How to Make Fried Potatoes and Onions

Fried potatoes and onions make for a delicious, comforting, and versatile side dish that can elevate any meal. Whether you’re serving it alongside a juicy steak, grilled chicken, or even scrambled eggs, the combination of crispy potatoes and flavorful onions is a classic favorite. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to make this simple yet delicious dish, ensuring your fried potatoes and onions are cooked to golden perfection every time.

To start, we’ll cover the best type of potatoes for frying and the ideal way to slice them. Next, we’ll discuss the appropriate techniques for onions, from choosing the right variety to properly slicing them. Finally, we’ll delve into the cooking process itself, sharing valuable tips and tricks on achieving tender, crispy potatoes and beautifully caramelized onions. So, grab your skillet and let’s get cooking!

Ingredients and Preparation

Choosing the Potatoes

For this fried potatoes and onions recipe, it’s important to select the right potatoes. Russet potatoes, red potatoes, and Yukon gold are all good choices. Russets have a high starch content, which provides a crispy texture when fried. Red potatoes and Yukon golds have a waxy texture, making them suitable for frying as they hold their shape well.

When choosing potatoes, ensure they are firm and have smooth skin without any blemishes or sprouting. A medium-sized potato is ideal for this recipe. Peel the potatoes if you prefer, but leaving the skin on will add color and texture to the dish.

Selecting the Onions

Yellow onions are the best choice for this southern fried potatoes and onions recipe. They have a mild, sweet flavor that complements the potatoes perfectly. Ensure the onions are firm, dry, and have a glossy skin.


  • 4 medium-sized potatoes (russet, red, or Yukon gold)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional seasonings: garlic powder, parsley

For added flavor, you could use alternative oils such as olive oil or peanut oil. Keep in mind, the oil you choose can affect the overall taste of your dish.


  1. Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
  2. Similarly, slice the onions into thick rings.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil and butter over medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes and onions to the skillet.
  5. Season with salt and any additional optional seasonings.
  6. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown and the onions are caramelized.
  7. If desired, serve with ketchup or a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

This recipe will yield southern fried potatoes and onions that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Depending on the oil and butter used, be mindful of the calories, fat, and sodium content. Enjoy your delicious skillet potatoes!

Cooking Process

Frying the Potatoes

To make the perfect fried potatoes and onions as a delicious side dish, start by heating a cast iron skillet on high heat. Add your choice of oil to the skillet and allow it to heat until it shimmers. Next, cut the potatoes into thin slices or cubes and spread them evenly in the hot skillet.

Cook the potatoes for a few minutes to achieve a crispy, browned exterior. Reduce the heat slightly to prevent burning and continue frying until they become fork-tender. If you have an air fryer, you can use it instead of the skillet, following the same steps.

Adding the Onions

While the potatoes are frying, chop your onions into thin slivers or small dices, depending on your preference. As the potatoes become tender, add the onions to the skillet. Stir the potatoes and onions gently, allowing the onions to cook until they are soft and translucent. Monitor the heat carefully to avoid overcooking the onions.

Seasoning the Dish

After the onions have softened, it’s time to season your fried potatoes and onions. Sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. If you prefer a bolder flavor, you can also add additional seasonings, such as paprika or garlic powder. Remember that the key to seasoning is a balance of flavors that complements the earthiness of the potatoes and the sweetness of the onions.

Ensure the dish is evenly seasoned by stirring all ingredients together. Once the seasoning is distributed and the potatoes have reached the desired crispiness, your country fried potatoes (also known as home fries) are ready to be served.

Serving Suggestions

Pairing with Main Dishes

Fried potatoes and onions can be served as a versatile side dish or as a signature part of a larger meal. Here are some suggested main dishes to pair with this delicious comfort food:

  • Meat: Pork chops, hamburgers, and other hearty cuts of meat make great companions to the rich flavors of fried potatoes and onions.
  • Eggs: Scrambled eggs, omelettes, or even frittatas offer a lighter option that still pairs well with this side.
  • Bell peppers: Including sautéed bell peppers can add color, flavor, and texture to your dish, making it an appealing combination for a variety of meals.

