How To Bake Sweet Potatoes

updated Oct 13, 2023

The easiest, simplest way to make the best baked sweet potatoes every time.


Prep5 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 1 hour

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Sweet potatoes are at the top of my shopping list this time of year, and for good reason. These tender tubers are readily available, last a long time in the pantry, and are incredibly versatile. One of the very best ways to prepare sweet potatoes is also the simplest — baking. Serve baked sweet potatoes anytime from breakfast to dinner and flavor them savory or sweet.

Baking eliminates the prep work of peeling, chopping, boiling, and draining for tender potatoes. (Baking the sweet potatoes also makes them incredibly easy to mash.) While baking can take up to an hour in the oven, this step is completely hands-off and can even be done several days in advance.

What’s the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?

Sweet potatoes and yams are technically two entirely different tubers, but grocery stores have a habit of mislabeling. As a general rule, most tubers found in the supermarket labeled yams are sweet potatoes, but here are some characteristics to look out for.

  • Sweet potatoes: Irregular elongated shape with tapered ends with golden- or copper-hued skin and flesh ranging in color from pale to bright orange.
  • Yams: Cylindrical shape with black or brown skin and white, purple, or red interior. The texture is starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

What Temperature is Best for Baking Sweet Potatoes?

The best temperature for baking whole sweet potatoes is 375°F. Luckily, sweet potatoes are very forgiving, so if your oven is set anywhere from 350°F to 400°F, you can bake them. In fact, some people swear by roasting sweet potatoes low and slow.

Often, the most efficient way to bake sweet potatoes is to add them the oven while you are cooking something else. Even if there isn’t room for a sheet pan, tuck them in directly on the rack — but be sure to wrap them in foil, as they can release their sweet syrup as they roast.

How Long Does it Take to Bake Sweet Potatoes?

It takes between 30 minutes to 1 hour to bake sweet potatoes, depending on their size. Begin checking after 30 minutes. The sweet potatoes are done when a knife or fork can glide easily through the center of the potato.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

What is The Best Way To Serve Baked Sweet Potatoes?

How To Bake Sweet Potatoes Recipe

The easiest, simplest way to make the best baked sweet potatoes every time.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 1 hour

Serves 1

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium sweet potato (per person)

  • Vegetable oil


  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking sheet

  • Fork
  • Small knife
  • Kitchen towel


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  1. Heat the oven and wash the sweet potato. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Wash and scrub 1 sweet potato (per person) well. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.

  2. Prepare aluminum foil for baking. Tear sheets of aluminum foil for as many sweet potatoes as you are roasting.

  3. Pierce with a fork, oil, and wrap sweet potatoes. Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork. Drizzle with a small amount of vegetable oil, then using your hands, rube the oil in a thin, even layer all over the potatoes. Place each potato in the center of a piece of foil and wrap loosely in the foil, makng sure the foil is well-sealed.

  4. Bake sweet poatoes. Place the foil-wrapped sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Check doneness after 30 minutes by squeezing one of the potatoes in an oven mitt-protected hand and inserting a sharp knife or fork into the center. It should feel quite soft and the knife should easily glide all the way through. If not, return to the oven and check again in 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.