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Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

March 6, 2014

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and EggsPin it!

You might be aware that California is in the midst of a terrible drought this season. Well this past weekend it finally rained in Santa Barbara—and it rained hard! (We’re talking torrential rains and coastal flooding.)

Although they’re reporting that the storm wasn’t enough to re-fill the state’s dried-up reservoirs, those few days of rain were still good news for California. And bad news for my car.

For some reason that none of the various mechanics I’ve taken it to can figure out, my car seems to hate the rain.

Making Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

Unfortunately the rainstorm followed an exhausting dissertation week—when I’d still managed to do quite a bit of cooking—so it was one of those lazy weekends when Paula and I both wanted to throw in the kitchen towel and just go out for brunch.

But of course we couldn’t drive anywhere in the rain without my car threatening to die. Good thing we had this brunch-worthy recipe up our sleeves.

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and EggsPin it!

This is a pretty standard brunch combination—crispy potatoes and eggs—just fancied up in a few little ways.

Sweet bell pepper is tossed in among the potatoes, which are seasoned with salt, pepper, and scallions. A sprinkling of cheese is melted over the crisp potatoes the second they’re plated. And instead of serving it alongside a fried egg or two, with toast, the eggs are served directly on top of the cheesy potato hash. (Dare I say it, eliminating the need for toast altogether!?)

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Bell Peppers, ready to be topped with eggs

It’s the perfect breakfast dish for when we don’t have bread in the house. Of course, if you’ve been reading Paula’s bread posts here for a while now, you might think that happens… never. But actually she doesn’t make us bread every weekend, and her weekend bread doesn’t last all week (unless it’s a giant sourdough rye boule).

But the real reason we often don’t have bread in the house? Since Paula started baking her own bread, she’s sworn off storebought bread completely, so I am no longer allowed to buy any.

Even if I could have driven to the grocery store…

Making crispy skillet potatoes for Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

It was actually kind of nice to be home-bound last weekend, getting to stay inside and enjoy watching and listening to the rain.

While that car should be just as grateful for the free carwash as I am, instead it protests any recent rainstorm by stuttering and shuddering every time I brake or idle it. (Which of course makes me nervous every single time I stop at a red light, just in case it refuses to start back up again.)

Sliced bell peppers for Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

I really thought I’d finally fixed it last April since it’s been behaving perfectly since then! But I guess that was all an illusion, thanks to California’s drought.

After the heavy rains started on Wednesday night, my car nearly broke down on Thursday morning, so I swore off driving it until after the weekend (and it’s been fine on all the sunny days since then). At least we had eggs and potatoes at home so we could cozy up with some homemade comfort food like this brunch dish.

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

As basic at it seems, this is something I’ve ordered a million times at my favorite brunch spot in Santa Barbara, so it’s a meal that I think of as a treat when I make it for myself at home.

I don’t always use bell peppers, but they add a sweet, juicy crunch to an otherwise savory, spicy dish. And I was too hungry to show you here, but I love the way the runny egg yolks break over the crispy potatoes, and the way the potatoes sop up the yolk almost as well as if they were bread.

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and EggsPin it!

Oh and if you’re curious, the photos are all from a previous week—believe me, we didn’t see the sun this past weekend!

Ingredients for Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

(Serves 2)

Active time: 25 minutes; Total time: 35 minutes.

~ 2 yukon gold potatoes, rinsed and diced
~ several Tbsp. olive oil
~ sea salt and black pepper
~ 1 bell pepper, or 3 mini bell peppers, de-veined and thinly sliced
~ 2 scallions, diced
~ small handful shredded cheese (any kind you like)
~ 1-2 eggs per person
~ hot sauce, to serve

Special equipment needed:
~ cast iron or other skillet that can handle high heat

How to make it:

1. Heat about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering, then add the diced potatoes. (If you’re doubling or increasing the recipe at all, make sure there’s enough room to spread them out enough so that each potato cube can lay flat against the surface of the skillet to get crispy and brown.) Stir the potatoes briefly to coat them in olive oil, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and allow them to fry—without moving them!—for 5 minutes over medium heat, and another 5 minutes with the heat turned up to medium-high. The potatoes will start hissing and crackling, but resist the urge to move or turn them, since you want them to become browned and crispy.

