German Fried Potatoes (Bratkartoffeln)

These German Fried Potatoes Are Dangerously Tasty!

If you are looking for a great side dish and craving German potato recipes, then German fried potatoes are for you!

Also called Bratkartoffeln in German (literally meaning “fry potatoes”) or even German home fries, these German-style potatoes are pre-boiled then fried to perfection.

These delicious little golden discs are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside – and served with meat dishes or just with some spices or ketchup for dipping!

close up shot of german fried potatoes on grey plate with potatoes and chives behind
These German fried potatoes are really good...

This recipe for fried potatoes comes from years of experience. We both grew up eating German fries but didn’t realize this until we made this recipe together.

Lisa ate them as a kid growing up in Germany. These fried potatoes make a great side dish for meat-based dishes like Schnitzel. That said, you can also just eat them on their own as a large snack or a side dish for non-meat dishes.

Eric also grew up with his mom making a similar version of these fried potatoes. They were always a side dish to homemade hamburgers.

Recipe Tips

When you set out to try this German fried potato recipe, you should make sure to figure out which type of potatoes you have on hand. The best potatoes to use are waxy potatoes.

This is because waxy potatoes tend to stay together during/after boiling and tend to brown well.

Otherwise, the potato slices likely won’t get nicely golden brown and crispy. If the potatoes are too starchy, they might get too mushy when you try to fry them in the pan.

plate of german fried potatoes on wooden table with chives behind
Top the potatoes off with salt and pepper, onions, and chives!

When you go to serve these fried potatoes, you have endless options for seasonings. They serve great with some fried/crispy onions – but you can top them however you like.

We are a big fan of freshly cut chives but if we don’t have any around, a little salt and pepper (or even seasoning salt) works perfectly, too.

You can even dip them in a favorite sauce. Ketchup is an easy choice but a chipotle mayo would also be fantastic!

Storage Tips

It’s best to enjoy these German potatoes fresh and not have leftovers. This is because once they cool, they can become soggy.

If you do have leftover German potatoes, put them in a sealed container in the fridge, and be sure to eat them the next day. They won’t be very crispy but heated in a frying pan with a little bit of oil or butter will help bring them somewhat back to life.

FAQ

What are German-style fried potatoes?

German-style fried potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes fried in oil to achieve a golden exterior color. The potatoes are often pre-boiled to soften the inside to reduce frying time and help avoid burning.

How do you soften potatoes before frying them?

You soften potatoes before frying them by boiling them until tender.

Is it necessary to boil potatoes before frying?

Not always, but German fries are often boiled beforehand so that when it comes to frying, you only have to worry about achieving a golden brown outside and not cooking the inside of the potato slice during the fry.

What kind of potatoes to use for German home fries?

A waxy potato is best for German fried potatoes. In German, these are called a “firm-boiling” type of potato. An good example of a waxy potato would be a yellow potato.

Related Recipes

For those craving more German potato recipes (we won’t judge), here are some great recipes that include potatoes in different forms:

grey plate with german fried potatoes beside green chives on cloth

German Fried Potatoes

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Delicious German fried potatoes are always a hit. Soft on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside, these golden brown potatoes go great as a flavorful side dish to a main meal. They serve with a few fried onions and/or classic sauces like ketchup!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes, waxy
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • oil to fry
  • chives to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. (If you're uisng pre-boiled potatoes start with Step 2). Boil your potatoes in a pot on the stove with the skin on until the potatoes are tender. Then take the potatoes out of the pot and rinse them under cold water long enough so that they cool slightly and you can touch them without burning your hands.
  2. Peel the potatoes and slice them. The slices should be thin, but no so thin that they break.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan and fry the chopped onion on medium heat until translucent and slightly browned. Take the onions back out of the pan and set them aside.
  4. In the same pan, heat more oil (approx. 2 tablespoons) and add enough potato slices so that the bottom of the pan is covered. The slices should not overlap to allow them to become crispy! You'll most likely not be able to fit all of the potatoes in the pan so you'll have to fry them in several batches. You can also use more than one pan if you want to be done faster.
  5. Fry the potato slices on medium heat for around 3-5 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Then flip the slices and fry them on the other side until that side is golden brown as well. Take them out of the pan once both sides are golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Repeat the steps - and add more oil as needed - until you have used up all the potatoes. In the last batch, re-add the onions and fry them for a few seconds (they should not get too dark!). Then add your fried onions onto your fried potatoes and add more salt and/or pepper as needed.
  7. Optional: Garnish with chopped chives before serving.

Notes

  • It's important to use a type of potato that is waxy. Otherwise, your fried potatoes will most likely be mushy and not crispy.
  • Ideally, you make your German fried potatoes with potatoes that were boiled the day before - but we know that's not always feasible.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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