In my ongoing quest to avoid long brunch lines, it’s important that I have to way to make beautifully crispy breakfast potatoes in my home kitchen. I’m not talking about cubed, half-crisp potatoes from a frozen bag. I’m talking about shingles of crisp potatoes that are shard-like and seasoned to perfection.
As a middle-aged Dad, there’s not much for me in waiting for long brunch lines. Why am I waiting an hour for eggs and maybe a pancake? In my 20’s, sure. I would wait because I had nothing better to do, but now I do have better things to do like drive to soccer games.
There are zero pancakes that are that good in life. I can say that with certainty.
Also, in many places, there will be a diner very close to the fancy brunch place that has a zero-minute wait and you know what they will also have? GOOD BREAKFAST.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s make beautiful, crispy potatoes.
The Various kinds of breakfast potatoes
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to make potatoes for breakfast. And I’m just talking about in American cuisine. Sometimes you’ll find potatoes that are cubed and seasoned well and cooked on a griddle (home fries).
Sometimes will take the form of boiled and seasoned potatoes that get mashed together with meat and seasonings (like corned beef hash).
That’s all fine and good. The first time I had breakfast smashed potatoes like this though was at a diner called Annie’s in Denver, which has since closed unfortunately.
I took a close look at the potatoes before devouring them and I’m pretty sure they smashed the potatoes before frying them. That led me on a journey of smashed breakfast potatoes and this is the result.
Do they take an hour to make? Yes. Would you rather be waiting in your kitchen, casually drinking coffee in your PJs or waiting in line?
What potatoes work best for this recipe
I do believe you could use any potato for this recipe, but I’m partial to using new potatoes in my breakfast potatoes lately. I like how you can leave the skins on without too much fuss and also like how they aren’t as starchy as Russet potatoes. Any potato would work fine though, I think.
You can either use the small red potatoes or the golden potatoes. I just personally like the smaller ones, but you can use larger ones if you want. Just chop them into 2-inch chunks.
You need to chop the potatoes but keep them in large pieces since we are going to smash them later. Depending on your potato size, either cut them in half or quarter them.
Cooking and Smashing Potatoes
Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 10-12 minutes until they are fork tender, but maybe not quite as tender as you would cook them for mashed potatoes.
Then smash the suckers!
What I don’t recommend is getting a mallet and whacking the crap out of them. That method will spew potato pieces all over your kitchen. Instead, get a small flat-bottomed bowl or spatula and gently press down on each potato until it’s flattened.
Doing this really maximized the surface area on the tater which means more browning and crisping later!
- Want a crispy potato as a side dish? Check out these Crispy Rosemary Potatoes!
Crispy Breakfast Potatoes: The Spice Mix
I like to season my potatoes so nicely that they don’t need extra seasoning. I use a mix of salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. All common spices, but mix make sure you make enough so you can use it liberally.
You can use this spice mix very liberally on the potatoes but it’s also good on a wide range of dishes. You can use it to season eggs, steaks, grilled chicken or vegetables like mushrooms.
- Want a different flavor profile for your hash? Try my squash hash which is much faster to make!
Crisping the Potatoes
Ok. Now for the important part. Drizzle a good amount of oil on a few baking sheets and pop them in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes. Heating up the oil will help sear the potatoes.
Then use a spatula to transfer each smash job onto the baking sheet. Don’t worry if the potatoes fall a part a bit. It’s no biggie.
Sprinkle with some of that seasoning mix and pop these in the oven!
These Crispy Breakfast Potatoes will need to bake for 15 minutes. Then take them out and carefully flip the potatoes. Sprinkle with more seasoning and put them back in for another 15 minutes or until they are crisped to your liking. I’ve actually kept them in for a full 25-30 minutes after flipping them so they get SUPER crispy.
Look at these beauties!
You could do any number of things with the Crispy Breakfast Potatoes at this point.
Stack them up and grate on some cheese? Drizzle some green chili over them? All of those are possibilities.
Personally, I like them just like they are with a few eggs and some chopped green chives.
Storing and reheating these breakfast potatoes
These are actually great potatoes to make on the weekend and then you have them ready to go for quick weekday breakfasts. To reheat them, add a drizzle of oil to a small skillet or griddle and heat them over low heat until they are warmed through and get some crispiness back on the edges.
Note that if you microwave these, they will have good flavor but will lose their crispiness.
If you’re a potato fan, these are an absolute must-try!
Smashed Breakfast Potatoes
- 4-5 pounds new potatoes, quartered or halved
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Scallions, chopped
Breakfast Potato Seasoning:
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cut potatoes in half or in quarters depending on size and boil them for 10-12 minutes until they are fork tender.
- Drain potatoes and let cool briefly. Then use something flat to smash each potato piece. No need to smash it really hard or it will fly apart. Try to keep the pieces together if you can.
- Drizzle two baking sheets with some olive oil and place them in the oven to heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove baking sheets and use a spatula to slide smashed potatoes onto the oiled sheets. Again, don’t worry if the potatoes fall apart some. Season potatoes well with breakfast potato seasoning mix.
- Bake potatoes for 15 minutes. Then remove and flip potatoes. Season with more seasoning and bake for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are really crispy. You can go even longer if you like, up to 25 minutes.
- Serve the potatoes while warm with eggs on the side and garnished with fresh scallions.
Did you make this recipe?
It’s far from a complicated brunch and maybe people wouldn’t wait for hours to eat it.
But then again… maybe they would?!
Take out some aggression on those long brunch lines. Stay home next time and smash a tater!