Diced potatoes for Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and EggsSliced bell peppers for Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and Eggs

2. After 10 minutes frying on one side, move the potatoes away from the center and add more olive oil—into the center at first—if necessary. Then flip as many of the potato cubes browned-side-up as possible and fry another 5 minutes or so, without moving them. During this time I like to place the sliced bell peppers on top of the potatoes, so that they start to cook a little, even though the potatoes are still getting all the skillet surface contact to themselves.

Making crispy potatoes and bell peppers for Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and EggsCheesy Skillet Potatoes and Bell Peppers, ready to be topped with eggs

3. Finally, spend an additional 5-10 minutes frying the potatoes and peppers together, stirring occasionally, until all the ingredients are cooked enough, as desired. Add diced scallions to the potatoes in the last 1-2 minutes of stirring and frying. Meanwhile, start frying your eggs in a separate skillet (or wait until the potatoes are plated to use the same pan).

4. Once the potatoes and peppers are cooked, transfer them to plates and immediately sprinkle them with shredded cheese, so that the cheese will melt over them.

5. Top the potatoes with 1-2 fried eggs per person, and serve immediately, with hot sauce.

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Cheesy Skillet Potatoes and EggsPin it!

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Mediterranean Frittata with potatoes, spinach, and feta Eggs Benedict with Greek Yogurt Hollandaise Sauce Papas Bravas: potato tapas with spicy aioli sauce Chilaquiles Verdes with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Mediterranean Frittata Eggs Benedict with Greek Yogurt Hollandaise Sauce Tapas party: Papas Bravas Chilaquiles Verdes with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
52 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2014 9:23 am

    Yum this looks delicious. I love brunch. An egg makes everything better. I’d add some spanish smoked paprika to this to just throw it over the edge! Really great photos.

  2. March 6, 2014 9:23 am

    Love the recipe but bummer about your car. Too bad Car Talk isn’t doing new shows!

    • March 6, 2014 9:29 am

      I know! I’ve said/thought that many times about Car Talk! The problem is that if I called into their show to explain the whole history of my weird car problems, it would take so long to explain that I’m sure they’d cut me off or run out of air time…

      • March 6, 2014 9:31 am

        The problem is that bad? Oh dear. I love that show, so many wacky problems.

      • March 6, 2014 9:34 am

        It’s not that bad, it’s more… mysterious. Like it’s been having problems on & off for over two years now, that SEEM to be related to the rain/fog/humidity/cold (not that we get much weather like that in southern California), but that have befuddled 3 good mechanics, and that have continued despite me making lots of big & small repairs and replacing various car parts! So it would be more of a long, boring epic saga story rather than anything very dramatic. :)

  3. March 6, 2014 9:26 am

    There is no comfort like good eggs abs well cooked potatoes, When there is spice involved…even better x

    • March 6, 2014 9:30 am

      Thanks, Deena! I totally agree—that’s why I included hot sauce as an ingredient. Although now that I think about it, I should have specified “a LOT of hot sauce”… (For breakfasts like this, we use Tapatío.)

  4. Victoria permalink
    March 6, 2014 9:29 am

    Oh YUM!!

  5. March 6, 2014 9:52 am

    un piatto invitante

  6. March 6, 2014 10:28 am

    Good luck with the car!

  7. March 6, 2014 10:35 am

    I love the pictures in this post. They’re so clear and bright!

  8. March 6, 2014 10:48 am

    This post make me long for a bright and sunny Sunday!

  9. March 6, 2014 1:25 pm

    Probably, this has been looked at, but is your exhaust system ok? On the car, not in the kitchen.
    So glad y’all got rain out there.

    • March 10, 2014 9:28 am

      This is going to show how little I know about cars, but… I got my catalytic converter replaced as one of several repairs my mechanic and I tried last year (is that part of the exhaust system?). I also replaced the spark plugs and the starter relay inside the fuse box, but the thing that finally really “fixed” it (except for this past rainstorm) was replacing the ignition switch.

      I’m glad California got rain, too! Too bad it wasn’t enough!

  10. March 7, 2014 1:19 am

    Thanks for visiting I love your blog and cannot wait to go through your posts.

  11. March 7, 2014 5:18 am

    This looks delicious! I eat hash browns and hash when eating out all the time but never think to make them at home for some reason. This post completely reminded me of how easy it is! Definitely going to have a lazy brunch in my future this weekend… PS Good luck with your car!

