Kitchn Love Letters

This Is the One and Only Way I Ever Want to Cook Sweet Potatoes

published Feb 14, 2021
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

Sweet potato recipes abound, but I only have eyes for one. As an enthusiastic fan of the orange-hued tuber, I’ve tried them all — fries and cubes, mashes and smashes, baked whole, and Hasselbacked — but none compare to my colleague Meghan’s butter-roasted sweet potatoes.

Crispy and caramelized on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside, these sweet potatoes actually haunt me. I start thinking about them as soon as I feel the first chill in the air in September and I can’t knock them from my mind until it’s solidly rosé weather. They’re so deeply rich and savory, thanks to the brown butter they roast in, that they steal the show no matter what you serve them with. I’m begging you to try them out for yourself — you won’t be disappointed.

Get the recipe: Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A 3-Ingredient Recipe That’s Pure Magic

Sweet potatoes, butter, and salt are all you need for this luxurious recipe. You’ll simply cut the potatoes into thick, 1-inch rounds, generously coat them in melted butter, season them with salt, and toss them in a hot oven. As the butter quickly browns, it caramelizes the exterior of the potatoes, while the flesh soaks up the rest of the butter as is softens. The method couldn’t be simpler, but the payoff is huge. These sweet potatoes are dark amber, crisp, and nutty on the outside. Inside, they’re almost like a soufflé — fluffy, creamy, and rich all at the same time.

The very first time I made these potatoes, I served them with these balsamic steak tips with mushrooms. It’s an ultra savory, satisfying pairing I still love. However, they’re also happy next to roast chicken or salmon fillets, or can easily be the star of a meatless dinner with some sautéed greens and a fried egg for protein. I’ve also been known to rewarm leftover rounds and top them with a dollop of Greek yogurt for breakfast.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

If You Make These Sweet Potatoes, a Few Tips

You won’t really need to glance at the recipe after you’ve made it once or twice, but I’ve learned a few tips that might be useful.

  1. Peeling the sweet potatoes is optional. The recipe calls for peeling the potatoes before you cut them into thick rounds, but I actually prefer leaving them unpeeled. Not only does it save a step, but it also lends some extra nutrients and one more layer of texture to the end results.
  2. You can use ghee or coconut oil instead of butter. I’ve made these 99% of the time with melted butter but have tried them with ghee, too. I’m not going to lie: They’re better with butter because butter browns and you get all that luxurious caramelization, but they’re still very tasty with ghee. I imagine the nutty flavor of coconut oil would also be successful.
  3. Finish with flaky sea salt, if you have it. If you keep flaky sea salt stocked, most definitely sprinkle a few big pinches on the rounds immediately after pulling them from the oven. The crunchy, briny flakes really are a special finishing touch here.

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.