Roasted sweet potatoes are my favorite! They’re pillowy-tender and sweet on the inside, and deliciously salty and caramelized on the outside.
Unlike sweet potato casseroles with marshmallows on top, roasted sweet potatoes have an inherently savory side to them. That’s why I love them.
In fact, I didn’t even like sweet potatoes until I discovered sweet potato fries. Roasted sweet potatoes were just a sidestep away, and they’re certainly healthier than deep-fried varieties. Do you know that sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, plus vitamins A and B6?
Since we’re going back to basics this month, I’m sharing my tested and perfected roasted sweet potatoes recipe. As you’ll see, roasted sweet potatoes make a wonderful side dish, snack or hearty plant-based meal component. Crank up the oven and let’s get to it!
Watch How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes are easy to make and delicious, if you know these basic tips and tricks.
1) Buy good sweet potatoes.
Look for sweet potatoes that feel heavy for their size, with even skin and no squishy bits. I try to buy sweet potatoes that are more rounded and evenly shaped, which is helpful when it comes to slicing them into even pieces. Store your sweet potatoes in a dry, cool, dark place (like a pantry or cupboard, not the fridge). They should keep for a week or two.
Any variety of sweet potato will work for this recipe. The more colorful your sweet potatoes are on the inside, the more antioxidants they contain—truly! That’s why I always buy orange-fleshed (or occasionally purple-fleshed) sweet potatoes, rather than white. Note that in the United States, “yams” are typically just sweet potatoes by another name (here’s what a real yam looks like).
2) Peel or scrub them clean.
This is up to you. I tend to peel my sweet potatoes out of habit, but you can leave the skin on if you don’t mind some additional texture. If you decide to leave the skin on, be sure to scrub them clean under running water and pat them dry before slicing.
3) Cut them into even cubes, or close to it.
Start by slicing each sweet potato into one-inch wide rounds. Then, cut each round as necessary to make chunks that are roughly one-inch cubes. They won’t be perfectly even, but that’s fine.
4) Don’t overcrowd the pan.
Like all vegetables, sweet potatoes need some breathing room on the pan. Otherwise, the cubes will produce so much steam that they’ll never turn golden on the edges. It’s better to use two pans, arranged on separate racks near the middle of the oven, than to cram too much onto one pan.
Tip: Here are my favorite large, rimmed baking sheets (they’re called half-sheet pans, and that’s an affiliate link). Each of these pans can accommodate up to two pounds of sweet potatoes.
5) Roast at a relatively high temperature, turning halfway.
We want the oven turned up high enough to yield delicious golden edges. Not so high that the olive oil burns, which both smells and tastes bad. I recommend baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
6) Don’t stop until deeply caramelized.
If you roast the sweet potatoes long enough, their sugars will start to caramelize against the pan. Those caramelized bits are the best parts! Don’t worry if you see a few spots that look burnt—take it as a sign that your sweet potatoes are done. In all likelihood, the sweet potatoes will still taste great.
How to Serve Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes make a great side dish for a wide variety of meals. They’re an especially good option for quick stovetop dinners. Put your sweet potatoes in the oven before you get started on the rest, and they’ll be done around the time your entrée is finished.
As you skim through the suggestions provided below, you’ll see that I love to incorporate sweet potatoes into Mexican (or even Thai) meals. They’re sweet enough to contrast with spicy ingredients, and I can’t get enough.
Serve roasted sweet potatoes as a side dish for these meals:
- Arugula and Wild Rice Salad with Zippy Lemon Dressing
- Chilaquiles Rojos or Chilaquiles Verdes
- Crispy Bean Tostadas or Favorite Breakfast Tacos
- Spicy Black Bean Soup
Roasted sweet potatoes are a great addition to hearty salads with whole grains, including wild rice, farro and quinoa. Here’s proof:
- Sweet Potato, Arugula & Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing
- Mediterranean Roasted Sweet Potato & Farro Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale & Pesto Vinaigrette
Craving more roasted vegetables?
Here are a few more versatile recipes:
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Broccoli (Plus Four Variations)
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Carrots (Three Ways)
- Roasted Cauliflower (Four Ways)
Please let me know how your roasted sweet potatoes turn out in the comments. For a fun variation on roasted sweet potatoes, try my crispy baked sweet potato fries. They’re the perfect snack!
