Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

updated Mar 30, 2020
Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You’ve had roasted sweet potatoes before, so you’ve had them all, right? I used to think the exact same thing until I learned a technique for butter-roasting thick slices of sweet potato until they turned from hard tubers to almost butter themselves.

Popularized by the blog Dessert for Two, this technique for butter-roasted sweet potatoes — dubbed melting sweet potatoes by Christina over at Dessert for Two — roasts the potatoes until they are a dark amber on the outside, creating a layer of deeply caramelized sweet potato that just barely holds the soft, buttery insides together. She serves this with an incredible maple pecan sauce, but we think they are perfection all on their own with a fat pinch of salt to finish them off. This recipe won’t let you think of roasted sweet potatoes the same way ever again.

Patience Is the Secret Ingredient

These sweet potatoes require just three ingredients — sweet potatoes, butter, and salt — so what makes them so much more delicious than any other sweet potatoes is time and patience. There will be a moment where you check on your roasting sweet potatoes and wonder, “Are they burning?” The answer is no — the butter on them is browning and the outsides are caramelizing. You’ll be rewarded with amber disks of pure sweet potato bliss.

Want to make these vegan? Coconut oil transforms sweet potatoes with just as much ease, leaving behind a fragrant hint of nuttiness. Ghee, for those sensitive to butter, will work its magic on these potatoes as well.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

We mostly eat these as a simple hands-off side dish alongside chicken or pork, but I’ve also served them next to pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup to much applause. This is one recipe you might want to test out before Thanksgiving, too.

Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    sweet potatoes (about 2 large)

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted and cooled

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Peel the sweet potatoes if desired and cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds.

  2. Place the rounds on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter (or ghee or coconut oil), sprinkle with the salt, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer, with at least 1/2 inch between the rounds.

  3. Roast for 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the rounds, then roast for 20 minutes more.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)