Easy Skillet-Fried Potatoes

Easy skillet-fried potatoes on a plate with a fork

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 3 to 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
417 Calories
7g Fat
80g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 417
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 395mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 80g 29%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 75mg 377%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 2100mg 45%
*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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"Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces, it's important to do this, or the potatoes really won't be done in the time allotted. Half an inch is smaller than you probably think. Be sure to check a ruler." —Danilo Alfaro

Easy Skillet-Fried Potatoes Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola or grapeseed

  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 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 skillet-fried potatoes recipe gathered

    ​The Spruce Eats

  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.

    Chopped red bell pepper and onion in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats

  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 in a skillet with red bell pepper and onion

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, if needed.

    Skillet-fried potatoes on a plate with a fork

    The Spruce Eats

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.

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.