This fried potatoes and eggs recipe makes an easy breakfast in a skillet that’s essentially just scrambled eggs and home fries in olive oil accompanied by requests for seconds.
Fried potatoes and eggs in a skillet with cheese. That’s the sorta thing we expect from a classic diner, the kind where you’re seated at a counter with a sticky laminated menu with a blob of blueberry jam before you and surly service a given. Yet all too often we crave exactly this jumble of eggs and potatoes and assorted other ingredients in a skillet at an incredibly inopportune moment when dropping everything to head to a diner just isn’t an option. Which is exactly why you need to know how to make this simple recipe at home—including how to vary it ad infinitum according to your cravings and the contents of your fridge. Originally published June 14, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Fried Potatoes and Eggs
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Serves 2
- 6 ounces red potatoes, (4 small or 2 medium), scrubbed
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Generous pinch dried herbs or spices, such as oregano, basil, Italian herbs, tarragon, thyme, herbes de Provence, paprika, or ground cumin (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup grated or crumbled cheese, such as aged or extra-sharp Cheddar, pepper Jack, feta, goat cheese, Gruyère, aged Swiss, provolone, or regular or smoked mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or dill (optional)
- 1. Dice the potatoes pretty small but not super tiny. (You want them small enough so they more or less fit in a single layer in an 8-inch nonstick skillet and will cook quickly. Aim for about 1/2-inch dice—no larger.)
- 2. Place the potatoes in the skillet and add the water, oil, and salt and crank the heat to medium-high. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, cover, and set a timer for 5 minutes. Let the potatoes cook, stirring once or twice if you think of it, while you prep the rest of your ingredients. By the end of the 5 minutes, the water should have just evaporated, and the potatoes should be barely tender and maybe even have started to brown a little.
- 3. Uncover the potatoes and use a spatula to loosen them from the skillet. Cover again and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes. If using dried herbs/spices, sprinkle them over the potatoes now.
- 4. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Pour the eggs over the browned potatoes, strew with the scallion, and scramble until the eggs are just set, maybe a minute or so. Sprinkle the eggs and potatoes with the cheese and fresh herbs, remove the skillet from the heat, and let the whole shebang rest for a few minutes until the residual heat melts the cheese and finishes cooking the eggs. (If you don’t mind losing a little crispness on the potatoes, you can cover the skillet so the cheese melts more quickly and evenly.) Scoop the mess from the skillet and onto plates and pass the forks.
Fried Potatoes and Eggs Variations
- Fried Potatoes and Eggs Stir-Ins
- Sure, you can ad hoc any combination of ingredients, but sometimes you want something certain to work. That would be these combinations of stir-ins:
Pepper Jack and cilantro
Feta and oregano
Goat cheese and thyme
Extra-sharp Cheddar and dill
Gruyère and tarragon
Provolone and Italian herbs
Swiss and paprika
- Fried Potatoes and Eggs for a Crowd
- No matter which flavor combo you opt for above, this dish is easy to double to serve 4 for brunch or a light dinner. Just double the ingredients and use a 10-inch skillet instead. Or double the doubled recipe and grab a second 10-inch skillet and you’ve got breakfast for a crowd.
- Scallion-less Fried Potatoes and Eggs
- You can omit the scallion if you like, just keep in mind that this perfect early-morning allium—no tears, no funky breath—imparts great color and flavor to the rather monochromatic plate of fried potatoes and eggs.
Recipe Testers Reviews
If there's a recipe that comes in handy for every meal (and sometimes in between), it’s this fried potatoes and eggs. I made the skillet breakfast with Cheddar and dried Italian herbs, as well as a version with the bits of cheese left in the cheese drawer and lots of pepper. Both were delicious. Just make sure the potatoes are diced pretty small so they soften up. Anything larger than 1/2-inch cubes aren’t going to get tender in such a short cooking time.
We loved this fried potatoes and eggs dish. It came together very quickly and is very flexible to make with whatever cheeses and herbs you have on hand. I used creamy Point Reyes blue cheese and flat-leaf parsley and doubled the recipe so it would be enough for dinner. It was a perfect light meal for a warm spring evening. I had a small problem with the cooked potato/egg mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan, so I would reduce the heat slightly when removing the lid from the pan and add a little more oil if needed. We will definitely be making this again and trying some of the other suggested combinations.
This is the fastest, easiest, and healthiest recipe I've found in a long time that everyone in my family loved. I've made this three different times in the last two weeks because it was such a hit the first night, and this has been an extra busy week with people on different dinner schedules some nights. Each night we tried different combinations of herbs and cheeses on several different skillets, letting individual family members tailor the combinations to their flavor preferences. Tonight being an extra busy night, I made one huge dish in a very large skillet using 9 extra-large eggs. I shouldn't have tripled the olive oil and water because it just took longer to cook off.