Crispy Hash Browns (Diner-Style)

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This breakfast side dish is classic in every way. And now, you can make them with ease in your own kitchen.

A trip to your favorite breakfast nook just wouldn’t be the same without a delicious helping of these flavorful spuds. These are terrific next to a plate of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, toast, or even classic eggs benedict. There are a few simple tricks to making them diner-style and irresistibly delicious.

A close-up view of crispy diner-style hash brown on a plate next to a small metal container of ketchup.

How To Make Crispy Hash Browns

The simple trick of quickly parboiling the russet potatoes ensures perfectly cooked, crispy hash browns every single time.

A food processor with a shredding attachment makes shredding a snap, but a standard box cutter does the trick, too.


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The Ingredients You Will Need

There are very few ingredients needed to make this iconic side dish. But, choosing the right ingredients and how you prepare them is crucial.

Here’s What You’ll Need to Have on Hand

Potatoes – Russet potatoes are classic and the way to go.
Onion – White or yellow, finely chopped. They provide the classic taste and practically melt into the potatoes.
Seasonings – Salt and pepper is all you need.
Oil – For the classic taste, save some bacon grease. If you don’t have bacon grease, vegetable oil and butter will work, too.
Ketchup – For dipping. In our house, this is a must. But, of course, it’s optional.

EXPERT TIP: You don’t want to overcook the potatoes when parboiling. If you do this, they result in mushy, gummy potatoes. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and immediately turn off the heat. After exactly 10 minutes, remove and let cool. Peel and shred. They will be a little sticky, but easy to separate.

An overhead view of a food processor that is filled with shredded par-boiled russet potatoes.

Tips for Making Perfect Crispy Hash Browns

Use a Non-Stick Skillet and Plenty of Bacon Grease – You may need to cook them in batches if your non-stick skillet is small. Non-stick ensures the hash browns cook evenly and don’t stick to the pan.

Cook On Medium-High Heat – For a nice crispy exterior, the pan should be quite hot. You’ll flip them only a couple of times. They will take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes per side.

Resist the Urge to Stir of Flip Too Often – This can prevent them from developing a crispy crust. Instead, let them cook undisturbed for a few minutes on each side before flipping. Using your spatula to cut the cooking potatoes into 4 triangle makes flipping them easier.

EXPERT TIP: After you tossed the shredded potatoes with onion, salt, and pepper, you’ll want to add them to your hot skillet with melted grease (or oil). Use the back of a spatula or wooden spoon to compact the potatoes in the skillet.

A person dropping a handful of shredded partially cooked russets potatoes in a large non-stick skillet on a stove.

How To Serve

These are definitely best served piping hot right from the skillet.

We like to stack the quartered browns on a plate or platter and serve the family-style.

If serving more than four people, use your spatula or wooden spoon to break the hash browns apart. Don’t worry if they look a bit messy, they’re suppose to. They’re homemade and diner-style!

An overhead view of a large non-stick skillet filled with diner-style crispy hash browns.

Other Classic Diner-Style Breakfast Recipes To Try

For many of us, breakfast is our favorite meal of the day. These tried and true breakfast classics are fun to make and always a huge hit with the family.

Classic Huevos Rancheros
Southern Biscuits and Gravy
Best-Ever Breakfast Quiche
Buttermilk Waffles with Blueberry Sauce
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Sauce
Breakfast Potatoes
Italian-Style Skillet Scramble
Steak and Eggs
Grandma’s Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These are amazingly wonderful in their own way. But aren’t these incredible hash browns calling your name? Talk about the perfect breakfast!

An overhead view of a platter of crispy hash brown next to a bowl of scrambled eggs, two cups of black coffee, a glass of orange juice, and a plate of cooked bacon.

There is just something addictively delicious about these potatoes.

Even if there any left over (which there usually isn’t), you and your loved ones will have a hard time not making trips back to the dish for more nibbles.

These truly are classic and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Every bite is a true taste sensation!

An overhead view of a plate filled with a half-eaten portion of hash browns with a small container of ketchup, crisp bacon, and sliced toast nearby

Ready to make the best breakfast side dish that will rival any diner in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of crispy diner-style hash brown on a plate next to a small metal container of ketchup.

Crispy Hash Browns (Diner-Style)

If you want to make hash browns at home that are as good as your favorite diner, follow these easy steps, and you will not be disappointed.  These are the real deal.  
4.50 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: diner-style hash browns recipe, how to make crispy hash browns
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Boiling and Cooling: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 240kcal


  • Food processor with shredding attachment Or box grater
  • Non-stick skillet Preferably 12-inch


  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • ½ cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 to 3 tbsp bacon grease or vegetable oil


  • Place the unpeeled potatoes in a pot of water, covering them by about an inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, and then immediately remove them from the heat.  Let rest in the hot water for 10 minutes, and then, using tongs, remove from the hot water and rest until completely cooled. (This can be done up to 48 hours before cooking).
    4 medium russet potatoes
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Using the shredding attachment of your food processor, or the large holes of a box grater, shred each of the potatoes.
  • Place the shredded potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the onion, salt, and pepper.
    ½ cup onion, 1 tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Heat the grease (or oil) in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
    2 to 3 tbsp bacon grease
  • Add the potatoes and move them around in the skillet with a wooden spoon, enough to coat them with the grease/oil.  Then, flatten with a spatula.
  • Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes, nudging the potatoes from time to time with the spoon to prevent sticking to the skillet (it's okay if they stick a little, this helps to form a crispy crust).
  • Use your spatula to cut the hash browns into 4 quarters, then, flip them, adding a little more grease as you do (about another teaspoon).  
  • Flatten again and let cook until nicely browned on both sides, about another 15 minutes. 
  • Transfer to individual plates or a platter and serve at once. 


