4.89 from 9 votes

Cowboy Potatoes

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Easy Skillet Cowboy Potatoes, often called “home fries,” showcase their super tender centers and crispy skins when fried in a cast iron pan.

These skillet breakfast potatoes are diced small, reminiscent of hash browns, ensuring a quick cooking time for a delightful treat.

While home fries predominantly feature on breakfast menus, especially with sweet dishes like cinnamon roll casserole, they complement a hearty breakfast buffet, such as sausage hash brown casserole, sheet pan eggs, and oven-fried bacon.

cooked cowboy potatoes in a cast iron skillet with fresh herbs.

If you prefer to use the oven, try these TikTok viral Crunchy Parmesan Home Fries.

Why you will love Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes

  • Golden Perfection: Their crisped exterior and tender inside are the perfect potato crunch with each mouthful.
  • Adaptable Flavors: Can be tailored with seasonal spices like rosemary in the winter or exotic herbs such as saffron for a unique twist.
  • Make it quick: Ready in 25–30 minutes, making them a star player for breakfast and lunch.

Simple Ingredients

Favorite potatoes: Whether russet, mini white, Yukon gold, or red, any variety of potatoes suffices. We use russet potatoes for our roasted skillet potatoes.

Cooking oil: Vegetable oil is recommended, though sunflower or canola oil are suitable substitutes.

Seasonings: The seasoning mix of fresh minced garlic, salt, and black pepper is all the dish needs.

Fresh herbs: While fresh parsley brightens the dish, fresh thyme or rosemary provides unique fragrant twists.

But don’t just limit yourself! Spicy cowboy potatoes with a hint of chili, or cowboy potatoes with cheddar cheese are sheer heaven.

Tips for Perfect Skillet Breakfast Potatoes

Patience is critical to avoiding potatoes sticking to the skillet. Allow them to cook for 5–6 minutes, then flip using a METAL spatula.

This ensures crispiness and prevents sticking.

How to make the Best Cowboy Potatoes

Prepare the Potatoes:

  • Always start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes thoroughly, as they often have grit from the ground.
  • Once clean, slice and dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch-sized pieces. Ensure that the pieces are evenly sized so they all cook consistently.
prepped potatoes for hash brown skillet.

Season and Mix:

  • In a large cast iron skillet, place the diced potatoes.
  • Add cooking oil, garlic (minced fresh or in powder form), salt, and black pepper.
  • A spatula mixes everything well, ensuring all potato sides are evenly coated.
easy cast iron small potato pieces.

Cooking Process:

  • Heat the skillet over medium heat.
  • Cover it for 10 minutes to allow the hot skillet potatoes to cook evenly from within.
  • At the 6-minute mark, flip the potatoes using a metal spatula. This ensures the bottoms are well-fried.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the skillet’s lid.
  • Continue cooking the seasoned potatoes uncovered until they become fork-tender and the skins are crispy and golden brown. This typically takes around 20 minutes in total.
country potatoes are also known as cowboy potatoes in a skillet.

Final Touch:

Check the potatoes. If there’s excess grease, use a paper towel to absorb it. Alternatively, sprinkle on sliced green onions and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy your crispy country potatoes!

Tips for the Best Cowboy Potatoes

  1. Old-School Charm with Bacon Drippings: Remember those mornings with the smell of bacon filling the air? Next time you fry some, save those drippings. Once solidified, they’re gold for flavoring your homemade cowboy potatoes.
  2. The Oil Choice: Neutral-flavored oils ensure your potatoes don’t burn.
  3. Even Coating is Key: When mixing the potatoes with spices or bacon grease, ensure an even coat.
  4. Adding Vegetables to Cowboy Potatoes

Vegetables can be integrated, and popular additions include onions, red and green bell peppers, and bacon.

  • Bell Peppers: Red, green, or yellow bell peppers can add color and a slightly sweet crunch.
  • Onions: Diced white, red, or yellow onions bring a hint of sharpness and extra flavor.
  • Mushrooms: Sliced button or cremini mushrooms can add an earthy taste.

