American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

My Mom used to make what she called American Fries. She’d pull out the electric skillet (so many things were made in that! Hello Porcupine Balls, I remember you…and not fondly, either) but we were happy to see that skillet it if it meant American Fries. Now me, I think the BEST American Fries are American Fries From Leftover Potatoes.

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes


American Fries are sometimes called Home Fries. I guess it just depends on when/where you were raised, but when I think of Home Fries I think chunky potatoes, not slices. So these American Fires are potato rounds cut and browned in a skillet. And they are delish! But starting with leftover potatoes, especially from Pot Roast makes American Fries that really fry up beautifully crunchy and delish.

About American Fries From Leftover Potatoes:

These American Fries make me love having leftover potatoes. My Baked Potato Hashbrowns do, too, but I usually think of that recipe when I have leftover baked potatoes and this particular recipe when I have potatoes leftover from Pot Roast. First of all, there’s already some flavor infused into the potatoes and American Fries are a great way to refashion those potatoes into something fantastic.

And ya’ll probably know what I mean when I say once the Pot Roast is gone, and the potatoes linger on, no-one really wants to eat them. They’re sad. Sad and grey and cold and they’re just not that great. (Even if there is still gravy which usually makes everything better.) I’m guessing in a lot of households, leftover potatoes like this usually sit around in the fridge and then get tossed.

What makes American Fries From Leftover Potatoes cook up so beautifully is that they’re twice baked just like the best fries are. The first bake, of course, is with the pot roast, the second in the skillet. Let me show you the two pot roasts I make most often with roasted potatoes that potentially generate a few leftovers for these beautiful, crunchy American Fries. There’s That Old Lipton’s Onion Soup Pot Roast (oven or slow cooker) and Campbells Ultimate Pot Roast (instant pot or slow cooker). You can’t go wrong with either of those super simple recipes!


Making American Fries From Leftover Potatoes:

This “recipe” is so simple it’s not even really a recipe! Just cut the potatoes into about 1/4 to 3/8″ slices. Add oil to skillet and then the potatoes in a single layer. You might want to use a large skillet or maybe two or pull out the ol’ electric skillet like my Mom used to do. Make sure the oil is good and hot before adding the potatoes and turn only once.

If you have more people than your leftover potatoes will feed, try microwaving a few potatoes, then let them cool, peel if you want and add them to the potatoes you do have. Or maybe you don’t have any leftover potatoes to make American Fries From Leftover Potatoes! Don’t feel sad. Just make as many potatoes as you need in the microwave or oven, then make your American Fries.

Making your American Fries from leftover potatoes not only makes gorgeous American Fries with a fantastic crispy crust, but it’s also a huge time saver over making American Fries from raw potatoes.

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

These potatoes look like they’ve seen better days – but just wait!

Saving on American Fries From Leftover Potatoes:

Of course, the price of your potatoes depends on what you’ve bought your potatoes for originally. Potatoes are usually cheapest when bought in the larger bags. I just spotted 10 pounds at Aldi for $3.49. And while potatoes are always available most everywhere in the States, they’re in season in late summer to early fall and at their very cheapest. (Unless there’s a great sale around a holiday when the stores want to lure you in.)

Larger bags are often a mix of different sizes. I go through the bag and set aside the larger uniform ones for baking and then use the mixed sizes and shapes in recipes like soup, pot roast, mashed potatoes or any recipe where a uniform size doesn’t matter.

Store your potatoes in a loosely closed bag away from any onions and in a cool place. It’s not unusual to see them next to my back kitchen door in the fall and winter, but in my small kitchen, I have to be creative!

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • leftover cold potatoes, sliced about 3/8ths inch thick
  • enough oil to coat the skillet generously
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and then the potato slices in a single layer. Cook until browned (may cook unevenly, keep checking individual potato slices) then turn and brown the second side, turning only once. Turn only once. Salt and pepper as soon as removed from the skillet and serve immediately.


