Mastering the perfect baked sweet potato is a great skill for meal prep! Learn how to bake sweet potatoes in the oven. They are a great option for building gluten free meals around.
The Perfect Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Recipe
Without a doubt, sweet potatoes are a food I can’t live without.
They make the perfect canvas for so many meals, and are loaded with tons of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, meaning they help keep you full.
An underground tuber, sweet potatoes come in many colors. They are not the same as yams, which are more starchy and less sweet. I most often buy sweet potatoes with an orange flesh (since they are so common!), but white, yellow, and purple sweet potatoes are delicious baked as well.
Orange sweet potatoes have a high beta carotene content. The color of the potato is a reflection of the nutrients they contain, so enjoying a variety of colors is a great idea!
The easiest way to enjoy these beauties is as a baked sweet potato. Add your favorite toppings and serve them however you’d serve white potatoes.
How to Make the Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes
When I want a baked sweet potato, I want one that is baked until ultra-creamy and almost sticky inside. I learned to bake sweet potatoes from my grandma, who bakes them like this on Thanksgiving. I watched her poke at the sweet potatoes, and with patience, hold off dinner, until she was satisfied that they had properly reduced to be sticky-soft inside.
What You’ll Need:
- Sweet potatoes – look for some with nice unblemished skins!
- Olive Oil, Avocado Oil or Coconut Oil
- Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
- Parchment paper to line a baking tray (this is just for easy clean up)
You can wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil, but I prefer to just line a baking tray with parchment. This way, you’ll end up with crispy skins, which is definitely a part of the whole experience!
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in the Oven
Bake sweet potatoes at 400º F. This temperature is hot enough that they won’t take too long, but cooks them slow enough to really soften and sweeten the flesh. High heat, such as baking them at 425º, will result in potatoes that soften but do not get as creamy as my lower temperature method.
Step 1: Heat oven to 400ºF while preparing potatoes.
Wash sweet potatoes by running them under water and scrubbing away any dirt left on the skins. If there are blemishes or spots that are starting to go bad, cut those out with a paring knife. I do not find it necessary to poke holes in sweet potatoes.
Step 2: Dry the sweet potatoes, and spray or brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt.
Step 3: Place sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pop them in the oven (a rimmed baking sheet keeps them from rolling off). This should take about an hour, but the actual baking time will vary between 40 minutes and 90 minutes. Larger sweet potatoes or cooking more than 3 sweet potatoes at the same time will take closer to 90 minutes. If the thickest part of the potato is less than 3 inches, 40-50 minutes is enough time.
If your potatoes are small, start checking them early, if they are big, let them go over an hour before checking them. Tip: Select sweet potatoes that are similar in size for even baking.
It helps to flip the sweet potatoes halfway through baking to ensure an evenly crispy skin.
If you forget to flip the sweet potatoes, they will still be delicious!
Helpful Tips – Are they Done?
Do a “poke test” to see if they are ready — they should greatly yield to the touch. The skins will “puff up” around the flesh and an air pocket forms around the reduced flesh.
This takes a bit of practice! They will start to feel this way about 30 minutes before they are really done. Just be patient, and keep baking them.
I like to pull on the skin. If the sweet potatoes are ready, the skin pulls off very easily.
When you cut open the sweet potato, you want it to very easily “squish” and come off a fork very creamy.
If you’re baking a purple sweet potato, the process is slight different, because they are lower in sugar and have a more dry texture.
Sweet Potato Meal Prep
Once your sweet potatoes are ready, serve them for dinner, or pack them in meal prep containers ready for the week’s meals.
Top them with protein — like eggs, leftover turkey/steak, beans, or even tuna fish. Add some veggies. I love easy greens like arugula and spinach. Salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, and salad dressings make great toppings as well.
FAQ & How to Store Leftover Baked Sweet Potatoes
How to Store Leftovers:
Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. For the best texture, I do not recommend freezing sweet potatoes.
How to Reheat Sweet Potatoes:
Heat oven to 425º F. Wrap leftover sweet potatoes in foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot throughout. Cutting them in half lengthwise helps them reheat faster.
Also try reheating sweet potatoes in the microwave.
How to Serve Sweet Potatoes
Baked Sweet Potato: Serve hot with butter, salt and black pepper, or however you would serve a regular baked potato. We love ours fully loaded with bacon, sour cream, and green onion.
Sweet Potato Casserole: Mash the baked sweet potatoes and turn them into a delicious creamy casserole! Use maple syrup or brown sugar, a little butter, and some milk or almond milk, to make a creamy base, and top with my healthy nut-based topping (or marshmallows, if that’s your jam!). Use my healthy sweet potato casserole recipe that omits added sweetener if you prefer to enjoy the natural sweetness of your potatoes!
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Once of my favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes is stuffed with my favorite salad! Add a salad mixture, some chopped chicken, pork, or fish, sauteed veggies — the sky is the limit! For breakfast, try topping with berries, banana, and nut butter, or add scrambled eggs and sausage or bacon. Sweet potatoes are a great base for a main dish!
Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Leftover baked sweet potatoes make excelled mashed sweet potatoes as leftovers! Scoop the flesh our, and mix it with butter, milk, salt and pepper, and whip it with a hand mixer. Reheat it and serve!
Sweet Potato Meal Prep
After your potatoes are done, get creative with one of these recipes!
- Fajita Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- SW Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (a spicy combo of chili powder, black beans, and peppers!)
- Turkey & Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Other Sweet Potato Recipes
- Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
- Sweet Potato and Salmon Croquettes
- Sweet Potato Bacon Quiche
The Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Wash sweet potatoes, and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.
- Baked sweet potatoes for 40 minutes – 90 minutes, or until the flesh has reduced and is very soft. The skin will very easily pull off the potatoes when they are ready. Smaller potatoes (less than 3 inches in diameter) will take closer to 40 minutes. Very large potatoes will take 90 minutes.