Sweet and smoky hasselback sweet potatoes make a delicious, healthy side dish. The deep slices yield potato strips similar to thin steak fries with crisper exteriors and soft middles. This smoky seasoning is the best!
After blogging for over three years now (wow!), I’ve become a full-fledged food zhusher. Even with dishes I’m not taking pictures of, I fight an impulse to scatter herbs just so, wipe smudges, remove crumbs, and press chocolate chips into the tops of cookies and muffins to make them look casually…precise.
But while I’m always working to improve my food photos, I don’t want to project an image that things just come together in the kitchen effortlessly. Behind the scenes of this blog I’m a blustery, scrappy mess in the kitchen most of the time. I share this to say to you: if I can make hasselback potatoes, you can make hasselback potatoes. Specifically these sweet and smoky hasselback sweet potatoes.
So here’s another confession: my knife cuts are the worst. The. Woooooorst (Jean-Ralphio voice). A recipe that hinges on my ability to make many thin, even slices 95% of the way through a potato isn’t exactly something I’d jump for, but hasselback potatoes are absolutely worth it.
What are hasselback potatoes?
Hasselback potatoes (either sweet or regular potatoes, as is more common) are a type of baked potato that feature tiny slices cut crosswise most of the way through the potato. I’d say around 75%? You want to leave enough at the bottom so the potato doesn’t fall apart when being handled.
All of those cuts yield crisper edges to satisfy the french fry/smashed potato fans among us, with fluffy soft potato interiors to enjoy, too.
An important slicing tip
There’s one tip that really helps you slice into the sweet spot of these potatoes without slicing through them. Arrange sweet potatoes crosswise on a cutting board, then place two wooden utensils, like spoons on either of this long sides. This way when you’re slicing into the potato, your knife will hit the wooden utensils, preserving the bottom strip and helping it stay intact.
Easy recipe steps
The hardest part is definitely slicing the sweet potatoes. A mixture of olive oil and melted butter is brushed on before roasting and then again halfway through, when the potato slices fan out and the oil/butter can coat each one.
You can use all olive oil or all butter if you like, but I didn’t want the finished product to taste heavily of olive oil so I used a blend. Coconut oil also works, as does any other fairly neutral-flavored cooking oil you like.
Now let’s talk about the seasoning. Salt, smoked paprika, sugar, and cinnamon work wonders in adding a smoky, sweet, salty flavor…but not too sweet. I’ve never been a fan of sweet sweet potatoes – you know, the kind with marshmallows on top (so many confessions today) but this spice blend has it just right. That said, you can definitely alter the ratios to fit your preferences.
These hasselback sweet potatoes are done when the edges have crisped and the inside is perfectly fork tender.
Keep the good (savory) times rolling with savory mashed sweet potatoes. A smoky spice blend also makes an appearance here to decisively bump up this creamy side dish to savory territory.
Baked potatoes take awhile in the oven but they produce wonderfully crisp skin. Microwave “baked potatoes” take no time but are kind of sogged. An air fryer baked potato fills the gap by shaving off considerable time but still achieving crisp potato skin.
- While I haven’t made these in an air fryer, I would imagine they would work just as well. My go-to air fryer potato temperature is 375°F, with cook time depending on the size of your potatoes.
- Any type of cooking oil/fat should work fine here. I used a blend because I didn’t want as strong of an olive oil flavor, but really any neutral flavor is good.
Sweet and Smoky Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter melted (or oil of your choice)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Slice just about all the way through each potato. To make this easier, I put a wooden spoon on either side of the potato to act as a barrier so the knife wouldn't go all the way down. You'll want each slice to be about 1/8" thin.
- Combine the olive oil and coconut oil or butter (or other oil) mixture in a small bowl. Brush this mixture along the top and sides of each potato (you won't use all of it), reserving the remainder.
- Combine the salt, smoked paprika, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle/rub the spice blend all over each potato, reserving some as well.
- Roast for 35 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Brush the potatoes again with the remaining oil/butter mixture, this time trying to get it between each slice the best you can (the slices should be more fanned out now). Sprinkle the spice blend between slices.
- Put the potatoes back in the oven and and roast for another 30-35 minutes, or until the exteriors have crisped and a fork or tester can easily be inserted into the center of a slice. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.