How To Roast Cubed Sweet Potatoes
Cubing and roasting sweet potatoes is perhaps the most popular way to enjoy the root vegetable its how it makes appearances on most Thanksgiving tables. Its also great if you want to dip the sweet potatoes in ketchup or other condiments.
Like baking sweet potatoes whole, this process can take up to 40 minutes. But if you want to expedite things, try blanching the sweet potatoes first. Start by cubing the potatoes while youre waiting for a pot of water to boil. Each cube should be the same size so they cook evenly not doing so is one of the biggest cooking mistakes.
Once the water is boiling, sprinkle salt into the pot and add the sweet potatoes. Keep the potatoes in the boiling water for about three to five minutes. At this point, the sweet potatoes will be tender but not soft. Immediately drain the sweet potatoes and put in a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Once cooled, drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the potatoes in olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, pepper and other seasonings you prefer. Add the potatoes to a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until golden brown. Serve the potatoes alongside a salad, steak, baked chicken and more for an easy dinner perfect for busy weeknights.
Time To Make Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil/ghee/rendered animal fats
- Optional toppings: ghee, toasted almonds, pomeganate arils, aged balsamic vinegar, etc.
Heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Grab the sweet potatoes/garnet yams and pierce them all over with a sharp paring knife.
Brush on your paleo-friendly fat of choice
and pop the sweet potatoes in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife. I rotate the tray 180° and flip the sweet potatoes over at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
Voila! Perfect baked sweet potatoes creamy flesh and dry, crispy skin. Not too shabby for 5 minutes of hands-on time.
Add some ghee
let it melt
and add your favorite toppings, like sliced toasted almonds, pomegranate arils, and aged balsamic vinegar!
Dont wrap your tubers in foil before you bake them, people! You can store these baked sweet potatoes in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. Youll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans , Ready or Not! , and Nom Nom Paleo: Lets Go! .
Do You Leave The Skin On Sweet Potatoes When Roasting
Whether or not you leave the skin on a sweet potato prior to roasting is entirely up to you!
You do not need to peel a sweet potato prior to cooking it in the oven. The skins of sweet potatoes are safe to eat, both raw and cooked, and contain nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Leaving the skin on sweet potatoes is a time saver since you dont need to peel them .
- If you leave the skin on the sweet potatoes, it becomes lightly crispy and crinkly when the sweet potatoes roast .
- The flavor of the skin is mild, but it does have a slight texture.
- If you are cooking for picky eaters, peeling the sweet potato may be a good idea.
- The skin will be visible on some sides of the potato pieces, so if you are looking for a clean presentation, remove the skin.
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Bake At 425 Degrees Fahrenheit
Any lower, and your fries will be soggy. Any higher, and the oil will start smoking. Plus, at higher temps your fries will turn from crisp to burnt way too fast.
Halfway through cooking, youll flip the fries with a spatula and swap the pan positions . This helps ensure that they bake evenly, turning perfectly golden on the outside and cooking through on the inside.
Why Bake Sweet Potatoes For That Long
Sweet potatoes, in my opinion, are a superfood on many levels. Theyre not only highly nutritious , but they also have a low glycemic index of 17. Theyre also simple to find, store, and prepare, and they work well in both sweet and savoury dishes. But, above all, theyre delectable.
The prep work of peeling, chopping, boiling, and draining for tender sweet potatoes is eliminated when they are baked. Although baking takes at least an hour in the oven, this process is fully hands-off and can be done up to a week ahead of time. Baking the sweet potatoes until theyre soft also makes mash time a breeze.
Sweet potatoes can be baked at any temperature and for any length of time because they are so adaptable. If youre already cooking something else in the oven at 375°F, add the sweet potatoes and cook them for an additional 15 minutes. If youre cooking other things in the oven at 425F, your sweet potatoes will be done in around 15 minutes. But, once again, the size of your sweet potato is a factor.
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Freezing Leftover Baked Sweet Potatoes
One reader gave the tip that you can freeze leftover baked sweet potatoes by mashing them after theyve been baked and then transfer the mashed up leftovers to a jumbo-sized muffin pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with foil and place in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer portions to a zip-lock bag or large plastic box.
Secrets To The Best Sweet Potatoes In The Oven
With their natural sweetness, crispy outsides, and meltingly creamy insides, roasted sweet potatoes are quite possibly one of the easiest vegetables to adore. Discerning adults and picky eaters alike can rally around them. And theyre good for you too!
