In the hierarchy of all the ways to cook a sweet potato, perfectly roasted chunks of sweet potato will forever sit at the top of my list. I'm not talking about a quick flash in a screaming-hot oven when you're in a hurry to get dinner on the table. I'm talking about those perfectly roasted, substantially sized cubes with well-browned, caramelized edges that crackle when you bite through the crisp surface and into the creamy center. The kind so impossibly irresistible you can't help but risk burning your fingertips and tongue to pop a few into your mouth the second the baking sheet comes out of the oven.
Whether you prefer plain roasted sweet potatoes with just a sprinkling of salt or like to give them an extra sweet or savory twist, they're easy to make once you know the few key steps to success. Here's how to do it.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Watch the Video
4 Key Steps to the Best Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. One-inch cubes are the ideal size when cutting up the peeled potatoes. These bite-sized chunks aren't too big or too small and work just as well for a side dish as they do as an addition to salads, tacos, grain bowls, and wraps. Also remember that cutting evenly sized pieces ensures they all take the same time to cook.
2. Roast at 400°F. Temperature is an important factor in getting roasted sweet potatoes just right. This temperature is hot enough to deliver the tender, creamy centers and the charred, caramelized surface you expect from sweet potatoes. Setting the dial at 400°F, rather than 425°F or 450°F, means a slightly longer cook time, which helps coax out even more of this spud's natural sweetness.
3. Use plenty of oil. Don't be afraid to use plenty of fat when roasting sweet potatoes. A generous slick of olive oil helps give the potatoes those caramelized, crispy edges that makes them so irresistible.
4. Use your hands to coat the potatoes evenly. You're going to want to make sure all the sweet potato cubes are well-coated with oil, and the best way to get the job done is with your hands. I know it's a bit messier than using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, but those tools simply don't work as well.
Roast Your Sweet Potatoes Just the Way You Like Them
Roasted sweet potatoes are pretty darn delicious with a simple sprinkling of salt, but should you want something more, these spuds are super versatile and take well to extra flavorings.
Toss the cubes with a shower of ground cinnamon before they go into the oven, then add a generous drizzle of honey about halfway through cooking, and you'll find yourself with a sticky-sweet batch of vegetables that taste like candy. While this sweet twist makes a great side dish, try them also as a grain bowl topper, add them to yogurt and oatmeal, or mash them and layer onto a slice of ricotta toast.
If savory is more your speed, the warm, smoky aromas of ground cumin and chili powder are a perfect partner to sweet potatoes. The spiced flavors balance the vegetable's natural sweetness and add a gentle kick. Giving your roasted potatoes a boost of savory flavor is as simple as tossing the potatoes with a spoonful of these spices before they go into the oven.
How To Make the Best Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 5 minutes ; cooking time: 30 minutes to 35 minutes
What You Need
sweet potatoes (3 medium or 2 large)
- Savory variation (optional):
- Sweet variation (optional):
Rimmed baking sheet
Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Meanwhile, cut the sweet potatoes.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Toss the potatoes with oil. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. If using, add the cumin and chili powder or cinnamon and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer.
Roast the potatoes. Roast for 15 minutes. Use a thin spatula flip the potatoes, and if using, add the honey and toss to coat. Roast until the potatoes are tender and browned all over, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.