Learn how to bake sweet potatoes with these tips & tricks! Enjoy them with butter, salt & pepper, or in one of my favorite baked sweet potato recipes.
When the air starts to get crisp in the fall, I start craving two things: a bowl of soup and a big, puffy baked sweet potato. Both are warming, cozy, and healthy. But while making butternut squash soup might be one of my favorite Sunday activities, a baked sweet potato is my weeknight standby. They’re incredibly easy to make, as your oven does 95% of the work. While they bake, you’re free to do as you please! Prep the remaining components of your meal, finish up with the day’s work, or catch up with family or friends. Then, take them out of the oven, top them to your liking, and dig in to a yummy baked sweet potato dinner!
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes
For a long time, I thought I didn’t like sweet potatoes. When I was growing up, I only ever had them in casserole form, smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar. Turns out, I love sweet potatoes, but I have to prepare them the right way! I like mine puffy, with caramelized edges and a crispy skin. Here’s how I make them:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Use a fork to poke holes into the sweet potatoes, and set them on the baking sheet.
- Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the skin has puffed up and you can easily pierce them with a fork.
The most important thing to note here is that I DON’T wrap them in foil. If you do, the sweet potato flesh will still cook, but the skin will be very moist and almost slimy. In order to get delectable, puffed up crispy skin and caramelization on the outside of each baked potato, place them onto the baking sheet bare!
If you’re in a hurry, you can also roast sweet potato halves for 30 minutes. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, rub them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook cut-side up until lightly browned and tender.
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Recipes
Of course, a perfect baked sweet potato with butter, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of chives is great, but your options for baked sweet potato recipes don’t end there. To make one into a full meal, I like to stuff it with a flavorful veggie filling and a yummy sauce. Find my 4 favorite fillings for stuffed sweet potatoes here, or click the picture below.
If you’re serving your oven baked sweet potatoes as a side dish, pair them with your favorite protein or vegetarian chili. For a topping, stick to butter, Greek yogurt, or sour cream, or try adding a dollop of cilantro lime dressing, tzatziki, chipotle sauce, pesto, guacamole, or a drizzle of tahini sauce.
If you have leftover baked sweet potatoes, save the soft flesh for another recipe. I blend it into the frosting of my vegan chocolate cake, transform it into a luscious Alfredo sauce, use it to bind quesadillas, or mix it into hummus!
Do you have any favorite baked sweet potato recipes? Let me know in the comments!
If you love this baked sweet potato recipe…
Try these 4 stuffed sweet potato variations (pictured above), baked sweet potato fries, sweet potato tacos, twice baked sweet potatoes, or this sweet potato casserole next!
Baked Sweet Potato
- Sweet Potatoes
- butter or vegan butter
- sea salt
- dollop of greek yogurt or tzatziki
- a scoop of guacamole
- a drizzle of creamy avocado cilantro lime dressing
- any of these stuffing ideas!
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and place a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Use a fork to poke holes into the sweet potatoes, set them on the baking sheet, and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until puffed up and soft inside when pierced with a fork.
Do I poke holes all around the potato? Or just one side is ok? (and place face up). Thanks!
Hi Lauren, you can poke holes all around the potatoes. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Mine didn’t bake all the way and started turning black on the side it was lying on so then I flipped it but the other side was also black. The finished product wasn’t soft and mushy. I always have trouble baking sweet potatoes perfectly. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
Hi Evelyn, it sounds like your sweet potato didn’t bake all the way through. It’s ok if the back starts to get darker, the sugars will caramelize as it bakes. If you have a hard time judging done-ness you could try getting smaller sweet potatoes that would cook quicker. If you feel like they’re actually burning before getting soft, you could check that your oven temperature is accurate to what it’s reading. It could be running hot.
You most likely didn’t do anything wrong.
Same experience as you, my gas oven is 10 yrs old & has hot spots. Today I baked two larger sized for an hour , rotated them twice. They came out perfectly. Happy baking!
Try putting a cooling rack on top of the coolie sheet. 😊
Delicious! Also love with a squeeze of fresh orange juice, tiny bit of salt/ pepper and fresh rosemary.
When do I put the brown sugar on my sweet potatos?
Hassle free, easy to make, delicious. I would recommend it.
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you! I’ve always been intimidated by baking sweet potatoes like this because I thought it would be more complicated. These turned out perfect at 50 minutes. I topped with butter and cinnamon. Yummm!
I’m glad your sweet potatoes were perfect!
I keep coming back to this! It’s perfect !
I’m so happy to hear!
Sweet potato newbie here. Do you have to rotate them part of the way through cooking? Or just leave them alone for the whole 40 to 50 minutes?
Hi Emily, for baked whole sweet potatoes, you can leave them alone. If I’m roasting them cubed and spread on a baking sheet, I’ll sometimes rotate it if one side is browning before the other.
I had to keep adding time. After 50 minutes the potatoes were still very hard and we just ended up eating them the next day and not with dinner.
Hi Amber, if your potatoes were larger it’s possible that they can take longer. Every vegetable is different.
These sweet potatoes were delicious. It was the first time I’ve ever eaten sweet potatoes skins.
Do I wash the sweet potatoes first before I bake them?
Always, and remember to dry them also.
yes, I always wash my vegetables.
I do wash mines early & sit them aside to dry ahead of time
My sweet potatoes were perfectly cooked! I added a little ghee, almond butter, sliced bananas, and sprinkled chia seeds over it. So good!
yum! I’m so glad you loved the method.
Sliced bananas… I’m going to have to try that!!
This yield a perfectly cooked sweet potato! I added cinnamon and it was delicious paired with baked salmon and salad! Thanks so much for this.
I’m so glad your sweet potato was perfect!
I so agree with you about not liking sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows! Butter, salt and pepper is all they need to be so yummy! I didn’t know not to wrap my sweet potatoes in aluminum foil. Thank you for stating this!
Mmmmmm yes!!!!! So yummy!!!😋
This was absolutely helpful!!!! Especially when mentioning that you DON’T wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil in order to get the good crispy skins. I was unsure of that and this answered my question. 😁
I’m so glad it was helpful!
During the depression Granny traded her sugar coupons for other staples. This stuck for generations and we didn’t do sweet tea or sweet potato’s with all the sugar added. My mom added coating the outside of the potato with oil before baking so that the skin is crispy and delicious.
Love and always have prepared sweet potatoes with butter, salt pepper…..yum!
It amazes me how sweet potatoes are touted as healthier than other potatos, then cups of sugar are added to recipes.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
I have also added the step of coating the sweet potatoes with oil. This is the way I was taught and how I’ve been making them for over 30 years.
I put on my sweet potato: roasted Brussels sprouts, crumbled feta, toasted slivered almonds, bacon pieces and Craisins. It’s a whole meal. Whenever I serve them everyone wants the recipe.
This looks amazing Geo! I’m going to try it next week!
Try baked sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon, it’s awesome!
Mmmmmm yes!!!!! So yummy!!!😋
I love my sweet potatoes with cinnamon sugar butter, pecans and caramel. Its sooo good
THAT SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL, I PUT LIGHT BROWN SUGAR IN MINE. IT TASTES LIKE CARMEL.