We eat roasted sweet potatoes often and were perfectly happy with them , so I didnt think my technique needed improving. Then, one night, I was in a hurry and I tried something new.
I cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks.
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Dessert Baked Sweet Potato Toppings:
- Cinnamon butter with a sprinkle of brown sugar
- Add some marshmallows to the above and broil until toasty
- A dollop of yogurt and some fresh fruits, like berries
- A drizzle of seed or nut butter with some banana slices or berries
- Feel free to add vegan dark chocolate chips to any of the above
- Fill with a cinnamon apple filling, like the one I use for these pancakes
You can also skip the toppings entirely and use your baked sweet potatoes to turn into creamy mash or add to other recipes with sweet potatoes ! You can also serve oven-baked sweet potato as a side to plenty of mains/ your favorite protein!
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
What Is The Difference Between Yams And Sweet Potatoes
To tell the difference between sweet potatoes and yams at the store or farmers market, yams skin is tough, brown, and bumpy and looks a bit like tree bark, but sweet potatoes have a more red-brown skin. However, a lot of stores dont even know the difference and call yams and sweet potatoes one and the same! But yams are a different root vegetable than sweet potatoes theyre similar in flavor and texture to russet potatoes or yucca.
To make it more confusing, there are orange, white, AND purple sweet potatoes. To get the classic orange version, look for the signature brownish-red skin, and if it has any nicks, the interior should be orange in color.
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How I Bake A Sweet Potato
Follow the recipe below to perfectly bake a sweet potato, without having to test and guess when it is done. Here are the methods to the madness:
- Dont coat the sweet potatoes in or wrap them in foil. This is often required in baked sweet potato recipes, but it is time-consuming and not necessary. Ive also found that this helps the skin separate from the sweet potato flesh, making it easier to peel and eat after baking.
- Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork before baking. This improves the texture and helps the sweet potato separate from the skin.
- Dont place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet put them directly on the oven rack. Ive found the baking sheet to be unnecessary.
- Place a sheet of foil or a baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven . This catches any syrup that may drip from the sweet potatoes. Dont worry, sweet potato juice isnt going to gush out and dirty your oven, there are just a few drips that turn into charcoal on the foil.
- Leave the sweet potatoes in the oven after turning off the oven. The residual heat continues to cook the sweet potatoes without burning them, so they get exceptionally tender and moist.
Expert Tips And Tricks
- Scrub a dub, dub. Remove all of the dirt before cooking, use a vegetable brush if needed.
- Poke some holes. This helps to release the juices when baking so the potato doesnt build up pressure and potentially burst.
- Drizzle on oil. If youre going to eat the skin for the tons of fiber add some flavor with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Width is what matters. Select similarly sized potatoes so they all cook up at the same rate.
- Test for doneness. Always check the largest potato to make sure its cooked through.
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Slice Your Fries Thinly
You want your fries to be about 1/4 wide, or close to it. Thick fries never get crispy.
Heres how to slice a sweet potato into fries: Rest your sweet potato on its side on a sturdy cutting board. Working lengthwise, slice off a 1/4 thick slab from one of the sides. Turn the sweet potato onto the flat side so its more stable. It gets easier from there!
Continue cutting the sweet potato into slabs, and then cut the slabs into thin fries. As youre cutting the slabs, youll eventually want to turn the sweet potato onto the now-larger flat side to maintain stability.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Ingredients
These twice baked sweet potatoes are at least twice as healthy as any twice baked potatoes Ive eaten before. Instead of using regular baked potatoes, I opt for the nutrient-dense sweet potato. Then, instead of adding the usual sour cream or cream cheese, I fill the potatoes with all sorts of nourishing ingredients:
- A steamed broccoli salad Dressed with garlic, olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and scallions, its bright, tangy, and fresh.
- Sweet potato-rosemary cashew cream This. Sauce! I make it by blending some of the baked mashed sweet potatoes with cashews, rosemary, and lemon. Its sweet, savory, cozy, and rich. Youll love it in this recipe, but you might find yourself drizzling it over everything else, too!
- Hemp seeds They add a nice crunch.
- Fresh parsley A fresh finishing touch.
- And a sprinkle of cheddar cheese This is one of those recipes where the cheese is optional or not optional, depending on your preference. The creamy cashew filling is so delicious that the cheese isnt necessary for flavor. But if you ask my husband Jack if he wants cheese on anything, his answer will always be yes, please more cheese!
