Crispy Home Fries are a potato-must for Sunday brunch or a dinner side dish. This home fries recipe helps make the perfect crispy potatoes and pairs them with onion, garlic and mild seasoning.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I could live the rest of my days and eat nothing but potatoes. Seriously. They are a blank slate just waiting to be painted into a delicious meal. Let’s make these into the best you’ve ever had.
The Perfect Home Fries
We’ve all been there. You ordered home fries at your favorite restaurant or the diner and they arrived being someplace between mashed potatoes, hashbrowns and something other potato concoction, certainly not the breakfast potato side dish you had pictured.
Home fries need to be lightly seasoned so they can accompany a wide variety of other foods, but above all, should be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Onions that are sauteed, but not caramelized and bits of garlic that still resemble garlic, not bitter burnt pieces.
There are a few standouts to making these crunchy cubes.
- The potatoes.
- Parboiling, then frying. Or… leftover baked potatoes!
- The pan.
- The oil.
- Cooking the potatoes and onions separately.
What are the Best Potatoes for Home Fries
While all potatoes are delicious, they are not created equal and some varieties are better for different purposes. For home fries, you want a starchy like a Russet potato. The starch allows them to crisp up nicely on the outside while creating a super creamy interior. They are also known for soaking up flavors, making the seasoned salt apparent throughout the whole dish, not merely sitting on top.
Other starchy potatoes are Idaho and Yukon gold, but steer clear of waxy varieties like red potatoes, new potatoes, fingerlings and creamer potatoes.
What You’ll Need
The ingredient list is short and sweet, but make sure to read the section about choosing your potatoes for a home fries hack and time-saver!
- Russet Potatoes- This recipe requires you to parboil the potatoes in order to get the perfect crunch, but if you want to skip this step, time your baked potato night the night before (or even several) before you want to make home fries. Leftover baked potatoes are perfect for this purpose and save time in the morning since you don’t have to parboil.
- Vegetable Oil- Or any other neutral oil with a high smoke point.
- Unsalted butter- The seasoned salt carries a good amount of salty goodness so using a salted butter runs the risk of oversalting.
- Onion & Garlic– Most home fries use only onion, but the Italian in me wants garlic too! It’s onion best friend- so I add it. Feel free to omit this, or both use. Use a sweet onion for less pungent flavor.
- Seasoned salt- Seasoned salt is a blend of salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Of course you can make your own, use store bought or just add a sprinkle of each of these from your spice cabinet.
How to Make Home Fries
This is a three step process: parboiling potatoes, making the onions and garlic and frying, but well worth it for satisfying potatoes. Skip the parboil process by using leftover baked potatoes.
- Prepare the potatoes by scrubbing them well and then cutting into half inch cubes. Peeling them is not necessary, but you if don’t like skins, take them off. Aim for uniformly sized potato cubes so they all cook at the same rate. If some are small and others large, you’ll end up with overcooked and undercooked pieces.
- Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water, adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Cover and bring the pot to a boil. When it boils, remove the lid, give it a quick stir and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until potatoes are tender. They might start to break apart a tad, this is fine, in fact that starchy exterior will make them extra crunchy.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander, tapping out any excess water.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat some of the oil and butter in a large skillet (the same one you’ll cook the potatoes in, so opt for a larger one than you’d use normally). Using both oil and butter makes it less likely that either will burn. Add the onions, sauteing until just soft and fragrant, then add the garlic, sauteing for another minute. Garlic cooks faster and gets bitter when burned, so adding it last ensures it just adds delicious flavor. Remove the potatoes from the skillet using a slotted spoon and put them on a plate, set aside.
- Add the remaining oil and butter to the same large skillet since it is carrying all of the flavors and goodness from the onions and garlic. Heat it over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the potatoes in a single layer. This might require working in batches and additional oil.
- Allow the potatoes to brown evenly on each side, crisping up. Remove cooked potatoes to a plate while you finished the other batch(es).
- Add the potatoes, cooked onions and garlic and seasoned salt back to the skillet and toss to combine and reheat.
- Serve hot with your favorite breakfast foods or as a side dish.
Why Use Baking Soda in Breakfast Potatoes?
Baking soda makes the water more alkaline, which aids in the surface area being roughed up and broken down. This starchy paste will help them brown better.
The baking soda can be omitted if you want to skip it or are using leftover potatoes.
Potatoes are such a fun ingredient, they can literally pair with anything and everything.
- Smothered– Just like Waffle House hash browns or In-n-Out Animal Fries, smother your crunchy bits with cheese and even fry sauce.
- Make them Spicy- Add chopped jalapenos or other hot pepper to the onions and garlic. Crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce can be served on the side if only some eaters want to sweat.
- Make a Hash- You can use these as the base for literally any hash you want. One of my favorites is pulled pork hash, but this sausage hash is my husbands favorite. They can also be used to make garbage plates.
- Spice Blends- Seasoned salt is the most basic, but feel free to use any blend of spices or add more to your liking. Taco or fajita seasoning are fun, as is blackened seasoning. And you ranch lovers can use dry ranch mix.
- Peppers- Adding bell peppers to the blend makes them more of a potatoes o’brien, but is the same concept.
- Toppings– I’ve already add onions to the mix, but that doesn’t mean they can have snipped scallions (green onions) or chives. Feel free to add chopped parsley too.
- Sauce- Some folks like ketchup, but don’t limit yourself. Spicy aioli, tossed with compound butter or maitre d butter for a steak frites style potato (heck, you can even serve your steak over these!), yum yum sauce or a drizzle of nashville hot sauce will do them good.
- Fresh Herbs- Leftover fresh herbs? Mince and toss those in with the onions and garlic too. Rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, dill and even tarragon are great options.
- Add Protein– Add cooked crumbled sausage, ground beef or bacon.
Questions You May Have
The terms are commonly used interchangeably, so when at a restaurant I ask how they are prepared. To a chef, home fries are a skillet fried potato while fried potatoes are deep fried.
They are really the same thing.
Good question! No one is really sure, but many think it was to differentiate them from French fries and fried potatoes.
What to Serve with Home Fries
This potato recipe is vestile that they can literally be served with just about anything.
How to Store Home Fries
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to Reheat Breakfast Potatoes: Reheat in the microwave (although they won’t get crispy again) or in a small amount of oil in a skillet on the stove. They can also be reheated in a 400°F oven in a single layer for about 8 minutes.
Freezer: Home fries can be frozen in an airtight freezer bag. Reheat while still frozen in hot oil in a large skillet until thawed and browned.
More Easy Potato Recipes
- Au Gratin Potatoes
- How to Bake a Potato
- Sweet Potato Hash Browns
- Mini Hasselback Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
Crispy Home Fries
- Scrub the potatoes well, peel if desired, and then cut into half-inch cubes.
- Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water, adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Cover and bring the pot to a boil.
- When boiling, uncover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until cubes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain well in a colander.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions, sauteing until just soft and fragrant, then add the garlic, sauteing for another minute. Remove from the skillet to a plate, set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the same large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in a single layer. This might require working in batches and additional oil and butter. Allow the potatoes to brown evenly on each side, crisping up. Remove cooked potatoes to a plate while you finished the other batch(es).
- Add the potatoes, cooked onions and garlic, seasoned salt and pepper back to the skillet and toss to combine and reheat.
- Serve hot.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments and star ratings.