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Smothered Potatoes and Onions

This Easy Smothered Potatoes and Onions recipe is an old-fashioned dish with green peppers and homemade gravy. This Southern, pan-fried staple can be served for breakfast or dinner.

smothered potatoes with onions, peppers, and gravy in a cast iron skillet
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What Does “Smothered” Mean?

Smothering is a technique used in Southern cuisine and usually within Louisiana Creole and Cajun dishes. It involves searing and/or browning meat, vegetables, or seafood in a pan, deglazing the pan with broth or stock, and then using the flavors from the pan to make gravy to “smother” the meal.

Smothered potatoes are cooked and covered in a rich gravy, typically made with ingredients such as onions, garlic, and beef or chicken broth. It’s usually served as a side dish and is known for its hearty, comforting flavor.

Popular dishes include Smothered Steak, Smothered Chicken Wings, Smothered Pork Chops, Smothered Chicken, Smothered Turkey Wings, Smothered Turkey Necks, smothered okra, and corn.

chopped onions, chopped green peppers, and spices in separate bowls

What Type of Potatoes to Use

Russet, Yukon gold, or red potatoes will work best. Russet potatoes are best for crisping, Yukon gold is medium-starch and results in super creamy potatoes.

The type of potato used can affect the texture of the dish, so choose a potato that will hold its shape when cooked and has a texture that you enjoy.

diced russet potatoes in a glass bowl

Do You Have to Peel the Potatoes

Peeling the potatoes is a matter of preference. You decide. Russet potato skins have lots of nutrients and contain B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients. Potato skin also provides lots of fiber, about 2 grams per ounce. You will get more fiber from the potato by eating the skin.

How to Make Smothered Potatoes and Onions

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add olive oil, sliced potatoes, onions, green peppers, and spices to the pan.
  2. Saute until the onions are fragrant. Remove the potatoes, onions, and peppers from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add butter and olive oil to the skillet.
  4. When melted, add in flour.
  5. Add whipping cream, broth, and garlic powder to the pan.
  6. Add the potatoes, onions, and peppers back to the skillet with the gravy.
  7. Cover and simmer.
fried potatoes, onions, and peppers in a cast iron skillet
fried potatoes, onions, and peppers in a cast iron skillet
fried potatoes, onions, and peppers in a cast iron skillet

What Type of Pan to Use

I love to use a 12-inch cast iron skillet. It’s also what I was taught to use growing up and making this recipe. Cast iron will cook the potatoes at an even and consistent temperature. You can use any pan that retains heat well and is good for crisping.

Homemade Gravy

The key ingredients for the gravy are butter, olive oil, flour, broth, heavy cream, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

Making gravy always starts with oil (typically butter or olive oil or vegetable oil) and flour. Combine the two until you get a thick paste. From there, you slowly introduce liquid. Start with the broth, while stirring continuously. Then add the heavy cream and spices. Continue to stir until thick.

broth, heavy cream, flour, butter, and spices in separate bowls
collage of 4 photos with butter and flour in skillet to make homemade gravy

How to Substitute Heavy Cream

You can use any milk in the recipe, keep in mind the flavor of the milk you use will be present in the flavor of the gravy. Heavy whipping cream is recommended because it’s great at thickening. If you use milk with less fat or something like almond milk, your gravy won’t be as thick.

You can also omit the cream. It’s added for flavor.

homemade gravy in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon

Additional Options for Spices and Seasoning

Texture

Smothered recipes typically don’t have a crunch. The gravy softens and penetrates the dish. It’s meant to be comforting.

smothered potatoes with onions, peppers, and gravy in a cast iron skillet

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers will last tightly covered and sealed in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Freezer Tips

You can freeze the cooked potatoes tightly covered and sealed for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.

How to Reheat

Reheat the dish on the stove in a pan with a little oil or in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees until warm. You can use the microwave if you wish.

smothered potatoes with onions, peppers, and gravy in a cast iron skillet

Pair With These Main Dish Recipes

Pan Seared Shrimp
Grilled King Crab Legs
Tender Juicy Oxtail
Pork Neck Bones
Eye of Round Roast Beef
Bone in or Boneless Prime Rib
Cajun Dirty Rice

More Side Dish Recipes

Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Southern Green Beans with Bacon

smothered potatoes on a plate with baked salmon
smothered potatoes with onions, peppers, and gravy in a cast iron skillet
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Smothered Potatoes and Onions

This Easy Smothered Potatoes and Onions recipe is an old-fashioned dish with green peppers and homemade gravy. This Southern, pan-fried staple can be served for breakfast or dinner.
Save this recipe here.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Keyword smothered potatoes, smothered potatoes and gravy, smothered potatoes and onions, Southern smothered potatoes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 209kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil See notes.
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes Sliced into 1 inch rounds or diced into 1 inch cubes. Ensure the potatoes are dry.
  • 1 cup chopped onions I used white onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Gravy

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. I use a 10.5 inch or 12-inch cast iron. Add the olive oil, sliced potatoes, onions, green peppers, and spices to the pan.
  • Saute for 6-8 minutes until the onions are fragrant. Remove the potatoes, onions, and peppers from the pan and set aside.
  • Adjust the heat on the stove to medium. Add the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
  • When melted, add in the flour. Add it in stages and stir continuously to avoid clumping.
  • Add the whipping cream, broth, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens. Taste the gravy repeatedly and adjust the spices as necessary.
  • Add the potatoes, onions, and peppers back to the skillet with the gravy.
  • Adjust the heat on the stove to medium-low. Place the lid on the skillet and allow the potatoes to simmer, steam, and soften for 15-20 minutes (or however long it takes for the potatoes to soften). Take a look from time to time and flip/turn the potatoes with a spatula as necessary to avoid charring.
  • Remove the lid from the skillet and flip the potatoes. Allow the potatoes to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered until fork tender.
  • Cool before serving.

Notes

Heavy cream is optional for flavor. You can omit it if you wish.
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Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Gina

Monday 10th of April 2023

Made this with our breakfast over the weekend and it was the perfect addition to our meal! So easy and tasty!

Shadi

Saturday 8th of April 2023

Easy and delicious, this one is a keeper. I know I’m going to make it over and over again!

staysnatched

Saturday 8th of April 2023

Glad to hear you will make it over and over!