Easy Classic Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions


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There is nothing more iconic in American food history than diner food. It’s simple food that’s delicious, nostalgic, and easy to make.

Now bring diner food home for breakfast with these Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions. This restaurant-quality side dish is easy and just as good, if not better than eating out.

Pin Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions to make later.

Cooked, cubed diner-style breakfast potatoes and onions on a white plate.

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Save money and time making this dish for your family for breakfast this weekend. With only 4 ingredients this is an easy recipe to make at home.

Diner-style-breakfast potatoes and onions is an economical recipe that can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. Serve them for a brunch gathering by keeping them warm in a chafing dish.

Ingredients for Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions

I usually always have potatoes and onions on hand and this diner-style breakfast potatoes and onions recipe has become a staple on the weekends for breakfast. It’s a great vegetarian side dish that could also be served alongside hot dogs and hamburgers.

  • Red Potatoes
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • Onion
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

So you say you don’t like onions. That’s OK, omit them or substitute chopped green pepper. 

A breakfast plate with bacon, scrambled eggs, a piece of toast and diner-style breakfast potatoes and onions.

What Can I Serve with Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions?

The simple answer is to serve what you like. Think about what would be served in a diner. Here are just some ideas:

  • Fried Eggs
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Omelet
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Ham
  • Toast
  • Biscuits
  • English Muffin

How to Boil Potatoes

While this copycat restaurant recipe calls for red potatoes, you can certainly use baking potatoes if you have some to use up. No matter which you use, you’ll want to cook them the same way.

Place clean potatoes into a large pot and fill with water. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Turn the heat down if the water is splattering but not so low the pot doesn’t boil.

Continue to boil the potatoes until they are just fork-tender. You don’t want them falling apart. Drain them well before continuing with the recipe.

The reason you put the potatoes in the water before boiling is so that everything comes to the temperature at the same time resulting in even cooking of the potatoes.

Diner-style breakfast potatoes and onions Twitter image.

Pro Tip – You’re Going to Want to Learn This!

Do you often cry when slicing, cutting, or chopping onions? It seems different people are affected by different onion varieties. When I use a sweet onion variety I don’t seem to cry but a yellow or even a Bermuda or red/ purple onion, my eyes leak profusely. 

It’s a burning sensation that lasts a few minutes. Well, I recently read that putting a wet paper towel on your cutting board, next to the onions will keep your eyes from burning.

So I tried it, thinking, this is silly, it can’t work. Why would it work? It’s a wet paper towel.

So I researched it and a few things happen when you cut an onion. You are breaking microscopic cells that release an enzyme that turns into a volatile gas, a chemical reaction of sorts. One article I read said a gas similar to tear gas, which totally makes sense.

Overhead view of a cutting board with a wet paper towel and onions.

Apparently, this enzyme that’s released looks for the closest source of water which is your eyes. If you place another source of water, a wet paper towel, say on your cutting board close to the onions, will it work?

My son recently brought home yellow onions that made my eyes burn so I tried it. Well, I was amazed it worked! No burning, no tearing up.

I also found through my research that there are other ways to minimize the enzyme effect. Use a sharp knife so as not to damage the cells too much, cut the root side of the onion last and chill or freeze the onions before cutting.

I have only tried cutting the root side last but think this paper towel method works better. Try it and let me know in the comments if it worked for you.

More Diner-Inspired Recipes

Farmer’s Market Week is always the first week in August. Whether you have a great local farm stand or market, are a member of a CSA, or purchase your fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, follow our Pinterest board, for great recipes including those for appetizers, drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and more.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and 5-star review on the recipe card below. If you really love this recipe, please share it on your social media!

Diner Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions

Bring the diner food home for breakfast with these Diner-Style Breakfast Potatoes and Onions.
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Breakfast and Brunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4


  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 sweet onion, diced


  • Add potatoes to a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to dry thoroughly, then cut into cubes.
  • Heat the oil with the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the potatoes, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and pan-fry until golden brown and crisp, 15 – 20 minutes.

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  1. 5 stars
    I wanted something other than french fries to go with dinner the other night and these potatoes were easy, crispy and tender!

  2. Our family loves this style potatoes and we have it with rice, roti or bread. Your potatoes and onion look addictive and is sending me to the kitchen to make our family favorite! Delicious one again. Thanks for the tips about onion. I will try the paper towel method, refrigeration works but need to try the towel.

4.95 from 20 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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