Make the best Crispy Home Fries that are tender on the inside and golden on the outside. All you need is a few ingredients, a skillet, and a bit of (mostly hands-off) time at the stove.
I never was one to frequently make home fries or hash browns until this method came into my life. There’s no pre-boiling the potatoes or oven needed, which means these potatoes really are something you could actually make in the morning.
Just cube the potatoes, chop some onions, and cook it all up in a skillet. While the potatoes cook, you can fry an egg or two to put on top. It’s a diner-style breakfast in the coziness of your own kitchen.
How to Make Crispy Home Fries
The key to making crispy skillet home fries that are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside is to steam them while they sear. To do this, you leave the potatoes in the skillet, covered, for a full 10 minutes, without stirring, until they are golden brown. The lid ensures that heat and moisture are trapped inside while the potatoes cook. Then flip the potatoes and repeat the process on the other side for another 10 minutes cooking time. In the last few minutes, cook the potatoes with the lid off to make sure they are brown on all sides and cooked all the way through.
The method in this home fries recipe is a stovetop version similar to the method I use to steam-roast potatoes in these Parmesan Roasted Potatoes.
To Peel or Not To Peel?
Either way works well. With this method, the potatoes will come out crisp and golden whether they have peels or not, so choose your preference.
Here’s all you need to make it happen!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This gives the potatoes a savory flavor and helps them to crisp up in the pan. If you don’t have olive oil, any other oil you use for cooking will work.
- Unsalted Butter - Butter is essential for flavor and crispness. If using salted butter, reduce the added salt to about ¼ teaspoon and then taste the potatoes at the end and add more salt, if needed.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - I have a slight preference for Yukon Gold potatoes here, but Russet potatoes will work (see below for the difference). You can also use baby or new potatoes that have been cubed or sliced into small wedges.
- White Onion - A small amount of onion will cook down with the potatoes and gives them that authentic diner home fry feel. You can skip this or use diced yellow onion. Just be sure not to dice them too small or they will burn. You need some good-sized onion pieces like those shown below.
- Kosher Salt and Garlic Powder - For seasoning. Be sure you use garlic powder not garlic salt.
Yukon Gold vs. Russet Potatoes for Home Fries
When making home fries in a skillet, Yukon gold potatoes will hold their shape better while Russet potatoes will break down a bit more. Both varieties will work well for making home fries.
See below for the difference in Yukon gold vs. Russet potatoes when cooked in the same size skillet for the same amount of time using this home fries recipe. (Yukon on top; Russet on bottom.)
More Breakfast / Brunch Favorites
- Frittata with Asparagus, Bacon and Goat Cheese
- Herbed Baked Eggs
- Egg, Brie and Arugula Breakfast Sandwich with Strawberry Glazed Bacon
- Croissant French Toast
- Sheet Pan Breakfast Sandwiches
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet - I use this 10.5-inch cast iron skillet nearly every day. To keep it seasoned, just be sure to dry it well and rub it with some oil before storing it (this will prevent rust and keep it seasoned).
- Global Chef’s Knife - You only really need one chef's knife to use for everything and this is my favorite. I've had it for 7+ years. It's incredibly lightweight. If you, like me, are under 5'4", the 6-inch is a perfect size (if you're taller, get the 8-inch).
Skillet Home Fries Recipe
- Large Skillet
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- ½ cup Chopped White Onion (see note)
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder (not garlic salt)
- Heat a large skillet (see note) over low-medium heat. (Note: on my electric range which heats from 1-10, I set the heat at 4 for these potatoes.)
- Add oil and butter and stir gently until butter melts.
- Add potatoes in a single layer and cover with a lid.
- Cook potatoes, covered, without stirring them, for 10 minutes (resist the urge to lift the lid and check on them - keeping the lid closed helps them to steam and get started cooking).
- Remove the lid and use a spatula to gently flip the potatoes. Add onions to the pan, scattering them over the potatoes. Cover again and continue to cook for 10 minutes more.
- Remove the lid and season potatoes with salt and garlic powder.
- Continue cooking potatoes, flipping them occasionally with a spatula, until potatoes are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes more (depending on the size of the potato cubes).
- Serve immediately. (Great with a fried egg on top!)
My all time favourite fries..........
Thank You. I really like this recipe. Made them this morning and they came out great using russet. 20 minutes covered using 4 out of 10 on the stove. Uncovered and cooked 5 more minutes. Texture was great. My only question is to peel or not to peel. Will they be crispier if I don't peel the next time?
I like them both ways, but I can't say for sure if they are more crispy one way or the other. I always peel them when I make this recipe - https://inquiringchef.com/aloo-bhaji/ - which uses the exact same method but added spices. They do come out super crisp on all sides when peeled.
U B T
Thank you so much for this. I had the hardest time making homefries of all things lol. After following your recipe I see my error. Thank you for such a great detailed layout.
So glad it was helpful! I had the hardest time before this method too - seems like such a simple thing but turns out to have some quirks!
I followed the directions and they came out great! I had russets on hand and did not peal. Thank you.
Thank you so much for these! I was after some easy home fries that didn’t require boiling since I have a chronic illness and my energy levels are always a bit of a gamble when making long recipes — these came out absolutely perfect! I only had baby potatoes on hand and it still came out wonderful.
Oh that's great - I'm so glad it worked out for you!
Great recipe added some of our favorite spices. Delicious, my go to now. Thank you for sharing this.
Can you cook these ahead nd reheat???
Yes! They reheat well in the microwave or quickly on the stovetop. They won't be quite as crispy as hot off the stove, but still good that way.
NANCY L BYRGE
I have never liked home fries but these were delicious! Plus, my husband couldn't stop saying how good they were. Thanks for this recipe. It's definitely a keeper!
So glad you liked them!
Thank you, for sharing your recipe. I've experienced several fails when it comes to breakfast homestyle potatoes; and you've just helped me redeem myself. These potatoes came out exactly what I was hoping for - crispy and delicious. I've also learned to be a patient and not stir them around and trust the process. Again, thank you and can't wait to make these again!
Happy to help!
Thank you for posting. This is now my go to method for making home fries. The advice on type of potato to use was informative, and to let them be and just cook was a game changer for me. They have been consistently good since I started using your method. Covering not only cooks the potatoes, it also helps with splatter, and adding a small amount of onion, and a light seasoning in the end of cooking puts them over the top.
Thanks so much for the kind note Lisa! Glad you enjoy these as much as I do!