Skillet Potatoes

4.77 from 92 votes
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These easy skillet potatoes are seasoned with herbs and butter for a delicious one-pan side dish. Creamy Yukon Gold potatoes are sauteed with shallots and garlic for maximum texture and flavor.

Here are a few more potato recipes you might enjoy: scalloped potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted potatoes.

Skillet potatoes with garlic and herbs.

Recipe Science

  • Yukon Gold potatoes have a waxy texture, low starch, high moisture content, and thin skin. They hold their structure well.
  • For fast skillet potatoes, skip boiling, add directly to a hot skillet with a lid, and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat until tender.
  • For a golden brown crust and crisp texture, saute the potatoes after steaming. Finish with butter and herbs for a robust flavor.

Why It Works

Waxy potatoes are my top choice because their flesh is creamy, and their shape holds well when tossed and tumbled. For this recipe, I slice baby Yukon golds in half and cook them two ways using the same pan. Steaming and sauteeing ensures tender bites and a golden brown crust.

I elevate these potatoes with a classic combination of garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs. The buttery flavor of yellow potatoes pairs well with the aromatics of rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Get ready to complete your main course with this 30-minute side dish!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Potatoes: I use baby Yukon Gold potatoes sliced into halves. They have a creamy, buttery taste and texture. This type of potato is considered waxy, meaning that it’s low in starch and high in moisture. They have very thin skin, so you don’t have to peel them. They also hold together better in the pan. The flesh is heavier and less fluffy than starchy Russet potatoes.
  • Oil: Use fruity olive oil to saute the onions, garlic, and potatoes.
  • Seasonings: Salt and black pepper enhance the savory taste of the potatoes.
  • Alliums: Diced shallots and sliced garlic add an earthy aroma and taste to the dish.
  • Butter: Add at the end of cooking to add richness and flavor to the potatoes.
  • Herbs: Freshly chopped thyme, rosemary, and parsley add an enticing herbaceous note to the dish.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

This simple skillet potatoes recipe is easy to customize!

  • Potato Options: Use white, purple, or red potatoes. They have a similar texture to Yukon gold potatoes. If the spuds are large, cut them into smaller pieces, about 3/4-inch in size. If you prefer Russet Potatoes, try my home fries recipe.
  • Make it Dairy-Free: Use planted-based butter, margarine, or coconut oil.
  • Oil Swaps: Instead of olive oil, use a high smoking point fat like coconut oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil.
  • Onions: Instead of shallots, use diced red or yellow onion.
  • Seasonings: Add some garlic powder and onion powder for a roasted allium flavor. Add cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika and toss to coat with the butter and potatoes. Make it spicy with cayenne or chipotle powder.
  • Herbs: Add chives, tarragon, oregano, cilantro, or basil. Dried herbs can be used instead of fresh. Add ⅓ of the amount since the flavor is concentrated. Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence are good blends to incorporate into the dish.
  • Protein: Make this dish into hearty breakfast potatoes by adding in crispy bacon or sausage.

How to Make Skillet Potatoes

Step 1: Season the Potatoes

 In a medium bowl, combine halved potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Sautéing onions and garlic in a cast iron skillet.

Step 2: Saute the Aromatics
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, then sauté the diced shallots for 1 minute. Cook the sliced garlic until fragrant, about 15 to 30 seconds.

Tips for Perfect Execution: To prevent the garlic from burning, slice it into thin pieces, about ⅛ inch thick. Smaller minced pieces will burn with prolonged cooking of the potatoes.

Sliced baby Yukon gold potatoes in a skillet.

Step 3: Cook the Potatoes

I use a one-pan stovetop approach for this skillet potatoes recipe to make things quick and easy. Instead of boiling, add the potatoes to the hot skillet and cover with a tight-fitting lid. This method creates a steamy environment for the potatoes to release their natural moisture.

After cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes, they should be fork-tender and ready to brown and crisp. Stir them after about 5 minutes to prevent burning.

Pro Tip: If needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water at a time to the pan to help finish steaming the potatoes. It may need a few extra minutes of cooking time, depending on size.

Baby potatoes cut in halves and cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Step 4: Brown the Potatoes

Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the potatoes until lightly brown on the surface, occasionally stirring, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed to prevent burning of the vegetables.

Sauteed baby potatoes in a white bowl.

Step 5: Add the Herbs

Right at the end of cooking, toss the sauteed baby potatoes with chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley with a knob of melted butter. Turn the heat off at this point so the delicate greens don’t burn.

