Regular baked spuds are good. Hasselback potatoes are awesome! Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, basted with garlic rosemary olive oil. This is roast potato perfection!

Hasselback potatoes talk

Everybody talks about how tips and tricks to avoid accidentally cutting the way through (easy – chopsticks or spatula on either side of the potato!). Why doesn’t anyone talk about the other things that matter for hasselback success?? Namely:

  1. Fanning is key! For good hasselback potatoes, you need the slices to fan out as they bake so you can drip salty oil/fat between the slices and crispy edges. Without fanning, you end up with regular old roast spuds!

  2. For fanning, you need thin slices (2mm is ideal), to cut down far enough (1cm / 0.4″ from base) and oval shaped potatoes work better than round ones. If you don’t cut down far enough, you will not get fanning! And thick slices don’t fan as well as thin slices (you can see in my photos the thin ones fan out more).

  3. Basting is also key. Baste, baste, baste to encourage fanning (dragging the brush across the surface helps separate the slices) and to drip tasty salted oil between the potato slices.

And with that, let’s get onto what you want to know – how to make great hasselback potatoes!

Overhead photo of Hasselback potatoes

What you need

You really only need potatoes, oil and salt to make hasselback potatoes. Garlic and rosemary are optional, but they do infuse the oil with lovely flavour that gets brushed onto the potato.

Hasselback potatoes ingredients
  • Potato type – All-rounder and floury / starchy potatoes are best. The most common potatoes at regular stores will be fine – they’re stocked because they’re great all-rounders.

    Australia – Sebago (the dirt brushed potatoes sold everywhere) are perfect, Desiree are great too. US: Yukon Gold, russet, UK: Maris piper, King Edward.

    Waxy potatoes do work, but the cut surface gets kind of slippery which doesn’t really appeal to me.

  • Potato size and shape – Look for potatoes around 250g/8oz that are a nice even oval shape rather than round. These will fan out better to allow the oil and salt to drip between the slices.

    If the potatoes are too small (like baby potatoes) then the inside will get too soft before the edges crisp up. And while in theory, you can make much larger ones, it will be a little harder to get the inside cooked without the edges of the thin slices burning.

  • Garlic and rosemary are optional. These infuse the oil with a little flavour which is then brushed onto the potatoes. But the flavour is subtle.

  • Olive oil – You can make hasselback potatoes with any fat, though oils will make the potatoes crisper than butter (because butter contains ~20% water). So if you do want to use some melted butter for brushing, I’d recommend still using olive oil for most of the baking time then use butter towards the end.


The easiest way to cut hasselback potatoes

So here’s a step by step of my easy way to cut hasselback potatoes – by using a spatula or chopsticks which makes it impossible to accidentally cut all the way through. But, as noted above, it’s also important to ensure you cut through enough, to allow the potatoes to fan out. So make sure your spatula / chopstick is no thicker than 1cm / 0.4″!

How to make Hasselback potatoes
  1. Stable base – Firstly, cut a thin slice off the base so the potato will sit flat and stable.

  2. Cutting guide – Place the potato between the hands of 2 spatulas or chopsticks (or similar), no thicker than 1cm / 0.4″.

  3. In action! See? See how the spatula stops the knife from cutting all the way through? Perfect!

    Slice THINLY – Aim for 2mm slices. Thin slices = fans out when baking = crispy edges and getting oil / salt between the slices! (Cutting through far enough is also key to this).

  4. Hasselbacked – Here it is! Run your fingers across the surface and admire your handiwork!

Wonky cuts? Accidentally cut all the way through? Who cares! It’s still going to be delicious – and still going to trump regular plain boring roast spuds. 🙂

Baking hasselback potatoes

Cutting part done – time to bake. This part is easy, but the basting steps are critical!

How to make Hasselback potatoes
  1. Rub with a little oil (just 1 1/2 teaspoons shared between all 5) then salt. Not much at this stage!

  2. Bake 1 – Bake at 200°C/400°F (180°C fan) for 30 minutes. This first bake is to get the potato slices to start opening up so we can get salt and oil in between.

  3. Oil & salt – Then pour 1/4 cup olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with salt. Only so much will fall between the slices at this stage, we will coax more flavour in when we baste!

  4. Bake 2 – Return to the oven for a further 40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through, basting with the oil on the tray every 10 minutes (see below). The bake time will be shorter if you use smaller potatoes (I use 250g/8oz).

How to make Hasselback potatoes
  1. Basting – For the basting, squidge a brush into the oil on the tray.

  2. Brush with intention! Then drag the brush across the surface of the potato, using a little pressure to coax the potato slices apart so salty oil drips down between the slices. Basting is key for hasselback awesomeness, so don’t shortcut this step!

  1. Golden crispness! Crank up the oven to 220°C/425°F (200°C). Then return the potatoes into the oven or a further 15 minutes to make them extra golden and crispy on the edges.

