This may be a hot take, but I think it’s perfectly fine to skip the Thanksgiving roast, as long as there are potatoes on the table. Mashed, roasted, sauteed, or fried; it’s simply not a harvest feast without some form of spuds. In fact, go ahead and invite more than one to the party. There’s always room for another starchy side.
What Is Potato Pavé?
Some call them “thousand layer potatoes” or “15 hour potatoes” thanks to TikTok, but their roots go much deeper than that. Similar to hasselback, accordion, and tornado potatoes with their endless crispy layers, potato pavé have been around for centuries. These golden bricks of pressed, creamy potato, take their name from the French word for cobblestone. Historically reserved for the tables of fine dining establishments, their time-consuming preparation is too demanding for any old weeknight dinner, but well within reach for a special occasion.
How It’s Made
To create this masterpiece, you’ll layer these paper-thin potato slices in a meticulous mosaic, infusing each crevice with rich coconut milk and sriracha-spiked bee-free honey. The whole assembly is baked, then weighted down to compress and bind the strata into compact tiers, still delicate but stable enough to slice. Traditionally, it’s then fried or seared in hot oil, but I prefer the ease of the air fryer, browning the edges to a crispy, grease-free finish.
If all goes according to plan, you get the best of all worlds: A buttery interior with sheets of silky-smooth potato puree, and crunchy sides that could put breakfast hash browns to shame. Mixed within that textural symphony, the sweet-heat flavor contrast hits all the high notes.
This is definitely a more advanced recipe, best prepared ahead of time and practiced before the big event, if possible. It all comes down to technique, with a pinch of food science.
Can I use sweet potatoes or purple potatoes instead?
- No, I’m afraid not. They’ll become completely smooth in the center, which is also lovely, but not the same experience as you’d get from a multitude of distinct layers.
Can I make potato pavé without a mandolin?
- You can, in the sense that it’s physically possible and I can’t stop you, but I absolutely do NOT recommend it. Unless you’re a master chef or sword-fighting ninja, there’s no way to ensure completely consistent, wafer-thin slices across three pounds of potatoes. This is absolutely critical for success. To be honest, I should have cut mine even thinner than what’s pictured too.
What do you do with the scraps?
- If you’re not satisfied by simply eating them as snacks while you work, the excess trimmings can be added to soups or stews, mixed into stuffing, or even sprinkled on top of salads.
Naturally, potato pave would be right at home with the other side dishes, but they could also be served as a starter before the main meal. Include a garlicky aioli for dipping and think of them as bundles of crispy French fries! For a more elegant serving, use them as a separate first course, surrounded by a pool of chestnut puree, gravy, or herbed vegan butter.
If there’s one dish you invest concerted time and effort on this Thanksgiving, make it the potatoes.
- Olive Oil, as Needed
- 1 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Honey, Dark Agave, or Maple Syrup
- 1 - 2 Teaspoons Sriracha
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Sage
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Pounds Russet Potatoes, Peeled
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with foil, leaving at least 2 - 3 inches overhanging the edges. Lightly grease with oil and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, sweetener, sriracha (more or less depending on your spice preference), salt, paprika, garlic powder, sage, and pepper. Set your mandoline over the bowl and begin slicing your potatoes on the smallest setting (1 - 2mm in thickness) directly into the bowl. Toss potato slices in coconut mixture occasionally to keep them from oxidizing.
- Arrange the sliced potato into the prepared pan, overlapping and pressing down, trying to build the layers as evenly as possible. Once the pan is full and all the slices are used, pour in the excess coconut milk to cover. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to let the liquid settle.
- Carefully slide the pan into the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan, use the overhanging foil to fold over the top and cover the potatoes, than continue baking for another 30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender all the way through.
- Place another loaf pan on top of the aluminum covered potatoes and fill that pan with weights, such as canned beans or tomatoes. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, then refrigerate the weighted potatoes overnight; at least 8 hours. If you'd like to hold the potatoes longer before serving, remove the weights and wrap tightly in plastic. It can then keep for up to three days.
- When you're ready to finish the dish, use the excess foil as a sling to pull the potatoes out of the pan. Unwrap and use a sharp knife to cut them into cubes or rectangles. Carefully lay them on their sides on a foil-lined air fryer sheet, and gently brush with oil. Air fry at 370 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy all over.
- Serve hot!
To make this recipe sugar-free, replace the sweetener with a few drops of liquid stevia or monk fruit extract, to taste.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.