Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with honey and pecans are not only fun but when you add cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper, you have the most amazing addition to any meal. You can prepare these in advance and warm up before serving.
Maybe I’m easily impressed, but this is the coolest way to make potatoes and my new favorite way to make a sweet potato side dish. It not only looks impressive, but they taste amazing, with both sweet and spicy.
If you haven’t heard of Hasselback sweet potatoes they are named after a restaurant that served potatoes using this technique in Stockholm. It refers to slicing the potatoes ¾’s of the way through but leaving the potato intact.
By slicing the potatoes, you get crevices for the honey mustard and seasonings to seep into and flavor the entire potato. This way you have all the delicious flavors in every bite.
How do you slice a potato using the hasselback technique
Slicing sweet potatoes is the hardest part. Potatoes can be hard to slice, so start with a sharp knife, then you have a few options to prevent you from cutting all the way through the potato.
- Chopsticks – put the potato between two chopsticks, wooden chopsticks or plastic will work. With the chopsticks right next to the potato, if you slice too far, the chopsticks will prevent the knife from cutting all the way through the potato. Wood skewers are not thick enough for this but chopsticks are just the right thickness.
- Wooden spoons – you can also use the handles of two wooden spoons.
- Cutting boards – you can put the potato between two cutting boards.
If you slice all the way through, it’s no biggy, just place them next to each other in the baking dish and you’ll still have a beautiful presentation.
The seasonings start with traditional cinnamon and nutmeg, but then you’ll add some rosemary and chili flakes and mix it with honey and mustard, traditional with a twist. Pecans on the top give it a little crunch. It’s a delicious way to serve sweet potatoes and there are no marshmallows!
Taylor said it made the house smell like Thanksgiving! Speaking of which, this is a great side for Thanksgiving or a family meal. You can make it them advance and then just warm them before dinner so your oven is free for homemade dinner rolls.
If you prefer a more traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato recipe, then try a Southern sweet potato casserole or if you like adding fruit to your veggies, try sweet potatoes with pears. When you’re in the mood for custard, try grating the sweet potatoes for a savory sweet potato pudding.
This is an easy recipe that you don’t have to save for special occasions. Try serving it with grilled chicken or a simple steak. If you don’t want to bother with cutting sweet potatoes, try stovetop candied yams instead.
Why you’ll love it
- This is a fun way to enjoy a healthy side dish
- Honey and pecans compliment the dijon mustard and rosemary
- It has just a hint of spice
- You can prepare the dish in advance and warm it up in the oven when ready to serve.
- They taste great with turkey.
- These are great for a holiday meal when you want something a little different
The sauce in this hasselback sweet potatoes recipe is pretty spicy so if that isn’t your cup of tea, decrease the pepper flakes. I love the honey, mustard, nutmeg mixture combined with the sweet potatoes. If you want it to taste more like traditional sweet potato recipes, then leave out the mustard and rosemary.
What you’ll need for a delicious side dish
- Sweet potatoes – try to find ones that are similar in size so that they cook evenly
- Honey – I love the flavor of honey, but you could substitute maple syrup or even brown sugar.
- Dijon mustard
- Seasonings – rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, chili pepper flakes, black pepper
How to make Hasselback sweet potatoes
Step 1 – combine the seasonings
In a small bowl, add honey, mustard, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, chili pepper flakes and black pepper and stir with a spoon until well combined. Set aside.
Step 2 – prepare the potatoes
Wash the potatoes and, and place the flat side down on a chopping board. Remove a little bit of flesh from the bottom if needed so the potatoes sit flat and steady on the cutting board.
Step 3 – get out some chopsticks
Place a wooden chopstick on either side of the potato and, slice the potato into thin slices, as thinly as you can without going all the way through, down the length of the sweet potato.
The chopsticks will help to prevent you from cutting all the way through, but you still have to be careful on the ends, as the chopsticks might not be high enough to keep you from cutting through. You can also put them between two cutting boards if you don’t have chopsticks handy.
Step 4 – put it all together
Spoon the honey mixture over the potatoes and push it inside between the slices by rubbing the potatoes with your fingers, or you can brush the potatoes if you don’t like getting your hands messy. Place potatoes in a baking dish, add a little dab of butter on top of each potato and cover with foil.
Step 5 – bake
Bake for 55-60 minutes – this can take longer depending on the size of the sweet potatoes and whether you have thick slices or thin. For larger potatoes it can take 90 minutes to get tender potatoes.
Step 6 – baste
About 15 minutes before the potatoes are done cooking, remove the foil, baste with some of the liquid that’s at the bottom of the baking dish, sprinkle with chopped pecans and resume cooking. Drizzle with a the cooking liquid and top with butter.
While these do take a long time to cook, you can make them ahead of time and just reheat this perfect side dish for part of your weeknight meal.
This has no cheese so it can easily be made dairy free by eliminating the butter.
FAQs and tips
The name Hasselback comes from a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden, named Hasselbacken, where the recipe for Hasselback potatoes was first introduced in the 1940s. This technique is unique and a fun presentation, but thankfully is also easy to do.
It is taking a potato or sweet potato and cutting about halfway through into thin, fan-like slices.
You can prep the potatoes ahead of time and warm in the oven before serving.
Sweet potatoes are easy to freeze. Just let them cool and place in an airtight container. Reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350º or microwave for about a minute.
MORE potato dishes
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Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Pecans
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons rosemary finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons pecans chopped
- In a small mixing bowl, add honey, mustard, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, chili pepper flakes and black pepper and stir with a spoon until well combined. Set aside.
- Wash the potatoes and, if necessary, remove a little bit of flesh from the bottom so the potatoes sit flat and steady on the cutting board.
- Place a wooden chopstick on either side of the potato and, slice the potato as thinly as you can without going all the way through. The chopsticks will help to prevent that from happening, but you still have to be careful on the ends, as the chopsticks might not be high enough to completely cover them. You can also put them between two cutting boards if you don’t have chopsticks handy.
- Spoon the honey mixture over the potatoes and push it in between the slices by rubbing the potatoes with your fingers. Place the potatoes in a baking dish, add a little dab of butter on top of each potato and cover with foil.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the potatoes are done cooking, remove the foil, baste with some of the liquid that’s at the bottom of the baking dish, sprinkle with chopped pecans and resume cooking. Drizzle with a the cooking liquid and top with butter.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- It may take longer than 1 hour to cook depending on how big the potatoes are so plan accordingly. If using large potatoes, it can take 90 minutes.
- If you want more traditional flavors, leave out the mustard and rosemary.
- You can leave out the chili flakes if you don’t want it spicy.
- Add the pecans just 15 minutes before they are done or they will get too brown.