Super simple one pan breakfast prepared in a skillet. This gluten free brunch dish starts with super crispy shredded hash browns, peppers, some bacon, and is finished off with eggs and melty cheese.
I take my shredded hash browns very seriously. Preferably made from scratch and not from shredded potatoes out of a bag from the freezer aisle. Extremely crispy on the outside, pillowy soft in the center. Golden brown and always with ketchup on the side.
You might say I’m a hash brown snob. And you’re completely right.
I’ve learned a few tricks over my shredded hash brown perfecting years, and if you want the CRISP of the crispiest hash browns ever with today’s breakfast skillet recipe, listen up:
2 Ways to the Crispiest Homemade Shredded Hash Browns
(1) First, rid your shredded potatoes of as much moisture as possible. Quite similar to how to prep my chickpeas for crunchy roasted chickpeas. Less moisture = more crisp. Think about a cookie recipe. Take out the tenderizing egg yolks, the moist brown sugar, and the butter. You’ll be left with very crisp hockey pucks. Not something we want in our chocolate chip cookies, but definitely the crisp texture we’re after for shredded hash browns.
Potatoes are loaded with moisture, which makes browning difficult.
Immediately after shredding the potatoes, place them into a large bowl lined with paper towels and squeeze the heck out of them with more paper towels on top. Grab more paper towels if you need to and just keep squeezing. Alternatively, you could shred the potatoes onto a kitchen towel, wrap them up, and squeeze them out over the sink.
(2) Cook them. I learned this from Blue Apron. You could either bake in the oven or cook the whole potato in the microwave until it’s tender. I don’t do it that way. Because I don’t have patience to wait for the potato to cool down before shredding it. So, I shred the potato, squeeze as explained above, and then par cook in the microwave, wrapped in paper towels, for 2 minutes. Why do I do this? It gets the cooking process started and the heat creates a layer of starch around the exterior. When fried, the extra starch dehydrates and creates that crispy crust.
This little par bake allows the shredded potatoes to get that brown crust quite quickly, quite evenly, and helps to keep the centers of the potato shreds soft.
Ok, now that you’ve read my obsessive spiel on crispy hash browns, let’s get to the breakfast skillet toppings. My crispy potatoes lend the perfect “bed” for sautéed peppers, bacon crumbles, eggs, and smoky gouda cheese. Or any cheese you prefer, really. It’s your typical eggs and hash breakfast, only taken to the next level.
I used both red and green peppers to add a little color to the dish, which is actually quite perfect for this time of year! I used thick-cut bacon which was a happy mistake. I asked Kevin to pick up a package of bacon as I shopped in the produce aisle. And after paying, I learned that he grabbed an $11 package of the thickest bacon in the entire world. $11. You’ll see this massive bacon at the bottom of this post in a few step-by-step shots.
It was ridiculous……ly awesome.
Let’s not forget about the eggs. 4 eggs is plenty for us, but you could easily squeeze 6 eggs on top of this breakfast skillet. I use Eggland’s Best eggs not only for baking, but for cooking as well. Not all eggs are created the same! Eggland’s Best eggs reign superior, and while we are working together on this recipe– I learned this about the brand years before they even knew who I was. This brand’s eggs produce the moistest cakes, the richest cookies, the freshest omelets, and the tastiest poached eggs. By the way, Eggland’s Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs.
The best part about this incredibly flavorful, crisp, cheesy, eggy, bacon packed breakfast is that it only takes one pan to make. Yup, this diner inspired dish is a one pan recipe you can whip up for brunch– or even dinner. The breakfast skillet you see here (plus a few more test recipes) was brinner a few times last week.
Check out my step-by-step photos below for some visuals. Living a gluten free lifestyle? Great news! This recipe joins my other gluten free recipes as “delicious, not only for a gluten free recipe.” Eat up!
Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥
Crispy Hash Breakfast Skillet
Super simple one pan breakfast prepared in a skillet. This brunch dish starts with super crispy shredded hash browns, peppers, some bacon, and is finished off with eggs and melty cheese.
- 2 medium Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (or sweet potatoes)
- 3 strips bacon1
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 of a red and 1/2 of a green)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 large Eggland's Best eggs2
- 1/3 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese3
- optional: chopped fresh or dried parsley
- Begin shredding the potatoes by using the largest holes of your box grater. Wash and scrub the potatoes clean. You can peel them or leave the peels on, whichever you prefer. I always peel them when I make shredded hash. Place the shredded potato in a large bowl lined with a couple paper towels. Top with more paper towels and press down hard so the paper towels can absorb a lot of the moisture. You want a lot of the moisture gone, so just keep squeezing and using new paper towels as necessary. Alternatively, you can shred the potatoes onto a kitchen towel, wrap them up, and squeeze them out over the sink.
- Transfer the shredded potatoes to a plate lined with two layers of paper towels. Cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes-- see notes in my post about why you are doing this. Set the potatoes aside.
- Place a 10 - 12 inch skillet on the stove. Bacon should always begin in a cold pan, so before you turn the heat on, lay out your three strips on the pan. Then, turn the heat on low. Cook the bacon on both sides just before they become crispy. They will go back onto the stove and then in the oven, so they have more time to cook later in this recipe. Remove from heat, reserve the grease, and set bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some grease. Once the bacon is slightly cool, you can chop it up.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Turn the stove heat up to medium. When bacon grease begins to simmer, add the shredded potatoes. Give them a quick mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes, untouched. Add the chopped pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir things around once or twice, then flatten everything out using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Allow to cook, untouched for 3 minutes. Stir, then allow to cook for 2 more minutes. The potatoes should be getting quite brown at this point. If not, continue to cook a little longer while stirring occasionally until they are. Stir in the chopped bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and flatten out the top of the hash using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, using the back of a spoon, make 4 shallow indentations into the hash. Crack an egg into each indentation. Top with shredded cheese (I usually sprinkle it around the eggs). Transfer skillet to the oven and bake until the egg whites set, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (usually I just add more pepper) and top with the parsley. Serve immediately.
- Make ahead tip: This is best enjoyed right away. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- If you do not eat bacon, you can leave it out. Since we cook the potatoes in the bacon grease, use 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter instead.
- You could easily fit 6 eggs if you're feeding a larger family.
- I love smoked gouda and the smoky flavor it brings to this dish. However, you can use your favorite cheese. I've made this other times using shredded mozzarella, shredded mexican blend cheese, and shredded pepper jack (so good!).
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Start with the potatoes. Peel (it’s optional to peel them!) and shred 2 medium large-ish potatoes. Squeeze out the moisture as directed in the recipe above. Then, cook in the microwave for 2 minutes. Set them aside.
Now, the bacon. It doesn’t have to be this insanely thick. 3 strips of bacon, cooked then crumbled. Don’t cook until extremely crisp because the bacon will be cooked again in a few more steps. Keep the grease in the pan.
Per the written recipe above, into the leftover bacon grease goes the potatoes and chopped bell pepper over medium high heat. I used half of a green pepper and half red. Add salt and pepper. Do not stir around too much. You want the potatoes to really brown.
Add the bacon. Notice how the potatoes are becoming golden?
Remove from heat and make 4 indentations into the top of the hash using the back of a spoon. Crack the eggs in these indentations.
Bake until the egg whites are set, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and more pepper (both optional). Serve and be amazed at how quick and easy a gourmet tasting, comforting breakfast can be!
PLUS… crispy hash!!
This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best. All opinions are my own.