Hash Browns with Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

As the weather inches toward Autumn, I find myself wanting to eat more orange foods.  Must be the pumpkin cravings starting up.  Yams (aka sweet potatoes) are a delicious way to do this, and hash browns with yams make a sweet break away from the ordinary for breakfast or brunch.

Hash Browns with Yams and Thyme

Hash Browns with Yams

Hash browns have always been a challenge for me, but I finally figured out the trick!  Cooking the potatoes first means they don’t end up half burnt and half uncooked, and the lovely crispy edges come from cooking in oil. This recipe can easily be multiplied if you have a giant soup pot for boiling them.

Adding yams brings a new character to boring potatoes, a bright sweet note plus a bit of color. Peeling brings the focus to the flavor rather than the texture.  I love it with Russet potatoes but a smooth buttery Yukon Gold would be great too.  I think the best part about this recipe is that there is no need to drown it in cheese or to add any at all for that matter.  This dish especially lends itself to a partnership with an egg.  I love them poached or over-easy and dropped on top just before serving.

This seems like it would freeze well but I haven’t had good luck with the potatoes keeping their flavor and texture after being in the freezer, so I don’t suggest doing that.

Hash Browns with Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

Hash Browns with Yams (Sweet Potatoes)


  • 3-4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 yam
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp oil (olive or avocado)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A sprinkle of fresh or dried thyme


  1. Peel and dice potatoes and yam, about 1/4 of bite-size.
  2. Boil potatoes and yam until they are almost cooked. Immediately remove from heat and drain water so they don't cook completely. Mix in spices, if desired.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat up the oil and cook the diced onion until softened. Add potato mixture and cover. Stir or flip over occasionally during cooking but mostly leave it alone so those great crunchy bits happen. Mixing too often will bring out the starchiness of the potatoes and turn the texture strange. If it isn't getting crunchy enough, add another tsp or two of olive oil.
  4. Serve with eggs and toast and garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme.