Attention: these sweet potato fries will change your life. I’m serious! Salty-sweet, crunchy, and spicy if you wish, baked sweet potato fries are my favorite new snack.
These fries beat their plain jane, fried Russet cousins in terms of simplicity and ease; they require fewer cooking steps because they’re baked rather than fried. In fact, I learned how to bake these fries by learning from adorable Amy Cao’s aptly-named “Stupidly Simple Snacks” video series. You can enjoy sweet potato fries in 45 minutes, start to finish, with minimal effort.
Sweet potato fries pack a nutritional punch, too. One baked sweet potato contains over twice the amount of vitamin A you need for the day (source: Whole Foods). It’s easy to eat more than one sweet potato worth of these fries!
According to The New York Times, sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates that contain protein, which pretty much means that you can eat these fries with abandon. Trust me, I have tried and I can confirm that this is true. You can eat an entire sweet potato (or two) of fries and you will not feel hungry or tired an hour later.
I’m all for guilt-free indulgences, aren’t you?
- Sweet potatoes. I’d plan on at least one per person. Medium-sized sweet potatoes with smooth, firm, evenly toned skin usually make the best sweet potato fries.
- Corn starch. A big sprinkle's worth. (optional)
- Olive oil. A couple of tablespoons or so. Enough to lightly and evenly coat the fries.
- Salt, pepper and spices. Amy suggested cumin, but I much prefer cayenne pepper, paprika or curry powder. Garlic is great as well. It’s up to you!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped pieces (see photos). Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces so the fries will bake evenly.
- Toss the uncooked fries into a mixing bowl or a plastic bag, or just onto your baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornstarch (if using) and pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the fries. Season with salt, pepper, and spices. I’d try to use half a teaspoon per potato or so. Mix/shake to distribute evenly (corn starch should be evenly mixed in so there are no powdery spots).
- Pour the fries directly onto a dark, non-stick baking sheet for best results (lining with aluminum foil produces mixed results and parchment paper can burn in the hot oven). Arrange your fries in a single layer and don't overcrowd, otherwise they will never crisp up.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the fries so they can cook on all sides. I find the easiest way to flip them is with a metal spatula. Section by section, scoop up about ten fries and flip them with a quick turn of the wrist.
- Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until the fries are crispy. You’ll know they’re done when the surface of the fries change from shiny orange to a more matte, puffed up texture. It's essential to bake them long enough, otherwise they won't be crispy. Don't worry if the edges are a little bit brown; they will taste more caramelized than burnt.
- Commenter Jeni of Bear + Goose suggested adding a bit of corn starch to help make the fries more crispy. It totally works. I personally skip the corn starch most of the time because my fries get as crispy as shown in the photos without it, but I've heard from several people whose fries never turn out crispy enough... so try it!
- This sharp little Y-shaped vegetable peeler makes peeling sweet potatoes a breeze and costs just a few dollars.
Voila! Sweet potato fries. I warn you… they are addictive! Please try them and let me know what you think!