Potatoes O’Brien

published Mar 13, 2022
Potatoes O’Brien Recipe

This any-time-of-day side dish marries tender-in-the-center, crispy-edged potatoes with onion, bell peppers, and a hint of garlic.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook26 minutes to 30 minutes

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potatoes with onion and peppers in a skillet
Credit: Kelli Foster

If you have a soft spot in your heart for pan-fried potatoes or breakfast potatoes, you’re going to love potatoes O’Brien. It’s an any-time-of-day side dish that marries buttery, tender-in-the-center, crispy-edged potatoes with a flavorful mix of onion, bell peppers, and a hint of garlic. Whether you serve them alongside juicy steak bites, chicken breast, or simply topped with a yolky fried egg, it’s definitely an easy side dish you’re gonna want to keep on repeat.

What Are Potatoes O’Brien?

Potatoes O’Brien is a side dish made with diced Yukon Gold potatoes, red and green bell peppers, and onion. The potatoes are first par-cooked to ensure they’re tender, then pan-fried in a duo of olive oil and butter to yield lightly browned, crispy edges.

If potatoes O’Brien remind you of skillet hash browns, you’re not entirely wrong. The two are pretty similar. The exact origins are of the dish, created in the early 1900s, aren’t totally clear — some say it originated at a restaurant in Boston, while others claim it was New York.

How to Serve Potatoes O’Brien

These skillet potatoes can be served alongside whatever you’re cooking for dinner and are also fair game at breakfast. If you happen to have some leftovers, stretch them into a meal by topping with a couple yolky fried eggs.

Credit: Kelli Foster

How to Store Potatoes O’Brien

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. The best way to reheat potatoes O’Brien is in a skillet (preferably cast iron or nonstick) on the stovetop, with a small glug of olive oil or a pat of unsalted butter. The extra fat will help to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pan and will give the edges some crisp.

Potatoes O’Brien Recipe

This any-time-of-day side dish marries tender-in-the-center, crispy-edged potatoes with onion, bell peppers, and a hint of garlic.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 26 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 pounds

    Yukon Gold potatoes (2 large or 5 to 6 small)

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 1

    small green bell pepper (about 6 ounces)

  • 1

    small red bell pepper (about 6 ounces)

  • 2 cloves


  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    medium scallions (optional)


  1. Dice 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes (no need to peel). Place in a medium saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and add enough cold water to cover by at least 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until knife-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes well.

  2. While the potatoes are cooking, dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup). Trim and dice 1 small green bell pepper and 1 small red bell pepper (about 1 cup each). Mince 2 garlic cloves, and thinly slice the green parts of 2 medium scallions if desired.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 12-inch or larger cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the potatoes, remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes, onion, and bell pepper are browned in spots and the potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Garnish with the scallions.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.