These Ukrainian Breakfast Potatoes combine crispy skillet potatoes with bacon for a hearty, savory addition to your breakfast table. All you need is just 5 ingredients (salt and pepper included!) for a delicious and easy breakfast!
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Hearty, Wholesome Breakfast Potatoes with Bacon
As much as I love sweet breakfast dishes like pancakes and waffles, sometimes I crave something hearty and savory; that’s where these Ukrainian breakfast potatoes with bacon come in. While I’ve already shared recipes for a sweet potato hash and sweet potato and egg casserole, this skillet breakfast potatoes and bacon comes straight from my childhood, and so it holds a special place in my heart (and stomach!)
Bacon is a classic breakfast element and an all-around loved ingredient. Bacon and potato combined, though? Out of this world! In fact, this dish was traditionally made in Ukraine with ‘salo’ (pig fat) to cook the potatoes. For the sake of my arteries, I’ve turned away from adding extra salo as my cooking fat. However, as the method calls for first frying the bacon, the rendered bacon fat is used alongside a little olive oil instead when cooking the potatoes (as I do with these sauteed sprouts with bacon). That means you still get that delicious bacon flavor surrounding the skillet potatoes.
The results are pretty spectacular; fluffy potatoes with a crispy shell, combined with bacon pieces for a salty, savory flavor. Serve alongside poached eggs and sauteed broccoli for a full, hearty breakfast. But don’t limit your imagination to just breakfast; these Ukrainian breakfast potatoes are a perfect pairing for several lunch/dinner items, too. Check out my full list of serving suggestions below.
Best of all – these skillet breakfast potatoes are super simple, require just 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and will be ready in under 40 minutes. However, this breakfast potatoes recipe is also fairly versatile, and I’ve included several optional add-ins and recipe adaptations!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes: Use red or yellow potatoes, cubed. I used baby red potatoes. You can use them with the skin on or off.
- Bacon: I use bacon slices that are chopped into small pieces. Bacon lardons would also work, though they will be slightly different in flavor and texture.
- Olive oil: Just one tablespoon is all you need for crispy potatoes. Feel free to use different neutral cooking oil if preferred.
- Salt & Pepper: To season the dish.
There are several ways that you can adapt this breakfast potatoes recipe, including with several add-ins, including:
- Onion: For a more classic bacon potato ‘hash,’ you can sauté an onion along with the dish.
- Garlic: Finely minced /chopped. Be sure to add it in the last few minutes of cooking. Otherwise, you may end up with burnt pieces – yuck!
- Cheese: Sprinkle some cheese over the potatoes in the last few minutes of cooking until melted- cheddar will work very well or spicy Mexican cheese.
- Eggs: I usually serve the skillet breakfast potatoes alongside Instant Pot poached eggs. However, you could also add the eggs directly to the dish. At the end of the cooking process, turn the heat to low and create ‘nests’ among the potatoes to crack in 2-3 eggs. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs are ready.
- Herbs: Feel free to garnish this dish with your herb of choice. My favorites include parsley, green onion, and dill.
- Spices: All I use for these breakfast potatoes are salt and pepper. Feel free to add more seasoning to the potatoes if preferred; for example, with a pinch of cayenne/chili for heat or paprika or garlic/onion powder.
- Lemon: Adding a light splash of lemon juice at the end of the cooking process will yield a ‘brightness’ to the dish that is lovely.
How to Make Breakfast Potatoes
- Preheat the skillet: Preheat a large ceramic non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the bacon: Add the bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then transfer the bacon to a bowl and set aside; leave the bacon fat in the skillet.
- Fry the potatoes: Add the potatoes to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes only.
- Reduce the heat: Add the oil and then reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. The potatoes are ready when they are fork-tender inside with a lightly crispy shell.
- Combine the bacon and potatoes: Turn off the heat, add the bacon back into the pan, then give a taste and add more salt/pepper if needed. Serve the skillet breakfast potatoes immediately while warm.
How to Serve Skillet Breakfast Potatoes?
