Hasselback Potatoes are fantastic and a very simple way to turn regular potatoes from dull to delish. With just the assistance of a knife, some butter and breadcrumbs, you have a side dish that’s not only very pretty in all its hominess, but also deliciously tasty.
It’s the mid ’80s at the Bergmans back in Stockholm, Sweden. We are expecting dinner guests. Mom and Dad take turns in the kitchen, running back and forth between the stove, dining room, and bedroom trying to perfect both their own outfits, the food, and the table decoration at the same time. They have poured themselves a small whiskey each, in those special whiskey glasses that look like oak trees. If you fill them with just the right amount of whiskey and slowly wobble them back and forth, they produce a unique clucking sound. Dad demonstrates the clucking to every new dinner guest. I find it very fascinating.
It smells good. Warm and soft. Like an open fire wrapped in a velvet blanket. Something is roasting in the oven. Probably chicken and Hasselback Potatoes. And when Hasselback Potatoes are on the menu, you just know things are a little bit more festive than normal. That it isn’t your regular Tuesday dinner. It’s the weekend, and the guests are important. I myself haven’t got the faintest idea of how these Hasselback Potatoes are made (or that they were first introduced at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm), but I’m enchanted by them. The fine cuts. The crispy top and the soft inside. The golden bread crumbs. The enchanting flavor. It feels international and grown-up. Fancy.
A few hours later, a very young Kalle Bergman is dozing off on the couch after dinner, as the evening continues in the open kitchen. The grown-ups are speaking. Arguing. Laughing. Cheering. I’m not disturbed by it, slowly rocked to sleep by the murmuring.
To me Hasselback Potatoes, along with a few other dishes, are a lost symbol of my childhood. A more innocent time. But it disappeared for some reason, both from dinner tables and restaurant menus. Exactly when and why, I don’t know, but probably something new and trendy got in the way of it. My parents’ generation grew tired of it, and the generation that followed never really discovered it.
But Hasselback Potatoes are fantastic and a very simple way to turn regular potatoes from dull to delish. With just the assistance of a knife, a brush of some butter and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, you have a side dish that’s not only very pretty in all its hominess, but also super tasty.
Perfectly tender, perhaps even topped with some of your favorites: cheese, garlic, bacon, herbs, sour cream chives (not the traditional recipe, but who am I to judge?) – they are fancy looking and incredibly tasty.
How to cut Hasselback Potatoes:
To get perfectly sliced Hasselback Potatoes every time, rest the potato between two wooden chopsticks or two wooden spoons. Gently slice the potato into 1/5 inch thick slices, stopping when the chopsticks stop your knife. Be careful not to slice all the way through.
Butter vs. Olive Oil:
I’ve seen a number of recipes online using olive oil, but let me make one thing very clear – it’s butter or nothing in the Bergman household.
Best Potatoes to use for Hasselback Potatoes:
Yukon golds, or Russet potatoes are by far my favorites for this dish. They are starchy, and great for baking, frying and mashing – and Hasselback potatoes are kind of a mix of all three techniques.
The Perfect Hasselback Potatoes
The classic Swedish oven baked potato recipe – Hasselback Potatoes
- Author: Kalle Bergman
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Nordic
- 2 lbs Potatoes (Medium Sized)
- 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
- 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary or sage
- 1 stick Organic butter
- 1 tbsp Salt Flakes
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Peel and wash the potatoes.
- Gently slice into the potatoes about 1/5 inch apart. Do not cut completely through.
- Top each potato with a small knob of butter and bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and sprinkle each potato with breadcrumbs, sea salt and some rosemary or sage (this is untraditional, so if you want to stay true to the original recipe, just leave it out)..
- Again top each potato with a small knob of butter.
- Bake for another 25-35 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes) or until golden on the outside and soft on the inside. You can also turn the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes of cooking to get an extra crispy outside.
Keywords: potatoes, hasselback potatoes, swedish
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking and PAIR Magazine. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.
My mother used to make these potatoes as well. I should make them more often. They are definitively a fantastic side. Thanks for the reminder!
They are indeed wonderful. An easy way to cut through without going all the way is to simply place the potato in the bowl of a wooden spoon. As your knife drives downward, it will stop at the edges of the wooden spoon and the potato “in the bowl” will not be cut. Perfect! These is ideal for smaller or rounder potatoes. For the larger versions, simply lay t he potato along side the handle of the wooden spoon, cut downward, and the wood will stop the knife at the right spot.
I’ve had hit-and-miss results with my hasselback potatoes not cooking all the way through despite the slices and copious amounts of oil or butter. I found that pre-cooking them just a minute or two in the microwave or boiling water, softened them enough that I could cut, dress, season, and roast to perfection.
I often make these – sometimes maybe with a little parmesan on top you do as you feel – but they always taste good,- and everybody loves them – especially all the potatoe lovers :) – I love this editor and the small comments on how life is .:)
I love Hasselback potatoes. I don’t make them often enough. Thanks for the reminder. But, do you know any more about those Whiskey glasses? Those sound intriguing.
Oh, I’ve been scouring the earth for those glasses – but haven’t been able to find them anywhere!