The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (2024)

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Made with sweet-starchy Yukon gold potatoes, creamy butter and smoky, aromatic spices, Smothered Potatoes make for the most incredibly flavorful side dish. These classic Southern spuds are soft, delicious and so darn easy to make!

The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (1)

I find it hard to believe there was ever a moment in my life where there were no potatoes in my kitchen. I always seem to find them strewn about the counter, hiding in large bags in dark cupboards or just sitting atop the refrigerator waiting to be rediscovered.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE potatoes; their versatility, affordability and endless varieties never cease to amaze me. But, I do often neglect my spuds because I’ve forgotten that I even bought them. Oops!

This week, in an effort to avoid the eventual discovery of green-ish tinged potatoes growing gnarly sprouts, I’m changing my habits. I’ve scoured the kitchen’s nooks and crannies, searching for abandoned taters, and committed to giving them the redemption they deserve!

Have a few extra potatoes of your own? Come along for the ride with me!

Table of Contents

The Heart and Soul of the Best Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe

Cuisine Inspiration: Southern Comfort Y’all, when we talk about comfort food, Southern Smothered Potatoes take the biscuit! This dish hails from the heart of Southern cuisine, bringing warmth and love to every bite.

Primary Cooking Method: Sauté & Simmer These taters aren’t rushed. They’re sautéed to golden perfection and then simmered low and slow with all the good stuff. It’s like a spa day, but for potatoes.

Dietary Info: Vegetarian-Friendly (Can be Vegan with substitutions) Got veggie lovers at the table? No problem! This Southern classic is vegetarian and can even go vegan with a few clever tweaks.

Key Flavor: Savory & Earthy with a hint of Sweetness These potatoes are all about that savory goodness, but what’s life without complexity? The onions bring in just a hint of sweetness that’ll make your taste buds two-step!

Skill Level: Easy Peasy Don’t worry about your culinary prowess; anyone can master this dish. It’s straightforward, forgiving, and downright delightful.

Sweet Highlights:

  • Comfort Food Supreme: This dish is like a hug for your stomach – the ultimate comfort food experience.
  • Versatile Side: These smothered potatoes will happily accompany just about any main dish, shining but not overshadowing.
  • Simple Ingredients, Big Flavor: No need for a scavenger hunt – the ingredients are few and simple, but they come together like a culinary symphony.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: Make a big batch! They reheat like a dream and can turn any quick meal into something special.
  • Crowd Pleaser: Ready to see some smiles? From kiddos to grown-ups, these Southern Smothered Potatoes are a universal delight!
The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (2)

What Are Southern Smothered Potatoes?

Southern Smothered Potatoes are a historical mystery; no matter how much I search I can’t seem to find out how exactly this dish came to be! But, just like most other Southern classics, this recipe is humble and delicious.

I grew up eating Smothered Potatoes as a side to roasted chicken, pork chops, catfish or with eggs for breakfast. Made by simply cooking chopped onions, green peppers and potatoes in a mixture of vegetable oil and butter, this dish couldn’t be any easier to make.

After they’re done cooking, the potatoes become tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, forming a layer of delectable crust. The almost caramelized onions add in a sweetness that perfectly compliments the salty potatoes.

You guys, this food is the South on a plate!

The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (3)

Ingredients

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: The gold standard, literally! These buttery beauts bring the creaminess without even trying.
  • Butter: Oh, honey! Butter brings that rich, smooth flavor that makes everything better. It’s the backstage pass to Flavortown.
  • Onion: The unsung hero in most recipes. This bulb’s gonna bring a touch of sweetness and a whole lot of depth.
  • Green Pepper: This veggie’s here to add a fresh crunch and a vibrant color pop. It’s like a green firework in your skillet.
  • Vegetable Oil: Keeps things sizzlin’ and ensures our star ingredients get that perfect golden tan.
  • Garlic Powder: Because what’s life without a little garlic? It’s the whisper of zest our potatoes adore.
  • Paprika: Smoky or sweet, this spice throws in that subtle kick that wakes up those taste buds.
  • Salt and Pepper: The classic duo. They’re like the rhythm section, setting the beat and making all other flavors come alive.

How to Make Smothered Potatoes

  1. Prep Work, Potato Style: Kick things off by giving your potatoes a little spa moment in a bowl of cool water. It’s their backstage chill time to prevent them from going all diva on you and browning too soon.
  2. Butter Meets Skillet: Next up, melt that golden goodness (a.k.a. butter) in a large skillet over medium heat. It’s showtime for onions and bell pepper as they dive in and cook until they’re golden brown and irresistible, about 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop ’em out with a slotted spoon, and give them a break on a plate.
  3. Potatoes Take the Stage: Now, let the oil join the party in the skillet. Toss in the potatoes and let them jam until they’re lightly browned, rocking out for about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and repeat because both sides deserve the spotlight.
  4. Encore with Onions: Bring back the onions to the scene, spreading them over the potatoes like they’re tucking them in. It’s flavor bedtime, y’all! Shower them with the perfect mix – salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Then, pour in ¼ cup water, like the last splash of a perfect encore.
  5. The Low-Heat Slow Jam: Seal the deal with a cover and knock the heat down to low. Let them all vibe together for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and have absorbed all that glory.
  6. Serve it upDish it up: a skillet full of smothered perfection. Serve and watch those smiles spread!