Perfect Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Roasted sweet potatoes are truly delicious, and so easy to make! This healthy recipe will become your new favorite side dish. Recipe yields 4 side servings.
2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Optional: 1 teaspoon chili powder or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Either scrub the sweet potatoes clean and pat dry, or peel them (I generally peel mine). To slice, use a sharp chef’s knife to cut them into 1-inch thick rounds. Then, cut up each round to make 1-inch cubes. The “cubes” won’t be perfectly even, but that’s ok.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil on top. If using, sprinkle the chili pepper or several twists of freshly ground black pepper on top, followed by the salt. Toss until the sweet potatoes are all evenly coated in oil, and arrange them in a single layer.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway, until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelizing at the edges. Serve while warm. Leftover sweet potatoes will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for about 4 days. Gently reheat in the microwave or oven if desired.
Easy dipping sauce ideas: For a snack, I’ll serve these roasted sweet potatoes with ketchup, my shortcut aioli, or spicy mayonnaise (mayo mixed with sriracha, gochujang or hot sauce, to taste).
▸ Nutrition Information
5 Recipes Featuring Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1) Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Pepita Dip
“This is my first time ever leaving a recipe review but I just made these for dinner and they were unbelievably DELICIOUS!!! I agree that the pictures definitely don’t do this meal justice. It was the first time my husband has ever called anything I made “restaurant quality”!!! I can’t wait to make these again!” – Lisa
2) Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls
“I made this last night and it was fabulous! Wonderful combination of flavors. This will definitely be added to our regular rotation, and I’m sure I’ll use the green rice in other recipes. Thank you!” – Rebecca
3) Sweet Potato Burrito Smothered in Avocado Salsa Verde
“Well done, this made our familly recipe book for future use. Everyone loved it.” – Marc
4) Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tostadas
“I made this last night. It tastes like vacation! My husband, daughter and I loved it!!! It’s so interesting to combine sweet potatoes and black beans. I will make this again!” – Pat
5) Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole
“Delicious, like a Mexican lasagna. The whole family loved it!” – Carol
I roast up a sweet potato every Sunday afternoon because my son will eat them cold in his lunchbox. He will also eat them hot straight off the pan, so I should say that I’ve learned the hard way to roast up *two* sweet potatoes every Sunday afternoon.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes are awesome! Instead of pepper or chili powder (and salt) try dusting the potatoes lightly with Cinnamon! The cinnamon adds so much to the flavor – almost like a dessert!
I like it! Thanks for sharing, Arthur.
Great timing, Kate! I was making another batch of my Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Chili (I cube the sweet potato and use organic canned pumpkin) this morning and saw this post. Cooked the sweet potato following your instructions (except I put them in my air fryer oven) and it is delicious!
I love when that happens! Thanks for commenting, Erik.
I love sweet potatoes, and wanted to share a dipping sauce that we use here with ours – had it once at a local burger joint, and we’ve been hooked ever since! It’s just mayo and pure maple syrup mixed together! It’s dee-lish!!
Sounds interesting, Katrina! Thanks for sharing.
My absolute favourite vegetable. I choose them over white potatoes all the time! I’ve used your method for roasted sweet potatoes since I made those green rice burrito bowls. Definitely love the caramelization they get!
Thanks for commenting, Hayley!
I sprinkle them with cinnamon and curry powder. Sounds like an odd pairing but I promise it’s a winning combo!
I might need to try that!
I love roasted sweet potatoes in an arugula goat cheese salad. Ottolenghi has an amazing roasted sweet potato recipe with lemongrass creme fraiche (not the healthiest thing to top sweet potatoes with but it doesn’t need much to add a lot of flavor with the lemongrass)!
Thank you for sharing, Shirley! I appreciate it.
Fantastic site – thank you Kate for these delicious recipies. I find the videos the exceptional and ohhh so clear and simple to follow.
I am delighted that I discovered Cookie and Kate – quite by chance, but a real find.
I’m happy you found the blog too, Jean! Thank you for your comment and review.
thanks for sharing this recipe.