Optional Toppings

Adding toppings to your fried potatoes and onions can elevate the dish and personalize it to your taste. Here are some ideas for toppings you can try:

CheeseMelting cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, can add a layer of rich flavor and creaminess.
SeasoningsCustomize the taste by experimenting with different seasonings like garlic powder or paprika.
SalsaSpice up the dish with a dollop of salsa on top for a burst of flavor and color.

To make the most of your fried potatoes and onions, consider using russets or Idaho potatoes for their ideal texture and flavor, and prepare using a cast-iron skillet for even cooking and heat distribution. Whether you decide to serve this dish as a snack or as part of a complete meal, the taste and aroma will surely be a hit with friends and family.

Variations and Additional Flavors

Using Different Oils

Skillet potatoes and onions, also known as pan fried potatoes and onions or southern fried potatoes and onions recipe, can be cooked using a variety of oils. While a neutral oil like vegetable oil is commonly used, you may also experiment with other flavorful oils:

  • Olive oil: Adds a light fruity taste and works well for Mediterranean-inspired breakfast potatoes.
  • Coconut oil: Imparts a mild coconut flavor, which pairs well with curry or Indian spices.
  • Avocado oil: Known for its high smoke point and neutral flavor, it’s a healthier option to reduce cholesterol levels.

Experimenting with Seasonings

The base seasoning for pan fried potatoes and onions typically includes salt, pepper, and minced garlic. However, you can get creative and add more spices to enhance the dish:

  • Smoked paprika: Provides a smoky, earthy flavor and gives a vibrant red color to the dish.
  • Garlic salt: Offers an alternative to regular salt, adding an extra garlic punch.
  • Paprika: A mild version of smoked paprika that adds a hint of sweetness and complements mild flavors, like yellow onions.

Adding Vegetables and Proteins

Transform your fried potatoes and onions into a heartier breakfast or main dish by adding vegetables and proteins. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Green onions: Chop and sprinkle them as a colorful, flavorful garnish.
  • Square potatoes: Precooked, diced potatoes with a crisp texture that can be quickly added to the skillet.
  • Steak: Cook cubed steak in the same skillet before frying the potatoes, and mix them together for a meaty variation.

Incorporating vegetables and proteins not only creates a more versatile dish, but it’s also a great way to showcase your creativity on social media platforms like Instagram.

Remember to pat your vegetables and proteins dry with paper towels before adding them to the skillet to avoid excess moisture and ensure a crisp texture. Cooking everything in a single layer and avoiding overcrowding the pan will also help achieve a delicious and beautifully browned result.

Nutritional Information and Health Considerations

Calories and Macronutrients

Fried potatoes and onions are a delicious and satisfying dish that can be part of a balanced meal. Here is a breakdown of the key macronutrients for a typical serving size:

  • Calories: 300
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Protein: 5g

While fried potatoes contribute to the caloric and carbohydrate content of the dish, the fat mainly comes from the oil used in frying. It is essential to choose a healthier oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil, to minimize unhealthy fats.

Sodium and Cholesterol

The nutritional properties of fried potatoes and onions change depending on the ingredients added, such as salt or additional seasoning.

IngredientSodium Content
1 tsp of table salt2325mg

Since potatoes and onions inherently do not contribute much to your daily cholesterol intake, it’s crucial to control the amount of cholesterol being added during the preparation and cooking process. Using limited or no additional saturated fats, such as butter, can help in maintaining a lower cholesterol content.

Remember that moderation is key for sodium intake. The daily recommended value for sodium is less than 2,300mg for most individuals, and it is advised to aim for a lower intake if you have specific health concerns like high blood pressure.

In conclusion, fried potatoes and onions can be a nutritious and enjoyable part of a balanced diet if prepared mindfully, avoiding excessive added fats or sodium.

How to Make Fried Potatoes and Onions

Simple yet delicious recipe to make potatoes and onions.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 280 kcal


  • Large skillet
  • Spatula


  • 4 large potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced potatoes and onions to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
  • Using a spatula, transfer the fried potatoes and onions to a serving dish.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 3gFat: 18g
Keyword How to make fried potatoes and onions
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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