My favorite way to enjoy these Ukrainian breakfast potatoes is with runny poached eggs and sauteed greens like spinach. However, there are several ways to enjoy them, including:
- Eggs: If you’re not in the mood for Instant Pot poached eggs, enjoy these skillet potatoes alongside an omelette or with fried eggs (check ingredients section for how to cook them in the skillet with the potatoes and bacon).
- Salad: Serve the sauteed potatoes with bacon as a quick lunch alongside a healthy leafy green salad.
- Roasted vegetables: While the potatoes are cooking in the skillet, it’s the perfect time to shove your favorite veggies into the oven for roasting – including roasted asparagus or brussel sprouts.
- Tomatoes: I love the combination of potatoes and bacon with eggs and a simple tomato dish like a Pico de Gallo salsa or Adjika (Ukrainian salsa).
- Wraps: These fried potatoes will also work well within breakfast wraps and burritos.
- Avocado: The combination of savory, crispy potatoes with soft creamy avocado is one I love – feel free to serve with avocado slices over toast or even this avocado salad.
- Meat: These skillet potatoes also make a great side to several meat dishes, including Greek chicken kabobs, carne asada, steak, oven baked chicken breast, etc.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: These skillet potatoes are crispiest and best when enjoyed immediately. However, feel free to store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Reheat: To re-crisp, the potatoes reheat them in a skillet with a bit of cooking spray or oil until warmed through. You could alternatively heat it in the microwave for softer results.
You certainly can. Feel free to steam and chop (or chop and steam) the potatoes in advance and store them overnight in the fridge.
You can also dice the potatoes and keep them in water overnight (but don’t soak for longer than 10 hours or so for the small potato cubes). This may even help yield crispier results as it will wash away excess starch. Before using, be careful to pat the potatoes dry completely as moisture will prevent them from crisping up.
I used baby red potatoes though yellow potatoes work well too. Save russet potatoes for Instant Pot mashed potatoes and Instant Pot baked potatoes. There is no need to stick to baby potatoes either; feel free to use larger varieties like Yukon Golds. You can use the potatoes’ skin on or off, too.
I’ve found that using baby potatoes and leaving the skin on often yields the best results as the potatoes don’t become as ‘mushy.’
The bacon is an important part of this breakfast potatoes recipe. However, for a slightly healthier version, you could use turkey rashers in place of bacon, with just a touch of extra oil to make up for the lack of bacon fat. This will impact the flavor, though.
- For a quicker dish: You can use pre-cooked cubed potato leftovers (boiled or steamed work best).
- For super creamy, buttery interiors: You can start by par-boiling the potato cubes for just 5 minutes (from cold, then bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes). Pat them dry and then continue with the recipe. I love the potatoes without the need for this extra step, though.
- Cut potatoes evenly: The key to perfectly cooked potatoes is a uniform size. In Ukraine, we sliced large potatoes thinly into half-moons and fried them in “salo”. Though that isn’t the case here, try to keep the potato chunks even in size.
More Easy Potato Recipes
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes
- Healthy potato salad
- Roasted chicken thighs and potatoes
- Tex Mex skillet sweet potatoes
- Zucchini potato bake
- Ground turkey and potatoes
Ukrainian Breakfast Potatoes with Bacon
- 2 lbs red or yellow potatoes skin on or off, cubed
- 3 thick or 6 thin bacon slices chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt plus more for garnish
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer bacon to a bowl and set aside; leave bacon fat in the skillet.
- Add potatoes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes.
- Add oil, reduce heat to low-medium and cook another 10 minutes or so, while stirring occasionally. Potatoes are done when fork tender.
- Turn off heat, add fried bacon back, sprinkle with a bit more salt, if desired. Stir and serve with fried or poached eggs, omelette, salad etc.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- Cut potatoes evenly: Key to perfectly cooked potatoes is uniform size. In Ukraine, we sliced large potatoes thinly into half moons and fried them in “salo”.
- Best potatoes to use: I used baby red potatoes, yellow would be good too. Large size is great as well. I think leaving skin on and using baby size keeps potato cubes more whole instead of mushy. You can use large and peeled potatoes.
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