This simple sweet potato hash is lightly sweet, smoky, and filled with flavor from peppers, onions, and a few seasonings. It's perfect for weekend breakfasts served alongside fried eggs or your favorite breakfast protein.
It's not a secret that I love potatoes for breakfast, whether they're served in a bowl, roasted, or served in a skillet. To switch things up, somtimes I like serving sweet potatoes instea of russet or Yukon gold.
Enter sweet potato breakfast hash, a simple meal or side that's big on flavor, thanks to a handful of spices, onions, and peppers.
This sweet potato hash is meatless, so it's a great centerpiece for vegetarian breakfasts. Serve alongside fried eggs or a frittata, or keep it vegan with a tofu scramble and a meatless maple sausage patty.
- Simple: This sweet potato hash uses just a handful of inexpensive ingredients. It's made in one skillet on the stovetop. This is not a fix-it-and-forget-it kind of meal, because you do need to be near to the stove to stir the potatoes occassionally.
- Flavorful: Slightly smoky, very savory, and just a hint of spice. Smoked paprika and Old bay seasoning combine to make a simple but high-impact seasoning for the potatoes.
- Prep ahead: You can prep the potatoes, onions, and peppers in advance to make breakfast prep a little easier.
- Versatile: Potato hash is great for breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner. Serve with eggs and sausage (I go for veggie sausage but any kind works) for a classic diner-style meal.
- Sweet potatoes: Choose orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. These are usually Garnet or Jewel variety. I don't recommend using white or Japanese sweet potatoes for this recipe.
- Smoked paprika and Old Bay seasoning: This are two of my most frequently used seasonings. If Old Bay isn't available where you are, Cajun seasoning can be used for a slightly different flavor. Add salt to taste if using a Cajun seasoning with salt in it.
- Orange bell pepper adds a touch of sweetness. Red or yellow also work, but I don't recommend green pepper for this recipe because it has a different flavor (less sweet).
- Red onion turns sweet and adds a lot of flavor when sauteed in the hash. Sweet yellow onion or white onion do also work.
Step by step instructions
Equipment: I tested this recipe in a 12-inch cast iron skillet, but any non-stick skillet of a similar size works. I like to use cast iron because it adds additional flavor and creates a nice browning on the sweet potatoes.
- Start by heating a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with neutral oil. Once hot, add the diced sweet potato. Saute for just 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times, until some of the potato pieces are golden.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt. Cover with a tightly fitting lid. Cook this way until the potatoes are tender, stirring just 2-3 times. If the potatoes are blackening or browning, the heat is too high and should be turned down.
- Once the potatoes are softened, add in the diced onion, pepper, and seasonings. Continue cooking uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, stirring only every 2-3 minutes.
- The potatoes are ready when tender throughout and golden/darkened on the exterior. Not all pieces will look the same, and that's the beauty of a sweet potato hash!
Tips for success
- Sweet potato size: Aim for sweet potato pieces that are ~½ inch in size. Smaller pieces cook more quickly than bigger ones. Try to make the pieces as uniform as possible, but don't sweat if the pieces aren't all exactly the same.
- Cover with a lid: The sweet potatoes need to be steamed in order to cook through. To do this, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. You should see steam collecting and dripping on the lid to indicate that the sweet potatoes are steaming.
- To ensure that the hash is completely done, test the biggest sweet potato piece first. It should be very easy to pierce with a fork.
How to add eggs
To cook eggs directly on the sweet potato hash, wait until the hash is completely cooked through.
Use a spatula to flatten the sweet potatoes into an even layer. Crack 3-5 eggs directly onto the top of the hash.
Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low heat until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
How to add protein
It's easiest to cook the meat/meatless sausage (I've only done meatless because I'm vegetarian) separately to ensure that it cooks evenly and thoroughly. Add it to the hash once its completely cooked.
You can also add tofu (this marinated tofu would be good), but I recommend cooking that separately as well to avoid softening the sweet potatoes.
I originally developed this recipe with frozen cauliflower. I let the cauliflower thaw before adding it to the onions and peppers. While this is a great way to add extra veggies, it does make sauteing take a bit longer.
You can also do this with fresh veggies like green beans, broccoli, or additional peppers.
- Leftovers: Best within 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container.
- Reheating: The hash softens when refrigerated. Individual servings can be reheated in the microwave, but they will be soft. To re-crisp, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the potato hash and cook until heated through and crisp, about 5-8 minutes.
Looking for more breakfast ideas?
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Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash (Vegetarian)
- 1 12 inch cast iron skillet or other non-stick skillet
- 1 and ½ pounds sweet potato orange-fleshed variety
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil such as canola or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium red onion medium diced; sweet yellow or white also work
- 1 medium orange bell pepper medium diced; yellow or red also work
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning see note #1
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- avocado slices for serving (optional)
- Clean and peel the sweet potatoes. Dice into ½ inch pieces. Try to make the pieces as uniform as possible.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with enough neutral oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, add the diced sweet potato. Saute for just 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times, until some of the potato pieces are golden or beginning to brown.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt. Cover with a tightly fitting lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring just 2-3 times. If the potatoes are blackening or browning, the heat is too high and should be turned down.
- Once the potatoes are softened, remove the lid. Add the diced onion, pepper, Old Bay seasoning, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
- Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes, stirring only every 2-3 minutes. The potatoes are ready when tender throughout and golden/darked on the exterior.
- Serve as-is or topped with avocado, with fried eggs or tofu scramble, and veggie sausage. Enjoy!
- Old Bay: If you don't have access to this, an equal amount of Cajun seasoning works.
- Fried eggs: To cook eggs directly on the sweet potato hash, wait until the hash is completely cooked through. Use a spatula to flatten the sweet potatoes into an even layer. Crack 3-5 eggs directly onto the top of the hash. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low heat until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
- Sausage: I cook veggie sausage patties separately and add them to the sweet potato hash when it's finished cooking.
- Leftovers: Best within 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated in a closed container. Reheating: Individual servings can be reheated in the microwave, but they will be soft. To re-crisp, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with oil. Add the potato hash and cook until heated through and crisp, about 5-8 minutes.