Wondering how to bake a sweet potato perfectly every time? This is the best and easiest method!
The worst thing is an undercooked or dry sweet potato. Sinking your fork into a beautifully tender, soft, creamy, and flavorful baked sweet potato is only a few steps away. This super easy trick is a game changer in the sweet potato world! Served with just butter, Easy Roasted Garlic, or your favorite seasonings, these baked sweet potatoes will be your new favorite side dish.
Baked Sweet Potato Recipe
All you need is a good, reliable, straightforward method for baking sweet potatoes. Say goodbye to kitchen guesswork and hello to deliciously tender, caramelized sweet potatoes every time!
And believe it or not, this recipe for baked sweet potatoes is the easiest on the internet. Poke them with a fork and toss them in the oven. About an hour later, your simple baked sweet potato masterpiece will be ready to enjoy, however you like it!
How to Bake a Sweet Potato
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
Scrub and dry potatoes.
Place on a baking sheet, and poke 3 times with a fork.
Bake 50-60 minutes at 425 degrees, and check doneness with a fork. If fork glides through easily, it’s done.
How to Serve Baked Sweet Potato
Serve baked sweet potatoes with your favorite toppings and seasonings:
- Butter: how could you beat it? A pat of butter, salt and pepper…that’s it!
- Herb butter: create a compound butter by mixing softened butter with finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, chives, or rosemary. Add a dollop of this flavorful butter to your sweet potato.
- Extra virgin olive oil: olive oil is a great alternative to butter for a healthier option.
- Honey, maple syrup or brown sugar: Drizzle honey, maple syrup, or a pinch of brown sugar over the baked sweet potato and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg for a sweet treat. Toast some pecans for an added crunch!
- Smoked paprika: dust the sweet potato with smoked paprika for a smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
- Cayenne pepper: if you like some heat, sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper on your sweet potato for a spicy kick.
- Cumin and coriander: combine ground cumin and coriander for a warm and earthy seasoning mix that complements the sweetness of the potato.
- Garlic and rosemary: Roast Garlic and sprinkle with fresh rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil for a fragrant and savory twist.
- Cajun spice: use a Cajun spice blend for a bold, zesty flavor profile.
- Everything bagel seasoning: give your sweet potato a lift by sprinkling it with everything bagel seasoning for a fun blend of seeds and spices.
- Lime zest: add a touch of brightness with grated lime zest for a citrusy pop.
- Curried: mix some curry powder into the sweet potato flesh and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or coconut cream for a flavorful, exotic twist.
If you’re serving sweet potatoes as a side dish, here are some simple protein main dishes to serve them with:
- Grilled chicken: season chicken breasts or Grilled Thighs with your favorite herbs and spices for a simple and healthy protein.
- Baked Salmon: season salmon fillets with olive oil, garlic, lemon, and herbs by using this Lemon Garlic Salmon recipe.
- Pulled Pork: slow-cooked pulled pork is a flavorful and satisfying option to serve with sweet potatoes.
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin: simply grill pork tenderloin for a healthy, easy, yet flavorful protein!
- Ground Turkey or beef: brown ground turkey or beef in a skillet with onions, garlic, and your preferred seasonings. It can be used as a filling for stuffed sweet potatoes.
- Black beans: a simple can of black beans, seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and garlic, can be a quick and protein-rich topping for sweet potatoes.
- Rotisserie chicken: pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store for a quick and easy source of protein. Shred the meat and serve it alongside your baked sweet potatoes.
- Sausages: grill or pan-fry your favorite sausages and serve them sliced or whole with the sweet potatoes.
- Eggs: top baked sweet potatoes with fried eggs, Scrambled Eggs, or Hard-Boiled Eggs for a breakfast or brunch-inspired meal.
Storage and Meal Prep
Make ahead: bake sweet potatoes up to 3-5 days in advance.
Storage: store baked sweet potatoes in the fridge, whole or sliced. Cover once cooled completely.
Freezing: to freeze, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil, and place them in resealable freezer bag or airtight container for 6-8 months.
Reheating: It’s best to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them. To reheat in the microwave, place the baked sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a microwave-safe paper towel to trap steam. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, checking the sweet potato’s doneness after each interval (will likely take 2-4 minutes to reheat completely). To reheat in the oven, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until hot.
Tips and Tricks
- Select sweet potatoes of similar size to ensure uniform baking. This particular recipe works best for medium-sized sweet potatoes.
- Adjust the baking time based on the sweet potato size: 40-50 minutes for small ones and 60-70 minutes for larger ones instead of the listed time for medium potatoes.
- Serving suggestions and various seasoning ideas are listed in the above blog post!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Sweet potatoes, commonly found in the United States, feature smooth, thin skin with a sweet taste and a creamy texture when cooked. Yams, more prevalent in African, Asian, and Caribbean cuisines, have rough, bark-like skin, and their flesh is typically starchy and can be white or purple. It’s important to note that what’s often labeled as “yams” in U.S. grocery stores are actually sweet potatoes, making the confusion between the two even more common.
All you need is a baking sheet, a fork, and an oven. That’s it!
I do not recommend wrapping sweet potatoes in foil. Baking sweet potatoes without foil yields a tender, moist, caramelized result every time! You can use foil to line your baking sheet for less cleanup if preferred.
Yes, you can microwave them in a pinch, but keep in mind the texture will be starchier, less creamy and caramelized. Simply wash the medium potatoes, pat them dry, poke them, and place one potato at a time on a microwave-safe plate for 6-8 minutes.
More Potato Recipes You’ll Love!
- Breakfast Potatoes With Crispy Shallots & Peppers
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Colcannon Potatoes
- No-Mayo German Potato Salad
- Medium sweet potatoes
- Seasonings of choice
- Preheat oven to 425℉. Scrub potatoes to remove any dirt, and pat them dry.
- Place them on a baking sheet, and poke each potato with a fork 3 times.
- Bake sweet potatoes for 50-60 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing the thickest part of each potato with a fork. If the fork easily glides through the flesh, the potato is soft and tender! Slice open, season if desired, and enjoy.
- Pick similar-sized medium sweet potatoes for even baking.
- If sweet potatoes are small, bake for 40-50 minutes. If they’re large, bake for 60-70 minutes.
- Seasoning and serving ideas listed in the blog post above!