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Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

Fried Potatoes and Onions

Almost everyone loves chips or French fries and these can come in many different shapes and forms. This particular recipe shows you how to make some delicious pan fried potatoes and onions.

parboiling potatoes

Sliced potatoes cooking in hot water

This simple dish is a great addition to a full English breakfast or an Irish fry. Whereas normally a full fry up would include buttered toast or fried bread, this recipe is a perfect alternative to hash browns to get your carbohydrates in the meal.

Chips at breakfast?

It is not really normal to serve chips or French fries with an English breakfast, and yet you can get away with serving potatoes in other forms by using this recipe or indeed hash browns. I think this is quite strange.

pan fried potatoes

Potatoes frying in skillet

When I studied at University, literally our best meal of the week was on a Saturday evening. Every Saturday we played rugby in the afternoon and after the game, we needed to line our stomachs for the evening drinking session.

The canteen seemed to understand this and we would get a full English fry up: sausages, beans, bacon, toast, fried eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and chips! It was so good that even on away games we would try and get back to our college in time for this fantastic treat!

frying potatoes

But my point is that in the evening it was OK to serve chips, and yet at breakfast – it is not really the done thing. But this fried potatoes and onions recipe is a good alternative and really goes great with the beans, sausage and bacon, at any time of the day!

Cooking the potato

The trick to making this recipe is to cook the potato, without it falling apart. You need to get a fine balance of par-boiling and frying, without the potato disintegrating.

pan fried potatoes and onion

I have tried to cook this without par-boiling the potato, but it is difficult to properly cook the slices without burning them, as they need to be in the pan for quite a while. Also if you par-boil them too long, the potatoes can fall apart and you cannot fry them.

I have found that the best way to get good results is to bring to the boil in the water and then remove from the heat completely and let the potatoes sit in the hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. This cooks them sufficiently without destroying them, so you can then finish them off in the frying pan. And make sure they are well dried so they do not spit oil when you put them in the pan.

potatoes and onions recipe

Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

Another tip is to use beef dripping to fry the potatoes. This imparts a certain taste to the potato which makes it special. We do this as well when we make French Fries.

In these photos, I used some Maris Pipers, as they are nice and firm and do not crumble when you boil them.

English breakfast

An English Fry Up with fried potatoes and onions

I hope you get to try making this recipe. Be careful using boiling oil on the stove as it is potentially very dangerous. Let me know how you get on in the comments section below!

How to make Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

fried potatoes and onions

Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This simple recipe will help you make some perfect fried potatoes and onions. Serve up with your fry up for a real treat!


  • 1 potato per person, peeled and sliced (I used Maris Pipers here)
  • 1/2 onion per person, sliced
  • 50g beef dripping (or vegetable oil) to fry
  • Salt


  1. Peel and slice the potatoes into about 5mm thick circles. Then rinse them under a cold water tap until the water runs clear. This is to reduce the starch in the potatoes.
  2. Place the potatoes in a saucepan with salted cold water and over medium heat bring the pan to the boil. When the water starts to boil, remove the heat and let the potatoes sit in the hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Then pour the potatoes into a colander and drain them. Make sure all water is removed - pat them dry with kitchen paper if necessary.
  4. Heat the oil in a flat frying pan (I use beef dripping to give the potatoes a unique taste). Then fry the potatoes, in batches if need be. Meanwhile, slice the onion.
  5. When turning the potatoes over add the onion and fry together. Cook until both sides of the potato are a golden brown colour.
  6. Season with some salt to taste before serving.


You can, of course, cook the onions in a separate pan if that is easier.

Substitute beef dripping with vegetable oil if you wish to keep it vegan.

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