Sage Hasselback Potatoes: A Fragrant and Flavorful Side Dish for Any Occasion

I am at a place right now where I am standing still in life.

Everywhere around me, people are rushing for things – new places and careers, new relationships, new life, even – and I am watching them.

Top view of raw potatoes in a wooden bowl | Foodal

I want to go forward, to take a step, join them, but instead I stare at my feet, unmoving and, if I’m honest, afraid.

Most days, I want a blueprint: a very, very specific outline of steps to take, with guarantees and/or backup plans, if possible.

So I talk to people who’ve been in similar situations, and they tell me what they did, whether they got their first apartment at 17 or had to work their way through college or stayed at their first job for five years.

A potato with slices on the top | Foodal

But no matter how similar life stories are, they aren’t the same. Following your choices won’t guarantee that I follow your life. Your future can’t be mine.

And I don’t really want it to be. Not when I’m honest. In fact, I don’t really want advice, either. I think I just want someone to listen and nod and say, you know, what’s supposed to happen will happen. Because I believe that.

Raw hasselback potatoes on a baking sheet | Foodal

Meanwhile, I take easy change where I can find it, and, at least for me, that means the kind that happens in the kitchen, routinely, every day.

Like, I take a baby gold potato in my hand, set in on a wooden spoon and make quick slices, then smothering it with olive oil and butter, tossing salt and pepper and sage on top.

Wide view of raw hasselback potatoes on a baking sheet and other cooking tools used to make the recipe | Foodal

A full bag of these goes onto a cookie sheet, slid into a hot oven that warms my face and hands when I open and close its door.

In an hour: what was cold, raw flesh has become hot, soft and tender, fragrant and flavorful. The skins have wrinkled and darkened, the juices have sunk in deep.

Corner of a backing sheet with potatoes sliced hasselback sty;e with herbed butter | Foodal

Hasselback potatoes are really something special. Beautiful and intelligent. Requiring a bit of effort for something very impressive. I think they look like little snails, but that doesn’t sound appetizing, so let’s say they look like little fans – waves that are crusty and golden, juicy and crispy.

And the bit of effort that goes into creating them– the slicing and stuffing, which is mindless work – yields great returns when you look at these, but even more when you taste them.

Cooked Saged Hasselback potatoes on a baking sheet | Foodal

That’s the kind of change I don’t have to think twice about choosing, which is, of course, welcome indeed.

Cooked Saged Hasselback potatoes on a baking sheet | Foodal

Sage Hasselback Potatoes

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: roasting


An easy potato side dish that is full of flavor. Serve any time of the year.


  • 1.5 pounds of baby gold potatoes
  • 3 Tablspoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • chopped fresh sage, small bundle (9 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C).  Drizzle olive oil on top of baking sheet or a low cake pan to prevent the potatoes from sticking. You can also line the sheet with aluminum foil if you desire to keep further clean up from being an issue (I didn’t).
  2. Take potatoes, one by one, and set on a wooden spoon, slicing top to bottom along the length of the body at even intervals. To make the slits larger, you can slice tiny bits of the potato out by slicing at alternating diagonals. (I did this with some and not with others – both worked fine.)
  3. Set the sliced potatoes on the oiled baking sheet, being careful not to break them apart. Drizzle with olive oil. Insert bits of butter between the openings in each potato. Sprinkle sage all over. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over.
  4. Slide baking sheet in oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, tossing the potatoes once after 20 minutes in the heat.


The recipe calls for salted butter – salted or unsalted butter, it really doesn’t make any difference. If using unsalted, you may need add a little salt at the end.


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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn,, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens,, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World,, Babble,, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.

10 thoughts on “Sage Hasselback Potatoes: A Fragrant and Flavorful Side Dish for Any Occasion

  1. Oh my goodness, these look insanely good! And I just so happen to have a bag of baby golds in the fridge….Thanks for the lovely idea. I think that taking some time to stand in place and stare at your feet is perfectly acceptable and even necessary at times. I’m with you in always questioning my choices and comparing myself to others. I just see my life as in such an unstable place and everyone around me seems to have their lives figured out. But you know? I think there are fewer people that have their stuff together than you might think. And in the meantime, making beautiful food is a great coping mechanism!

  2. Shannalee, you are too cute for words. i know exactly how you feel, not only about change but about needing a sounding board and not necessarily advice. if you should ever need to vent, holla at a sister.

  3. My mom used to make “accordion potatoes” when I was a kid, but I think she also sprinkled bread crumbs over top?? These look lovely and I think I’ll be making some soon.

  4. I understand just what you mean when you say you’re standing still while everyone else is rushing around. I personally think that standing still is a good thing and that we should do it more often- give ourselves a chance to think things through a bit. I’m in the middle of huge transition in my life, and everyone around me keeps rushing me and asking me if I’m nervous or worried, and you know what I say, “Not at all. Because I know everything will work out just the way it should”. And that is the truth.

    PS. la-la-love the potatoes.

  5. Potatoes look great! I will definitely have to try. I also worry about standing still and my mind is often cluttered with what ifs about the future. Recently I started practicing mindfulness meditation – living in the now. Very helpful. I also find it easy to live in the present when I am cooking. In fact the kitchen is the only place I “allow” myself to make mistakes without worrying.

  6. I know I’ve said this before, but I think you’re all really nice. Thanks for being the Internet version of nodding heads and empathy.

    Kickpleat – Accordion potatoes sound so much better than fans. Love it. And bread crumbs would be really interesting on top!

    Vicki – I love how you said the kitchen is the place where it’s safe to make mistakes. I agree. And I’d like to think it’s also a place to become braver for everywhere else.

  7. I love how these potatoes looks!I can imagine myself stuffing cloves of garlic in between the layers.. Mmmm.

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