Smoky Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

5 from 4 votes
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Simple but delicious crispy pan fried potatoes and onions are an excellent way to use up potatoes that you have leftover from dinner the night before. Smoked paprika takes these to a whole new level of fantastic!

crispy pan fried potatoes and onions with paprika in a medium sized skillet with wooden spoon

Pan Fried Potatoes with Onions

I am trying to be as innovative as I can lately to help everyone out with what may be in their freezer – see my eye of round roast recipe that used up something from my own freezer –  and helping you with pantry staples, and with leftovers. Usually I would just have nuked these potatoes and eaten them with butter and salt, not gonna lie lol!

However it’s my job to help you all with cooking using what you have on hand while we are all practicing social distancing, staying at home and oh yes, we all have the kids home thanks to the pandemic. (I am super looking forward to when they start some online schooling already, OMG.)

This turned into a delicious breakfast, I grabbed an onion, fried everything up, added smoked paprika, threw two eggs on top of everyone’s serving and called it a day!

crispy pan fried potatoes and onions with paprika and black pepper in a medium sized skillet

Fried Potatoes and Onions Made Easy

You can make this two ways : one, with already cooked potatoes or two, with raw potatoes. I prefer the method of pan frying already cooked and sliced potatoes, as cooking them from raw takes FOREVER, no matter what recipes tell you!

The best way to make this recipe is to use already boiled red potatoes that you had for dinner the night before. I know a lot of recipes cook them from raw, but I have rarely had luck with this method. It always takes ten times longer than the recipe states, and the potatoes are never quite “right” on the inside.

close up crispy pan fried potatoes and onions with paprika in a medium sized skillet with wooden spoon

More Delicious Potato Recipes


So plan to make a few extra boiled potatoes when it comes to dinner time (or roasted red potatoes, you can re-purpose those as well!). Red potatoes hold up better than Russet ones do, so that’s usually the best kind to fry up. Russets should be used for mashed potatoes and soups because they break down, not for crispy pan fried potatoes.

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Pan fried potatoes are onions are cooked to crispy perfection, then taken to the next level with smoked paprika!

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Smoky Pan Fried Potatoes and Onions

Pan fried potatoes and onions are cooked to a crispy perfection, then taken to the next level with smoked paprika! Perfect for breakfast or dinner!
5 from 4 votes
crispy pan fried potatoes and onions with paprika in a medium sized skillet
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Side Dish
Karlynn Johnston


  • 4 cups diced, cooked red potatoes
  • 1 large white or yellow onion peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil canola oil works well too
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • cracked black pepper
  • sea salt


  • Preheat the oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in the potatoes and the onions.
  • Fry the potatoes and onions in the hot oil, turning every 5 minutes or so to ensure that they are browning and getting crisp on all sides.
  • Cook until the desired crispness has been reached.
  • Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the smoked paprika. Add cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste. If desired you can add more paprika as well.
  • Serve as a side dish, or with eggs for breakfast.

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Linda Hensens says

    It is interesting that you say that cooking these from raw potatoes takes forever. I love fried potatoes and onions! They are on my rotation list, and I cook them about every 2 weeks. I’m going to try my next batch with the smoked paprika because I bet they will be delicious. As for cooking from a raw state, the thing that eats up the time, for me anyway, is the actual peeling and dicing of the potatoes and onions. Once I do that and wash them, it takes about 20 minutes on my stove top, cooking on medium high, for the potatoes and onions to be nice and brown and totally soft on the inside. Again, for me cooking the potatoes the night before and using them for this recipe would result in mush. I should add that my husband does not like peelings on his potatoes and he won’t eat them if I leave the skin on.

    Anyway, thank you for this recipe! I’ll give the smoked paprika a shot when I fix them the next time. Maybe I’ll add some minced garlic and parsley to them as well. I do a lot of experimenting in my own kitchen, and I have often just thrown some herbs/spices in a dish to change it up. I haven’t had any disastrous meals yet.5 stars

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