If you have a favorite spice rub or blend, feel free to sprinkle that on the potatoes before or after cooking.


I’ll be sharing my American Fries From Leftover Potatoes at Fiesta Friday #243, hosted this week by Catherine @ Kunstkitchen’s Blog and Becky @ Bubbly Bee.

I’ll also be sharing at the Lazy Gastronome. Helen posts a weekly link up, What’s for Dinner?

American Fries From Leftover Potatoes are the best because they're twice cooked like fries. Super golden brown & delish & crunchy! You are going to wish & hope for leftover potatoes everytime you make Pot Roast!! #LeftoverPotatoes #AmericanFries #AmericanFriesLeftoverPotatoes

33 thoughts on “American Fries From Leftover Potatoes

  1. FrugalHausfrau

    I am only just now getting used to runny eggs – I developed an aversion during my pregnancy with my daughter in 1985! I was so sick duriing that whole time & to put it delicately, they aren’t pretty on their return trip! I think blogging helped because there are times I want to and have put poached eggs on stuff! So maybe next time I make these for breakfast I will try it with a runny egg!

  2. Ron

    When we would camp on the lake we would always make extra campfire baked potatoes so we could have pan fried potatoes with breakfast the next morning. Always fried up in bacon grease leftover from frying trout the night before. Now, I need to go fishing and cook some potatoes. Don’t you love a runny egg on top of those bad boys?

  3. Nancy Lou

    It was rare that we had any leftovers at our house with 9 kids, but these were my Dad’s favorites! I love them, as well. Like you, I don’t always think of them, but maybe now I will. 🙂

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I didn’t realize you had so many siblings! But then with a lot of large families, sometimes the older ones get out pretty fast! I always wanted a big family and it’s always been sad for me that I only had two children!
      Even with us three kids, we usually didn’t have a lot of leftovers. I think my Mom was a genius at stretching food! And did you guys have bread at every meal? It seemed like we always did. I bet you did, because I remember your Mom was a great baker (and you are, too!)

  4. Great idea Mollie!! They look so crispy and golden. We had an electric skillet growing up and yes– porcupine meatballs!! All that crunchy (?) rice! It was a whole different world of cooking back then. I wonder what my kids would be saying about our old meals??! Anyway, the fries look pretty irresistible!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I know right!! Mostly I remember it was the same things over and over, at least when I was young. I think by the 70’s people were breaking out a bit more but can you imagine cooking without the internet!

        • FrugalHausfrau

          lol! For my mom it was Meta Given’s Encyclopedia of Modern Cooking! From the 50’s. We had roast, sloppy joes, chili, hot dogs wrapped in bacon, porcupine balls, something worse they called Candy Balls, which were like Asian porcupine balls, meat loaf, stew, the Chicken cooked in a casserole over rice mixed with Cream of Mushroom Soup, Oxtail Soup, Pork Chops baked with Cream of Mushroom Soup. Meatloaf. Swiss Steak. Stuffed Peppers. Hamburgers. Lots of heavy Germanic & farm influences and lots of meat, I think!

  5. There is nothing better than crispy fried potatoes, mixed with equally fried bacon or if you want to be very gourmet, cut-up hot dogs. A dear friend of mine who lives in England prepared potatoes for me when I visited her there using duck fat and they were absolutely phenomenal. Perfectly crispy on the outside and lovely and mealy on the inside. And of course, the calorie intake when you’re on vacation in England doesn’t count. 😁🦆

    • FrugalHausfrau

      It would not be right to count it, lol! Besides those are British calories and must be different, lol! It’s kind of funny but I have been thinking about hot dogs recently, good ones! I don’t have any hot dogs on my blog but I’ve been wanting the ones my mom used to make, sliced and filled with cheese then wrapped in bacon and grilled!

  6. Yumm Liz, they look so tempting. Have you ever tried cooking potatoes with goose fat? They do that a lot in England and those potatoes look absolutely gorgeously golden like yours 🙂

Hearing from you makes my day! Comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.