Step aside, french fries. We're more fond of your heartier cousins, fried potatoes. In our opinion, fried potato slices or wedges are the epitome of classic comfort food. Whether you're making a special weekend breakfast or you need a hearty dinner side, here are four easy solutions for how to make fried potatoes.

By Karla Walsh
Updated July 24, 2020
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Call them fried potatoes, home fries, home-fried potatoes, or cottage fries. Whatever you call them, we call them delicious (and one of the best sides for breakfast or dinner). These fried potato synonyms all mean the same thing: thinly sliced potatoes or wedges that are usually cooked in butter or oil. You can start with raw or cooked potatoes and fry them on the stove top, in the oven, or even make a “fried” potatoes recipe in an air fryer. Here, we’ll explain how to make fried potatoes each of these ways.

To personalize your spuds, see the add-ins and seasoning ideas for your fried potatoes recipes below. Before getting started with any fried potatoes recipe, wash the potatoes with cool tap water and scrub them with a produce brush ($6, Target).

Sausage with Skillet Potatoes and Buttered Cabbage

How to Pan-Fry Potatoes Using Raw Potatoes

Any kind of potato will work using this method for cooking fried potatoes. If you use potatoes with thicker skin, such as russets, you may want to peel them first. Three medium potatoes, sliced, equals four servings that fit nicely into a large skillet for fried potatoes.

Get Our Sausage with Skillet Potatoes Recipe

Sliced Potatoes: Thinly slice potatoes about ⅛ inch thick. (If you have one, use a mandoline ($40, Bed Bath & Beyond)) or vegetable slicer to quickly and evenly cut the fried potato slices. In a large skillet, melt butter (use about 1 tablespoon for each medium potato) over medium heat. Add potato slices and cook, covered, 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Uncover; cook 12 to 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and light brown, turning occasionally.

New Potato Wedges: For 4 servings, plan on 1 pound of tiny new potatoes. Cut the new potatoes into wedges. In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add potato wedges and cook, covered, 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Uncover; cook 8 to 10 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and light brown, turning occasionally.

You can make either of these fried potato recipes a bit in advance of your meal. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a covered baking dish, then place in a 200°F oven and hold for up to 1 hour.

How to Pan-Fry Potatoes Using Cooked Potatoes

Some cooks prefer to cook potatoes before frying them. (We do. The texture is amazing!) This is also a great way to use leftover potatoes you baked or boiled last night. For this method, choose a medium- or low-starch potato that will hold its shape during boiling. 

  • Medium-starch potatoes: Yukon gold, Finnish yellow
  • Low-starch potatoes: round red, round white, new potatoes

Boil Potatoes: Follow our step-by-step directions.

Microwave Potatoes: Cut potatoes into quarters. Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on 100% power (high) for 5 minutes. Stir; cover again with the vented plastic wrap. Cook 5 minutes more or until tender; drain.

To speed up day-of prep time of your fried potatoes recipes, you can boil or microwave the potatoes ahead of time and refrigerate them, covered, up to 3 days.

How to Make Fried Potatoes Using Cooked Potatoes: Peel potatoes if desired. Slice into ¼-inch-thick slices or cut into ¾-inch chunks. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt about 2 teaspoons butter per medium potato. Add cooked potatoes; cook about 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally.

Fried Smashed Potatoes

How to Oven-Fry Potatoes

Make fried potatoes without having to stand over a skillet the entire time, by cooking them in the oven.

Try Our Fried Smashed Potato Recipe
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Prepare potatoes as above in the pan-fry method, except arrange potatoes in a thin layer (single layer for wedges) in a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan ($18, Sur la Table). Melt butter; drizzle over potatoes. Bake about 25 minutes or until browned.

How to Air-Fry Potatoes

For one of the quickest and lowest-calorie fixes for how to make fried potatoes, bust out your (or invest in an) air fryer! This trendy appliance is like a mini convection oven that circulates heat around every corner of the fried potato slices or wedges, so they crisp up just as nicely as they would in pools of butter or oil.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  • In a large bowl, toss 1 pound of small potato wedges or slices with 1 tablespoon of oil and any desired seasonings or spices. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place potatoes in the basket, close, and cook 10 minutes.
  • Remove the basket, shake the potatoes to redistribute them in the basket, and cook for 10 minutes more (or until golden brown).

Jazz Up Your Fried Potato Recipe With These Seasonings

Experiment with these fried potato spices, herbs, and flavor-boosters. Add them to the melted butter before adding the potatoes, then toss with more of your desired flavor booster before serving if you’re craving even more kick.

  • Regular salt, onion salt, or garlic salt
  • Sweet or smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cumin
  • Taco seasoning mix
  • Dried thyme
  • Dijon-style mustard

Quick Add-In Ideas for Your Fried Potatoes

Flavor your fried potato slices or wedges with any of these add-ins. You can stir in the fresh veggies when you start cooking the potatoes or midway, depending on your texture preference. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, herbs (except rosemary; add it halfway), and cheese at the end of cooking and just heat through.

  • Chopped bell peppers
  • Sliced sweet onion, such as Vidalia, or green onions
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (oil pack, drained)
  • Crumbled cooked bacon
  • Fresh herbs such as chives, dill, rosemary, thyme, or sage, chopped
  • Shredded cheese

Cook 'em however you like, top 'em however you like; there doesn't seem to be a wrong way to make fried potatoes.

Comments (1)

Anonymous
January 27, 2019
when you fry potatoes that have been pre-boiled that's home fries when you want true potatoes you fry thinly sliced raw potatoes