Potatoes O’Brien, also known as O’Brien Potatoes in some regions, a dish of fried potatoes with chopped bell peppers and onions has long been associated with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland, but did you know that the dish actually originated in the United States?
This is a traditional Potatoes O’Brien recipe with one special ingredient to really amp up the flavors! Potatoes, bell peppers and onions, you just can’t go wrong!
Yep, right here in the USA! There is some debate around which city, but rumor has it either Manhattan or Boston. My vote is on Boston, seeing there is a much higher saturation of Irish folks there.
Don’t forget to PIN Potatoes OBrien!
It was actually named after an Irish cook who was bored with typical fried potatoes. He decided to liven them up a bit by adding color using bell peppers.
Believe me, I get it. I try to make my dishes as colorful as possible!
What better than a medley of green and red bell peppers along with translucent onion? Fried up crispy in rendered bacon fat, these bad boys, while simplistic with their ingredients, pack quite the flavor punch.
These days you’ll see Potatoes O’Brien served at breakfast, lunch and dinner and with all sort of potato varieties. Basically as long as it has as the three basics, potatoes, bell peppers and onion, it is considered an O’Brien dish. Sometimes you’ll just see them listed as a plain old breakfast potatoes recipe too.
Personally, I like to use red potatoes, the skin can stay on (it carries nutrients in it) and they have a little more flavor. You can use any type of potato you wish (although I advise against sweet potatoes, they get a little mushy).
I use rendered bacon fat if I have it, but I rarely do, so vegetable oil will work just fine. Whatever fat or oil you use, don’t use too much and make sure it is hot enough or else your potatoes will get all mushy.
The secret to the robust flavor of my Potatoes O’Brien really comes with one secret ingreidnet: Worcestershire sauce. I bet you didn’t see that one coming!
Yep, that same ingredient you use to deep the flavor in meats and gravies also works miracles with potatoes (and many other side dish recipes for that matter). And now you know my secret. Just do me a favor and don’t going telling everyone, okay?
Questions you might have about Potatoes O’Brien:
Are Potatoes O’Brien healthy? That really depends on your definition of healthy. They are just vegetables, but potatoes are also starchy and they are fried in canola or vegetable oil. I suppose you could make them lighter by using less oil.
Are Potatoes O’Brien gluten free? My recipe for Potatoes O’Brien is indeed, gluten-free, but I can’t promise that of all O’Brien recipes.
Can you make Potatoes O’Brien in the oven? You can! Simply chop it all up and par-cook the potatoes at 350 for about 20 minutes. Toss in the other ingredients and cook for another 20 minutes. They might not get as crispy as pan frying and it will take longer, but if you just want something hands-off and need the stove space, go for it!
Can you freeze Potatoes O’Brien? You sure can! Just put them in an airtight plastic bag and try to get out as much air as you can. They will stay fresh for about 3-4 months. You can reheat them by baking at 350 until warm (approximately 20 minutes) or heat them in a skillet with a little oil for about 10-12 minutes.
Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil? You sure can, but be mindful it has a different smoke point, so keep your heat to a medium high heat. You can still get super crispy breakfast potatoes by only stirring occasionally, don’t over stir!
Over stirring is the number one culprit to NOT having golden brown potatoes.
What are other flavors I can add? I like to use real onions, but you can also add onion powder, cayenne pepper for a kick or garlic powder for some pizzazz.
- Bacon Potato Salad
- Slow Cooker Garlic Dill Mashed Potatoes
- BBQ Pulled Pork Hash
- Stuffed Breakfast Potatoes
- Cheesy Garlic Fry Stack
- Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes
Tools for making Potatoes O’Brien:
Heavy Bottom Frying Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range. You’ll use this large skillet a lot!
Wood cutting board – wood won’t dull your knives like plastic and if treated properly, has natural antimicrobial properties.
Good knife – Global is my favorite! They are worth the price, I promise. I am kind of obsessed with them and store them tucked away so no one else can use them. Including hubby. Hands off my good stuff!
Cast Iron Skillet– Yes they are heavy, yes they take a little extra TLC. Are using cast iron pans worth it? YES!!! Just buy one and you’ll thank me later! I have both pre-seasoned and unseasoned. I like them both for different reasons.
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- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet. When it reaches a smoking point, add potatoes. Skillet much be hot to make a nice crust. Cook, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes.
- Add red and green bell peppers and onions to skillet, toss. Season to your liking with fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, toss and continue to heat for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!