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This recipe for homemade breakfast potatoes, also known as potatoes O’Brien, includes onions, bell peppers, and seasonings. They are cooked in a skillet until they are light and fluffy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. What’s not to love about that?
Make them your own, by adding ingredients like chopped bacon, ham shredded cheese, or diced tomatoes to suit your tastes, and enjoy them as a side dish or main breakfast meal!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Skillet breakfast potatoes are a special kind of potato dish, aren’t they? Super easy to make, this is the perfect side dish to serve with pretty much anything! That said, when they’re served on the side of eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, or oven baked bacon, they just hit different!
Whether we go out to breakfast diners or breakfast buffets, no meal is complete without a serving of hearty breakfast potatoes, aka home fries. With this recipe, you can now make an even better version of restaurant-style breakfast potatoes right at home!
I parboil the potatoes first so that they are nice and tender on the inside. Then, I add them to a skillet along with veggies and seasonings, and get them beautifully golden brown on the outside. You can use leftover boiled potatoes if you prefer!
I like to use bacon grease for extra flavor, but that’s optional! You can also make them on a large baking sheet if you are cooking for a crowd.
So, the next time you’re having a family brunch on Sunday, or Christmas breakfast, or you just want something hearty for weekday mornings, make these country potatoes and get ready for all the compliments!
Why these are the best breakfast side:
Potatoes are a beloved breakfast side due to their delicious combination of crisp exteriors and fluffy interiors, creating a delightful texture with every bite.
- Versatile. Traditionally a combination of potatoes, onions, and bell peppers, but you can always make them your own! Add extra veggies or protein or switch up the flavors.
- Under 30 minutes. These skillet roasted potatoes are an easy way to whip up a side dish to complement your breakfast or brunch menu.
- Restaurant-style. I’m going to show you how to make them tender and creamy on the inside and golden brown just like they do it at your favorite breakfast joint.
Frequently Asked Questions
I highly recommend parboiling the potatoes. Not only do the potatoes cook faster this way, but it helps them cook evenly. You’re not having to overcook the outsides waiting for the insides to catch up.
You can also steam them in a steamer basket for about 8 minutes instead. If you are looking for a shortcut, the microwave can be used in a pinch.
The story goes, that they were invented by a gentleman who went by the name of Beefstew O’Brien. He owned a restaurant in New York City and decided to add peppers and pimento (although now we use onions) to add a pop of color to the potatoes.
You can’t go wrong with whatever type you use, but you’ll get a different texture depending on your choice. Russet potatoes are great as they’ll be tender and fluffy because they contain more starch. Whereas Yukon Gold potatoes and red potatoes will end up creamier on the inside as they are less starchy and more waxy.
All are great! You can even use fingerling or baby potatoes if you’d like.
If you have the extra time and maybe need room on the stove for other things, then by all means you can bake them. Dice them, season them, then bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway.
What to serve with Potatoes O’Brien
You can’t go wrong the eggs and bacon! Serve them with cooked bacon, a fried egg, poached eggs or scrambled eggs and some toast.
Wrapping breakfast potatoes in a warm tortilla or serving them alongside scrambled eggs can create a delicious and portable breakfast option.
Toss some bacon or sausage crumbles in them for a quick and hearty meal on its own during the week.
The options are endless!
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
The key to making breakfast potatoes crispy on the outside
By boiling the potatoes in water, and drying them as best you can is key. You want them to not be too wet before frying in a single layer in a skillet.
What to do with leftover potatoes
Breakfast potatoes are best eaten the day they’re made, however, you can enjoy leftovers for up to 4 days afterward. Keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Reheat potatoes in a hot skillet or the oven at 400F to heat them back up again. You can also toss them into the air fryer basket to reheat in the air fryer.
Toss in some cooked bacon or breakfast sausage to add some protein. If you like corned beef hash, you’ll love the addition of salty meat to this dish!
Swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes and make something like this sweet potato hash for a slight twist.
Play around with the seasonings. Add some onion powder, cayenne or red pepper flakes for some heat or smoked paprika. If you prefer fresh herbs, add a few sprigs of rosemary sprigs or thyme leaves to the bacon grease or oil as you cook the potatoes O’Brien.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Potatoes. Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes are top contenders for this easy recipe. Dice them evenly so they all cook at the same time.
I peel my potatoes, but it’s not necessary.
- Medium onion. Dice them the same size as the bell peppers so they’re not too big and overpowering.
- Bell peppers. I like using both red bell peppers and green bell peppers for a sweet and savory balance, but you can choose to use just one type or toss in some yellow or orange ones if you like.
- Cooking oil. Vegetable oil or olive oil are great choices. However, if you want to ramp up the flavor, use bacon grease!
- Simple Seasoning. Garlic powder, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.
- Large pot
- Large skillet
- Knife for cutting and dicing
- Fork for piercing
How to make my breakfast potato recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into small, bite-sized cubes.
Cut the onion and peppers into small pieces.
Add the garlic powder, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix together.
Boiling the potatoes (parboil)
Place the potatoes to a pot of cold, salted water. The salt not only helps to flavor the taters, but salt water boils faster.
Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften slightly. You don’t want them fully cooked, otherwise, they will be too soft.
Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel. You can let the potatoes cool while you follow the next steps.
Heat the cooking oil or bacon grease in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften.
Add potatoes and seasonings
Add the potatoes to the skillet with the peppers and onions.
Sprinkle with the mixed paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper, and toss to coat each piece.
Cook until golden brown
Spread the potatoes in a single layer in the skillet as best you can. Overcrowding them will cause them to steam and not crisp up.
Leave them alone! Cook without stirring for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes develop a crunchy, golden-brown crust on one side.
Flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the other side is also golden brown and crispy and the potatoes are tender on the inside. You may need to drizzle with olive oil if the pan becomes too dry.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter, or just plate them up!
More delicious breakfast recipes:
- Overnight oats – Get your day started with sweet creamy oats that are good for you and easily adaptable!
- Baked cinnamon cream cheese roll ups – Baked and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and stuffed with a sweet cream cheese filling.
- Bacon broccoli quiche – A 30 minute meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner!
- Overnight breakfast casserole – Sausage, bacon, cheese, potatoes, this casserole has it all! Make it the night before and heat it up when you’re ready to serve.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into small, bite-sized cubes.
- Dice the onion and bell peppers.
- Add the garlic powder, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix together.
Partially cook the potatoes (parboil)
- Place the potato cubes in a pot of cold, salted water.
- Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften slightly. You don’t want them fully cooked.
- Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Cook onions and peppers
- Heat the cooking oil or bacon grease in a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and bell peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften, and the onions turn translucent.
Add potatoes and seasonings
- Add the potatoes to the skillet with the peppers and onions.
- Sprinkle with the mixed seasonings, and stir to get each piece covered in seasoning.
Cook until golden brown
- Spread the potatoes out in the skillet so they’re in a single layer.
- Leave them alone! Cook without stirring for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes develop a crispy, golden-brown crust on one side.
- Flip the potatoes using a spatula and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the other side is also golden brown and crispy. You may need to add a bit more oil if the pan becomes too dry.
- Serve immediately with other breakfast items like eggs, bacon, sausage etc.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.