Old Bay Smoky Breakfast Potatoes
June 10, 2021
Breakfast potatoes are a side dish. Maybe if I write it enough times, I’ll start to believe it. But honestly, when I am eating these smoky breakfast potatoes seasoned with Old Bay, they could be the whole meal. I’d be okay with it, and however you want to eat these tasty taters, I’m not here to judge.
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We only lived in the Washington DC area for about three years, but in that time, I learned all about Old Bay. Sure, I’d see those bottles before and heard the phrase, but it wasn’t until a friendly get-together in Maryland that I fully understood the institution that is this signature spice blend.
If you don’t have a bottle of Old Bay in your spice rack, I suggest it. It’s a proprietary blend including celery salt, paprika, black pepper, and more. While you can use it on crab and seafood, you can also add it to almost anything. Cheese puffs, popcorn, corn on the cob, and of course, these potatoes.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these smoky breakfast potatoes at your grocery store:
- Produce: Potatoes, Onions
- Pantry: Olive oil
- Spice Rack: Sea salt, Salt & Pepper, Old Bay seasoning, Smoked paprika, Garlic powder
- Equipment: Large pot, Cast iron pan
Let’s Make Old Bay Smoky Breakfast Potatoes
Home fries, hash browns, skillet-fried, creamy or crispy – I’m not picky. I just love breakfast potatoes.And these, seasoned with Old Bay, are a joy to add to any breakfast or brunch. Before getting started, you’ll want to prep all of your produce.
You can use any type of potatoes in this recipe. I used a variety of mini waxy-skinned creamer potatoes. I like the wax varieties because you can just give them a good scrub and don’t have to worry about peeling. But if you’ve got russets and want to peel, those will work too.
Whether scrubbed or peeled, dice them up into half-inch pieces. It’s more important that the pieces are all around the same size instead of exactly the right measurement. Uniform pieces will cook more evenly.
For the onion, I used a standard yellow cooking onion, and that’s what I suggest here. White, sweet vidalia, or even red onions will all work, but slightly change the flavor. You’ll want a medium sized one, about three inches in diameter. Halve and peel your onion, then thinly slice it, about an eighth of an inch thick.
Fill a large pot with water, enough to cover the potatoes. Generally, I grab the biggest saucepan I have and fill it about halfway. You could also use a stock pot. Stir in the sea salt, and then bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and let them boil until they are tender. When they are ready, drain them thoroughly and set them aside.
Meanwhile, it’s time to cook up the onions. One of my favorite tricks to good breakfast potatoes is cooking the onions separately. You have the time, while the potatoes are boiling, so you can focus on getting them perfectly soft and browned.
Add a large drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a large, well-seasoned cast iron pan. If you don’t have cast iron, you can use a large non-stick skillet. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and season with a big pinch of salt and a couple shakes of freshly ground black pepper. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they become slightly softened and translucent and are beginning to brown.
Then continue cooking them as they soften and darken. Keep a cup of water nearby, and if at any point, the onions begin to stick to the pan, add a splash to the pan and stir it all up to release any stuck brown bits. Once the onions are very soft and light brown throughout, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.
Once the potatoes are boiled and the onions are cooked, it’s time to fry up the potatoes. Add a thin layer of olive oil to coat the same pan you used before. There’s no need to rinse it out. Heat it over medium-high, and let the oil warm up.
Add the par-boiled potatoes in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. You may want to work in batches to fry up all the potatoes, but it will depend on the size of your pan and your preference. Fewer potatoes in the pan will lead to crispier potatoes. A more crowded pan will lead to softer potatoes.
Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown. This will take about five or so minutes. If you are working in batches, set aside each batch after it browns into a bowl. At the end, combine all the browned potatoes together in the pan.
While the potatoes are cooking, mix the spice blend together in a small bowl. Combine Old Bay with some garlic powder and smoked paprika. Use a small whisk or fork to mix everything together. Then add it into the pan with the potatoes and a quarter cup of water.
Stir until the the potatoes are all coated in the spice, and the water has cooked off. Then, add the onions back into the pan and stir to combine those in as well. Turn off the heat, and serve breakfast!
Or, if you want to make these ahead of time, you can store them for later. These potatoes can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days. Reheat them in the microwave or until warmed throughout, or for crispier potatoes, bake them at 400F until warm.
Smoky, crispy, and a little bit spicy – these breakfast potatoes are the perfect balance, ready to bring a little something extra to your next morning meal!
How to Serve Old Bay Potatoes
We have already established that I would eat these smoky breakfast potatoes as an entire meal on their own. But for something a bit more balanced, try out one of these thirty-five egg recipes. And if those don’t satisfy your craving, here’s another thirty-five.
You can also use these potatoes to build a plant-based brunch. Since these are entirely vegan, why not pair them with other animal-free options like lentil-pecan sausage patties and triple chocolate muffins. Finish it all off with a chai latte green smoothie.
Or eat them on their own or as a side with a smaller breakfast. Don’t forget the drinks! The potatoes will pair excellently with a sweet and spicy paloma cocktail, or a chocolate old fashioned. Looking for something cozier? Try a honey chestnut cafe au lait.
Other Savory Brunch Selections
- If you have extra potatoes, use them to top a chorizo spiced veggie breakfast flatbread.
- Potatoes also pair up with another root veg in beet and goat cheese latkes.
- Extra onions are perfect baked into a savory caramelized onion cheesecake.
- Or add those onions to huevos rancheros with mango-corn salsa.
Old Bay Smoky Breakfast Potatoes
- 1 ½ lbs Potatoes peeled or washed, diced into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- Olive Oil for frying
- 1 Onion medium, white or yellow; peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning
- ½ Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Fill a large pot with water, enough to cover the potatoes, and stir in the sea salt. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil for about 8-12 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add a large drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a large, well-seasoned cast iron pan. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they become slightly softened and translucent and are beginning to brown.
- Allow the onions to brown, stirring occasionally as they continue to soften. Keep a cup of water nearby, and if at any point, the onions begin to stick to the pan, add a splash of water and stir. This will help release any stuck brown bits. Once the onions are very soft and light brown throughout, transfer them to a bowl and set aside.
- Add a thin layer of olive oil to the same pan used for the onions, and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the par-boiled potatoes in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan) and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. If you are working in batches, set aside each batch as it browns. At the end combine all the browned potatoes together in the pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Old Bay, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Add the seasoning mixture along with ¼ cup of water to the pan with the potatoes, and stir to coat. Add the onions back into the pan and stir to combine.
- Turn off the heat and serve immediately, or store for later.
- Fewer potatoes in the pan will lead to crispier potatoes. A more crowded pan will lead to softer potatoes.
- Make ahead tip: These potatoes can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat them in the microwave until warmed throughout and serve.