Potatoes are one of the more versatile vegetables out there for creating top-notch side dishes to compliment just about any meal. This incredibly fussy-looking method of baking a potato is easier than you might think and a great way to mix things up when you are getting burned out on twice-baked potato recipes and mashed spuds.
Follow along as we share all of the best tips and tricks for making golden brown Hasselback potatoes.
Why Are They Called Hasselback Potatoes?
The story behind where the Hasselback potato originated probably deserves a movie. Credit goes to a chef's trainee by the name of Leif Elisson who first sliced up this delicate dish in 1953 at the Hasselbacken Restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. To add a little drama to the story, the principal of the school which Elisson attended also has laid claim to the original recipe, though not until 1955.
We love an underdog story, and a story about a guy learning to be a chef who makes a classic dish that has become nearly synonymous with Swedish food sounds like a great thing to watch.
What is the Hasselback Technique?
Hasselback potato recipes are less about how the spud is flavored and more about the technique used to get the characteristic fan shape. The trick is to simply slice nearly all of the way through a potato without actually cutting all the way through the other side.
Slices are repeated down the length in thin segments, then the segments are gently pulled back to reveal the inside of the potato. It's then baked until light and fluffy.
Is There a Tool to Make Hasselback Potatoes?
Anyone who has made this recipe will tell you that cutting all the way through the potato is almost inevitable. Everyone does it at least once. We'll share some tricks we've come up with over the years to reduce accidental decapitation, but there is a rather cool gadget available that simplifies the process.
A Hasselback Potato Slicing Rack is the easiest way to prevent cutting through and also makes it simple to get consistently spaced slices. There are several different styles out there, but we prefer ones with a wooden base and stainless steel grates because it's a simple design. There's no reason to make the process any more fussy than it already is.
How Do You Cut a Hasselback?
If you don't have the convenient rack above, don't worry, there are plenty of ways to make Hasselback potatoes with nothing more than a few common kitchen items and a good, sharp knife. This is another one of those tasks that our favorite Victorinox knife is perfect for.
Making a Base
One of the best tricks we've learned is to start out by slicing a very thin sliver lengthwise off the bottom of the potato. This step lets the potato sit flat when you are slicing it, preventing it from rolling – which causes most of the trouble.
Keeping the Knife From Going Through
Rather than just winging it, try using a pair of wooden chopsticks, skewers, or the handles of two wooden stir spoons set along the sides of the potato. This helps keep the potato slices from going all the way through while also helping hold the potato in place.
Making Even Slices
Don't overthink this part too much because it isn't that critical. Most recipes call for the slices to be one-eighth inch thick, but you can go thicker or thinner. Thinner slices give you more of a potato chip texture, while thicker slices are more like steak fries.
The trick is to be fairly consistent. That way, each slice will cook at about the same speed so you don't end up with any over or under-cooked parts.
How to Make Hasselback Potatoes
Now that you are good and hungry, let's shed some light on how this side dish comes together.
The Best Potatoes for Hasselback Potatoes Recipe
We prefer Russet potatoes for making Hasselback potatoes because they give the perfect fluffy and crispy texture. Yukon gold potatoes also work well. We've also made them with sweet potatoes with fabulous results. Waxy potatoes like red potatoes don't work as well.
Prepping the Potatoes
The first thing you will need to do is to clean the potatoes completely. We like to use a stiff nylon brush to make sure that every speck of dirt is removed. A dedicated vegetable scrubber like the one from OXO Good Grips works perfectly.
Don't forget to only use cold water when washing the potatoes. Pat dry with a paper towel before slicing.
Slicing the Potatoes
We mentioned earlier that it helps to make a base by slicing off a thin piece of the potato. It isn't a mandatory step, but you should try it at least once to see if it makes things easier for you. And always cut potatoes on a cutting board.
We use a very sharp knife and guide the blade just like when making onion slices. With practice, you'll be able to move your knuckle just the right amount each time to steady the blade and keep things straight and even.
Don't worry if you make a mistake, Hasselback potatoes are pretty forgiving.
Soaking the Potatoes
Fill a large bowl or pot with fresh, cold water and add a small amount of white vinegar, then immerse the potatoes. Let them sit for between 15 minutes and one hour. The vinegar bath draws out some of the starches from the surface and helps the potato get crispy.
There is no right or wrong way to season a Hasselback potato. The key is to use a high-quality fat to oil the surface. Butter is the typical go-to, but olive oil also works. We don't like to use vegetable oil for this recipe, but it won't hurt anything.
Our all-time favorite way to oil Hasselbacks is to use duck or goose fat or bacon drippings. These fats add a complex, savory flavor that elevates the humble potato recipe. Sometimes, we'll even add some browned minced garlic to the butter, oil, or fat.
One of our favorite things about our Bearded Butcher Blend Seasoning line is how they can be used on almost anything. And this is one of those cases where no matter what your favorite blend is, it'll make your Hasselback potatoes recipe amazing. Thoroughly coat the potatoes with your favorite seasoning.
Adding Salt and Pepper
These two are classic seasonings. We like to use very coarse salt, like the kind you see on those delicious State Fair pretzels, and a good dose of fresh finely ground white or black pepper.
Stuffing the Potato
Remember how you saved that slice off the bottom from earlier? Place it skin-side down, then rest the potato on top. The slices you made will fan out, making it easy to add ingredients to your potato.
What you do next is all up to you, so don't be afraid to get creative. The classic is to drizzle melted butter or ghee over the slices, top with a dash more salt and pepper, and you are done.
Going the Extra Mile
A Hasselback potato can quickly become a main-course meal by amping up the stuffing. We love to slip pieces of our favorite smoked sausage, pepperoni, or salami between the slices. Some crispy bacon is also a delicious choice. Then again, we also love making these with thin slices of cheese added in. Cheddar, Jack, and Gruyere alternated between the slices make for a cheesy, delicious dish.
Baking the Hasselback Potato
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet pan or in a glass baking dish and bake for at least 25-minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. It'll slide easily in and out when done.
Let the seasoned potatoes become toasted, but avoid burning. If the potatoes begin to get too brown as they are cooking, cover loosely with aluminum foil. You want to keep the oven temperature pretty hot to make sure the spuds cook all the way.
Just like a perfect baked potato, you can serve Hasselbacks with sour cream, chives, or shredded cheese. Fresh herbs or even an olive oil mixture with thinly sliced and roasted fresh garlic make excellent toppings. Serve with baby back ribs, a tender filet mignon, or a leg of lamb for a spectacular side.
Hasselback Potatoes Recipe
- 4-6 large, oval Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup oil, butter, or fat
- Salt and pepper
- Your favorite Bearded Butcher Blend Seasoning
- Cold water and 1/4-cup white vinegar
- Wash and pat dry potatoes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove a thin slice from the bottom, then slice potatoes in 1/8" to 1/4" slices.
- Place potatoes in cold water and vinegar for 15 minutes to one hour.
- Coat with oil, fat, or butter, then gently coat in seasonings.
- Rest potato on cut sliver to fan slices. Add seasonings.
- Place on sheet pan or baking dish in oven for 25 minutes or longer until cooked through and tender.
- Serve with your choice of toppings.
This is one of our all-time favorite side dishes when we have company over. The side dish makes for a great presentation piece and the tender, fluffy slices and crispy exterior are simply addictive. Following the tips above for getting the slices just right makes this dish a snap to make any time you spice up your potatoes.
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