Sometimes you need breakfast in a hurry, and not just cereal will do. For those weekend days when you want something hearty, but don’t have all morning, this quick and easy recipe for home fries is perfect!
Note: This recipe was first published in 2018 and was updated on 2/18/20 with new photos and to make the instructions more clear and informative.
This recipe for “Cheater” Home Fries uses the microwave as a short cut, so you can get these potatoes on the table in less than 20 minutes. Even though they are quick to put together, by using a cast-iron pan to finish the cooking, they are still perfectly crispy and delicious.
And, the best part is that there are a few chunks of down time during this recipe, where you can just let the potatoes do their thing! So, you can scramble up some eggs and toast up some bread in that time. The hearty weekend breakfast you’ve been craving will be ready before you know it.
You only need a few basic ingredients to make these easy and quick home fries:
- Russet potato: this type of potato is starchy, and will give a creamy texture to the potatoes, which contrasts nicely with the crispy exterior.
- Onion: you can use any type!
- Oil: use a high smoke-point oil, like vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper: I used fine salt in this recipe, so if you want to use coarse grain salt, increase the amount just a bit. This is because due to the smaller grain size, more fine salt will fit into the measuring spoon than coarse salt.
- Paprika: this gives a nice reddish color to the potatoes. You can also use smoked paprika for an interesting smoky twist!
- Dried thyme: this provides a nice herbaceous undertone. Feel free to substitute dried rosemary.
- Cayenne pepper: this is optional if you like a little heat.
- Butter: to add some extra flavor and to help the potatoes brown a little bit more.
Here are a couple quick tips to help you execute the perfect crispy home fry!
- First of all, it’s really helpful to try your best to cut the potatoes into roughly the same shape. (Mine are not perfect but I try!) Even sizes will help the potatoes cook evenly. Here is a visual of the size you are aiming for:
- BE CAREFUL when removing your bowl of potatoes from the microwave, it will be very hot! And some steam will be built up under the cover. So, take caution when taking the lid off after the potatoes have been microwaved.
- Make sure to check the potatoes for doneness after microwaving by seeing if a knife will pierce a potato easily. If they aren’t done, microwave for another minute.
- It’s super important to press the potatoes down firmly once they are in the pan. This will help ensure a good crust forms on the bottom of the potatoes while they are cooking.
- And remember, NO STIRRING before it’s time! This will also make sure the home fries get nice and brown.
If you’ve tried this recipe for Cheater Home Fries, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!
And if you need some other breakfast recipes to go with your delicious home fries, try some of these favorites:
- Italian Breakfast Casserole: with Italian sausage and three types of cheese!
- Kiwi Banana Smoothie: easy to make and super thick and refreshing!
- Fried Bologna and Egg Sandwich: crispy fried bologna and runny egg, need I say more?
This quick and easy recipe for home fries uses the microwave to cut down on cook time, but by finishing them in a cast iron skillet, the potatoes still crisp up to a nice golden brown!
- 1 large russet potato
- ½ c. diced onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. butter
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt, or salt to taste (see note)
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Pinch cayenne (optional)
- Dice potato (no need to peel) into ½ inch cubes. Place in microwave-safe bowl, cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid with vents. If using plastic wrap, make sure to leave a small space uncovered to act as a vent and that there is at least a 1 inch gap between the potatoes and the plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, dice the onion and preheat a cast-iron or other heavy-bottom skillet on medium-low heat.
- Remove the potatoes from the microwave (be careful when removing from the microwave, the bowl will be very hot!). Pierce one of the potatoes with a knife – the knife should slide in without much resistance. If not, microwave for another minute.
- Add vegetable oil to the hot pan and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Add in the potatoes in a single layer, push down firmly with a spatula to ensure the most surface area of the potatoes is in contact with the pan. Sprinkle the spices and diced onion over the top.
- Let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes, do not stir. (If the potatoes are getting brown too quickly, turn the heat down.)
- After 5 minutes, add the butter and stir the potatoes until the butter is mostly melted. Press the potatoes down again firmly with the spatula and let cook for another 3 minutes or until potatoes have developed a brown crust. Do not stir during cooking time. Serve immediately for ultimate crispiness!
This amount of salt was the perfect amount for my tastes, but you may prefer your potatoes a little less salty. If you’re not sure, add less at first, then taste the potatoes after they are done cooking and add a sprinkle more if needed.
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