When you want the best fried potatoes and onions, this is the recipe for you. It’s a perfect side dish for breakfast or dinner! This post is sponsored by Shuman Farms RealSweet Vidalia Onions. Vidalia onions are the perfect choice for the best Fried Potatoes and Onions. Look for the delicious RealSweet Vidalia onions in the produce department of your favorite grocery store during the months of April-August.
Fried Potatoes and Onions are so delicious, but it can be hard to get the potatoes perfectly cooked inside with crunchy edges on the outside. Especially before you end up with burnt onions, which nobody wants. I’ve done the testing to get the best fried potatoes and onions recipe for you. It’s done quickly on the stovetop but with the onions and potatoes cooked separately so that each of them is perfect before you bring them together in the final dish.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
- What Kind Of Pan Should I Use?
- Do I Need To Soak Or Par-Cook The Potatoes?
- Why Cook The Potatoes and Onions Separately?
- How To Make The Best Fried Potatoes And Onions
- Can I Make Potatoes And Onions In The Air Fryer?
- Air Fryer Fried Potatoes And Onions Video
- Serving Fried Potatoes And Onions
- Best Fried Potatoes and Onions Recipe
For this delicious Fried Potatoes and Onions recipe, the ingredient list is short but you want to make sure you’re using the correct types of both potato and onion. You’ll want to use russet potatoes, sometimes labelled as baking potatoes at the store. For the onion, I love to use a sweet onion like Vidalia because they have such a wonderful flavor and texture.
Other than that, all you need for this recipe is some cooking oil and butter to fry them in, and garlic and salt to season. If you’d like additional seasonings, try adding fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or parsley at the end, or black pepper and/or paprika while cooking. You could also cook bell pepper along with the onions for more flavor and color.
As to the use of both oil and butter, it does really make a difference to use both. The oil has a higher smoking point than the butter, so it allows the potatoes to brown up really well. The butter is used midway through cooking the onions and gives them extra richness and a mild nutty flavor.
What Kind Of Pan Should I Use?
A large nonstick skillet is definitely your best choice for these fried potatoes and onions. When I tested this recipe with other kinds of pans, they all required more oil and butter to keep the ingredients from sticking. I wanted to reduce the amount of fat, so nonstick ended up being the perfect choice.
Do I Need To Soak Or Par-Cook The Potatoes?
I tested this recipe many different ways. I tried microwaving the potatoes to give them a head start with cooking. I also par-cooked them by boiling them in plain water as well as in a water and vinegar mixture, which is said to help with browning. I tried soaking the potatoes too. In the end, the best recipe was the one that didn’t require soaking or par-cooking. I love it when the easiest method turns out to be the best, don’t you?
The most important tip is that the potatoes and onions really need to be cooked separately to make sure that everything is cooked perfectly. Otherwise you either end up with undercooked potatoes or burnt onions, which just isn’t what anyone wants. But don’t worry, I’ve made sure that even though the two elements are cooked separately, the recipe is still quick and easy to make.
Why Cook The Potatoes and Onions Separately?
There are a few reasons, actually. The first reason is that potatoes and onions brown and cook through at different rates. The potatoes need more time than the onions, and the onions easily get too dark in the time it takes for the potatoes to cook. The darkness gives you bitterness, and we really want all that onion-sweetness to shine through.
The second reason is that onions contain a lot of moisture, which can stop the potatoes from browning as well. Relatedly, potato slices brown best and more evenly when they have good contact with the surface of the pan. If there are bits of onion in the pan with the potatoes, that gets in the way of that contact, meaning that the potatoes won’t brown as well.
Note that while we are doing this recipe in two steps, onions followed by potatoes, the entire recipe is still really quick and easy to make. It’s definitely worth it and doesn’t make you sacrifice much time or energy.
How To Make The Best Fried Potatoes And Onions
Start by slicing both the potatoes and onions into even, ¼ inch thick slices as shown above. Next, heat your cooking oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. You’ll add your sweet Vidalia onions and a bit of salt to the heated oil. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. As they soften, they’ll be getting even sweeter than when they started!
