Baked Sweet Potatoes are a thing that I pretty much have in my fridge all the time. How come I haven’t, to this day, shared my technique here with you is beyond me. I say technique, because this doesn’t really require a recipe. You won’t be measuring anything here. There’s simply no exact science behind baking sweet potatoes; not even an exact baking time.
The only things you truly need are sweet potatoes, aluminum foil, a roasting pan and an oven! But there’a s few rules and guidelines that I like to follow, still, and I’m about to share them with you…
Every week-end, I’ll bake a bunch of Sweet Potatoes, usually 3 or 4, to last me throughout the week. Funny thing is I’ll rarely even eat them fresh out of the oven. Not that I don’t like them that way because quite frankly, they are quite spectacular, topped with nothing but a little bit of ghee, a handful of fresh parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper.
But my ultimate favorite way of eating my baked sweet potatoes is to, once they have completely cooled, simply cut them into chunks and quickly pan fry them, along side a couple of eggs. This, I think, would be my favorite breakfast in the whole wide world. Sometimes, I’ll even throw a few pieces of leftover chicken in that pan. Talk about starting the day right.
Of course, you could very well have the pan-fried potatoes for lunch or dinner, if you wanted to! Trust me, they go good with just about anything. And they’re ready in mere minutes!
But, if you’re gonna have pan-fried sweet potatoes, you gotta bake the sweet potatoes first. So let’s do that now, shall we?
I find that baking the perfect Sweet Potato actually starts at the store. For this particular purpose, you’ll want to make sure that you select potatoes that are as evenly shaped as possible; go for potatoes that have a nicely round and elongated appearance. It’s also important that you choose tubers of very similar size, too, to insure that they all bake at the same time.
Like I said, I usually bake 3 to 4 at a time, but that’s not an actual rule; you could bake however many you wanted to… or however many fit in your pan!
Preheat your oven to 400°F and then slice each potato lengthwise into 4 even quarters.
Raw sweet potatoes have a really firm flesh, so make sure that you place them flat side down when you slice ’em up. That’ll help prevent any potential accidents…
Try and keep your pieces “in order” so you can easily reconstruct your potato in a few minutes…
Place all 4 quarters on a large piece of aluminum foil and spread a very thin layer of ghee on both sides of each wedge. This will help the salt and pepper that you are about to sprinkle on them adhere to the potatoes. Not only that, but it will also confer a rich, buttery flavor to your baked potatoes.
You could also use avocado or extra-virgin olive oil if you preferred, but I find that it doesn’t do quite as good a job sticking to the sides of the potato wedges. Plus, I much prefer the flavor of ghee! But really, feel free to use whichever you like best.
You could also skip this step altogether, especially if you’re planning on using your baked sweet potatoes as a component in a recipe of some kind. However, know that a little bit of salt and pepper wouldn’t hurt at all in a muffin or brownie recipe. I’ve done it on more than one occasion and could never tell the difference…
Alright so now you want to reconstruct your potato and make it whole again. Put the potato wedges back together…
Try to reconstruct your potato as perfectly as possible.
Wrap the potatoes tightly in aluminum foil; the tighter the better. Just be careful not to rip the foil!
Finally, place the foil wrapped potatoes, seam side up, on a roasting pan, preferably a dark one.
The pan will take care of collecting any eventual juices that may drip from the potatoes as they bake while the dark color will help the tubers cook a little bit quicker
Speaking of which: how long do these babies need to bake for? It depends…
Depending on their size, your potatoes will take anywhere from 40 to 75 minutes to bake fully. To find out if they’re ready, simply give them a little squeeze with your fingers every 10 minutes or so, starting at the half-hour mark. When the potatoes feel soft between your fingers as you gently squish them, they’re ready.
Take them out of the oven and let them rest in the foil for about 5 minutes.
Then, if you wish to serve your baked sweet potatoes immediately, remove them from the foil — be careful, these babies are HOT! — and hit them with a little dab of ghee as well as a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
They don’t need anything more than that, trust me.
And if you want to save them for baking, or for pan frying, or to just plain eat at an ulterior time, let them coo completely in the foil and then transfer them to the refrigerator. Make sure to leave them in the pan, or put them in a plate of some kind, because they will release a little bit of what I like to call sticky potato caramel as they cool. That stuff looks yummy but is guaranteed to make a mess in your fridge if you don’t contain it somehow!
Trust me on that one: leave the tubers in the foil AND in the pan or put a plate under them.
Oh, and FYI, if you didn’t care much for the peel and preferred to take it off, you could do that super easily after the potatoes are baked… all you need to do is gently pull on it and it’ll come right off.
And there you have it! I hope that I have inspired you to bake and eat sweet potatoes more often, cuz really, adding them to your regular diet couldn’t be easier.
And they are such a GREAT source of carbohydrates. One of my faves, for sure!
- Sweet Potatoes, medium / large, evenly sized and shaped
- Ghee, (storebought or homemade), avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Additional ghee
- Chopped parsley
- Start with potatoes that are as evenly shaped as possible, with a nicely round and elongated appearance. It's also important that you choose tubers of similar size, too, to insure that they all bake at the same time.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F
- Slice each potato lengthwise into 4 even quarters.
- Place all 4 quarters on a large piece of aluminum foil and spread a thin layer of ghee on both sides of each quarter, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. You could also use avocado or extra-virgin olive oil if you preferred.
- Put the pieces back together, trying to reconstruct your potato as perfectly as possible, then wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
- Place the foil wrapped potatoes, seam side up, on a roasting pan, preferably a dark one. The pan will take care of collecting any eventual juices that may drip from the potatoes as they bake while the dark color will help the tubers cook a little bit faster.
- Place the potatoes in the oven and bake until they feel soft when gently squeezed with your fingers, which will take anywhere from 40 to 75 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.
- Take the baked potatoes out of the oven and let them rest in the foil for about 5 minutes.
- If you wish to serve your baked sweet potatoes immediately, carefully remove them from the foil and garnish them with a little dab of ghee as well as a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
- If you want to save them for an ulterior time, let them cool completely in the foil and then transfer them to the refrigerator where they will keep for up to a week; make sure to leave them in the pan or place a plate under them to collect any eventual leakage.