This breakfast skillet recipe is a hearty way to start the day! Cook up cheesy eggs and potatoes in a cast iron skillet or any large pan.

Breakfast Skillet

Want a hearty, savory breakfast that doubles as a tasty simple dinner? Try this Breakfast Skillet! Sure, it’s designed for mornings…but why not eat it for brinner? We often go the breakfast for dinner route over here, and this one is a solid part of our repertoire. Cheesy hash browns topped with runny egg yolks and salsa? Yes please! Even better, the spices in the potatoes mimic breakfast sausage (hello, fennel!) so the entire vibe is extremely hearty and satisfying. Here’s how to make it for yourself!

What’s in a good breakfast skillet recipe?

The breakfast skillet is a pretty loose concept: it could include just about anything! This one we customized to taste hearty and savory like you’d expect from a restaurant, but make it easy enough to make at home. Many breakfast skillet recipes include breakfast sausage, but since we eat mostly vegetarian around here we went the meatless route. Here’s what’s in this tasty skillet:

  • Hash browns: These form the base; we like using frozen (see below)
  • Eggs: Cook them until just set and the yolks are runny
  • Cheese: Cheddar or feel free to customize: smoked mozzarella or gouda would be fantastic
  • Spices: Chili powder, garlic, cumin, and fennel seeds
  • Green onion: For a little savory zip and green
  • Salsa: It’s not required, but it makes a great garnish
Breakfast skillet

Use frozen hash browns for a quick and easy recipe

When we make a breakfast skillet, we’re usually in need of speed. So the primary path for this breakfast skillet is frozen hash browns! There’s nothing processed about frozen hash browns: they’re simply potatoes! However, some purchased hash browns can include extra flours or fillers. Check the package ingredients to make sure!

Alternate method: use potatoes!

Want to use potatoes instead? We’ve got you! You can use our method for Homemade Hash Browns instead: and it only adds a few extra minutes! Start with 2 medium russet potatoes (1 pound). Then you’ll need to soak the potatoes for just 2 minutes; here’s what to do:

  • Grate the potatoes: Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Use the large side of a box grater or a food processor large grating blade to grate the potatoes.
  • Soak the potatoes for 2 minutes: Place the grated potatoes into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Tip the bowl to drain off starchy water, then fill it again. Stir the potatoes to release starches soak them for 2 minutes. 
  • Dry the potatoes: Drain the grated potatoes and squeeze out any excess water. Transfer them to a clean, dry towel. Wring the potatoes in the towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Then cook starting at Step 1 of the recipe below!
Breakfast skillet recipe

Make it a cast iron breakfast skillet!

What type of pan to cook this breakfast skillet? Well, you can use any pan you like: but here are a few tips:

  • Cast iron breakfast skillet: If you have it, use a very large cast iron skillet is best! It heats well and it looks simply stunning. We used a 12-inch cast iron skillet, but you can make it work in a 10-inch as well.
  • Any large, oven-proof skillet: Otherwise, any large, heavy skillet will do! Try for 10 to 12 inches, so the hash browns have enough space to brown. Cooking in a small skillet steams the potatoes and they won’t get as

What else to serve with it

This vegetarian breakfast skillet is so hearty, you don’t need to serve much else alongside. But if you’re cooking up a fancy brunch or breakfast for dinner (brinner!), here are some great options:

Cast iron breakfast skillet

This breakfast skillet recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Breakfast Skillet

Hearty Breakfast Skillet


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This breakfast skillet recipe is a hearty way to start the day! Cook up cheesy eggs and potatoes in a cast iron skillet or any large pan.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 5 cups (1 pound) frozen shredded hash browns (or 2 medium russet potatoes — see below*)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus a sprinkle more
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • For the garnish: Salsa, fresh cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the hash browns: Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof or cast iron skillet and add the hash browns, flipping occasionally until browned. At 6 minutes, add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, fennel seeds, and kosher salt. Cook another about 6 minutes until browned, continuing to flip so they don’t stick. 
  2. Add the cheese and eggs: Reduce the heat to low. Add the green onions (reserving a handful for the garnish) and cheese and mix it in. Make divots for the eggs (all the way down to the bare pan) and add ¼ tablespoon butter into each well. Crack 1 egg into each well, and top each with a pinch of kosher salt. Add a sprinkle of additional shredded cheese on top. 
  3. Cook the eggs on the stovetop: Increase the heat to medium low and cook for 3 minutes on the stove. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
  4. Finish in the broiler: Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the whites of the eggs are set.
  5. Serve: Garnish with salsa, the reserved green onions, and fresh cilantro. Serve warm. 

Notes

*To use russet potatoes, use our Homemade Hash Browns method: Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Use the large side of a box grater or a food processor large grating blade to grate the potatoes. Place the grated potatoes into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Tip the bowl to drain off starchy water, then fill it again. Stir the potatoes to release starches soak them for 2 minutes. Drain the grated potatoes and squeeze out any excess water. Transfer them to a clean, dry towel. Wring the potatoes in the towel to remove as much liquid as possible. Then cook starting at Step 1 of this recipe. 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Breakfast skillet, breakfast skillet recipe, cast iron breakfast skillet

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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3 Comments

  1. The idea of this recipe is good. The actual recipe is not very well written for first timers. I wish it included how high to heat the oil to at the start. It would also be nice to see the steps further broken down – steps one and two are 3-4 different actions each. I struggled to get this to work for me – enameled cast iron resulted in a sticky glued down mess (maybe I didn’t wait to get hot enough, but the recipe gives no indication of how hot it should be). A nonstick skillet yielded better results, and I liked the final flavor profile. But the actual cooking process was very frustrating.

  2. I just tried this and incorporated frozen veggies (stir fry mix) with the hash browns and it came out so good!

    Will definitely be making this again!