Home > Side Dishes > Baked Sweet Potatoes Baked Sweet Potatoes November 20, 2019 | 5 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. The secret to perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes in a fraction of the time? Cut 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 perfectly 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 Baked Sweet Potatoes into an entree with one of these recipes: Mediterranean sweet potatoes, loaded sweet potato, and stuffed sweet potatoes. Only four ingredients! It’s no secret that I am obsessed with sweet potatoes, so I figured it was about time I shared the BEST way to bake sweet potatoes. This recipe is only four ingredients long: 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. Thoroughly scrub the sweet potato to remove any dirt or debris. Dry the potato and then cut 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; the fork should go into the flesh. Add oil. Drizzle oil over the potatoes. Drizzle it on evenly and then… Rub oil into the potatoes. 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 all sides. Flip the potatoes face down. They’re ready to bake! Baked Sweet Potato FAQs Do sweet potatoes need boiling before roasting? Nope! That’s the beauty of these amazing Baked Sweet Potatoes. They are so simple and the oven does all the work! What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? While both a yam and sweet potatoes are root vegetables, they are actually not as similar as you might have thought. Quick FYI: Red and orange sweet potatoes are often labeled as “yams” at the grocery store which is inaccurate. True yams are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes with a thick and fibrous skin. I recommend skipping tan or purple skinned sweet potatoes (known as the “dry” varieties), and sticking with orange or red-skinned sweet potatoes. This type (known as the “moist” varieties) are sweeter and have a creamier texture. Yams have a rough skin, typically light brown on the outside and light on the inside. They’re starchy and tend to be drier when cooked. Sweet potatoes have more of a red/brownish skin and a vibrant orange flesh. They’re sweeter than yams and continue to get sweeter as they are cooked. My favorite sweet potatoes are either Red Garnet or Jewel. When picking a sweet potato at the grocery store, look for firm potatoes without growths or discolorations on their skins. Avoid soft or wet potatoes. For questions on freshness/how long a sweet potato lasts, check out this article. How long do sweet potatoes last? Sweet potatoes have a shelf life of about 3-5 weeks and can last up to 2-3 months in the fridge. 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. Does baking sweet potatoes destroy nutrients? While all cooking methods destroy bits of nutrients in sweet potatoes, baking is actually one of the most-recommended ways to eat a sweet potato to retain the most amount of nutrients (folate, vitamins A and C) and is preferred every time over boiling. How long do you bake diced sweet potatoes? Check out this full tutorial on how to make roasted sweet potatoes (diced). Quick tips Place sweet potatoes flesh side down. While it might seem odd to place the sweet potato with its flesh side down the whole time, it is actually key to the flavor. It allows the sweet potatoes to caramelize and bake, all while retaining their sweet and delicious flavor. Use similar-sized sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes come in all different shapes and sizes so it’s important to try and get similar sized/weighted sweet potatoes. This allows for all the potatoes to finish cooking at about the same time. Adjust cook time. It’s important to note that depending on the size of your sweet potatoes, and the calibration of your oven, your sweet potatoes might need additional or less cooking time. I like checking them every once in a while by grabbing a fork and flipping over one of the potatoes a bit to see how tender they are and continuing from there. Oil and season your sweet potatoes. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to your sweet potatoes before baking; this allows the sweet potatoes to really manifest their full flavor. It also helps with the caramelization and all-around deliciousness. What do you eat with sweet potatoes? While there are countless ways to serve sweet potatoes, here are a few of our favorite sweet potato side dishes! Italian Salad Roasted Brussel Sprouts Grape Salad Grilled Chicken Marinade (serve the sweet potatoes as the side) Quinoa Salad More delicious veggie recipes Roasted Carrots Roasted Asparagus Medley of Roasted Vegetables Roasted Broccoli Baked Potato recipe FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Baked Sweet Potatoes 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe The secret to perfect baked sweet potatoes in a fraction of the time is cutting them in half! That's right; we roast sweet potato halves instead of whole sweet potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft fluffy interior. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Baked Sweet Potatoes 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe The secret to perfect baked sweet potatoes in a fraction of the time is cutting them in half! That's right; we roast sweet potato halves instead of whole sweet potatoes. Not only do they take less time, they also have perfectly caramelized edges and a soft fluffy interior. Course Main Course, Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword Baked Sweet Potatoes Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 35 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 4 sweet potatoes Calories 202kcal Cost $3.21 Ingredients4 (10-13 ounces EACH) medium sweet potatoes (not yams), scrubbed clean and halved lengthwise3 tablespoons olive oilFine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper InstructionsOVEN: 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: Thoroughly scrub the sweet potatoes in cold water. Clean to remove all dirt and 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. Flip again so the potatoes are flesh-side down. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper over all the skins of the potatoes.BAKE: Bake for 30-37 minutes (depending on size of potatoes/personal preference for tenderness) until the skin looks shriveled and potatoes are tender. A 5-6-ounce potato 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, bake an additional 5 minutes. Cook until fork tender, checking every 5 minutes.ENJOY: Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite toppings. We like a pat of butter and sprinkle of brown sugar with a little sea salt! Nutrition FactsServing: 4sweet potatoes | Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10.6g | Sodium: 71.5mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 5.4g We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.