The pan and ingredients will still be hot, so the natural oils and aromas will bloom as they are tossed together. The result is fragrant herb-infused spuds!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to boil potatoes before frying?

Typically for oven-roasted potatoes, the spuds are boiled in hot water to tenderize the flesh before baking. However, for skillet potatoes, you can skip the boiling step. Instead, I add them directly to the skillet and cover them with a lid, creating a steamy environment for them to cook until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. A small amount of water can always be added to the pan if more time is needed to cook. The potatoes are then uncovered and fried in the pan for a crisp and browned surface.

How do you fry potatoes in a skillet without them sticking to the pan?

To fry potatoes without sticking, heat the pan well, use sufficient oil, avoid overcrowding, allow a golden crust to form, and then flip over. Add more oil if necessary. Non-stick pans or seasoned cast iron skillets also work well

How do you substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs?

Robust herbs like rosemary and thyme are good dried candidates as they have relatively stable flavor compounds at high temperatures and many essential oils in their leaves. Parsley is much more delicate and loses its flavor when dried, so stick to fresh. When using dried herbs, use about a third of the fresh herbs. For example, 1 teaspoon dried for 1 tablespoon fresh.

Serve This With

If you tried this Skillet Potatoes recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Herbed Skillet Potatoes

Easy skillet potatoes seasoned with herbs and garlic for a delicious side dish. Creamy Yukon Gold potatoes are used for better texture and flavor.
4.77 from 92 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 ½ pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup diced shallots, ½" dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, ⅛" slices
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Instructions 

  • Season the Potatoes – In a medium-sized bowl, combine potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Saute the Aromatics – Heat a large 12" cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Cook the Potatoes – Add the potatoes to the pan and stir to combine. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
    If needed, at 1 to 2 tablespoons of water at a time. Cover and steam to finish cooking the potatoes.
  • Brown the Potatoes – Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until lightly brown on the surface, occasionally stirring, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed to prevent burning.
  • Add the Herbs – Melt the butter in the pan and then turn off the heat. Add the thyme, rosemary, and parsley then toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Notes

  • Make it Whole 30 and Paleo: Substitute butter for ghee or extra virgin olive oil. Use sea salt instead of kosher salt.
  • Make it Vegan: Substitute butter for coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
  • Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 165kcal (8%)Carbohydrates 15g (5%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 11g (17%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Cholesterol 5mg (2%)Sodium 303mg (13%)Potassium 474mg (14%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 58IU (1%)Vitamin C 13mg (16%)Calcium 37mg (4%)Iron 4mg (22%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Judy says

    Well Jessica I had to immediately forward your email with this recipe link to Timothy. He is always trying to get nicely browned and crispy fried potatoes to go with his eggs. Thank you for another wonderful recipe.

  2. Leslie Kawaler says

    I had a real problem with the potatoes, garlic, and shallots burning to the bottom of the Dutch oven even with a tight-fitting lid, there was not enough moisture to cook the potatoes. I used baby gold potatoes. Any idea what might have gone wrong?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      What type of pan did you use? The covered potatoes should have steamed in the pan, however, you could add about 1/4 cup of water or chicken/vegetable stock or broth next time if there didn’t seem to be enough moisture.

  3. Annie says

    I typically just roast potatoes in the oven; however, as I planned dinner, I realized both the veggie and meat also had to be made in the oven. I looked for alternatives and am so glad I found this recipe! It is easy and absolutely delicious. It will be a new go to going forward!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      So glad to hear that you were able to improvise and make the potatoes on the stovetop. I love how quick and easy it is!

  4. Cailyn says

    I wouldn’t recommend putting the garlic and shallots in the pan and cooking for 10-12 minutes with the potatoes! By following the directions, my minced garlic and shallots burnt SO BAD… had to start over… I steamed as instructed in the pan, sautéed garlic and shallots in another pan and added it once potatoes were cooked (:

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Cailyn! Perhaps adding in the garlic and shallots in the last few minutes of cooking would also help if burning is an issue.

    • Karen M Swaine says

      yes.. but here’s what i’m going to do today: put the little potatoes in the cast iron pan with 1/4 cp water and 1 T butter, salt, pepper. cook about 7 minutes, uncover, let water evaporate, add garlic and fresh herbs, (i’ll use chopped chives and parsley) & if needed K salt, black pepper. stir gently in herbed butter until potatoes are tender.