a variety of delicious ways.
This budget-friendly dish is easy to make and always a crowdpleaser. We’ve served with rave reviews for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
What Are Smothered Potatoes
Smothered potatoes are a traditional Southern dish with roots in Louisiana. Smothering is a cooking method of browning meat or vegetables in a pan before deglazing and simmering with a small amount of liquid. This dish is usually made with onions and Cajun or Creole seasoning. Other variations may include bell peppers, mushrooms, sausage and/or cheese.
Here is what you’ll need to make southern smothered potatoes:
- Potatoes: You want to use all-purpose potatoes that will hold their shape and provide a smooth, creamy texture once cooked. Yukon Golds are ideal, and you can use red bliss, round white, fingerlings or a combination.
- Onion: A medium-to-large white or yellow onion is all you need. You can substitute red onions too.
- Garlic: I recommend fresh minced garlic, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Bell peppers: You can use green, yellow, orange or red bell peppers. I usually use red for the most attractive color contrast.
- Butter: A small amount of butter adds a lot of flavor. I recommend unsalted butter, since seasonings can be quite salty already. If you want to make it vegan, use olive oil instead.
- Salt and pepper: You can use table salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Cajun or creole seasoning: Using this seasoning adds the southern flair to the dish. If you can’t find any, you can make your own or try substituting some fajita or taco seasoning.
How to Make Smothered Potatoes
To make it, begin by preparing your ingredients. Cut the potatoes into either 1-inch chunks. Since they discolor easy due to oxidation, I recommend dropping the pieces into a bowl of cold water as you go. Next, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds before dicing.
Place a cast iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter, onions, garlic and bell pepper to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes until they’re translucent and starting to soften. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Wipe the pan with paper towel and add the oil and potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the outsides are slightly browned. Add the water or broth and cover the pan to cook for 5 to 7 more minutes or until tender. Remove the lid and add the reserved onion-pepper mixture. Toss and serve.
There are so many amazing variations on the traditional smothered potatoes and onions. Here are a few of my favorites:
Smothered Potatoes and Sausage
Make this side dish into a complete meal by adding some meat. There are many great choices: smoked Andouille sausage, chorizo or mild Italian sausage. Simply cut into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the skillet to cook along with the potatoes.
Smothered Potato Casserole
This is a great baked option. Place all the ingredients into a square or rectangular pan to bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F until tender. Make sure the pan is well greased to avoid sticking. You can also top with grated cheddar cheese for a heartier option.
Smothered Potatoes with Cheese
After adding the onions back to the potatoes, you can grate some of your favorite cheese like parmesan before serving. If you’re using cheddar or Jack, cover the pan and cook for one minute to allow it to melt completely before serving.
What to Serve with Smothered Potatoes
You may want to put out condiments such as salsa or sour cream with this dish (especially for kids) although they are tasty enough on their own.
More Potato Recipes:
Smothered Potatoes and Onions (Southern-style)
- 2 pounds potatoes, Yukon Gold recommended, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or paprika (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- ¼ cup broth or water, optional
- Prepare all the ingredients. For the potatoes, scrub them under running water to remove dirt and debris. Chop into 1-inch pieces and place them in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration.
- Place a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, onion, garlic and bell pepper.
- Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon until the vegetables are slightly softened. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Place the pan back onto medium heat. Add the oil, swirling the pan to coat. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until they start to brown.
- Add the onion-bell pepper mixture back to the pan. Add the cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. If the potatoes are sticking at all, add 1/2 cup of water as well.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.
- Seasoning: You can use Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning. Alternatively, you can use 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or paprika.
- Smothered Potatoes and Sausage: Add 1-2 cups of crumbled sausage meat to the pan with the potatoes.
- Smothered Potato Casserole: Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a square 9-inch ovenproof dish well. Add all the ingredients to the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until tender, stirring halfway through for even browning.
- Smothered Potatoes with Cheese: Sprinkle 2 cups of grated cheese on top 5 minutes before serving. You can use cheddar, Jack, parmesan or another firm cheese.
- Make Ahead: You can make smothered potatoes up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat on a nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
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