This delicious pan-fried potato and onion recipe is a way to up your game in the kitchen. Perfectly browned on the outside and tender on the inside, these potatoes and onions will be a hit with your whole family. It is a versatile side dish for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.
Mashed russet potatoes and oven-browned red potatoes are great too, but these pan-fried slabs of yukon gold potatoes combined with caramelized onions are terrific.
It’s a perfect side dish with chicken, pork, or beef.
This dish is also known as Lyonnaise Potatoes, from Lyon, France. So if you serve these for company, they are not just fried onions and potatoes, they are Lyonnaise Potatoes! Impressive to be sure.
Ingredients for Fried Potatoes and Onions
First off, the potatoes you use are important. Yukon golds are the perfect potato for this dish.
They are generally medium-sized potatoes and they are waxy potatoes that hold together well when fried.
Russets are not recommended because they have a lot more starch and when cooked they start to get really soft and flake apart. That’s why they are great for mashing or au gratin.
Next, in order to get a crispy exterior and creamy middle, start with pretty hefty slabs of potatoes.
Slice them so that they are 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. They will take some time to get golden brown and the extra thickness allows the interior to cook through and be tender in the middle.
For the onions, I like to slice them lengthwise from the root to the head. They will separate well and leave you with nice-sized strands of onion.
Potato and Onion Cooking Process
Start with a large skillet. At least a 12″ diameter. The pan in the photos is a 12″ stainless steel. Also, a large cast iron skillet would work for pan frying raw potatoes.
Melt the butter on medium-low heat. I like using butter rather than vegetable oil because the flavor is better. Olive oil could also be used or even half butter and half olive oil.
Butter can burn if it is fried at too high of a temperature. Medium-low heat is perfect since the potatoes are relatively thick and will take some time to cook all the way through.
Given the extra time, they will brown nicely too.
Place the potatoes into the skillet in a single layer if possible. If there are too many to do this, use some tongs and a fork to rotate the potatoes to brown equally.
It will take 15 or 20 minutes to evenly brown all of the potato slices.
Once the potatoes are nicely browned, toss in the onions and give them a stir to combine. Lower the temperature of your stove and cover the skillet.
You need a low temperature to caramelize the onions rather than burn them.
About every two minutes uncover the pan and give them another stir. After about ten minutes the onions should be softened and get some nice color.
Add the minced garlic right at the end of cooking and let the garlic get some fragrance by stirring it in and letting it cook for a couple of minutes.
Serving the Potatoes
It would also be nice to sprinkle on some fresh chopped parsley when you serve this. That is the true Lyonnaise potato style.
The fried potatoes and onions could be part of a hearty breakfast with fried eggs. But I think they are best served at dinner with savory meat.
We had the Lyonnaise potatoes with bone-in pork chops that I browned on the stove top and finished in the oven. Fried chicken or a nice steak would be perfect too.
Give this recipe a try…I think you’ll like it.
Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions-Lyonnaise Potatoes
- 1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 3/8" to 1/2" thick slabs
- 2 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly, lengthwise
- 4 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Carefully add the potatoes in a single layer to the skillet. Salt and pepper the potatoes.
- Brown the potatoes by turning and rotating their positioning in the skillet with a pair of tongs, until all the slabs are nicely browned. This will take 15 to 20 minutes depending on the heat of your stove.
- Set your stove heat to low and add the sliced onions, salt them slightly, and stir into the potatoes. Cover the skillet and every 2 minutes, uncover and stir. After about 10 minutes the onions should be softened and starting to brown.
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve hot garnished with chopped parsley.
- If you have too many potatoes for a single layer in your skillet, rotate the potatoes using tongs until all are browned.
- Keep the temperature of your skillet no more than 350° F to prevent the butter from burning. Use a laser thermometer to monitor this if you have one.
- This recipe is adapted from Cook's Country and Emeril Lagasse.