Then add in the butter and cook until the onions are golden brown, an additional 6 minutes or so. The browning adds more sweet caramelization, but you don’t take it too dark our else it will add a bitter flavor. You’ll finish off the onions by adding some minced garlic for the last minute of cooking.
Use a slotted spoon to move the browned onions to a plate, you want to leave the fat in the pan. Cover the onions with foil and set aside while you fry the potatoes. This helps the onions continue to soften a bit while also getting them out of the pan so they don’t burn while the potatoes cook.
Increase the heat to medium-high heat, and add enough potatoes to the pan to cover the bottom in a single layer (it’s ok if they overlap a little bit, but not much). Cook the potatoes until they are soft inside and golden brown outside, with some crunchy edges, 3 to 5 minutes per side side. Not sure if they are cooked through? Test with a fork to see if they are tender.
Add the onions to the potatoes in the pan and mix to distribute them and to warm the onions from the heat of the potatoes. Serve the fried onions and potatoes warm as a delicious side dish.
Can I Make Potatoes And Onions In The Air Fryer?
You absolutely can, but I’ll be honest, I think the results are much better when cooked on the stove. If you’d like to make this in the air fryer though, the instructions are below for you. I have three big tips for making Fried Potatoes and Onions in the Air Fryer. The video below goes through them.
Air Fryer Fried Potatoes And Onions Video
The first tip is to cook those sweet Vidalia onions separately from the potatoes. As with the pan-fried version, potatoes and onions cook at different rates so cooking them separately lets them both be perfect.
The second tip is to cover the onions with foil while they cook. This helps them to soften nicely without browning too much.
The third tip is to let the potatoes sit with the salt and oil on them while the onions cook. This draws some moisture out of the potatoes, which helps them to brown better. OK, now here is the recipe for making the Potatoes and Onions in the Air Fryer:
Air Fryer Potatoes and Onions
- 1 sweet onion, peeled, diced
- 1 large russet potatoes, washed, sliced ¼-inch coins
- ½ + ⅛ tsp. salt, divided
- 4 tsp. cooking oil, divided
- Set air fryer temperature to 400°F.
- In a large bowl toss together onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons oil.
- Transfer onions to air fryer basket. Place a single-ply sheet of foil over onions. Return basket to air fryer, cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile add potatoes to same bowl and toss with remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, set aside.
- Remove basket from air fryer, discard foil. Transfer onions to a plate, set aside.
- Transfer potatoes to air fryer basket, leaving behind any oil or liquid in the bowl. Place basket in air fryer. Cook 8 minutes.
- Remove basket from air fryer. Add reserved onions to basket. Using a spatula, flip potatoes and distribute onions. Place basket in air fryer. Cook 5 minutes more.
- Transfer onions and potatoes to serving dish. Serve immediately.
Serving Fried Potatoes And Onions
This recipe is great for breakfast or brunch alongside classic bacon and eggs. It also works great as part of a meat and potatoes dinner, so try serving the pan-fried potatoes with steak or pork chops. I mean, these taste so good you’ll be finding excuses to eat them with everything! Enjoy! – Christine xo
When you want the best fried potatoes and onions, this is the recipe for you. It’s a perfect side dish for breakfast or dinner!
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- 2 tsp. cooking oil
- 2 sweet onions, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch
- 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 medium russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
- In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onions and ¼ tsp. of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add butter, stir until melted. Cook until onions are golden brown, about 5-6 minutes more, adding in the garlic for the last minute.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer onions to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Cover onions tightly with foil and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add the potatoes to the pan in a single layer ( a bit of overlapping is fine).* Cook until potatoes are golden brown and soft, with crunchy edges, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- Distribute onions over potatoes. Serve warm.
Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!
*If your pan is too small to fit all of the potatoes in a single mostly-non-overlapping layer, then you can cook them in two batches. When the first batch of potatoes is done, distribute them evenly on an oven-safe rack set on a pan, and put them into an oven set at 250F to stay warm while the second batch cooks.
This post is sponsored by Shuman Farms RealSweet Vidalia Onions. All opinions are honest and are my own.