You’re welcome, Simon!
I tried this yesterday evening, turned out great, just finished eating the leftovers for lunch. These recipes are great, I purchased the book and it is supposed to be here today, so excited!
Thank you for your support, Catherine! I’m happy you love this recipe.
These are fabulous! Thank you! My husband even ate them (and he doesn’t particularly care for sweet potatoes). :)
Oh, so that’s why they never got crispy on the outside. I was overcrowding the pan! You have taught me how to perfectly roast sweet pots! Thank you.
ps- Whenever I bring your healthy side recipes to a party all I have to say is ‘Cookie and Kate’ and the response is always, ‘love her recipes’. You’re a house-hold name!
You’r’e welcome! I’m happy this one works for you.
I’ve loved experiencing sweet potato through your blog. Want to share a tip that I read through a Swedish food blog after having tried your recipe. Boil the sweet potato chunks in water with 1.5 tsp baking powder added to it (reacts with the pectin in sweet potato) for 4 minutes. Drain, then proceed as in your recipe, but shorten oven time to 30 minutes. The chunks appear slightly mushy at the surface after boiling, but the final result became more evenly roasted and beautifully crisp. Apparently, this tip can be used with other root veggies as well. Thanks for your excellent recipes and loads of inspiration! Keep them coming!
Thank you for sharing your tip, Helena!
I also cut the sweet potatoes in foil and cook them on the grill when we grill in the summer.
I make this recipe over and over, it’s so delicious! I cut my potatoes in half lengthwise and then cut them into half moon pieces. I toss everything in a bowl before laying them out on my baking sheet. I find it so easy to flip them individually at the halfway point. The first time I made them, they didn’t have enough breathing room and didn’t crisp up at all, so you are SO right about needing two trays! LOVE LOVE LOVE these! Thank you!
This tastes SO good! Every thing goes together perfectly! Every time I make these they turn out heavenly. As in sweet, caramelized, addicting, and tender. These are great at basically any temperature. The only thing I changed was reducing the EVOO to 1 tablespoon because it was a bit more greasy than I like (I could probably do even less though). Thanks for another great recipe! Keep them coming!!
Hate to do anything at the last minute… can I cut the potatoes, put in a baggie with small amt of olive oil to cover them…then when ready to roast just put them on the baking sheet with the herbs… when you are having company preparation ahead of time is a must
Simple and delicious. Feeling a bit uninspired this evening, I decided to do something different with the vegetables in my fridge and found your website. Dinner ended up as roasted sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli and roasted green beans. Satisfying, fast, and yummy. Thanks!
I’m glad this was just what you needed, Sandra! Thank you for your review.
When I cook sweet potatoes, they turn out too hard and crunchy, even when I followed your recipe. What do you suggest? I am I cooking them too long?
Hi! They may need a little less time as ovens may vary.
I was looking for a sweet potato side dish to accompany a spicy bean main dish and this recipe is exactly what I was hoping to find. It’s so simple to make and the results are so tasty! Thank you for this recipe and for the excellent and wide ranging serving suggestions!
Hooray, thank you, Bonnie!
Thank your for this recipe – I am excited to roast some sweet potato to put in an oven-baked frittata (also your recipe!) Got that oven preheating now. (This is one of those days in which all the leftovers in the fridge and pantry get cooked!)
I’m happy you enjoyed it, Sarah! Thank you for your review.
Does anyone else have trouble chopping the sweet potatoes? It took me a while and was a bit difficult or do I just need a better knife?
Hi Kristina, I’m sorry you had issues. Be sure your knives are sharp and be careful cutting them. Some can be more challenging than others.
They’re good sprinkled with Chinese 5 spice too x
I dust mine with a half & half mix of chili powder and cinnamon along with a bit of salt. They’re addictive and great with black beans, scrambled eggs and tortillas.
I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe, Victoria!
Super easy and delicious!
I’m glad you loved it, Lis!
Could I do these on a rack in a convection oven so that the air can circulate underneath and I don’t have to flip them, or would they not get caramelized? They do look delicious!
I haven’t tired it, sorry!
Used Berbere seasoning. They were excellent.