Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes are a delightful side to serve with just about any main dish. But perfectly crispy sweet potatoes in the oven can be a bit challenging. My goal is to make sure you never have the issue of soggy sweet potatoes again.
They are very similar to making sweet potato fries and come with the same issues. They yield more sugar, more water, and less starch than regular potatoes and that makes them exponentially harder to make into crispy little nuggets, especially in the oven where the outside tends to brun before the inside is soft.
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Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These sheet pan potatoes are perfectly seasoned and have the most incredible flavor; bound to satisfy any potato craving. And any fried food craving because they are super crispy. ALthough most would think of them as a great side dish, I’ve been known to eat a whole helping for dinner, use them in salads or as a “bowl” and top with pulled pork or taco meat or a grain bowl and other fun toppings.
I’ve been there, I’ve aimed for crispy, crunch browned sweet potatoes and ended up with mushy bits. Still delicious, but not what I was going for.
Roasting is the key and that means HOT heat and quick heat. Nothing low and slow here. Read on for all of foolproof tips.
All of the ingredients for this roasted sweet potato recipe are kitchen staples, with the exception of maybe sweet potatoes. Unless you are like me a always keep a few around. They last for weeks or more if kept properly.
Store in a basket, or some other vessel that breaths, in a cool, dark place, essentially making your own root cellar.
- Potatoes: For this recipe, I used sweet potatoes (with the skin on) cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes. This recipe can also be made with red, Yukon Gold or russet potatoes.
- Herbs & Spices: Kosher salt (or sea salt), pepper, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
- The secret ingredient: Brown sugar in the spice mix gives them delicious caramelization and crispy flavor and finish. Maple syrup, honey or agave nectar can also be used to bring out the natural sweetness.
- For Cooking: Olive oil or another fairly neutral oil. Melted coconut oil is also an option.
How to Make Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1. Prepare the seasoning. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and brown sugar.
2. Season the sweet potatoes. Toss the sweet potato chunks in olive oil, then add seasoning and toss to coat. Doing the oil evenly first serves as the glue and you need this evenly distributed to evenly coat with seasoning.
3. Roast the sweet potatoes. Place the seasoned sweet potatoes on a baking sheet with about a half-inch in between each one, a single layer. You can line it with parchment paper, if you wish. Make sure to give them plenty of room. If not, the water released will cause steam and prevent the potatoes from browning.
- Roast for 15 minutes, toss and continue roasting for 10-15 mins until golden brown and crispy. Cooking times will vary based on the size of pieces.
How to Cut a Sweet Potato
I recommend cutting your sweet potato into cubes, however, you can cut them into whichever shape you prefer. Just make sure that they are about a uniform size, otherwise you end up with unevenly cooked potato pieces.
- Peel the potato (optional– the skin is edible and holds most of the nutrients).
- Start by cutting off the ends of the sweet potato.
- Slice off the sides of the potato to “square” the shape of the potato.
- Slice and cut into sweet potato cubes. Cubes should be about 1-inch big. If they are too large, the exterior will burn before the inside has a chance to cook.
Sweet Potato Seasoning
There isn’t a true secret to seasoning sweet potatoes. They are naturally sweet and thus they pair wonderfully with spicy, sweet and savory flavor profiles. Our seasoning uses salt to amplify the natural taste and brown sugar with the help of molasses to really make it pop.
Feel free to play around with sweet potato seasoning until you find the best version for you!
Herbs & Spices: Kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar in the spice mix gives them delicious caramelization and crispy flavor and finish. Use light or dark brown sugar depending on how much you enjoy molasses. It helps gives a nice, crunchy crust.
Tips for Crispy Sweet Potatoes
In my not so humble opinion, crispy potatoes are the BEST potatoes! To ensure you get crispy roasted sweet potatoes, follow these tricks:
- Give them space to breath. Make sure you give the potatoes plenty of space on the pan. Space will allow the potatoes to get crispy instead of steamy and mushy.
- Use a low rimmed pan. I recommend using a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) because the edges will keep your pieces on, but not with high sides that can also create a steaming effect.
- Don’t use foil. I like to roast my potatoes right on the baking sheet, without foil. Foil can actually prevent your potatoes from crisping.
- Spices. The spice mix not only adds flavor, but it helps to dry out the potato, just like getting a nice brown on a steak, you need a dry surface, coupled with the high heat, to get a brown.
- Heat. Roasting potatoes on too low of a temperature won’t give you the desired effect.
Boiling vs Roasting?
Is it better to roast or boil sweet potatoes? It’s really a personal preference. Boiling sweet potatoes will make them soft and tender and roasting sweet potatoes will give you a tender inside with a crispy outside.
If you don’t allow enough space on the pan your potatoes will become steamy and mushy instead of caramelized and crispy. Make sure you are using a large enough pan to space out your potato wedges.
You do not need to blanch your sweet potatoes before roasting. If you want to you can, however, I do not because it adds additional steps, dishes, and time to the process. But it also adds in moisture, making it more difficult to get that coveted crunch.
When it comes to peeling the potatoes, this is truly a personal preference. Some people like the skin and others do not. I left it on, but it is up to you. Also, make Roasted Garlic Potatoes!
Storage & Freezing
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to a week. Leftovers can be reheating in a hot oven or tossed in a skillet.
Freezing: Sweet potatoes can also be frozen! Place in a plastic freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible and then freeze for up to 6 months. To thaw, place the frozen cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 13-15 minutes at 350°F.
More sweet potato recipes:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
- Toss the sweet potatoes in olive oil, then add seasoning and toss to coat evenly.
- Place the seasoned sweet potatoes on a baking sheet with about a half-inch in between each one.
- Roast for 15 minutes, toss and continue roasting for 10-15 mins until golden brown and crispy.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.