The secret to perfect baked sweet potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting them in half! That’s right, we roast sweet potato halves instead of full sweet potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfect caramelized edges and a soft fluffy interior.
Baked sweet potatoes are the perfect healthy side dish and they can also be loaded or stuffed to make a filling meal. Convert your baked sweet potato into an entree with one of these recipes: Mediterranean sweet potatoes, loaded sweet potato, and stuffed sweet potatoes.
Only 4 ingredients!
It’s no secret that I am obsessed with sweet potatoes, so I figured it was about time I shared with the BEST way to bake full sweet potatoes.
This recipe is only 4 ingredients: sweet potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Of course you can top your potatoes a million different ways (more on this later), but the base recipe couldn’t get much easier!
How to make baked sweet potatoes
The descriptions below correlate with the photo collage beneath the text
- Wash and cut: throughly scrub the sweet potato to remove any dirt or debris. Dry the potato and then cut exactly in half lengthwise.
- Poke: poke holes all over the skin side of the potato using the tines of a fork – about 3 to 4 times. Make sure you pierce more than just the skin, it should go into the flesh.
- Add oil: add oil to the potatoes. Drizzle it on evenly and then…
- Rub oil into the potatoes: even rub the oil into BOTH sides of the potatoes.
- Season: add salt and pepper to both sides of the potatoes and then, again, rub into both sides of the potatoes.
- Flip the potatoes face down: and bake!
Baked sweet potatoes FAQs
Do sweet potatoes need boiling before roasting?
What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?
Can you eat sweet potato skin?
Yes! It’s completely safe to eat the (washed and properly cooked) skin of a sweet potato. In fact, if you choose to eat it, the skin has extra fiber and potassium.
THE secret to perfect baked sweet potatoes in a fraction of the time: cutting them in half! That's right, we roast sweet potato halves instead of full sweet potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfect caramelized edges and a soft fluffy interior.
- 4 (10-13 ounces EACH) medium sweet potatoes (not yams), scrubbed clean and halved lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
OVEN: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large dark sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Don't skip the parchment paper, it really helps the potatoes cook evenly without the cut side getting too hard.
CLEAN POTATOES: Throughly scrub the sweet potatoes in COLD water. Clean to remove all the dirt and any debris. Completely dry the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
PREP POTATOES: Place the potatoes flesh side down on the sheet pan. Pierce each back side of the potato 3 to 4 times with the tines of a fork. Flip the potatoes flesh side up. Drizzle the oil over all the potatoes and take your time to rub the oil into both sides of the potatoes so all parts of the potatoes are sufficiently covered. Evenly sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt over all the potatoes (3/4 teaspoon for ALL potatoes not each). Add 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the flesh sides of the potatoes. Now flip again so the potatoes flesh side down. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over all the skins of the potatoes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper on the skins.
BAKE: Bake for 30-37 minutes (depending on size of potatoes/personal preference for tenderness) until skin looks shriveled and potatoes are tender. A 5-6 ounce potatoes will cook in around 25-27 minutes, 6-8 ounce potatoes around 30 minutes, and 9-11 ounce potatoes around 33-37 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into the biggest potato. If it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready! If not, add an additional 5 minutes. Cook until fork tender, checking every 5 minutes.
ENJOY: Remove from the oven and serve with favorite toppings. We like a pat of butter and sprinkle of brown sugar with a little sea salt!