These pan fried potatoes and onions are so easy to make and such a perfect way to cook potatoes! The potatoes have a golden layer on the outside and, when you take a bite they are so soft on the inside! This combined with the caramelized onions, makes a perfect side dish!
Red onion- the caraemlized onion takes this side dish to another level! You could use white onion but it won't be as sweet as the red onion but would still work.
White potatoes - I have used white potatoes and have let the skin on so that they don't fall apart when pan frying.
Aromatics - here, it is supeer simple, you will simply need paprika to give it a bit of a spicy quick and rosemary which is one of my favorite herbs to use when cooking potatoes. In the end, we finish with some lemon juice to make it fresher and really bring all the flavors to life.
The complete list of ingredients is located in the recipe card below.
Step by step instructions
Chopping both potatoes and onions
My prefered way to do this is to simply half the potatoes or if they are too large, just dice them into good sized bits. I usually leave the skin on so that the potatoes don't fall apart when pan frying.
For the onion, simply dice it finely because if you were to dice it into larger slices, it would take much longer to cook.
Parboiling the potatoes
I have tried this with both parboiling and wihtout parboiling. When you parboil the potatoes, they will truly melt in your mouth! So I would say it is totally worth to parboil and spend an extra 5 minutes in the kitchen.
So, to do this, heat 1L of water on a kettle or directly on a pot with some salt. When boiling transfer the potatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. To see if they are done, get a small knife and it should just go through the potatoes with little resistance.
Pan frying everything!
Once the potatoes are done, heat some oil on medium heat on a frying pan and transfer the potatoes and onion.
Turn the potatoes down so that the skin is turning up and fry for a few minutes. Season with salt, paprika and black pepper.
When golden on that side, turn them. Fry on medium heat until golden.
When done, stir in the dried rosemary and lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt or black pepper as needed.
Tips and variations
Skipping the parboil step - I have seen many recipes that skip this step and only recommend frying the potatoes while covered so that they cook while frying. I have tried both ways and, even though it works without parboiling the potatoes, they don't get as soft as they would if you just parboil for 5 to 10 minutes.
Being a side dish, here it is even better to say what this would go perfectly well with!
This way of cooking potatoes is a really typical dish of portuguese potatoes and onions and usually we would have it with some black beans and rice. But, to keep it more interesting, you could have it with some black bean burgers, tofu nuggets, wellington or even with a typical vegan portuguese feijoada!
How to store it
Allow the potatoes to cool down, and once cold, transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
How to freeze it
As these don't make many portions, I don't recommend freezing them as I don't think potatoes freeze that well.
How to reheat it
To reheat, simply heat some oil over medium heat, on a frying pan, and, when shimmering, fry the potatoes until warm.
If you were to reheat in the microwave, it would not be bad, but it wouldn't be as good!
Frequently asked questions
I would recommend parboiling the potatoes before frying. These will make them much softer inside.
If you don't parboil, they can still cook steaming on the frying pan, but I felt they don't get that soft texture.
To keep potatoes from sticking to the pan, add a drizzle of neutral flavor oil such as vegetable oil and make sure it is well spread throughout the frying pan.
Parboiling - stick a fork and when it doesn't offer almost any resistance, they are ready to pan fry.
Pan frying - they will be done when they are golden all around.
I recommend seasoning with paprika early on so that the paprika will become more fragrant while cooking. For the rosemary and lemon juice, add these in the end.
If you try this recipe let me know!
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Pan fried potatoes and onions
- Nonstick frying pan
- 500 gram white potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 L water
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- Half the potatoes or, if too large, cube them and dice the onion finely. Leave the potatoes with the skin on so that they don't fall apart.
- Heat 1 L water on a kettle or directly on a pot with some salt. When boiling transfer the potatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. To see if they are done, get a small knife and it should just go through the potatoes with little resistance.
- Once the potatoes are done, heat some oil on medium heat on a frying pan and transfer the potatoes and onion. Turn the potatoes down so that the skin is turning up and fry for a few minutes. Season with salt, paprika and black pepper. When golden on that side, turn them. Fry on medium heat until golden. This should take about 5 minutes on each side. If the potatoes are starting to burn, reduce the heat slighly.
- When done, stir in the dried rosemary and lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt or black pepper as needed.