How to Bake the perfect Sweet Potatoes.
For those of us here in the U.S., sweet potatoes are synonymous with Thanksgiving dinner, baked with brown sugar and topped with marshmallows. Sweet Potato Casserole is a staple at the table the fourth Thursday in November. However, a sweet potato dish doesn’t have to just be sweet! It’s a versatile vegetable that can be sweet or savory when baked depending on the topping choice. The fluffy inside surrounded by the crispy skin makes an excellent side dish! Follow these instructions to bake the perfect sweet potatoes every time!
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes:
It’s simple to bake the perfect sweet potato, but there are a few steps you won’t want to miss!
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. The sugar in the sweet potatoes will cook out and leave a sticky sap-type mess. I speak from experience when I tell you that you don’t want that in the bottom of your oven. The parchment paper will make clean-up a breeze.
- Give the sweet potatoes a good washing. It’s a good idea to use a stiff-bristled vegetable brush to remove any dirt from the skin of the sweet potato. Once washed, be sure to pat it dry. This will allow the skin of the sweet potato to crisp when baking.
- Cut small slits in the skin of the sweet potato. This is an important step! Steam builds up inside the sweet potato while cooking, and those small slits will allow the steam to escape and can prevent having the sweet potato explode in your oven. Be sure to spread the slits out on all sides of the sweet potato.
- Rub the outside of the potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. This will add flavor to the skin.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork in the potato. In addition to the fork test, the sweet potato should have wrinkly skin and the caramelized juice will be oozing out of the slits in the skin.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Are baked sweet potato skins edible?
You bet! In fact, not only are they edible, many of the nutrients are found in the skin! Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, they’re high in antioxidants. This is another great reason to season the skin of that sweet potato!
Do I need to refrigerate sweet potatoes?
- Raw Sweet Potatoes – Store raw sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place with adequate ventilation. Don’t store them in the refrigerator, though! This will change the cell structure of the sweet potato, affect the taste (not in a good way!), and take much longer to cook.
- Cooked Sweet Potatoes – Once cooked, a sweet potato needs to be refrigerated. They’ll keep for 3 – 5 days when refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Tips for baking the best sweet potatoes:
- Select sweet potatoes that are roughly the same size and shape. This will ensure that they will be done at the same time.
- If you want a crisper skin, cook the sweet potatoes at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. If you want a softer skin, cook the sweet potatoes at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time.
- Your leftover sweet potatoes can be used in other recipes, like our Sweet Potato Casserole.
- Sweet potatoes can be wrapped in foil to cook. However, be sure that a lined baking dish is used to prevent messy clean-up. The skin won’t be crispy if cooked using this method, though.
What to put on a baked sweet potato?
- Keep it simple with salt, pepper, a pat of butter, and a dollop of sour cream.
- Top it with our Instant Pot Chipotle Steak Chili for a savory meal.
- Ground beef prepared with our Homemade Taco Seasoning and sour cream on the side.
- Drizzle it with a little of our Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing.
- Sweeten things up with a little brown sugar, a pat of butter, and cinnamon to taste.
What to eat baked sweet potatoes with:
Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 Sweet Potatoes equal in size
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt sea salt or kosher
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
Wash the sweet potatoes, then pat dry.
Cut small slits in the skin of the sweet potato using a small paring knife.
Rub the outside of the potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Place the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 50 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork in the potato. Let the sweet potatoes sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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