Simple and delicious Hasselback potatoes

by | Nov 20, 2020

My parents’ kitchen still has a wooden spoon that looks more used than the others. It’s the family’s “Hasselback spoon” — it was simply the perfect size and depth for creating delicious hasselbackspotatis, or Hasselback potatoes. Put the potato in the spoon, cut down, and you’ll have a beautiful, fan-shaped potato that turns any meal into a celebration.

So, here’s how to do these simple showstoppers, in stop motion:

Skip straight to the recipe for Hasselback potatoes by clicking here.

The history of Hasselback potatoes

This will be a short — but eventful — section.

For years, I assumed that the Hasselback potato came from the restaurant with the same name, Hasselbacken. They even share the origin story on their website: the potato was created in 1953 by Leif Eliasson from Värmland. Eliasson was one of the restaurant’s trainee chefs.

But… Ted Wärnåker, author of Maträtternas historia (which is a lovely source for those curious of food history) let me know that they are older than that. He’d found a recipe of them in the classic Prinsessornas kokbok. I checked my copy printed in 1934 — yup, it’s there.

None of my other cookbooks from the time included the recipe, but newspaper Svenska Dagbladet’s arkiv showed up hits for “hasselbackspotatis” from 1948 and onwards. However, some of the recipes seem to consider Hasselback potatoes an even more fan-shaped creation: a 1951 recipe cuts the potato into thin slices that then should be pushed down against the oven-proof dish to fan out.

According to Wärnåker, Eliasson came to Stockholm in the early 50s when he was fifteen years old, so he cannot have been the dish’s originator (although it is possible to invent the wheel more than once…).

Considering that Restaurant Hasselbacken has had the same name since the 1760s, it is not unreasonable that the dish takes its name from the establisment — but that’s pure speculation. Regardless, these delicious potatoes are now strongly connected to the restaurant.

Swedish Hasselback potatoes — hasselbackspotatis

How to make Swedish Hasselback potatoes

This Hasselback potato recipe is not very precise — feel free to play around with it and scale it up or down! While it takes a bit longer to slice the potatoes than cooking them whole, they will cook faster when they are sliced.

There are special Hasselback potato cutting boards which looks a bit like an oval soap holder, but that is completely unnecessary. Instead, grab a deep wooden spoon, place the potato in the middle and cut until the knife hits the edges. For 4 portions:

8-10 medium-sized potatoes, preferably elongated
3-4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional but recommended)
sea salt

  1. Se the oven to 225°C (435°F). Melt a butter in a saucepan and set it to the side.
  2. Peel the potatoes. Place each potato in a deep wooden spoon and cut until the knife hits the spoon’s edges. If you don’t have a spoon, simply cut the potato freely but make sure not to cut it all the way through.
  3. Take out an oven-proof dish. Brush the dish with a little of the butter. Place the potatoes in the dish and brush them with more of the butter. Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt.
  4. Cook your Hasselback potatoes in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take them out, brush with any remaining butter, and sprinkle them with breadcrumbs.
  5. Cook for another 10-15 minutes (depending on size) until they become golden and are getting softer when you prick them with a toothpick. If the potatoes still are a bit hard but get a lot of color, cover them with foil until they are cooked through.
  6. Enjoy your Hasselback potatoes! They make any meal a bit more festive.

Suggestions

Sometimes, I make them a bit fancier still by grating Parmigiano-cheese on top. Or why not press a bit of garlic into the butter? Scattering herbs on top when serving also add a bit of flavor.

Mini-Hasselback potatoes are a cute crowd pleaser at parties — dipping them in a sauce makes for a delicious snack.

You’ll often find Hasselback potatoes served with a Sunday roast, a big steak, or a festive meal such as a New Year’s Eve dinner.

3 Comments

  1. Linda Ohrn P

    These are festive! Never tried to cook them. I wonder If They cook faster because of all the cuts in them.

    Reply
    • Isabelle Fredborg

      Linda, you’re right! They do cook faster, especially if you make thin cuts.

      Reply
  2. Emily

    These look so cute! I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen potatoes cooked this way before. I’m thinking Christmas Eve dinner for sure 🙂

    Reply

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Hej och välkommen!

My name is Isabelle. Here at Swedish Spoon, you’ll find Swedish food history, tried-and-tested recipes, and a lot of obsessing over great butter. You can also expect some travel tips.

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