Here’s How To Perfectly Roast Your Sweet Potatoes

how to roast sweet potatoes whole

Flickr/Marco Verch

Sweet potatoes should be a staple of your diet for three reasons: they’re comforting, packed with beta-carotene and they work with just about any dish. A sweet potato can be a side dish, a dessert or a main course, depending on how you prepare them. You could spend your time peeling and cubing a sweet potato, but it’s way better to leave the skin on so you can eat all of that dietary fiber. Here’s how you should roast your sweet potatoes to caramelized perfection.

Pick the right sweet potatoes.

One part of your brain might tell you to go with the large sweet potatoes to get the most bang for your buck. If you want to guarantee even cooking, go with the skinnier ones. Like any thick cut of meat or dense vegetable, you want to make sure all parts cook evenly. In a hot oven, thicker sweet potatoes will cook on the outside before the center has the chance to cook through. With a thinner sweet potato, the whole thing will finish cooking around the same time.

Prep the sweet potatoes.

First things first, give your sweet potatoes a light coating of extra virgin olive oil before you go any further. Although EVOO doesn’t have a high smoking point, it still works for slowly roasting vegetables and it’ll add way more flavor than regular olive oil.

It’s time to puncture the sweet potato in order to prevent it from dramatically splitting open in the oven. You could take a sharp knife and poke the potato several times, but a more effective way is to slice cuts along the top like those Hasselback baked potatoes you’ve seen, but not as deep. Make slits across the top of the potato, about one-half to one inch apart from each other.

how to roast sweet potatoes whole


Roast the sweet potatoes.

Set the oven to 450 degrees to guarantee it becomes all kinds of gooey and caramelized. Get out your rimmed baking sheet (sweet potatoes can leak so a rimmed baking sheet is preferred). Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil to give your oven an extra layer of protection from the sweet potato juice. Lay your sweet potatoes lengthwise on the baking sheet and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle some kosher salt and black pepper and make sure all of the seasoning gets into those crevices. Pop them into the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Garnish the sweet potatoes.

After about 45 minutes, your sweet potatoes should be tender all the way through. You’ll know they’re cooked when the flesh can easily separate from the skin.

Check out the contents of your fridge and see what else you can drizzle on. Try a little bit of maple syrup, some ground cinnamon, a drizzle of coconut oil or a sprinkle of nutmeg. If you have curry powder or smoked paprika lying around, try a sprinkle of those for a more savory dish. Tahini makes the perfect creamy condiment to top it all off.


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