Crispy Home Fries


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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. 

cooking potatoes in a cast iron skillet

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. 

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skillet home fries on a white plate topped with a fried egg

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.

adding potatoes and onions to a cast iron skillet

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  • 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 tsp 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. 
home fries on a white plate topped with a fried egg

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.)

2 white plates of home fries on a white table

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cooking potatoes in a cast iron skillet
4.57 from 37 votes

Skillet Home Fries Recipe

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. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Large Skillet


  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Chopped White Onion (see note)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 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!)


Potatoes – Yukon gold potatoes will hold their shape a bit better while cooking, but Russet potatoes work great in this method as well. Russet potatoes just break down a bit and will have less well-defined edges / corners than Yukon gold.
Onions – Be sure not to dice the onion too small or the pieces will burn. The onion pieces should be roughly a quarter the size of the potato pieces when you get started cooking. They will reduce in size as they cook. 
Large Skillet – Cast iron pans works best for home fries because they allow the potatoes to crisp up without sticking. It is better to use a nonstick pan if you are concerned about the potatoes sticking. No matter what type of pan you use, it should be one that has a lid and is large enough to hold all of the potatoes in a single layer.


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 745mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $2.00
Calories: 252
Keyword: breakfast side dish, hash browns, skillet potatoes
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. you should not use olive oil, use canola or veg and butter togeather, olive oil will burn easy, also boil the potatoes for 10 min 1st (Blanch) then cool in cold water before cutting up, and they be better inside and out , then add onions and any spices last 10 20 min of frying, i learned this in a resauraunt i worked at.

    1. Hi David! I have to disagree. Olive oil is perfectly safe to use up to 400 F and the pan shouldn’t get anywhere near that temperature with this cooking technique. Italians even sometimes fry things in olive oil as long as they stay below that 400 degree mark. The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t have to mess around with the extra time and dishes that come with blanching. Just one pan and they come out crisp on the outside and super tender on the inside. Try it this way and I think you’ll be converted!