Maybe the rest of the world has known about them for ages, but I just stumbled upon Hasselback potatoes. With thin slits made most, but not all of the way through (so they hold together at the bottom), they fan out during baking. Elegant and fun, without being much more trouble than an “ordinary” baked or roasted potatoes, I’ve fallen in love with them.
You can make Hasselbacks simply or load them up with lots of extras. Either way, the general directions for the potato are the same. (The recipe or technique was invented at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, hence the name.)
After checking numerous recipes and making several Hasselbacks myself, here’s my take on this amazing potato dish:
5 Tips for Making Hasselback Potatoes
- Which type of potato should you use for a Hasselback? Any type of potato can be made Hasselback-style. Nigella Lawson prefers new potatoes, while others preferred baking potatoes. Paleo folks make Hasselbacks with sweet potatoes or yams. I particularly like red potatoes.
- What are the essential ingredients? The bare minimum is a potato, fat, and seasoning. Most recipes I consulted used ½ -1 tablespoon of fat per potato – butter, oil, bacon fat, duck fat or any combination of those or another fat. Most brush the fat over the potato, but a few suggested dotting butter or drizzling oil in between the slits. Seasoning can be as simple as salt and pepper.
- How to create the slices that make a potato a Hasselback? The slices should be somewhere between ⅛ – ½ inches thick. To cut them without slicing all the way through, if the potato is small, place it on a wooden spoon, or use chopsticks or something similar on the sides of a larger potato and let the spoon, chopsticks, or other implement block the knife. Sweet potatoes are the hardest and therefore the most difficult to cut. You can repair small mistakes. I made one cut at the wrong angle and ended up with a removable slice, but patched it up. When I moved my “test” red potato too vigorously, it started to split; again I patched it. Several recipes recommended gently running cold water over the sliced potatoes (then drying them) to eliminate excess starch because, apparently, the starch impedes the “fanning” that makes the potatoes so pretty. I didn’t do a side-by-side test, but did rinse my red and white potatoes. I left the sweet potato unrinsed. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference in terms of how they fanned out.
- What is the best way to bake Hasselback potatoes? The temperature can be anywhere from 400 degrees F to 450 and the timing ranges from 40 minutes to 70, depending on which recipe and temperature you consult. Also the timing is dependent on the size of the potato – of course, larger baking (russet or Idaho) and sweet potatoes take the longest. Most recipes do not cover the potatoes, but some do for the first 30-40 minutes of baking.
- Hasselbacks add-ins? Most gussied-up versions use savory ingredients such as slices of garlic, cheese, bacon bits, and even pulled pork, but there are sweet variations, including one with sliced almonds and cinnamon and another stuffed with cranberries, apples and pecans.
Simple Hasselback Potatoes
Servings – 2 Cost – $2
- 2 large or 4 small potatoes (any type)
- 1½ -3 tablespoons of fat (melted butter or oil or a combination)
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cutting board
- Wooden spoon or chopsticks
- Baking dish
- Tiny bowl
- Pastry brush or spoon
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Clean and slice the potatoes (see tips above for how to do it) in ¼ inch strips almost, but not completely through to the bottom of the potato.
- Optional step – rinse the potatoes under cold running water and thoroughly dry them.
- Place them on the baking sheet and brush all over (including the bottom) with about half of the butter/oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Brush with the remaining butter/oil and sprinkle on the salt and pepper and continue baking until tender, approximately another 15 minutes (45 minutes total) for small potatoes and 30 minutes (60 minutes total) for larger potatoes.
Although Hasselback potatoes are best eaten hot, straight from the oven, they taste good at room temperature and can even be re-heated in a toaster oven.