After extensive testing and days of eating more than our fair share of potatoes, we’ve come up with a recipe for the BEST crispy hash browns! We tested russet and Yukon gold potatoes, various seasonings, steaming vs. boiling vs. raw, and too many methods to count. The result is homemade hash browns that taste just like diner-style potatoes, but healthier and less greasy!
They’re perfect for weekend brunch or making ahead and freezing for quick and easy breakfasts. This step-by-step recipe yields foolproof hash browns with just 4 ingredients required. Let us show you how it’s done!
How to Make the BEST Hash Browns
Want to know the secret to the BEST (crispy on the outside, tender on the inside) hash browns? It’s all about partially cooking the potatoes (and just the right amount) before grating them!
While some methods recommend grating raw potatoes and then squeezing out the excess liquid (easy, right?), we’ve found the result to be very disappointing. They don’t hold together well and have an unpleasant raw potato taste no matter how long you fry them.
Other methods recommend partially boiling the potatoes, which is more time-consuming but does result in a better texture. The tricky part is that everyone’s stovetop is a little different in how quickly it boils a pot of water, and potatoes come in different sizes. So getting the potatoes to be perfectly cooked but not mushy was difficult (and time-consuming) with this method.
But we were determined to bring you the absolute best hash brown recipe that is as easy as possible, so we kept innovating!
What did we come up with? Instead of boiling the potatoes, we steam them!
Less water means it takes less time to get to a boil (yay, time and energy savings!). And adding the potatoes to the steamer basket once the water is already boiling provides less variability in cook time. Plus, in the recipe, we provide specifications for different sizes of potatoes (no mushy hash browns here!).
Bonus points? Steaming vegetables (versus boiling) preserves more nutrients —especially vitamin C and B vitamins!
Once steamed, the potatoes get a quick rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. And when cool enough to handle, you can slice one in half and it will look about halfway cooked (exactly what you’re going for). The minimally cooked portion of the potato creates the shredded texture and the more cooked portion acts as the glue to hold the hash browns together.
How to Shred Potatoes for Hash Browns
After partially steaming the potatoes, you can peel and shred them one of two ways:
- Our preferred method is using the grater attachment of a food processor — slice the potatoes so they fit through the food processor feed tube, then use the feed tube pusher to send them through the grater. It’s quick and easy and yields slightly more textured potatoes.
- Or, use the large side of a box grater — while a food processor is faster, it’s definitely not essential here. The potatoes will shred easily on a box grater and their peels act as a bit of a guard to protect your fingers from the grater.
The shredded potatoes are mixed with salt, pepper, and optional onion powder for flavor.
Then they’re formed into hash brown patties for cooking in a skillet. You can make larger hash browns, too, but smaller patties are easier to flip and have crispier edges (our favorite part).
How to Cook Frozen Hash Browns
One of the beauties of hash browns is that they freeze incredibly well. After forming them into patties, simply place on a silicone- or parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then transfer to a sealed container to keep them fresh and prevent freezer burn.
When ready to cook, simply heat up a skillet, add oil, and cook the hash browns directly from frozen for about 6 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy!
We hope you LOVE these homemade hash browns! They’re:
Crispy on the outside
Tender on the inside
& SO Delicious!
They’re perfect for breakfast or brunch and especially delicious topped with ketchup. Make a big batch and store in the freezer for effortless, restaurant-quality, homemade hash browns any time the craving strikes!
More Delicious Potato Recipes
- Perfect Roasted Potatoes
- Easy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto
- Instant Pot Potatoes (Fast, Tender, Buttery!)
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
The BEST Crispy Hash Browns (Restaurant-Style!)
- 1 ½ lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, NOT peeled (~2 large, 3 medium, or 4-5 small potatoes as recipe is written)
- 1/2 scant tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 3 Tbsp avocado oil (or sub melted vegan butter)
- Rinse and scrub potatoes (no need to peel yet). For any potatoes that are larger than 2 inches wide or 3 ½ inches long, cut in half widthwise. Set aside.
- Place a colander in the sink so that it’s ready when time to drain and rinse the potatoes. This is important because small variations in cook time can lead to mushy hash browns or a raw potato taste.
- Fill a large pot with ~1/2-inch of water (for us that was ~3 cups or 710 ml). Place a steamer basket over the water and position it so that you can see the water on the sides of the basket. Do not add potatoes yet.
- Bring water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, place the unpeeled potatoes in the steamer basket. It’s okay if the steamer basket fully covers the water at this point.
- Cover and steam for 8 minutes. Then immediately transfer to colander. Drain and rinse with cool water and set aside until cool enough to handle (~5 minutes). They should only be partially cooked — the skin should be easy to pierce with a fork, but the center of the potatoes (or potato chunks if cut pieces of larger potatoes) should still feel firm. When cut in half, they should look about halfway cooked (see photo).
- The peel usually slides off easily, but if it doesn’t, you can remove it with a vegetable peeler. If using a box grater, the peel will come off when grating and you can discard any large chunks of peel. It’s okay if some small pieces of the peel get grated.
- Grate potatoes using a food processor grating attachment (our preferred method — chop into smaller pieces as needed to fit down the feed tube) or the large side of a box grater. Place grated potatoes into a medium mixing bowl. Add sea salt, black pepper, and onion powder (optional) and stir gently with a fork to evenly distribute spices. Stop here and see step 13 if freezing for later use.
- For cooking the hash browns, you can either use the stovetop method (steps 9 & 10) OR the oven method (step 11). Both are delicious. We prefer the flavor and texture of the stovetop method but the oven method is ideal for larger batches.
- STOVETOP: Heat a large (10-inch or larger) cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat (non-stick will also work but doesn’t get them as crispy). Form potato mixture into 1/4-inch thick patties (recipe as written makes 4 large or 8 small hash brown patties).
- Once the pan is hot, work in batches by adding half of the oil (1 ½ Tbsp (22 ml) // amount as recipe is written) and as many hash browns as will comfortably fit in the pan. Cook undisturbed for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown on the underside. Reduce heat if browning too quickly. Carefully flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining half of the oil and hash browns. Skip to step 12 if you cooked your hash browns on the stovetop.
- OVEN: Preheat the oven to 425 F (218 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form potato mixture into 3-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick patties and brush each side with half of the oil (1 ½ Tbsp (22 ml) // amount as original recipe is written). Use additional baking sheets if making a larger batch. Bake on the center rack for 13-15 minutes on the first side, flip, and bake 7-10 minutes on the second side, or until both sides are golden brown and crispy.
- Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Optionally, serve with ketchup, vegan sausage, vegan scrambled eggs, perfect fried eggs, frittata, and/or a vegan omelette.
- FREEZE: proceed through step 7, form into 1/4-inch thick patties, and then place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm. Transfer to a sealed container, and when ready to cook, proceed with step 9 (stovetop method) or step 11 (oven method).
*Adapted from Fav Family Recipes.