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 four 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!
Less water means it takes less time to get to a boil (yay, time and energy savings!). Adding the potatoes to the steamer basket once the water is already boiling provides less variability in cooking 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 vitamins C and B vitamins!
Once steamed, the potatoes get a quick rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. 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 a shredded texture, and the more cooked piece 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.
Then, they’re formed into hash brown patties for cooking in a skillet. You can make larger hash browns, too, but smaller cakes 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, place them 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, heat a skillet, add oil, and cook the hash browns directly from frozen for about 6 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy!
- 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, NOT peeled (~2 large, three medium, or 4-5 small potatoes as the 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)
FOR SERVING optional
- Vegan sausage
- Vegan scrambled eggs
- Perfect fried eggs
- Vegan omelet