How to Make Hash Browns

4.94 from 30 votes
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Looking for a hash browns recipe that doesn’t taste like raw potato? Look no further. These hash browns are crispy on the outside yet perfectly cooked on the inside.

A breakfast plate with hash browns, sausage, eggs, and bacon.

Homemade Hash Browns

Family breakfasts and brunches just wouldn’t be complete around here without golden hash brown potatoes. Hash browns are a great way to prepare potatoes. When made the right way they make the perfect side for your favorite breakfast. Savory and crispy, they’re a classic staple to a midmorning meal, breakfast-for-dinner, or as a late-night snack. And sure, you could rip open a bag of frozen shredded potatoes, but cooking hash browns from fresh potatoes tastes so much better and takes hardly any extra time at all!

The RIGHT Way to Make Hash Browns

The trick to getting that tender potato texture and flavor is to parboil your potatoes beforehand. Cover the potatoes with cold, salted water then bring to a boil. Rinse the potatoes with cold water before shredding. This process eliminates that “raw potato” taste and removes excess starch. No need to squeeze the liquid out of the potatoes using this method; the salt water does the dehydrating for you!

Parboiled potatoes being peeled for hash browns

What Kind of Potatoes Work Best?

I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like, but for this recipe, a good ol’ Idaho Russet works best. Am I biased because I live in Idaho? Perhaps. But hey, we Idahoans know our potatoes. They shred easily, using either a food processor or box grater and fry up beautifully. If you prefer your hash browns more dense and less crispy, Yukon gold potatoes are a good choice. Yukon golds hold their shape because they are more waxy, making them great for patties or potato cakes. HERE is a fun guide I found that goes into great detail about all the different potatoes and what they work best in.

How to Season Hash Browns

The best time to season your potatoes is after parboiling but before frying. Salt and pepper are the obvious seasoning choices here, but you could also add seasoning salt, garlic or onion powder, paprika, or even cayenne pepper for a little extra kick. We are usually pretty generous with our seasonings, especially when it comes to potatoes. It’s best to season and taste as you go along so you get it just right.

Crispy Hash Browns

I like my hash browns crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. However, some people like crispy hash browns all the way through. If you are one of these people, you have a few different options:

  1. Microwave method: By microwaving the potatoes, you can remove excess moisture which will help the shreds get crispy. First, shred the raw potatoes squeeze as much liquid as you can out with a potato ricer, kitchen towel, or cheese cloth. Next, sprinkle the potatoes with ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste) and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cook the hash browns per the instructions below (starting with step 3).
  2. Cook thin layers: When you add your potatoes to the pan or skillet, make a thin layer. On medium-high heat, cook until crispy.
  3. Fry them: If you are making hash brown patties like McDonalds (see previous paragraph) and want them EXTRA crispy, squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the shredded potatoes then carefully form them into patties and coat with more flour. Add vegetable oil to a shallow pan. When the oil is hot, carefully transfer potatoes to the oil and fry them until golden brown.
Cooked hash browns garnished with parsley

Can Hash Browns Be Baked?

Yes! After parboiling the potatoes, shred them and toss with melted butter, a little oil, and seasonings. Bake them on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees and you’re in business! You can also form the hash browns into patties (see next paragraph) before baking and then flip half-way through.

How to Make Hash Brown Patties

Fast food places like McDonalds usually serve up hash browns in a convenient patty shape. You can easily make these homemade hash brown patties using real potatoes at home! By mixing in an egg and some flour, your shredded seasoned potato mixture will stick together and form patties. Fry them in a little bit of oil, sort of like you would a hamburger. When they are nice and golden brown on one side, flip them over and cook them until they are crispy and cooked through.

How to Freeze Hash Browns

Freezing potatoes to use later is easy and can save you lots of time on busy mornings. Once the potatoes are par boiled and shredded, allow them to cool completely. To keep them from clumping together, spread the potato shreds on a large baking sheet and freeze in a single layer. Transfer frozen potatoes into freezer containers or Ziplock bags and place back in the freezer. Stays good for up to three months.

Kick Em’ Up A Notch

Want to take those breakfast potatoes to the next level? Try some of these variations:

  • Cheesy Hash Browns – Just sprinkle with shredded cheese and cover until cheese melts. I like to cover with my large skillet lid because it is raised and cheese won’t stick to it. Works like a dream.
  • Fully Loaded – Top with cheese, fresh crumbled bacon, and/or cooked sausage. Cover until cheese melts.
  • Poutine-style – Think biscuits and gravy but with hash browns! Top with cheese and country-style gravy.
  • Idaho Sunrise – Form your potatoes into a doughnut shape on your skillet and crack and egg into the middle. Cover and allow to cook until the egg is fully cooked through (or to your desired doneness).

Recipes With Hash Browns

The tried and true breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns, and pancakes or waffles is enough to get my mouth watering! But these hashbrowns are so versatile you could serve them a million different ways. Use them to make any of these delicious recipes:

Breakfast Basics

This hash browns recipe is a great “breakfast basics” recipe to know. Here are some more recipes to master for a perfect breakfast every time:

READ NEXT: 33+ Super Easy Breakfast Ideas

More Delicious Breakfast Ideas

Looking for even MORE breakfast ideas? Here are some more easy recipes to try:

Cooked hash browns on a breakfast plate with bacon, eggs, and sausage

How to Make Hash Browns

4.94 from 30 votes
Looking for a recipe for hash browns that don't taste like raw potato? These are crispy on the outside yet perfectly cooked on the inside.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Boil Time 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people

Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Scrub potatoes and place in stockpot. Do not peel or remove brown spots. Parboil the potatoes by placing them in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
    Potatoes parboiling in a pot for has browns
  • Drain and rinse potatoes with cold water until easy to handle. Remove any bruised or brown spots with a knife. Using a box shredder or food processor, shred potatoes.
    Parboiled potatoes being peeled for hash browns
  • Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat or 350 degrees. Place potatoes in an even layer over the butter and cook until a golden-brown crust forms on the bottom (5-7 minutes). Flip potatoes and cook until crust forms on the other side.
    hash browns fried in a frying pan
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately.
    Two fried eggs with hash browns on the side

Nutrition Information

Calories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 769mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 245IUVitamin C: 10.5mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1.6mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. Your microwave instructions are unclear.

    After the shredding, pressing, salting and putting the potatoes on a paper-towel-lined plate, you say “Cook the hash browns per the instructions above (starting with step 3).”

    But step three says nothing about microwaving: “Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat or 350 degrees.. . .” Etc.

    So, how long should I microwave the potatoes, and on what power setting.

    Thanks!–anxious to try this, esp. the parboiling (and microwaving) to see how this works–my usual efforts with homemade hash browns have not been great. I’ll rate it once I cook them.

    1. Sorry about that! Somehow that line got deleted. Yes, you want to microwave for 2 minutes on high heat. I updated the recipe in the post to make it more clear.

    1. HI Susan- the reason for this could be that your griddle wasn’t hot enough before adding the hash browns. Also you want to leave the potatoes on the griddle until they are crisp before flipping. Hope this helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Seeing the numerous comments on how it turns out mushy, I played safe and put the potatoes in cold salt water on high flame for 10 minutes and not boil for 10 minutes after it starts to boil. So this came out very well and not sticky and mushy.

  3. Definitely not neccary to par cook the potatoes. Grate and rinse the grated potatoes at least four times.Try the difference.

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