These components are healthy, but that doesnt mean theyre not delicious. Together, they create an irresistible balance of rich, fresh, bright, and zesty flavors.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
These sweet potato fries will change your life. Im serious! They are salty-sweet, crunchy, and spicy if you wish. Baked sweet potato fries have been one of my favorite snacks since I first shared the recipe eight years ago.
These crispy fries beat their fast-food fried Russet cousins in simplicity and ease. They require fewer cooking steps because theyre baked rather than fried.
Over the years, Ive learned a few tricks to make my sweet potato fries even more crispy. Crispy fries or bust!
Youll learn all of them as you make the recipe, but Im sharing my top tips in more detail below. Are you hungry for sweet potato fries yet?
How To Cook Sweet Potatoes
Despite the name, sweet potatoes are not a type of potato, they are a root vegetable. Usually orange-fleshed in the UK, they can also be purple or white inside. They can be baked, roasted, fried, barbecued, steamed or boiled, and will mash and purée well too. When mashed they make a useful vegetarian filling for dishes like quesadillas and falafel.
Their sweetness also makes them a good candidate to be used in baking such as in a carrot cake or brownies. In America its traditional to add even more sweetness to them by roasting them with maple syrup, adding marshmallows to them in a traybake or using them like pumpkin in a pie.
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How To Make Sweet Potato Puree From Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Got leftover sweet potato? Make sweet potato puree! Heres a quick tutorial on how to do so:
How To Bake A Whole Sweet Potato
When a perfectly grilled steak or roast chicken is on the menu, no side comes to mind more readily than a perfectly baked potato. When you think about a baked potato, you likely envision a russet or Yukon Gold potato sliced open and piled high with sour cream, chives, bacon, cheese and more. But you can achieve a similar effect with a sweet potato.
If you opt for a sweet potato, the baking process isnt that different from cooking a white potato. Preheat the oven to 425F. Because sweet potatoes are so firm, they need a high heat and longer cooking time than softer varieties of spuds.
Wash the potatoes, then use a fork to puncture holes into the top of the veggie. This gives the steam that builds up while baking a way to escape. Skipping this step can result in a potato explosion and no one wants to clean that up.
Although some people may recommend wrapping your sweet potatoes in foil before placing them in the oven, it isnt necessary. It traps the moisture and can make the skin of the potato soft instead of crispy.
Bake the sweet potatoes for about 40 minutes or until tender. Once the potatoes have cooled, slice them down the middle and load them up with your desired toppings. You can also eat it plain with a pat of butter, salt and pepper, as the recipe below suggests.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425F.
Step 2: Add four sweet potatoes to a pan lined with foil. Poke holes in the top of each sweet potato with a fork.
Step 5: Season with salt and pepper.
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The Best Sweet Potato Recipe
What started as a time saver turned out to be the best-kept secret to roasted sweet potatoes.
- Cut the Sweet Potatoes into Large Chunks. I found 1-inch cubes to be ideal.
- Larger sweet potato pieces meant a longer baking time in the oven.
- The insides had time to become unbelievably velvety while the outsides fully crisped, all without drying the sweet potatoes out.
- Roast at a High Temperature. 425 degrees F is spot-on. Its hot enough to crisp the outsides and allows the flavors of the sweet potatoes to caramelize and concentrate .
- Dont Crowd the Pan. You need plenty of room around the pieces for air to circulate, otherwise they will steam and you lose the crispy outsides.
- Seasoning. Even simple kosher salt will give you great results, though you can amp them up in assorted ways. See below for suggestions.
- Add a Touch of Honey. Need to lure picky eaters into eating veggies? Try making honey roasted sweet potatoes. It increases the caramelization of the sweet potatoes further too. If you do add honey, be sure to line your sheet pan to prevent sticking.
Season Last If Desired
Add salt before baking the fries, but wait to add any spices until after baking. Otherwise, the spices will burn and lose their flavor. I love to balance the sweetness of the fries with a little cayenne pepper and garlic powder, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Another benefit of seasoning last? You can add spices to taste, so you wont overdo it.
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Can I Microwave The Sweet Potato
Absolutely, though, the skin wont become wonderfully crispy as it uses a steaming method. Wash and prod the potatoes several times. Then wrap them in damp paper towels .
For one potato: microwave for three minutes, then flip over and repeat. Check with a knife to ensure its tender if not, continue to microwave in 30-second increments until ready.
For 2-3 potatoes: Microwave for 4-5 minutes per side before checking if theyre knife tender. I generally add an extra 2 minutes for every extra sweet potato.