Saturday, September 25, 2010

O'Brien Style Cast Iron Skillet Fried Potatoes

Red skin potatoes are fried up in a cast iron skillet with sweet Vidalia onion and bell pepper and nicely seasoned for a take on Potatoes O'Brien. Great for any meal - add bacon, ham, sausage, fresh herbs and mushrooms if you like!

Potatoes O'Brien - Skillet Fried Potatoes

Skillet fried potatoes, also known as home fries and cottage fries in the north, are such an easy side dish, that goes well with breakfast, but also as a dinner side dish. For my classic skillet potatoes I use peeled russets, some onion and that's about it other than the delicious fat used to cook them in - for me, I love using bacon drippings for the extra richness it provides - and the very specific method.

For this version of skillet potato, I prefer to use the smaller, unpeeled red-skinned or new potatoes. The skin is tender, and to me tasty, and they cook up nicely without the steaming process that is necessary for our beloved fried taters and onion. If you prefer to use a russet, rather than a red skinned potato, you certainly can, though I'd click over to that other recipe, because I think that method works best with russets.

I also like these skin-on skillet potatoes cooked with both onion and sweet bell pepper, either red, green or yellow, or any combination of them, making this dish akin to what most folks know as Potatoes O'Brien. You could certainly leave them out if you just want potatoes. Add fresh herbs if you're making it for supper and there are any number of add-ins you can also use with these, from leftover meats, veggies, beans, whatever you like really. Stir in cooked bacon, ground beef, ham, sausage or pork, and when I have some fresh mushrooms, I like to toss in a few of those too.

Here's how to make them.

Recipe: Potatoes O'Brien - Skillet Fried Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish 
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 2 to 4 servings

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of bacon drippings, canola or olive oil
  • 6 medium sized red-skinned potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of Vidalia or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of green and/or yellow, orange or red bell pepper, or any combination, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Butter, optional
  • Seasoning salt, Cajun/Creole seasoning and/or garlic salt/powder, to taste, optional

Scrub potatoes and pat dry; cut into small cubes. Heat bacon drippings or oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the potatoes, onion and bell pepper all at once and turn heat up to medium high. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until all the veggies are coated with oil. Let sit uncovered, and without turning, in order to brown underside, then give it an occasional stir to turn and cook all sides of the veggies.

Continue stir frying until the potatoes are tender and you reach the desired level of browning, adjusting the heat as needed. Do not cover. Taste, adjust seasonings as desired, adding any additional seasonings you like, and toss in a tablespoon or so of butter, if desired. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: If serving this as a side dish for supper, stir in a bit of fresh chopped herbs just before serving. Some good choices would be crushed or chopped rosemary, chopped dill, thyme, oregano, or flat leaf parsley. Substitute any other potato for the red skinned variety. To make this main dish, stir in cooked bacon, ground beef, ham sausage or pork. Mushrooms are also a great addition.


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Posted by on September 25, 2010
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  1. Your fried potatoes look SO delicious! They were a staple in our house when I was a kid. I've made them a few times for my family and my daughter always goes ape over them!

  2. Gurl - I always feel close to home when I visit your blog. This potatoes are perfect. I haven't made anything like this in a while - can't wait to give them a try.

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I am new to all of this and so appreciate your time and kind words.

    Happy Fall! Susan

  3. I just love how you do your potatoes in the South. This can be a meal all to itself!

  4. Growing up in Idaho we ate "spuds" every which way but out favorite was fried just like these.

  5. Great pic of one of my favorite dishes which I have at least twice a month - but nearly always with a couple of sunny side up eggs on top for breakfast - but I bet you knew that :-).

  6. Your fried potatoes look great! I'll be adding Cajun seasoning the next time!

  7. Hi Mary!! I make this all the time. We just love it. I prefer mine with red peppers as they are sweeter. Your photos are just to die for. I love your fall heading. How did you get started with this blog??

  8. These are a great side but I don't make them often enough, they would have been great with my ribs yesterday.

  9. One of my family's favorite side dish that my mother always made and still makes is her fried potatoes. We eliminate the green peppers though, but I bet they are a nice addition! I could literally eat the whole pan of fried potatoes (that we make in big chunks too), but so can each of the others in my family, so there are never any left over!

  10. This is a staple at our house. I always use my biggest cast iron skillet and we "fight" over who gets the most bits that are browned lol. Leftovers go straight to the fridge to be warmed up and served with eggs for breakfast.

  11. OHHHH YEAH!! I don't know about y'all I can smell these babies through the screen lol. Always used a sprinkle on Lawrys Salt and hot sauce when I made my skillet potatoes. Never once thought of Cajun seasoning. I'll try that Mary. This Georgia Peach like some heat. Good eats!!

  12. simple and fabulous. i do love potatoes, peels and all. I like to add fresh diced tomatoes too, yummy!

  13. We love our fried tators Mary, and I make them like you with the red skinned tators. Major YUM!

  14. I was raised on fried potatoes and love them fixed this way, but I have another delicious way to fix them that a lady that I worked with told me and it is good. Potatoes, onions and yellow squash (cut in cubes) fried together. Would also be good with the added pepper I bet too.

  15. Mmmm, yummy, Mary, thanks for reminding me about this, my boys love a very similar recipe, have a great week, anne

  16. Totally craving these taters. And I have Chachere's with me in Honduras. And cheap fresh potatoes year 'round. Not to mention pennies per pepper. Yup. I feel supper calling my name.

  17. One of the change-ups I like to make to this dish..Monterey Steak Seasoning instead of salt & pepper. On other occasions, instead of potatoes, I'll use chopped up spicy fries, no seasoning good.

  18. That's a great seasoning mix so I bet it's great with skillet potatoes - thanks!

  19. Add scrambled eggs for a special meal! It is good for a quick supper dish and filling too!

  20. We ate fried potatoes 2-3 times a week at least. My favorite meal is great northern beans cooked with ham hock, fried taters and onion, cornbread and fresh green onion from the garden. Yum!

    1. Gracious - I'm hungry not Teresa!! Sounds so good. Thanks for stopping by & have a great weekend!!

  21. Made this over the weekend......AWESOME!!! Thanks again!!

    1. Thank you Rick! It's a simple dish but we sure love it. Great for breakfast or even as a side dish. I can make a meal of it alone to be honest. Thanks for stopping back by to let me know you tried & enjoyed it - I appreciate that!!

  22. I just love this dish, never thought of doing this but I can't wait to cook it, Joyce

  23. Mary, I am a year or two late finding your page but I know it is all ready one of my favorites! I was raised on good old Southern Cooking with my grandmother and my mom! I know Arkansas is not considered Deep South but we always consider ourselves southerners anyway! My husband's favorite fried potatoes included sliced okra mixed in and fried with them. Try it, you will like it!!...........Ginny

  24. Hi Mary, I know I am a year or two late for this but I just discovered your page and am loving it! I grew up on Southern Fried Potatoes and other Southern dished made by my grandmother and mother. Still my favorite foods! My husband loved these potatoes fried with sliced okra. If you haven't tried this give it a try. I love it too! I know I will be finding more great recipes on your site!

  25. Growing up, my mother made these and added canned corned beef! Delicious! But, now that I am grown and cook myself, I've discovered fresh corned beef and use it instead in these to make the same dish! Out of this world! As a side note, I still cannot get my mother to even try fresh corned beef simply because of 'where' the beef comes from on a cow. I am like,'s the same canned corn beef just FRESH!


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