Tips

I often find that simple recipes leave the most room for mistakes. Relying on few ingredients and even fewer steps to make something tasty can be our downfall. I encourage you to be patient, vigilant and fully-present when cooking or baking anything. In doing so, you can almost always guarantee a darn good result!

Here are few tips that will make for the BEST Smothered Potatoes:

Prevent Oxidation

Potatoes are jam-packed with starch and, when exposed to fresh air, they undergo a process called oxidation. If left for too long, the potatoes will be left with a grayish-brown tint to its flesh. Though still safe to eat, it’s unpleasant to look at and often makes for mushy potatoes.

After chopping, place the potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Water will prevent the oxidation and pull starch from the potatoes which makes for a crispier texture.

Don’t Be Afraid of Browning

Folks often hesitate to give foods enough time to develop that beautiful deep, brown color. The fear of burning prevents many people from achieving that perfect caramelized look and taste.

Be patient, watch carefully and don’t be afraid of those crispy, dark bits. If things get a bit too dry, add a splash of water or stock/broth.

Season to Personal Preference

This specific recipe calls for the use of paprika, garlic powder and of course, salt and pepper. But, you don’t have to stop there! Taste along the way and adjust accordingly.

Add in cayenne for heat, chili powder for smokiness or even mustard seed for an exciting kick!

Don’t Overmix

When over handled, these potatoes can fall apart easily and turn into quite the disaster! Do your best to mix gently and infrequently.

I suggest using a wooden spatula and stirring only to incorporate ingredients or to scrape up those delicious brown bits.

The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (4)

What kind of potatoes should I use?

Feel free to use just about anything you’ve got on hand! White, Red, Russet and Yukon Gold are all great options. I chose Yukon Gold for their bright, vegetal and slightly sweet flavorings. Once cooked, I find that Yukons also have a wonderfully smooth texture.

Just be sure to properly clean the potatoes to remove all dirt. I prefer keep the skin on for this recipe but, if that doesn’t float your boat, skin ‘em!

Variations

This is an incredibly simple recipe that leaves quite a bit of room for personalization. If you’re looking to make this recipe your own, try out a few variations of your choosing!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cheese (Feta, Goat and Cheddar all work great!)
  • Sliced Sausage or Ground Beef
  • Sour Cream
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes

TIP: Be sure that any added ingredients are cooked properly and layered evenly throughout the potatoes. Only add toppings after the potatoes have been cooked to avoid overcooking or burning.

Storage

Storing Your Skillet Masterpiece:

  • Cool It, Baby: Before you tuck your potatoes away, let them cool down. Just like a cool-down after a solid jam session, your spuds need a moment to chill.
  • Seal the Deal: Slide your potatoes into airtight containers. They need a tight lid to keep the fresh vibes locked in.
  • Fridge or Freezer Jam: Pop them in the fridge if you’re vibing with them again soon (they’ll keep for 3-4 days). For longer storage, the freezer is your go-to for up to 2 months.

Reheating Your Potatoes: Encore Time!

  • Thaw It Out: If they’re coming at you from the freezer, let them thaw in the fridge overnight. They’re all about that slow groove.
  • Oven Lovin’: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the potatoes in a baking dish and cover with foil to keep them moist. Heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re hot and happening.
  • Microwave Quickie: If you’re short on time, go for a quick spin in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat in 30-second jam sessions, stirring in between, until they’re warmed through.

Best Potato Recipes

Making a grocery run this week? Go ahead and pick up an extra bag of spuds to experiment with! If you loved this recipe, you’re sure to be a fan of a few other Grandbaby Cakes potato laden recipes.

Here’s a few to try out:

  • Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Garlic and Chive Smashed Potatoes
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  • Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (5)

Southern Smothered Potatoes

Made with sweet-starchy Yukon gold potatoes, creamy butter and smoky, aromatic spices, Smothered Potatoes make for the most incredibly flavorful side dish.

4.64 from 30 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: soul food, Southern

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 194kcal

Author: Jocelyn Delk Adams

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes in a bowl of cool water to keep them from browning.

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon to a plate.

  • Add the oil to the skillet, add the potatoes and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook until browned on the other side.

  • Return the onions to the pan and spread them on top of the potatoes. Season well with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika and add ¼ cup water. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.

  • Cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve.

Notes

You can use other potatoes if Yukon gold aren’t available. White, Red, Russet and Yukon Gold are all great options.

If you want to vary flavor, add in cayenne for heat, chili powder for smokiness or even mustard seed for an exciting kick!

Storing Your Skillet Masterpiece:

  • Cool It, Baby: Before you tuck your potatoes away, let them cool down. Just like a cool-down after a solid jam session, your spuds need a moment to chill.
  • Seal the Deal: Slide your potatoes into airtight containers. They need a tight lid to keep the fresh vibes locked in.
  • Fridge or Freezer Jam: Pop them in the fridge if you’re vibing with them again soon (they’ll keep for 3-4 days). For longer storage, the freezer is your go-to for up to 2 months.

Reheating Your Potatoes: Encore Time!

  • Thaw It Out: If they’re coming at you from the freezer, let them thaw in the fridge overnight. They’re all about that slow groove.
  • Oven Lovin’: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the potatoes in a baking dish and cover with foil to keep them moist. Heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re hot and happening.
  • Microwave Quickie: If you’re short on time, go for a quick spin in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat in 30-second jam sessions, stirring in between, until they’re warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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The BEST Southern Smothered Potatoes Recipe (2024)
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