Diner-Style Hash Browns

Southern Kitchen
Smothered hash browns

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 slices American cheese (optional, but recommended)

Sautéed onions (optional; see note)


Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Use the largest holes of a box grater to grate the potatoes directly into the water. Agitate the potatoes to help them release some of their starch. Drain and the refill the bowl with fresh cold water. Repeat the agitating and draining process until the water remains clear. Drain the potatoes and dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel, wringing out as much excess water as possible. Transfer to a large bowl.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper, then press into the skillet. Let cook without disturbing the skillet until the bottom of the potatoes is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

Flip the potatoes out onto an inverted plate, then slide the potatoes, browned side-up, back into the skillet. Place small pieces of the remaining butter around the perimeter of the pan, transfer to the oven, and bake until the bottom is once again browned and crisp, and the center of the potatoes are cooked through. Add the cheese and onions, if desired, and bake until melted and warmed through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

About the recipe

If you’re a fan of the 24-hour diner, you’re sure to love these hash browns topped with American cheese. The key to success lies in removing as much of the starch from the potatoes as possible for that fluffy texture, then drying the potatoes as thoroughly as possible so that they can become browned and crisp. If you want to add onions, you may want to cook them in a separate skillet. As onions cook, they give off water, which will inhibit browning.