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Skillet Potatoes (also called Home Fries) are crispy on the outside, tender and creamy in the middle. They're essential to the hearty breakfast plate and a welcome side dish for any meal!
A simple parboil and shake technique before crisping in a cast iron skillet means using less oil, but achieving even better flavor and texture than standard fried potatoes.
Ingredients You Need to Make Skillet Potatoes
- Potatoes: ideally Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled or unpeeled)
- Avocado Oil: or other neutrally flavored high heat oil
- Kosher Salt: or about half the amount of fine sea salt
What makes these potatoes so crispy?
To make these Skillet Potatoes, start with the same indispensable method for making Breakfast Potatoes and Brabant Potatoes: partially boil the raw potato cubes in salted water, drain and then shake the lidded pot like you mean it, until every cube is cloaked in fuzzy edges. Then instead of finishing in the oven, turn and flip them in a cast iron skillet coated in a veil of hot oil until every edge is perfectly crisp.
Not only does this cooking method save time, it minimizes the amount of oil needed for frying. And the initial salt water boil infuses the potatoes with a rich flavor and creamy texture that's difficult to achieve when starting with raw potato cubes.
Yukon Gold potatoes are ideal for making skillet potatoes because their texture is between starchy and waxy. When pan-fried, they develop crispy edges while staying creamy within. And they don't require peeling (though you can peel them if you prefer).
Immersing raw, cut potatoes in cold water not only rinses away some of their starch (which can inhibit browning), it also prevents them from discoloring.
Partially boiling potatoes and then shaking them so they have fuzzy edges is a quick and easy way to get crispier fried potatoes.
If your skillet potatoes are mushy, it's likely that you boiled them too long (if you boiled them first) or simply that they're overcooked. When parboiling, you want to drain and shake them while the centers are still firm.
Frying potatoes before boiling them takes a lot longer and requires more oil than if you parboil and shake the potatoes first.
Because Skillet Potatoes are made entirely on the stove top, your oven is free for Breakfast Frittata, Baked Eggs or Breakfast Quiche if you're making breakfast or brunch, Chicken Ballotine, Roasted Chicken or Crispy Chicken Thighs if you're making dinner.
More Delicious Potato Recipes
And if you're looking for more inspiration for enjoying potatoes, do not miss these family favorite Cheesy Potatoes, this Chicken Potato Soup, or these delicious Salt Potatoes, cooked with a method that might surprise you.
How to Make Skillet Potatoes
Add raw diced potatoes to a saucepan and and just enough water to cover. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 7-9 minutes, until tender on the outside but still firm in the middle.
Drain out the boiling water. Cover saucepan with lid and, tightly grasping pan and lid with pot holders, shake until potatoes fuzzy (it's those roughed up edges that make these so crispy!)
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes; spread into a single layer and let cook until one side is crispy. With a spatula, repeat this process until all sides are crispy. Carefully turn potatoes with a spatula, again spreading into a single layer and let crisp on the other side. Repeat process until skillet potatoes are crispy all over. Season to taste with kosher salt and serve.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes diced
- ¼ cup olive oil or more
- kosher salt
- Add raw potato cubes to a large saucepan; pour in just enough water to cover them. Add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 7-9 minutes, until potatoes are tender on the outside, but still firm in the center. With the lid, carefully strain out the water.
- Cover saucepan with lid and, with potholders on each hand, grip the sides of the saucepan, securing the lid. Shake vigorously. Check to see if the potatoes look fuzzy. If not, shake again.
- Add olive oil to a large, hot cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Add potatoes; with a spatula, gently spread into a single layer. Without stirring, allow potatoes to crisp on one side. Once crisp, turn with spatula and again spread into a single layer to crisp. Repeat process until potatoes are crisp on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes total.
- Remove potatoes from heat and season to taste with kosher salt. Serve.
Mmmm these potatoes look perfect, Marissa! I've never tried a parboiling method before for skillet potatoes, but it works beautifully with oven baked potatoes. As we never make potatoes for breakfast (it's more lunch or dinner meal for us), I love adding some onions and mushrooms, especially wild...Gosh, I'm hungry now! 🙂
Thank you so much, Ben! Love your additions too...we love that kind of dish for lunch or dinner too!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
My husband's favorite Marissa! Can't wait to try your recipe and treat him!
Yay! Thank you so much, Mary Ann!
David @ Spiced says
These sound like the perfect potatoes, Marissa! Laura loves country-style hashbrowns, and these totally remind me of that dish. I might have to whip up a skillet full of these soon...complete with some bacon, of course! 🙂
Well of course bacon! 😉 Thanks so much, David!
Jeff the Chef says
Those potatoes look so delicious!
Thanks so much, Jeff!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
I love all those messy, crumbly brown crunchy bits you get from shaking up the tatos! Cooked in a pan like that after the little shakes makes them perfect every time! I could legit eat these for every meal! These look SO SO good! Happy weekend, Marissa! XOXO
Yes! Those crunchy bits are the best!! Happy Weekend to you too, Dawn!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I went through a phase in middle school where all I ate was potatoes and popsicles. (I'm completely serious.) I really wish I'd known your cooking method back then--as much as I enjoy potatoes in any form, these would definitely be my favorite. Who doesn't LOVE a crispy potato? Happy Friday, Marissa!
That's quite an interesting diet! 😉 I'm with you about potatoes...so good and so versatile! Thanks, Kelsey!
These skillet potatoes look magnificent!! Thanks for your tip about shaking the pot---the crispier, the better!
Thank you, Liz! And amen to the crispier the better!