Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Butter is easier than you think! The marriage of these flavors will have you saying ‘so long marshmallows’.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto Butter Elevates Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Don’t hate me, but I am NOT a fan of sweet potato casserole. Maybe I’ve never had a really good one, but that dish is a no-go on my Thanksgiving table. I’ve always preferred salty, savory accompaniments to my sweet potatoes. Who’s with me?!
The end result may look on the fancy side, but this recipe is really easy to pull together. It takes just a little concentration to prep the sweet potatoes for baking.
While they roast, you can whip up a compound butter in just a few minutes. That homemade pesto butter with toasted pumpkin seeds is so delicious, you’ll want to put it on everything. I mean everything!
Ingredients for Baked Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pesto Butter
In addition to pantry staples like olive oil, kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper, you’ll need:
- Sweet potatoes — I suggest petite or small sweet potatoes, to arrange in a pie dish, but larger is fine if that’s all you can get your hands on.
- Fresh basil + flat leaf parsley
- Grated parmesan — you can grate your own, or purchase pre-grated from the cheese section of your grocery. The shelf-stable variety from the pasta aisle is ok, but it does contain cellulose and the flavor just isn’t as good.
- Pumpkin seeds — you’ll usually find pesto made with pine nuts, but toasted pumpkin seeds are a great seasonal alternative.
- Fresh garlic
- Unsalted butter — the parm is going to bring salt to the party, so unsalted butter gives you some control over the amount + flavor
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How to Make Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pesto Butter
The Hasselback Treatment
The term actually comes from the Hasselbacken restaurant in Sweden where they were first created back in the 50s. Cool, yea?
To get that signature fan look, you have to cut small slices into the potato without going all the way through. The easiest way to achieve this is to nest the sweet potato between wooden spoon handles or chopsticks. These serve as a stop for your knife blade.
Beginning at one end of the potato, make 1/8-inch slices down to the wood. Continue until you’ve sliced the entire length of the potato. Take your time and you’ll be a total pro by the end of the first potato.
Get Ready to Roast
Place the sliced the potatoes in a pie plate or small casserole dish, and rub them all over with olive oil. Try to get between the slices, too. Season them liberally with some kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
Roast them in a 425°F oven for 40 minutes (meanwhile, make the pesto butter). Spread some pesto butter over the top of each potato (you should have some leftover) and return to the oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
Make Homemade Pesto Butter
There is nothing like fresh pesto. In this case, we’re replacing most of the oil with softened butter for a rich spread.
You can use raw pumpkin seeds, but if you prefer them toasted (like I do), dump the seeds in a small cold skillet. Place this over medium heat and give it a little shake now and then for even toasting. It shouldn’t take more than 3 to 4 minutes or so. Be careful not to burn the seeds!
In the bowl of small food processor, add the basil, parsley, grated parm, pumpkin seeds, a quartered garlic clove and pinch of kosher salt. Pulse until everything is uniform and resembles a coarse paste. Add the olive oil and softened butter and pulse again until evenly mixed.
Bring it All Together
When the potatoes are done, use a fork to gently fan the slices open. Serve the potatoes right from the dish with additional pumpkin seed pesto butter on the side. Easy peasy!
Recipe Variations + Serving Suggestions
- If you’re not keen on all that slicing, make regular ole baked sweet potatoes and serve a dollop of pesto butter right on top.
- Not a fan of sweet potatoes? Substitute russets, yukon golds or baby reds.
- If you’re staying away from butter, omit it and use 4 tbsp of olive oil when making the pesto.
Like I said, you might be tempted to use this pesto butter on everything! How else could you use it?
- Use it to scramble eggs.
- Finish a steak, fish or veggies with some.
- Toss it with noodles.
- Spread it on bread.
Potato Lovers, Check Out These Recipes…
- Air Fryer German Potato Salad
- Make Your Own Flavor Kettle Chips
- Roasted Garlic + Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
- Boozy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce is amazing on mashed potatoes!
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Butter
- casserole or pie plate
- 2 lbs petite/small sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper
Pumpkin Seed Pesto Butter
- ½ cup basil leaves packed
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley packed, stems removed
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds raw, shelled
- 1 clove garlic quartered
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9" pie plate with oil or cooking spray.
- Nest a potato between two wooden spoon handles to prevent slicing all the way through and make 1/8 slices across the potato along the entire length. Repeat with all the potatoes.
- Arrange potatoes in the pie plate. Rub olive oil all over the them, getting in between the slices. Season potatoes with kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper.
- Roast for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pumpkin seed pesto butter. Place basil, parsley, parmesan, pumpkin seeds, garlic and large pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it turns into a paste. Scrape down the sides, then add in the butter. Pulse again until the ingredients are evenly mixed. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Spread some pesto butter on top of each potato and return to the oven for additional 10 to 15 minutes. The potatoes should be fork tender when done.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and gently fan the tops with a fork.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.
This recipe is part of Sip + Sanity’s 2021 Thanksgiving Menu that includes recipes for brunch, cocktail hour and the main event. Check it out for make-ahead tips and the timeline!