The Hasselback potato is one of the most impressive spuds to ever call itself a side dish.
It’s like having all of your potato dreams come true at once. These potatoes have the crispy edges of your favorite French fries, 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 baked potato?
We can thank the Swedes – and the chefs at Restaurant Hasselbacken, in particular – for the invention of this style of potato. They also sometimes go under the name accordion potatoes or (my favorite) pillbug potatoes. Whatever you call them, the result is the same: a potato, sliced into thin wedges but left joined at the bottom, baked until the layers fan out into rounds of crispy bliss.
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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 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.
Next comes butter, olive oil or any other fat or mix of fats that you like. I love a mix of butter and olive oil for 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 butter down into the nooks and crannies, plus the second coating ensures crispy perfection.
Also, those accordion folds are just begging to be stuffed with shredded cheese and minced herbs. Perhaps some crumbled bacon, too. 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 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 TheKitchn.com, a website for food and home cooking.