What Are Hasselback Potatoes?
Hasselback potatoes are a classic Swedish side dish. The name comes from the Hasselbacken Restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden where they were first served in 1953. They are characterized by accordion cuts running crosswise along the length of the potato but that don't go all the way through to the other side. Once baked, they fan out attractively and have a crisp exterior and soft, tender interior. They are sometimes called Accordion Potatoes or Pillbug Potatoes.
Some recipes start with peeled potatoes while others leave the skins on. For my version, I use thin-skinned Yukon Gold potatoes and keep the peel on. And to make things just a little more interesting, I bake the potatoes on a bed of sliced onions that slowly caramelize in the oven and eventually adorn the tops of the potatoes along with a generous slather of butter mixed with chopped fresh sage. It's a wonderful upgrade to an already tasty way to serve potatoes.
The potatoes are definitely the star of the show here, but there are a few additional ingredients that make these Hasselback Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Sage Butter extra special:
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. With their soft, buttery flesh and thin skin, I think Yukon Golds make THE BEST Hasselback Potatoes. You can certainly use Russet Potatoes, but I would peel them prior to baking. It's also best to make sure your potatoes aren't too large, as they will take more time to cook. Potatoes that are about 4-6 ounces are the ideal size.
- Butter and Olive Oil. I like the combination of fats here as it helps the potatoes become crispy and flavorful but not overly rich.
- Sliced Onions. Cooking the potatoes on a bed of onions is a wonderful way to add an extra dimension of flavor to the dish without any extra hassle.
- Fresh Sage. A quintessential herb for autumn, chopped fresh sage brings an earthy herbiness to the dish. I love the way the butter and sage melts down into the accordion cuts infusing the potatoes with additional flavor.
I tried a few different ways of baking the potatoes (different temperatures, times, covering vs. not covering, etc.), and this simple method seems to work the best:
- Cut the potatoes into ⅛-1/4 accordion slices that do not go all the way through the potato. This sounds simple, but it is easy to accidentally go through the potato or to be too cautious and not go far enough into the potato which will cause them to not open up and fan out as the bake. Some recipes suggest placing chopsticks on either side of the potato before cutting the slices; this prevents you for cutting all the way through. Others suggest putting the potato in a shallow, large spoon and cutting it there which should achieve the same result. I actually purchased a Hasselback Potato cutting surface (yes, they actually exist) that has a divot in the center for the potato to rest in as you cut. This made the process incredibly easy and is a worthy investment of $8.95 if you are so inclined.
- Place cut side up in an 9x13 baking dish and scatter an even layer of sliced onions around the potatoes. It's important that the layer of onions be even; any "outlier" onion slices around the edges that are on their own will get dark too quickly.
- Brush with a butter and olive oil mixture and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. No need to cover the baking dish.
- Remove the dish from the oven, stir the onions and brush the potatoes and onions with butter and olive oil again. By now, the potatoes will have baked enough to begin to open up. This is the perfect time to add a little extra butter and olive oil and let it seep down into the slices of the the potato.
- Bake until the potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes more.
- Increase the heat to 450 degrees and brush each potato with sage butter and top with a tangle of onions. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the sage butter melts and onions become golden.
Please give these Hasselback Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Sage Butter a try! They really are a wonderful side dish, particularly for the holidays as they are a little extra special. Looking for more Nordic-inspired potato recipes? I've got several here on the blog:
- Pytt i Panna
- Potato and Pickled Herring Bites with Remoulade
- Celery Root and Potato Puree
- New Potato Smørrebrød with Garlic Aioli and Crispy Shallots
- Herbed New Potato Salad with Pickled Golden Beets and Capers
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Barley and Fall Vegetables
- Danish Egg Cake with Potatoes, Bacon and Chives (Æggekage)
Hasselback Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Sage Butter
For the Potatoes and Caramelized Onions:
- 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes scrubbed (peeled if desired)
- 1 large yellow onion sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Sage Butter:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- Coarse salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut ⅛ -¼ inch slices crosswise down the length of each potato, not cutting all the way through so that the potato remains together at the bottom. Place in a 9x13 baking dish, cut side up. Combine olive oil and melted butter together in a small bowl.
- Scatter onion slices around the potatoes. Brush the onions and potatoes with the olive oil and butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven. Stir the onions and brush the potatoes again with the oil and butter mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, make the Sage Butter: Combine butter and sage in a small bowl and season to taste with salt. Set aside.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Gather the onions from the bottom of the dish with a spoon or fork and scatter them evenly over the top of the potatoes. Dot potatoes with Sage Butter. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve.