The Yankee Chef: Golden Brown O’Brien Stacks

by Jim Bailey, the Yankee Chef

This recipe is probably the easiest potato dish you could make, either during the Holidays or throughout the blustery cold months that lie ahead. (Even now, I am kind of happy to get the oven going.) It’s deliciously cheesy, crispy all around, and a great tribute to a forgotten breakfast side dish.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup milk, light cream or half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 4 small potatoes, about 2 pounds
  • 1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375ᵒ F. Liberally grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Place milk, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg in a small saucepan and blend. Turn burner on medium, and stirring almost constantly, bring almost to scalding, or until cheese has completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Wash and dry potatoes. Cut each in half lengthwise if they are too large around for the muffin cups. Laying the cut-side down on a work surface, very thinly slice each potato half.

Place two potato slices in a muffin well, overlapping if needed to fit snugly. Sprinkle a small amount of minced peppers and onions on each. Place another layer of potatoes and repeat with peppers and onions. Do this until the stack is level with the top of the muffin well, with the top layer being potatoes. Pour just enough of the milk mixture to come up to about three quarters of the way. Sprinkle panko crumbs over the top and repeat with remaining potato stacks.

Bake 40–45 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender when poked in the middle. Remove from oven, loosen around the edges with a butter knife and serve hot.

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