    • March 8, 2014 11:20 am

      I thought the exact same thing! I LOVE eating brunch potatoes, but never have I cooked them! I’m going to do it this morning! ;)

    • March 10, 2014 9:35 am

      Thank you! And yeah, it might take a little more time than just fried eggs and toast, but it’s still super easy to make your own restaurant-brunch potatoes! (Especially if you use a cast iron pan, so you don’t even have any pans to wash afterwards.)

  12. March 7, 2014 8:53 am

    This is beautiful! I love how you cut the peppers in rings. I am from Santa Barbara originally too; so glad to hear the rains came (i’ll try and send you more of it from Portland!).

    • March 10, 2014 9:39 am

      Thanks! I’m from Wisconsin originally, but I’m really enjoying living in Santa Barbara now (I’ve been here nearly 7 years, for grad school).

      And yes, please do send us more rains from Portland—the whole state of California could use it! (And if my car objects, I’ll just take the bus…)

  13. March 7, 2014 9:34 am

    Potatoes are so much better than toast. The only thing toast has going for it is that it’s easier! There, I said it.

    It rained a ton here too. And yes, major drought here too, no snowpack at all! This’ll be fun later when everything is on fire.

    Sorry to hear about your car! Car troubles are the worst.

    Whatever, let’s brunch. I’m coming over with mimosas!

    • March 10, 2014 9:49 am

      I agree with you about potatoes > toast. Although I think Paula’s brain might explode if I asked her to choose between them, since she loves them both so much.

      I’m not looking forward to everything being on fire. And then the mudslides that will follow (next year?) whenever the rain finally hits the fire damaged areas… But you coming over with mimosas for brunch will make everything better! :)

  14. March 8, 2014 4:47 am

    If I could live on breakfast food, I would.

    Wait… is cake breakfast food?

    • March 10, 2014 9:53 am

      Movita, anything you eat between the time you wake up and the time you have lunch counts as breakfast food.

      But yeah, I’m with you on that. Yesterday I had breakfast for breakfast and dinner, and today I’m having breakfast for breakfast and lunch.

  15. March 11, 2014 6:08 am

    This looks amazing!

  16. March 11, 2014 12:32 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your car troubles, but at least CA got a bit of much needed rain.

    This dish looks great :)

    • March 13, 2014 10:09 am

      Thanks so much! I know, I was still happy that CA finally got some rain! Now if only it would rain again… I’ll just go grocery shopping in advance and then take the bus! :)

  17. hoytapeo permalink
    March 12, 2014 2:16 am

    Love this recipe :)


  18. March 12, 2014 4:39 pm

    It looks yummy…. I just tried this and it’s really good…. My husband loved this recipe… Thank u for posting this recipe Allison…

  19. afracooking permalink
    March 14, 2014 3:20 pm

    Yum, now that is the type of breakfast you could even have for dinner! Looks great! (And I can sympathize with your car – I do not deal with rain well eiher ;-> )

    • March 15, 2014 7:45 pm

      Haha, when you put it that way, I can sympathize with my car, too… :)

      And yes, I LOVE having breakfast for dinner. We have chilaquiles verdes or huevos rancheros for dinner every once in a while, but we actually haven’t had this for dinner… yet!

  20. March 16, 2014 8:45 pm

    Nice! We tend to wander the house on Sunday mornings, saying, “I don’t know, what do YOU want for breakfast?” We usually end up with my husband’s go-to whole wheat pancakes, which, don’t get me wrong, are awesome. But we will definitely add this to the rotation- thanks!!!

    • March 18, 2014 10:37 pm

      Ahaha I have to say that scenario sounds very familiar… (except by the time we’re wandering the house on Sunday mornings, we’ll pretty much eat whatever—instead we spend a LONG time lying in bed on weekend mornings asking each other that EXACT same question!)

      Anyway, yes! Add this to your rotation! Paula & I actually have a large and growing rotation of beloved brunch dishes (even though we don’t always have the ingredients/energy to make some of them)—I think weekend breakfasts should be something you can get excited about, since no one really has time to get too excited or fancy with the other 5 breakfasts of the week!

      • March 20, 2014 12:26 pm

        I agree – definitely fun to spend some time enjoying cooking on weekends! I’ll check out the other recipes you linked – thanks again!

  21. March 19, 2014 12:13 pm

    Smoked paprika and eggs are really good stuff! :) Looks super!

  22. March 24, 2014 2:35 am


  23. August 31, 2014 8:24 am

    I am new to your blog.. I am from Inida, I love the name of your blog so cute!!!
    I am going to read your blog in the whole .. Thanks for sharing .. and I am going to follow you too.


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