Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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.

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.]–Andrea Reusing

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Two roasted sweet potatoes on a wooden table.
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.
Andrea Reusing

Prep 5 mins
Cook 55 mins
Total 1 hr
Sides
American
1 servings
5 / 4 votes
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Ingredients 

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

Directions
 

  • 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. Or… 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 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.
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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.

Originally published April 06, 2020

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Every single one of these ideas sounds wonderful. A baked sweet potato is one of life’s great pleasures, in my opinion. When I was a child growing up on a farm, we’d wrap them in foil and toss them into a pile of leaves before setting fire to it. Back then the most effective way to dispose of leaves was by burning them. Tossing a few potatoes into the pile was just killing two birds with one stone. 🙂

    1. Lana, how charming! Many thanks for sharing your childhood sweet potato experience. We burned leaves, too, when I was a child growing up on a farm, but we were lacking that extra special component…

  2. 5 stars
    All of these toppings sound yummy. I like to top baked sweet potatoes with cranberry sauce, either spiced or plain.

      1. I always bake sweet potatoes/yams for Thanksgiving and top them with fresh cranberry orange sauce. Simple sauce: bag of cranberries, peeled orange cut into chunks, a little water as per package, and about half as much sugar as the recipe on the package calls for – I like it slightly sweet/slightly tart. It is THE perfect topping for baked yams, IMHO!!! LOL!

  3. Pick up some outdoor flavors by adding a few sweet potatoes to the rack of your grill or smoker while cooking other things. Stuff them with a little barbecued pork or chicken and a dash of barbecue sauce and serve with a green or vegetable salad or coleslaw for a complete meal.

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