These simple Lyonnaise potatoes are crispy, flavorful, and made with just a few pantry-friendly ingredients. This super versatile French potato side tosses crispy pan-fried potatoes with caramelized onions and parsley and is perfect for pairing with all sorts of mains!
It turns out that there is no limit to my love for potatoes. They’re inexpensive, versatile, comforting, and largely fuss-free… all words that I also attribute to this delicious lyonnaise potato recipe. This French side dish with potatoes and onions (similar to my German pan-fried potatoes, too) is crowd-pleasing and great for dinner parties and the holidays!
What are Lyonnaise Potatoes?
Lyonnaise potatoes (pommes Lyonnaise), meaning ‘Lyon-style’ or ‘from Lyon,’ is a classic French potato dish named after the city Lyon in France. These French-style potatoes are traditionally made with par-boiled and then sautéed potatoes, combined with thinly sliced caramelized onions, butter (lots of it!), and parsley.
For my version of potatoes Lyonnaise, I’ve lightened up the dish by swapping out the butter for a reduced amount of high-quality oil, caramelizing the sliced onions for incredible depth of flavor, and made the parsley garnish optional. However, there are also several ways you can adapt this pan-fried potato recipe to your liking, too. Keep reading for all my favorite recommendations!
This Lyonnaise potato recipe requires just 7 pantry-friendly ingredients.
- Potatoes: I recommend using Yukon Gold potatoes.
- Oil: Use a neutral cooking oil like avocado oil, olive oil, etc. Alternatively, you could use vegan unsalted butter or even a combination of the two (to avoid the butter over-browning but get the added richness and flavor).
- Onion: I used red onion but feel free to use white or yellow onion.
- Seasonings: This Lyonnaise potato recipe uses a simple combination of garlic powder, paprika (regular or smoked), cumin, and salt (optionally black pepper, too).
- Parsley: (Optional) I love to garnish the French-style potatoes with fresh chopped parsley, as is traditional. However, omit if preferred.
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
While many of the options below aren’t ‘traditional’ to this classic French side dish, these are a few ways you can further adapt this French potato recipe.
- Vinegar/Lemon: Use a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice to deglaze the pan in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. This adds a subtle brightness and depth to the potato recipe.
- Vegetable stock: To infuse the entire dish with extra flavor, cook the sliced potato in vegetable stock rather than salted water.
- Spice: To add a hint of spice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or chili/cayenne powder to the French-style potatoes. Adjust the amount to taste.
- Rosemary: Use fresh or dried rosemary to taste.
- Peas: Peas, onion, and potato pair wonderfully. You can add frozen peas to the pan towards the end of the onion caramelization process.
- Bell pepper: Thinly sliced red or green bell pepper can be sautéed in the pan, too, for extra nutrients and flavor (similar to Southern smothered potatoes).
- Mushrooms: Thinly sliced and sautéed until crisp.
- Zucchini: Sautéed zucchini is a simple nutrient-booster for this simple side dish.
- Cheese: A melty vegan cheddar-style cheese or crumbled vegan feta.
- Vegan sausage: You can add thin slices of vegan sausage to the French potato dish for an even heartier side. Serve with other veggies, and you’ll have a simple, delicious, comforting meal!
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Lyonnaise Potatoes?
Prepare the onions
- First, peel and slice the onions into thin rounds (or half-moons). Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan/ large skillet.
- Once hot, cook the onions in the pan over medium heat for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to caramelize. Add spoonfuls of water (or broth) as needed. I added some at 5 and 10 minutes to deglaze the pan and help with the caramelization process.
- Once nicely browned and caramelized, remove the onions from the skillet.
Prepare the potatoes
- Meanwhile, clean and slice the potatoes into ¼-inch slices (6-7mm) and transfer them to a large pot filled with cold salted water.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce the heat to low-medium and allow the potatoes to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Drain the water and transfer the potato slices to a clean kitchen towel to pat dry.
- Then, heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet you used for the onion and add the potato slices. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the potato slices are crisp and golden-brown.
Assemble the Lyonnaise potatoes
- Once the potatoes are crisp/browned, add the caramelized onions back to the pan along with the spices, stir well, and cook for a further few minutes until everything is well warmed.
