ShareThis Page

Hasselback potato side dish is creamy, crispy

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 5:13 p.m.
Emma Christensen
Hasselback Potatoes

The Hasselback potato is clearly the most impressive spud to ever call itself a side dish. It's also like having all of your potato dreams come true at once: these potatoes have the crispy edges of your favorite french fries, but with middles as creamy as mashed potatoes — plus the added bonus of being, essentially, wholesome baked potatoes in clever disguise.

Want one more reason to make them tonight? How about the fact that despite their frilly fancy-pants appearance, they take no more time and little more effort than your average foil-wrapped baked potato.

We can thank the Swedes — and the chefs at Restaurant Hasselbacken, in particular — for the invention of this particular style of potato. They sometimes go by the name “accordion potatoes” or (my favorite) “pillbug potatoes.” Whatever you call it, the result is the same: a single potato, sliced into thin wedges but left joined at the bottom, baked until the layers fan out into rounds of crispy bliss.

You start with a few potatoes. Any potato will do. I love Yukon Golds for this, but you can also use russets, red potatoes, or even tiny new potatoes. Slice straight down into the potato, but stop just short of cutting all the way through. You can rest the potato on a large serving spoon to use as a guide. Make your slices as thick or as thin as you like — my knife skills tend to average slices that are 18-inch to 14-inch thick.

Next comes the butter. Or the olive oil. Or any other fat or mix of fats that you like. I love a mix of butter and olive oil for the richness and flavor, but I'm dying to try duck fat. You don't need much — just enough to brush the outside before baking and then brush again halfway through baking.

That second application of fat is key. When you first cut the potatoes, the slices are too tight for the butter to get down in the cracks. But about halfway through cooking, the potatoes start to fan out. This gives you some space to coax some butter down into the nooks and crannies, plus the second coating ensures crispy perfection.

Now, I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like those accordion folds are just begging to be stuffed with some shredded cheese and minced herbs. Perhaps some crumbled bacon, too. In fact, I could definitely see any number of favorite baked potato toppings making their way into this dish, can't you?

Make a few Hasselback potatoes for a family dinner or a whole sheet pan of them for a dinner party. My recipe here is for four potatoes, but you can certainly multiply that for a crowd. In my opinion, any dinner — big or small, casual or fancy — can only be improved with the addition of Hasselback potatoes.

Emma Christensen is a writer for, a blog for people who love food and home cooking.

Hasselback Potatoes

4 large potatoes, Yukon Gold, russet or Red Bliss

4 tablespoons melted butter, olive oil, duck fat, bacon fat, coconut oil, or a mix


Freshly ground black pepper

Optional extras: minced fresh herbs, spices, grated cheese, bread crumbs, panko crumbs

Heat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack in the lower-middle position.

Scrub the potatoes clean and pat them dry. Alternatively, you can peel the skins.

Cut slits in the potatoes; stop slicing just before you cut through so that the slices stay connected at the bottom of the potato. Space the slices 18-inch to 14-inch apart. You can rest the potato in a large serving spoon and use that as a guide for when to stop slicing — slice straight down and when your knife hits the edge of the spoon, stop slicing.

Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish. Brush the potatoes all over with butter or other fat, including the bottoms.

Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. At this point, the layers will start separating. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the potatoes again with the remaining fat — you can nudge the layers apart if they're still sticking together. Make sure some of the fat drips down into the space between the slices.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy on the edges and easily pierced in the middles with a paring knife. If you're adding any extras, stuff those into the slits and sprinkle over the top 5 to 10 minutes before the end of cooking. (Total baking time is 60 to 70 minutes for average potatoes; if your potatoes are on the small side or are larger, adjust cooking time accordingly.)

These potatoes are best straight from the oven while the edges are at their crispiest.

Makes 4 servings.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.