Easy Skillet-Fried Potatoes

Easy skillet-fried potatoes with potatoes and chopped red bell pepper

The Spruce

  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
  • Yields: 3 to 4 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
161 Calories
7g Fat
22g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 161
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 399mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 3g
Calcium 58mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Onions, bell peppers, and garlic add great flavor to these skillet-fried potatoes. Quick and easy, home fries are an ideal side dish to serve with a hearty breakfast or brunch. They're an excellent dinner side as well.

The best potatoes to use for home fries are waxy or medium starch, like red bliss or round white. New potatoes have fabulous flavor when fried and are a good choice if the season is right. You can also make this dish with leftover potatoes if you have them on hand.

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as canola or grapeseed)
  • 1 large onion (quartered, thinly sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • Optional: 1 medium clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 6 medium red-skinned potatoes (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients

    Ingredients for making skillet-fried potatoes
    ​The Spruce
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy, nonstick skillet or electric skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the red bell pepper and garlic (if using), and cook for 1 minute longer.

    Sautéing chopped red bell pepper and onion in a skillet
    The Spruce
  3. Add the diced potatoes, paprika, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, along with the freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Uncover and increase the heat to medium-high. Continue cooking for about 8 to 10 minutes, occasionally turning, until the potatoes are golden brown.

    Diced potatoes are added to the skillet with the red bell pepper and onion
    The Spruce
  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, if needed.

    Skillet-fried potatoes, ready to serve
    The Spruce 
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Should Potatoes Be Boiled Before Frying?

Though not necessary, you can partially cook the potatoes to give them a head start and shorten the total cooking time. The fastest way is to cook them in the microwave oven: Arrange the diced potatoes in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and microwave on 100 percent power for about 5 minutes. Another common option is to boil the cut potatoes in water on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Let the potatoes dry well before frying to prevent them from sticking in the pan.

What's the Trick to Avoiding Mushy Fried Potatoes?

The best fried potatoes are crispy outside and soft inside. To ensure this result and avoid soggy potatoes, don't overcrowd the pan and keep it hot. Also, uncover the skillet at the end of the cooking time to release steam. They'll crisp up perfectly as they finish.

Recipe Variations

  • Add some bacon drippings or diced cooked bacon during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking time.
  • Instead of dicing the potatoes, slice them thinly.
  • For herb home fries, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs. Parsley, chives, and fresh thyme are good choices.
  • Make home fries from leftover potatoes: Slice or dice the potatoes and add to the pan with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil (or butter or bacon drippings) to the pan, flip the potatoes over, and cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until the bottom is browned.
  • Though they take longer, oven-fried potatoes are just as crispy and can free up space on the stovetop for other dishes.