September 1, 2021

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

If you have ever wondered how to bake sweet potatoes in the oven this simple guide covers everything you need to know. Oven baked sweet potatoes are incredibly easy to make and a delicious vehicle for all of your favorite toppings. 

baked sweet potatoes with butter on sheet pan

I am so excited to bring you another post in our All the Healthy Things “Just the Basics” series. These posts are focused on helping you master basics in the kitchen and, hopefully, inspiring you with a few new ideas along the way.

If you are new to cooking, or just need a refresher on the basics, these posts are designed to help you feel more confident in the kitchen. Once you have a handle on a few basic concepts and techniques, you can easily build upon them to create new and exciting recipes dishes without a second thought.

If you have ever wondered how some people just seem to know how to cook without a recipe or can quickly throw together a meal in a moment’s notice, it’s likely because they have a good grasp of the basics. I want that for you! It’s my hope that every just the basics post helps you feel more comfortable so that you can enjoy your time spent in the kitchen even more!

If you haven’t already be sure to check out the other how-to guides in the series.

Here are a few of our most popular posts: 

How to Make Cashew Milk 

How to Make Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

How to Make Easy Quick Pickled Onions

How to Pick the Perfect Sweet Potato

When buying sweet potatoes, at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, look for medium-sized potatoes that are firm to the touch. If the potato is mushy or rubbery to the touch then that is not a good sign. The potatoes should also be free from bruises and tender dark spots.

The skin of the sweet potato should be relatively smooth and firm without cracks. If the skin is wrinkled it’s a good sign that it is no longer fresh. 

ingredients

How to Store Your Sweet Potatoes at Home

Once you have picked the perfect sweet potatoes you will need to know how to store them to keep them fresh. The best way to store sweet potatoes is by keeping them in a cool, dry, and well ventilated place. A well ventilated wicker basket in a cool place, away from extreme heat, is always a good idea.

While it may seem counterintuitive, you should avoid storing your sweet potatoes in the fridge. Storing them in the fridge can give the sweet potatoes an unpleasant taste and create a hard center in the potato.

Your sweet potatoes will be good for up to two weeks after you bring them home if stored correctly. You can tell a sweet potato has gone bad if it is no longer firm and has a mushy feel to it instead.

sweet potatoes on sheet pan with parchment paper

Helpful Tools You Need

  • Baking Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Fork
  • Sharp Knife 

baked sweet potatoes on sheet pan

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

Step One: First, start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step Two: Thoroughly clean your sweet potatoes and remove any dirt or grit. Run the sweet potatoes under cool water and use your hands to brush off any dirt or residue on the skin. Once the potatoes have been rinsed, use a paper towel or kitchen towel to pat them dry and remove any excess water. 

Step Three: Use a fork to prick the outer surface of the sweet potatoes all over. Pricking holes in the skin of the sweet potatoes helps steam to escape while cooking. Once the potatoes have been pricked place them on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper.  

Step Four: Bake the sweet potatoes for forty-five to fifty minutes until completely tender. When the sweet potato is fully cooked, you should easily be able to stick a skewer or toothpick into the thickest part of the potato. You can also give them a gently squeeze and if the sweet potato gives way then it is likely done. 

Step Five: Once the potatoes are tender and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. After being removed from the oven, the sweet potatoes will be incredibly hot. Letting them cool for five to ten minutes before continuing will make them easier to handle. 

Step Six: After the sweet potatoes have cooled a bit, it’s time to serve them! Use a sharp knife to split the top of the potato open and then give the ends of the potato a gentle squeeze inward. The sweet potato should be fully cooked and with soft texture on the inside. 

Step Seven: Lastly, top the sweet potatoes with your favorite toppings and serve! 

cooked sweet potatoes with different toppings

Ways to Top and Serve

When it comes to sweet potato toppings you may feel like the only option is something on the sweeter side but that’s not the case! If you have only had sweet potatoes in a sweet dish, like sweet potato casserole, you may be surprised to find that they make a great base for savory toppings as well.

You can also stuff your sweet potato with things like chili, shredded beef, or BBQ chicken. Try to think outside of the box when it comes to serving sweet potatoes. While they have a different flavor profile than russet potatoes they still pair well with more than you might think!

If you need some sweet potato topping inspiration, here are a few of our favorites!

Favorite Sweet Potato Toppings: 

  • Salt, Pepper, and Butter – the OG classic way of serving your sweet potatoes.
  • Greek Yogurt and Green Onion – one of my personal favorites! you can do sour cream instead of Greek Yogurt if you prefer.
  • Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, and Butter – ok, I’m a big fan of savory but this combo is also a favorite! ghee is an excellent (and delicious!) substitute for butter if you need it.
  • Brown Butter, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, and Cinnamon – another sweet variation that never disappoints. The brown butter takes everything to the next level!

sweet potatoes with toppings

Frequently Asked Questions

So I shouldn’t wrap my sweet potatoes in foil?

You can, but there really is no need to add the extra step! I used to wrap my sweet potatoes in foil whenever I baked them and while the actual sweet potato flesh was tender, the skin of the potato was always slimy and wet. 

Leaving the potatoes unwrapped ensures that the skin of the sweet potato remains dry and alleviates the problem of slimy skin. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the extra step of wrapping each potato individually in foil and can just place them on the sheet pan instead. 

Can I eat the sweet potato skin?

Speaking of sweet potato skin…YES! you can definitely eat the skin on sweet potatoes if you like. 

How long does it take to bake a sweet potato?

The total length of time usually depends on the thickness and size of the sweet potato you are cooking. Generally, most sweet potatoes will take around forty-five to fifty minutes of baking at 425 degrees. 

How to Store Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baking a few sweet potatoes at a time is a great way to do some simple meal prep and storing the baked potatoes is simple and easy. Here are a few of my favorite tips for storing baked sweet potatoes: 

  • Let the potatoes come to a complete cool before storing in an air-tight storage container.
  • There is no need to split the potatoes down the center before storing. You can do that when you are ready to reheat and eat. 
  • Hold off on adding toppings until right before serving. 

How to Reheat

The easiest way to reheat baked sweet potatoes is in the microwave. Just split the sweet potato down the middle and heat for thirty seconds at a time until warmed through. 

mashed sweet potatoes

Reader Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Brown Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Healthy Almond Butter Sweet Potato Muffins

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Slow Cooker Beef Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I hope you give these Oven Baked Sweet Potatoes a try! This really is my favorite way to get perfectly cooked sweet potatoes every single time. 

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes

Optional Toppings:

  • butter, salt, pepper
  • thinly sliced green onions, Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper
  • butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Thoroughly clean the sweet potatoes and remove any dirt or grit.
  3. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45-50 minutes until completely tender. You should easily be able to stick a skewer of toothpick into the thickest part.
  5. Once the potatoes are tender, remove them from the oven.
  6. Let the potatoes cool slightly (for 5 minutes) and then use a sharp knife to split the top of the potato open and give it a gentle squeeze.
  7. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Keywords: how to bake sweet potatoes in the oven, how to bake sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post contains affiliate links.

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