For the crispiest results, it’s best to avoid overcrowding the pan. Feel free to do the initial potato cooking in batches if you are using a small skillet.
- Then, serve the potatoes Lyonnaise and optionally sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!
How to Make Ahead and Store?
Make ahead: You could wash and slice the potatoes and store them in a container filled with water for up to 2 days in the fridge before continuing with the recipe. Alternatively, you may be able to prepare the caramelized onions and par-boil the potatoes, then store them in a container in the fridge for up to a day before continuing with the recipe.
Store: Potatoes Lyonnaise are best eaten immediately for the best texture. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.
I rarely freeze the leftovers, as they can become slightly mushy upon thawing. However, if you want to, do so in an airtight container/bag for up to 3 months.
Reheat: The best ways to reheat the pan-fried potatoes and onions are in a skillet with a little more oil/butter OR spread on a baking tray in the oven at 350F/177C until heated through (around 10 minutes, but it will vary based on the amount you’re reheating). While it’s possible to microwave the leftovers, they won’t be crisp, so I avoid it.
This versatile French potato recipe pairs well with most main courses (particularly comfort food!) and can be enjoyed in most places you would usually enjoy mashed potatoes or other potato sides. Just a few examples include:
- On your holiday table at Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Alongside portobello steaks
- Or vegan meatloaf
- Top with vegan cheese sauce
- Serve alongside a salad like this avocado salad
- As part of a savory breakfast or brunch spread alongside tofu scramble, pan-fried tomatoes, etc.
Let me know in the comments what you serve with these delicious Lyonnaise potatoes!
Can I cook potatoes Lyonnaise in the oven?
I haven’t tried, though I imagine it would be possible. First, I would prepare the caramelized onions and par-boil the potatoes. Then combine the ingredients across a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes (if you layer the elements up in a smaller dish, this can take a lot longer) at 375F/190C, or until golden brown and crisp. Flip the potatoes halfway for more even results.
If preferred, use the broiler for a minute or two at the end for additional crispiness.
What are the best potatoes to use?
Yukon Gold potatoes work particularly well for achieving the best tender middle and crisp outside without the need to peel. I prefer not to use potatoes that are too starchy (they can fall apart in the pan). Waxy potatoes might work fine, too!
Do you need to par-boil the potatoes?
It’s possible to make potato Lyonnaise without the par-boiling step. However, it will take longer in the pan, and I far prefer the melt-in-the-mouth tender middle of the version with par-boiled potatoes.
Recipe Notes and Tips For The Best Results
- No need to peel: Potato peel means extra fiber and nutrients, so feel free to leave it on. However, peel if preferred.
- Slice the potatoes evenly: If you aren’t confident in your knife skills, use a mandoline for perfectly even slices. Even slices means even cooking.
- Don’t slice the potato too thickly: ¼-inch is the sweet spot for tender middles but a crisp outer shell. If you use thick slices, they don’t get the delicious crisp edges.
- Don’t overboil the potatoes: They only need to be par-cooked and then finished in the skillet. If you overcook them, they’ll become mushy.
- Don’t stir too often: This will give the caramelized onion and potato slices the chance to crisp up and brown easier.
More Vegan Easy Potato Recipes
- German Potato Dumplings
- Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Simple Potato Flatbread
- German Potato Soup
- Potato Noodles (Schupfnudeln)
- Vegan Hash Browns
- Oven-Baked Potato Wedges
- Vegan Potato Salad
If you try this Lyonnaise potatoes recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan—I love seeing them.
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.Slice the onion into thin rounds and fry in 1 tbsp heated oil in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until caramelized, about 15 minutes, adding a few spoons of water after about 5 and 10 minutes to help with the caramelization process, stirring in between. Then remove the caramelized onions from the skillet.
- Meanwhile, slice the potatoes (1/4-inch resp. 0,6-0,7 cm thick). Add the potato slices to a pot, cover with water, add some salt and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium and let the potatoes simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Then drain the water and dry the potatoes with a kitchen towel.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same skillet you used for the onions and add the cooked potatoes. Cook for about 10-15 minutes over medium heat, or until the potatoes are crisp and golden brown.
- Then add the caramelized onions, the spices and cook for a further few minutes.
- Serve and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
- Check the blog post for serving suggestions, storing instructions, top tips, and FAQ's.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically