Basic (But Perfect) Hasselback Potatoes


4 to 6 medium potatoes
6 tbs melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon breakcrumbs, seasoned or unseasoned
2 tbs hard cheese like Romano or Parmesan (optional)


Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)

Peel the potatoes and place them in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown while you are preparing them. Place each potato into a large metal spoon. The raised edges of the spoon will act as a depth-gauge for your slices. Now, with the potato in the spoon, carefully make slices across the potato (the short way) about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart. Stop when you reach the edge of the spoon and make slices along the entire length of the potato. The potato slices should all stay connected at the bottom. Return the sliced potato carefully to the bowl of water while slicing the remaining potatoes.

Once you are done slicing all the potatoes, carefully pat them dry and place them cut side up in a shallow baking dish. Brush the potatoes with the melted butter, using about half of the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush on the remaining butter, then sprinkle on the bread crumbs and the cheese, if desired. Bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, or until browned. Add a dash more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.

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