These roasted sweet potatoes are what results if I have the oven on anyway for something else. I’ll throw a couple sweet potatoes in and let them bake at whatever temperature until they’re done. [Editor’s Note: Ingenious, no? You can have them right away or they actually reheat incredibly well. And we even know folks who care for them straight out of the fridge. If that’s not tempting enough, they also whip up into a fine sweet potato hummus.]–Andrea Reusing

Other ways to use these sweet potatoes

  • Mash and stir into the batter for sweet potato cornbread.
  • Drizzle with a little maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, or sorghum.
  • Top with butter and brown sugar. Cinnamon, nuts (pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts), and raisins are at your discretion.
  • Dollop some homemade applesauce on top.
  • Gild with smoked bacon.
  • Plop a spoonful of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt atop.
  • Smother with crumbled blue cheese or homemade blue cheese dressing.
  • Pretend the potato is a tartine and bury it beneath bacon, blue cheese, and honey.
  • Dust with smoked paprika, a little cayenne, and a pat of salted butter to layer a little complexity behind that sweetness.
  • Reach for the olive oil, chipotle chile powder, and sugar in the raw.
  • Get a little crazy with some caramelized or roasted onions over the top.
  • Sprinkle with soy sauce, grated ginger, and sesame seeds.
  • Scoop out the middle, mash it with butter, salt and pepper, cinnamon and cloves, and a little orange juice, then return it to the skins before returning to the oven for a few minutes to warm.
  • Dust with a little apple or pumpkin pie spice.
  • Rely on any Indian chutney, whether mango or coriander or apple or mint or peach. Or create your own sweetly sour flavor with some tamarind paste combined with sauteed shallots, ginger, and garlic followed with a shower of fresh cilantro and some plain yogurt.
  • Slather with some roasted garlic and olive oil, thyme, maybe some salt and pepper.
  • Strew with corn and black beans and drizzle with chipotle chile en adobo stirred into some sour cream.

    Or sit and eat it just as-is. And don’t forget to save any surplus potatoes to dice and add to soups at the last minute, stuff into pasta as a filling, make into a simple mash, and toss into curries. Or puree and gently add heft to a batch of buttermilk drop biscuits. Or to do as the moment moves you. As LC recipe tester Elie Nassar so aptly put it, anything a butternut squash can do, a sweet potato can pretty much do as well.
Two roasted sweet potatoes on a wooden table.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

5 / 4 votes
These roasted sweet potatoes require little more than plonking spuds on a baking sheet and sliding them in the oven. So simple. So healthy. So dang versatile.
David Leite
Servings1 servings
Calories194 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butter, (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Anything else you want, (see suggestions in the last step of the recipe)


  • Heat the oven to 400°F (204° C).
  • To cook the sweet potatoes on their own, prick them a few times, lightly oil their skins, and place them directly on the top rack with a pan placed below them on the next rack to catch any drips. Bake until the sweet potatoes are completely tender and slightly shrunken with crisp skin, 45 to 60 minutes, which will depend largely on the size of your sweet potatoes.
  • Split the top of each, insert some butter, if desired, and add a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
Cooking in the Moment

Adapted From

Cooking in the Moment

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Serving: 1 potatoCalories: 194 kcalCarbohydrates: 45 gProtein: 4 gFat: 0.1 gSaturated Fat: 0.04 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03 gSodium: 124 mgPotassium: 762 mgFiber: 7 gSugar: 9 gVitamin A: 32063 IUVitamin C: 5 mgCalcium: 68 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Andrea Reusing. Photo © 2011 Piyaset. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I made this for lunch today because I had one sweet potato that was feeling lonely. It makes a quick and easy lunch. The cook time will depend upon the size of your sweet potato. Mine was fairly large, so it took an hour to cook. I seasoned half of mine with some butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. On the other half, I used smoked paprika, cayenne, and butter. Both flavors were very good.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I lived in a rural farming town in Japan for a few years and one of the absolute joys was when the yaki-imo (roasted sweet potato) man would drive through the streets selling them fresh from the wood fired cooker on the back of his truck.

    It’s a Japanese winter tradition and all the sellers sing a similar song.

    There nothing happier than watching the snow fall while gathered around with family enjoying roasted sweet potatoes.

  2. The photo depicts a yam rather than a sweet potato, which has pale flesh. Are they intended to be interchangeable?