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The Best Potatoes for Home Fries and How to Make Them

When is a white potato not just a white potato? When you're a gardener planning out your garden, and you want to grow the best potatoes for home fries! 

The Best Potatoes for Home Fries and How to Make Them

Before I tell you the best potatoes for home fries, let’s talk about what you want to do with them. Different strokes of potatoes for different folks, but the kind I like in my home fries are white potatoes and sometimes sweet potatoes added for complexity of the flavor, especially if I’m adding in something savory like bacon, or cooking with the bacon grease I’ve saved on my countertop.

The Best Potatoes for Home Fries and How to Make ThemThe Best Potatoes for Home Fries

Let’s start with the white potatoes. The best potatoes for home fries need to be starchy so that they cook more easily and break down. For that pick, you’ll want Russet potatoes. They will crisp up on the outside, be soft and creamy on the inside, and they’ll absorb all the flavor of your spices and herbs better than other types of potatoes. I love a good Yukon Gold as much as the next gal, but they are low/medium in starch, which makes them better for baking and roasting. Don’t use those little round red potatoes either. Those are your boilers and they’re low in starch and high in moisture.

For sweet potatoes, you’ll be looking to the “dry” varieties, which are the opposite varietals than what you’d use for, say, a nice creamy baked potato. Instead, choose ones that are purple or tan skinned, such as Purple, Japanese, or Sweet Hannah.

If all you have is a bunch of creamer potatoes, have no fear. The best potatoes for home fries are the ones you season well, and you can work with what you’ve got.

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How to Make the Best Home Fries

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The Best Potatoes for Home Fries and How to Make Them

The Best Home Fries Recipe

Crispy on the outside, and creamy in the middle, these seasoned, herby home fries tick all the right boxes when it comes to making the best home fries with the best possible potatoes for a skillet!

  • Author: Amanda MacArthur
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Sides

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Russet potatoes (about 8″ each), or 4 shorter ones
  • 1 “dry” purple or tan sweet potato (about 6-8″)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 sweet white onion, roughly chopped small
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 lemon, zested and halved
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, preferably all the above!)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, then cut your potatoes in half the long way, then lay flat and cut in half again into quarters, and then cut each quarter in half. Now, cut into cubes, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt, then add chopped onions, cooking for about 1 minute, then add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add potatoes and cover for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove cover and add paprika, mix, then add herbs. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes.  Stir gently to prevent burning.
  4. In the last minute, sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Squeeze a half of lemon gently (to your taste preference) over potatoes and serve!

Notes

The best potatoes for home fries are Russet potatoes due to their high starch content, but you can use other types of potatoes too if you make this recipe in the oven, instead! Simply roast them in the oven with all the ingredients above except the herbs, for about 40 minutes at 450 degrees, tossing along to way to prevent burning, and adding the herbs in the last 10 minutes.

Russets may be the best potatoes for home fries in a skillet, but when I’m deciding to bake home fries in the oven instead of frying them in a skillet, I love to use baby potatoes sliced in half. You can even use this recipe in the oven with them if you like! Just slice your baby potatoes in half, and roast them in the oven with all the ingredients above, except the herbs, for about 40 minutes at 450 degrees, tossing along the way to prevent burning. Add the herbs in the last 10 minutes.

Want more recipes using potatoes?

In our Potatoes Collection, we have a ton of delicious recipes you’ll love, so check them out:

Do you agree that Russets and dry varietals are the best potatoes for home fries, or do you prefer another kind?

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