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:
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!
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).
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!
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.
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″!
Stable base – Firstly, cut a thin slice off the base so the potato will sit flat and stable.
Cutting guide – Place the potato between the hands of 2 spatulas or chopsticks (or similar), no thicker than 1cm / 0.4″.
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).
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!
Rub with a little oil (just 1 1/2 teaspoons shared between all 5) then salt. Not much at this stage!
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.
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!
Bake 2 – Return to the oven with the garlic and the rosemary 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).
Basting – For the basting, squidge a brush into the oil on the tray.
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!
Golden crispness! Crank up the oven to 220°C/425°F (200°C). Then return the potatoes into the oven or a further 10 to 15 minutes to make them extra golden and crispy on the edges.
Sprinkle with a little salt flakes if you want (I want!) then devour while hot and crispy.
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)
- 5 – 6 x 250g / 8oz potatoes , oval shaped regular or floury, scrubbed clean (Aus: Sebago (dirt brushed), desiree, US: Yukon Gold, russet, UK: Maris piper, King Edward, Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cooking salt / kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 tsp cooking salt / kosher salt (Note 2)
- 4 garlic cloves , skin on, smashed (optional) (Note 3)
- 3 rosemary sprigs (optional but recommended) (Note 3)
- 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 fan), baste, bake 10 – 15 min until extra golden.
- 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).
- 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 salt 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 10 – 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.
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!!