Our family loves hot breakfasts on weekends. It’s a great way to make weekend mornings special and spend some quality time together before everyone goes off to their various sports and weekend activities. Hot breakfasts often require a lot of work, or a lot of clean up, though, so I’m always on the hunt for quick and easy breakfasts that feel special but are really easy to whip up in a jiffy.
This Bacon Potato Skillet really fits the bill. This scrumptious breakfast scramble is quick, it is easy, it only requires one pan, and it’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand to whip this up — so easy, in fact, that it occasionally makes an appearance on our weeknight dinner table when I just don’t have the energy to make a whole meal.
To me, the key ingredient to this dish is the bacon. I like to get a nice, thick-cut smoked bacon to set a good foundation for the dish, but any bacon you have on hand will be fine. I always start my bacon in a cold skillet so that the bacon fat renders well. Remember, you’re using the bacon fat to fry the potatoes, and if you let your bacon fry until it has released all its grease, you shouldn’t need to add extra oil or butter.
You could easily substitute ground breakfast sausage into this recipe if that’s more to your taste. I would suggest using about half a pound, if you do. As with the bacon, you should be able to cook the sausage first and use the released grease to fry up the potatoes to give them a truly amazing flavor. Ham would also make a good substitution, although you would need to use a little vegetable oil as ham is much lower in fat than bacon or sausage.
When I feel like putting a bit of extra effort with this dish, I like to add in some fresh tomatoes and fresh chives at the end of the dish. It really dresses up the dish and gives it some extra pizazz. I have also added bell peppers to this dish to give it some flavor and make it a little more nutrient rich. I simply dice them or cut them in thin slices and then saute them after I remove the bacon and before I cook the potatoes, then I remove them from the pan. I add the peppers back to the dish when I add the bacon back.
This recipe calls for sharp Cheddar cheese, which is the cheese I generally have on hand, but you could use almost any cheese you wish. To dress it up a bit, I like Swiss cheeses like Emmental or gruyere. If you like a milder flavor, or more gooey melt, mild cheddar or American cheese would work. To give it a little more zip, I sometimes use pepper jack.