Using a separate skillet is typically wiser because vegetables take less cooking time than potatoes. Once the crispy potatoes are ready, integrate the skillet vegetables, toss, and serve as one. 

diced onions and green peppers in a chopper
Use a chopper for even diced veggies.

Storing and Reheating

Freshly fried cowboy potatoes offer the best experience.

If leftovers exist, refrigerate for 3–4 days. To rejuvenate, add some oil to a skillet and reheat leftover potatoes. Avoid microwaves; an air fryer can restore their original taste and texture.

easy cowboy potatoes in a cast iron skillet.

Serving and Reviving Leftover Cowboy Potatoes

Initially a breakfast favorite in my home, these cowboy potatoes are versatile enough to accompany a juicy steak at dinner or be the star with a dollop of your favorite sauce. The history of cowboy potatoes might root them in breakfast traditions, but their deliciousness is timeless.

Serving: Try alongside chicken minis, pesto eggs, or easy grab-and-go egg and sausage rolls.

If you find yourself with leftover cowboy potatoes, there are several delicious ways to repurpose them:

Using Cowboy Potatoes in Breakfast Burritos: One of the most delicious ways to use next-day potatoes is by incorporating them into breakfast burritos.

Cowboy Potato Salad: Give a twist to the traditional potato salad by adding your cowboy potatoes to a mix of mayonnaise, mustard, chopped celery, onions, and hard-boiled eggs or substituting in Mexican chicken salad. The seasoned potatoes will give the salad an extra kick of flavor and accompany grilled steaks or chicken.

already cooked potatoes with seasoning
Try adding cooked beef or country sausage as well!

How many carbs are in Skillet Potatoes?

This always depends on how many you eat, right??

I plugged my recipe right into carb manager for estimation, and here is the carb load for this serving size. As suspected, eating fried potatoes is not advisable if you are on a low-carb, no-carb, or keto diet.

More Potato Side Dish Recipes

Need more potato side dish recipe options? 

4.89 from 9 votes

Breakfast Cowboy Potatoes (Skillet Home Fries)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Crispy Skillet Cowboy potatoes (also called home fries, fried breakfast potatoes, or country potatoes) are such a simple side dish to make for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Just a few basic ingredients for the best breakfast side ever with tender centers and crispy outsides.


  • Cast Iron Skillet and lid (or use foil if you do not have a lid)
  • Metal Spatula


Easy Skillet Country Potatoes

  • 4-6 Medium russet potatoes or 3-4 large
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Sunflower, Canola can sub)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or minced fresh garlic is fine to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh parsley chopped (optional for serving)


Perfectly Crisped Country Potatoes for Beginners

  • Prep the Potatoes: Gently wash and scrub the potatoes to remove any lingering grit.
  • Slice potatoes into 1/2" diced pieces and place into a skillet.
  • Season Generously: Drizzle potatoes with cooking oil and sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Give them a good mix, ensuring each piece is evenly coasted.
  • Let Sizzle and Fry: Cover skillet and heat oiled potatoes on medium heat, flipping about every 5-6 minutes to get a good crunch outer layer. A metal spatula works well for fried potatoes and helps remove crispy skins easily from the skillet without separating them from the potato. Flipping too soon will cause excess sticking and minimal browning. Patience is key!
  • Country potatoes take about 20 minutes (until potatoes are fork tender) flipping at the 5-6 minute mark 2-3 times.



  • Depending on the size and type of potatoes, you may only need 3-4. There are some super large Russets out there!
  • Potatoes will stick when you fry them, but how we handle it is like cooking hash browns. Let them get cooked on one side before constantly flipping. You need a metal spatula to really peel them from the pan and allow the fried to stay ON the potato.
  • To add veggies to potatoes, skillet fry in a separate pan so they do not burn while Russet potatoes are softening up, and combine them before serving.


Serving: 1Servings | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 385mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.89 from 9 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. Great idea with wet garlic! Always used powdered but wer is so much better! Added a little seasoned salt cause my fam is in love with it and it made it that much better and gave more crunch yum!

    1. I always love the minced jarred garlic over the powder. Glad it helped you too!

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