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
If you choose to not parboil the potatoes, it is critical to squeeze as much of the liquid (water) from the shredded potatoes as possible. This can be done by squeezing/ringing them in a kitchen towel or using a potato ricer. If you parboil, no need to do this. 
The hash browns are done when they are nicely browned and crispy on the exterior. This may take longer than 15 minutes. The heat should be medium-high. Hot, but not so hot it burns the potatoes. You can use a spatula to lift a portion up to see the underside. It's okay to flip them over multiple times, if necessary.
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. We don't recommend freezing them once cooked. 


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 603mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in June 2018, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in August 2023!


  • 4 stars
    These need some apple butter. I’m not against ketchup (I love it actually) but nothing beats apple butter on hashybrowns.

    BTW, apple butter is supper easy to make. I do it in the crock pot (just search for slow cooker apple butter). Annnnnnd half way through the apple butter cooking take out a cup or two for chunky apple sauce because its pork chops and applesauce for dinner!
    Commercial Apple butter isn’t bad and will work but its just to simple not to make your own.

  • OMG! This is the recipe I’ve been looking for for most of my life. For more than 20 years I’ve been trying to make hash browns that taste as good as the ones you find at old-time diners. I’ve read many recipes over the years and the browns I’ve made have been pretty good… but they weren’t diner good. And it turns out the secret is in the parboil. None of the hash brown recipes I’ve read over the years said to do this. Basically, they say, grate, soak in water to remove starch and then wring the excess water in a dry cloth. Years ago I had an inkling that you may need to pre-cook the potatoes before frying, so one time I grated the potatoes, dropped them in a pot of boiling water for a few moments… And they came out all gummy. This recipe made my day! Thank you for sharing your secret.

    • Hi Rick! Woo hoo!! We are so so so happy you had such great success with the hash browns! This is my grandma’s technique from Kansas many, many years ago (1950s)…she is smiling from above!! Thank you so very much for sharing! That truly means the world to us! Keep on cookin’!!

  • Restaurant style hashbrowns are usually frozen hashbrowns! I am going to try this recipe because it looks really good.

  • 3 stars
    “Restaurant quality” hash browns are garbage. Frozen and partially pre-cooked potato shreds cooked in bulk grill oleo. If you find a restaurant that sells hash browns that start their day as a potato, hold on to it like a fleeting treasure, because it’s a dying event.

    Let me know when you’ve got a recipe for “grandma quality” hash browns.

    5 points for starting with actual potatoes. -2 for boiling them.

    • This recipe actually is from my grandmother who ran an amazing diner with my grandfather in Kansas in the 1950’s. She boiled the potatoes first to simply start the cooking process. She passed the recipe onto my father who taught me.

      Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy day to express your opinions (and give a bad rating) on a recipe that we treasure and you’ve never tried.

      • 5 stars
        I’ve recently been making hash browns very similar to this recipe (I add an egg and a 1/4 cup of flour to my shred/onion mix to be a bit extra) and can say yours leads to a good style hashbrown given the care it needs. Appreciate your grandmother sharing her recipe!

      • I worked at a truck stop in Medicine Lodge, Is for 18 years. Part of our job each day was to par-cook the potatoes for the next days hash browns. We also found that leftover baked potatoes also make great hash browns. I do this at home all the time. Thanks for sharing!

  • 5 stars
    After trying to cook hashbrowns several times with the raw potatos method (shredding and washing out all the starch and then squeezing the moisture out) I found this way of boiling first is much better. With the other method It was extremely hard to get it crispy without burning, and this recipe was perfect! I actually think having some starch helps it get crispy.

    • That is so fantastic to hear, Mike! We are so glad you found success with this recipe. We really love hashbrowns, especially when they are cooked right. Sounds like you nailed it! Thanks so much for letting us know. Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Turning them over onto a plate and re-oiling the pan for the second side… that made all the difference. That was the best batch of hash browns I’ve ever made. Thanks so much! I love your site, your recipes and your story. Thank you for sharing all of this.

    • Rick, thank you so much!! Glad the hash browns tip work for you! We just love homemade hash browns!! And thank you for your kind words. Please stay in touch. Lots more on the way!! Best, Kris & Wesley

    • Give it a whirl. In my early days of cooking, I had trouble, too…but finally found the trick. This recipe looks more involved than it really is. It’s really pretty simple. Let me know how it turns out!

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