Bacon Fat Hash Browns Recipe

Of all the oils you could cook with — from olive oil to butter — there's something particularly decadent about cooking with bacon fat. While olive oil and vegetable oil are good for cooking, a great way to infuse flavor into the food you are cooking is with some good, old-fashioned bacon grease. This recipe is filled with wonderful and filling ingredients, including diced russet potatoes, green and red bell peppers, onions, and a layer of crispy bacon on top. If that doesn't sound like a good meal to start your day with, we don't know what does.

Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn came up with this rich and easy recipe that will change the way you cook your hash browns. "I love that this is easy enough for a weekday morning (albeit, a slower one) and saves well, so you could also prepare it on a Sunday and keep it through the week. It's easily customizable, so you could add different proteins, veggies, or even swap potatoes," McGlinn says.

While McGlinn usually serves this for breakfast, she has a few other recommendations. "I think it would go well in place of roasted or mashed potatoes in many dinners, especially involving the grill, like burgers or steaks," she shares. With potatoes this tasty, there's no limit to how or when you can serve them.

Gather the ingredients for these bacon fat hash browns

The first thing you will need to do is make a grocery list and head to the store. For this recipe, you will only need a handful of items, including bacon strips, russet potatoes, salt, black pepper, paprika, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, Vidalia onion, and garlic cloves. McGlinn says you can use gold potatoes instead of russets, or you could even sub in sweet potatoes. "If swapping with sweet potatoes, I recommend swapping the onions for red onions and the bacon with chorizo — so delicious," McGlinn says.

Heat the bacon in a skillet

Grab a deep skillet from your stash and place it on your burner. Turn the heat to medium, and then add the chopped bacon to the skillet. Continue cooking for about 8 to 10 minutes, ensuring the bacon gets nice and crispy.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon bits from the skillet, and be sure you don't remove too much of the bacon grease. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet for cooking. 

"The potatoes are cooked in the bacon fat. Technically, if you were serving bacon for breakfast, for example, you could cook the bacon, remove, and eat separately instead of sprinkling into the hash," McGlinn shares. "The idea is that you're creating the flavorful base fat with the bacon instead of oil or butter, so the potatoes have a great depth and deep saltiness. You could even use seasoned bacon for added flavor." 

Cook the potatoes

Now's the time to add your diced potatoes to the mix. Stir the potatoes in the bacon grease to coat and then cover the skillet with a lid. Continue cooking for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the potatoes turn a beautiful golden brown color.

Once you see the potato tops browning, remove the cover and continue cooking the potatoes until they get nice and soft — this should take about 5 minutes. Be sure to frequently stir the potatoes to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the skillet. "If you are working with less bacon fat than 2-3 tablespoons and potatoes begin to dry out and scorch on the skillet, add a drizzle of neutral oil," McGlinn shares. "As potatoes soften, they will stick to the skillet; constantly stir to avoid breaking or smashing soft potatoes."

Add the peppers, onion, and garlic

Quickly test the potatoes to make sure a knife can go through easily. If it can, you're ready for the next step. Just add some salt, pepper, and paprika for flavor. Then, toss in the bell peppers and stir everything to combine. Allow the peppers to soften up a bit, and toss in the onions once they do. 

Continue cooking everything together until the onions turn translucent. Then, you can add your garlic.

Serve your bacon fat hash browns

Once you add the garlic to the mix, cook everything together for about 30 more seconds, until fragrant. Then, go ahead and remove the skillet from heat. Top the potatoes with the crispy bacon pieces, and now it's ready to be served!

This dish is excellent on its own (because who doesn't love bacon and potatoes?), but McGlinn also provides a few additional serving suggestions. "Definitely eggs! I love a runny yolk to loosen up the hash a bit, but scrambled works just as well. Toast, omelets, country fried steak are my other hash-paired favorites," McGlinn says. "Also, I recommend topping with hot sauce, ketchup, or even barbecue sauce — feels like hash browns aren't complete without a good sauce!"

Bacon Fat Hash Browns Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
If you want extra decadence in your hash browns, cook them in bacon fat!
Prep Time
Cook Time
hash browns in skillet
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, or to taste
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  1. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until very crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon or spatula, reserving the bacon fat, about 2 tablespoons.
  2. Add the potatoes to the skillet and stir into the reserved bacon fat. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until beginning to turn golden brown. Then, remove the cover and cook until potatoes are very soft, stirring constantly so softened potatoes do not stick to the skillet, about 5 minutes longer.
  3. Once potatoes are soft enough to be cut with the back of a knife, season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the bell peppers and stir to combine. Allow peppers to soften slightly, then add onions and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic.
  4. Once garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, remove from the heat. Top with reserved bacon pieces to serve.
Calories per Serving 366
Total Fat 12.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 19.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 56.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Total Sugars 8.0 g
Sodium 795.5 mg
Protein 10.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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