Homemade Hash Browns: The Matchstick Method

For hash browns crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, all you need is a pan, a potato, a knife, some olive oil, salt, and pepper (plus any herbs and/or spices you’d like to enhance the flavors with). This recipe will get you restaurant quality hash browns without the risk of being gluey on the inside 🙂


Homemade Hash Browns

Don’t forget to check out my Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions at the bottom of the recipe.


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • one large Russet potato
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: herbs and/or spices of your choice


  1. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan.
  2. While it heats up, cut one large potato into matchsticks.
  3. Toss the potatoes into the hot pan, coating evenly with the oil and stirring constantly for about ten minutes, until softened.
  4. Sprinkle over salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices that you like; stir to coat evenly.
  5. Using your spatula, gently form the potatoes into one big patty covering the bottom of the pan.
    • Don’t press the potatoes into each other, though, just leave them loosely together.
  6. Cover with a lid and allow to brown for about ten minutes.
    • If the potatoes are browning too quickly, lower the heat.
  7. When crisp and golden on the bottom, flip the patty by turning it out onto the lid and sliding it back into the pan.
  8. Cover and leave to brown for another ten minutes.
    • Again, if the potatoes are browning too quickly, lower the heat.
  9. When crisped and golden on both sides, you’re done and ready to serve!

Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions

Olive Oil: Technically, you can use any oil you like, but extra virgin olive oil is very healthy (and delicious), so that’s always my first choice.

Russet Potatoes: Russets/Idaho/baking potatoes are the most appropriate for hash browns because they’re light and fluffy. When you order hash browns at a restaurant, those are Russet potatoes. That being said, you can use any potato, it’ll simply have a creamier texture. It’ll still be delicious, though! I’ve actually made sweet potato hash browns with rosemary and they were wonderful.

Cutting into Matchsticks: This is the secret to keeping the hash browns from turning gluey on the inside and I learned it from a book by Jamie Oliver. When using grated raw potato, too march starch is released, which creates a gluey, goopy texture, even sometimes when you squeeze out all the liquid and add flour. By cutting the potatoes into matchsticks, they’ll be thin enough for hash browns, but thick enough to prevent too much starch from being released.

An easy way to do this is to cut off the ends and sides of the potato so that you’re left with a big rectangle; then, slice it thinly (the size of a matchstick, about 1/8 inch) along the long side and repeat along the short side. If you’re an anti-waster like I am, slice the top, tail, and sides into matchsticks as well.

Variations: You can add pretty much anything you’d use on a potato. Herbs, spices, garlic, onions. Just play with it!

From the original post at my Bee Sweet blog:


  1. loved this recipe but i felt like it was a little bland…any tips?


  2. I’m assuming you’re looking for some extra flavor to kick up the interest and not referring to a lack of salt…so, I’d say to think about any potato dish you love and add any of those flavors such as sauteed onion, garlic, rosemary, herbes de Provence, chili powder/paprika, crisp bits of bacon, cheese melted over the top, etc.

    One combination I think might be great would be to mix in some dried Italian herbs before cooking the potatoes, generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top afterward, and give the whole thing a quick broil until the cheese melts and turns golden. I like to do this with baked fries, so I can only imagine how great it would taste in hash browns!

    I hope this helps 🙂


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