  2. Sprinkle with a little salt flakes if you want (I want!) then devour while hot and crispy.

Hasselback potatoes fresh out of the oven
Inside of Hasselback potatoes

And with that, I have imparted all my hasselback making learnings to you.

Serve while hot and crispy, with a sprinkle of salt flakes and some fresh rosemary sprigs for decoration, if so desired. And while leftovers will keep for a few days, there really is nothing like hasselbacks fresh out of the oven! – Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Accidentally threw the garlic and rosemary onto the tray at the beginning instead of partway through! Best to add at the 30 minute mark, otherwise they get very, very toasted. (aka. burnt)

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Hasselback potatoes

Servings5 – 6

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. Soft on the inside and crispy on the edges, brushed with garlic rosemary olive oil! Hasselback success relies on thin slices so they fan out as they bake, allowing oil and salt to drip in between with crispy edges. Otherwise, they end up like regular roast spuds! Making sure you cut through enough and using oval shaped spuds also help to ensure they fan out properly.Worried about your knife skills? Don’t! So what if your slices are irregular or a little too thick? Wonky hasselbacks still trump regular roast spuds every day of the week. 🙂

Instructions

Shortform recipe:

  • Hasselback slice 2mm thick. Rub/sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp oil and 1/4 tsp salt.

  • Bake 200°C/400°F (180°C fan) for 30 min. Pour over oil, sprinkle with salt, throw garlic and rosemary on tray. Bake further 40 min, basting generously every 10 min (getting oil between slices key), until cooked. Crank up to 220°C/425°F (200°C), baste, bake 10 – 15 min until extra golden.

Full recipe:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C fan-forced).

  • Cut prep – Cut a thin slice off the base of a potato to make it sit flat while cutting. Place the potato between 2 wooden spatulas or chopsticks (no thicker than 1cm / 0.4″ – Note 4), to make it impossible for you to accidentally cut all the way through!

  • THIN slices – Cut the potato into very thin slices, aiming for 2 mm. The cuts on the edges of the potato can be slightly thicker as the edges bake up crisper. (Note 4 for tips)

  • Rub – Drizzle each potato the 1 1/2 tsp oil then sprinkle/rub with the 1/4 tsp salt (ie share across all).

Baking:

  • Bake 1 – Place the potatoes on a tray. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven.

  • Baste 1 – The potato slices should be slightly less “stuck” together at this stage. Pour the 1/4 cup olive oil over the potatoes then sprinkle the salt evenly over. The salt gets spread later, so don’t worry if it looks like a lot! Throw the garlic and rosemary on the tray.

  • Baking/basting – Bake the potatoes for another 40 minutes, basting with the oil on the tray every 10 minutes. Brush with a bit of pressure across the surface of the potatoes to encourage the oil and salty to drip down. Once oil gets between the slices, they will fan out more and more.

  • CRISP IT! – Once the potatoes are soft in the centre (check with knife), turn the oven UP to 220°C/425°F (200°C). Baste the potatoes again then bake for a further 15 minutes until the edges are nice and golden. I am quite bold with this step, many others do not seek as much crispy edges.

  • Serve immediately while hot and the edges are crispy! Peeling off those end bits are the BEST.

Recipe Notes:

1. Potatoes – All-rounder and floury / starchy potatoes are best. The most common potatoes at regular stores will be fine – they’re stocked because they’re great all-rounders. Oval shape fans out better than round ones.
Australia – Sebago (the dirt brushed potatoes sold everywhere) are perfect, Desiree are great too. US: Yukon Gold, russet, UK: Maris piper, King Edward.
2. Salt – it will look like a lot when you sprinkle but it gets spread when basting, all over the potato and between the slices. 
3. Smash garlic by putting side of knife against it and hitting with palm of hand to make it burst open but mostly hold together. Releases garlic flavour into oil without ending up with lots of burnt black bits.
No herbs? Still worth making as the flavour is subtle. Them or sage would also work well. But, use fresh! Little bits of dry herbs will just burn.
4. Hasselback success relies on thin slices so they fan out more as they bake so salty oil drips down between the slices and you get crispy edges. Ensuring you cut through enough also factors into this (hence why I say the spatula / chopstick should not be thicker than 1cm / 0.4″).
But don’t fret if you are struggling! You can coax them open when basting – just apply a little pressure as you brush across the top and it will coax them open slightly. Last resort – use a butter knife to pry them open. Once a little oil gets between two slices of potato, it prevents them from sticking together again.
5. Leftovers will keep for 3 days but they will not be like the golden crispy masterpiece that you pulled hot out of the oven.
6. Nutrition per serving, takes into account an estimation of the oil remaining on the tray.

Life of Dozer

12 month anniversary of Dinner. What a ride it’s been! Thank you for being a part of it. None of this would have been possible without you! – Nagi & Dozer x

(PS Yes that’s a smear of flour on the side of my face. OF COURSE.)

And the only thing Dozer cares about is whether there’s anything edible in this enormous, most obnoxious bunch of flowers my publisher Pan Macmillan sent me to celebrate the day!!

Nagi

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