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4.91 from 10 votes

Easy Pan Fried Potatoes with Onions

These skillet pan-fried crispy potatoes with onions are easy to make and only require 3-4 ingredients (potatoes, onions, garlic, and salt). They are great as a side dish, or a hearty breakfast with eggs and bacon.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast, Side
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


  • oil (canola, peanut or vegetable oil)
  • 3-4 medium potatoes (diced)
  • 2-3 small onions (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup ham (or any leftover meat) (optional)



  • Scrub the potatoes clean. I don't peel the potatoes, but you can peel them if you like. Chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and set them aside.
  • Peel the onion and dice them to about 1-inch in size and set them aside
  • Finely mince the garlic and set it aside.
  • (Optional) If you are using leftover meats, shred or chop them into small pieces and set them aside.

Cooking the Potatoes

  • Add about 1 inch of oil into a cast iron pan (or frying pan) and set the stove to medium heat
  • Add the salt into the oil. I use about ½ tbsp of salt but you can use less if you find it too salty
  • Check if the oil is hot by sticking a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon into the oil. If it bubbles, the oil is ready.
    Add in the potatoes and let it brown for about 5 - 10 mins (They fry up better if they aren't touched too much)
  • Add in the onions and let it brown as much as possible to infuse the oil with onion flavour! Cook them for about 5-10 mins
  • Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Drain excess oil (if there is any)
  • (Optional) Add in ham and spices (cumin and paprika)
  • Cook until the potatoes are golden brown and onions are caramelized and brown.
  • Ta da! We're done! Best enjoyed hot


  • Add the salt into the oil. It allows the salt to evenly coat the potatoes during the cooking process. Don't be shy in adding in more salt than normal, it brings out the flavours and you lose a lot of it in the oil during the cooking process.
  • To crisp the potatoes, don't touch them too much during the initial cooking stage. When we touch them too much we agitate the starch which doesn't allow for that crispiness to happen.
  • Add the onions after the potatoes had a chance to cook and brown up. (5-10mins) Onions cook faster than potatoes and will burn if they are put at the same time. Don't wait too long to put them in though, the secret is having the onions flavour the oil the potatoes are cooking it!
  • To give this dish something extra, I top it with a sunny-side-up egg, which transforms this into a hearty breakfast!


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 886mg | Sugar: 3g