Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes (2024)

Baked Sweet potatoes are delicious, healthy, and versatile. Learn how to bake them perfectly every time with this simple and easy recipe that shows both a sweet and a savory option.

Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes (1)

Sweet potatoes are such a versatile food. They can be boiled, baked, pureed, fried, mashed, and even grilled! Baked sweet potatoes are so easy and can be enjoyed sweet or savory. When they are baked right, they have a creamy consistency and are very aromatic. This recipe spells out the basic steps for how to bake a sweet potato but leaves the seasoning up to you. Sweet potatoes are so large, you can easily split them and have half with basic salt and pepper, and half with the sweet, buttery cinnamon and sugar. You get to choose!

Why do I have to poke holes in the sweet potato?

Poking holes in the sweet potato allows steam to escape from the potato, whose skin acts as a pressure cooker around it. Whereas it is unlikely that a potato or sweet potato will burst, it is possible and it makes a mess!

Are sweet potatoes better for you than white potatoes?

Sweet potatoes and white potatoes stack up pretty evenly. Both are full of good-for-you nutrients and have about the same about of fiber. Sweet potatoes are often opted for as a healthier choice because they are lower on the glycemic index than regular white potatoes. That means that they are digested at a slower rate and, therefore, have a smaller impact on insulin levels.

Can I microwave a sweet potato?

Yes. We prefer baked sweet potatoes, but if you are in a hurry, you can microwave them. Wash the sweet potato, poke it with a few holes, place it on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave for five minutes. If the potato isn’t soft, microwave for additional time in 30-second increments until it is tender. The flesh should easily pull apart from the skin when it is cooked.

What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?

In the United States, the terms “Sweet Potato” and “Yam” are used interchangeably and refer to that potato-looking thing with pink skin and orange flesh. Yet, you have probably seen something else in the grocery store labeled sweet potato with light yellow skin, while your orange flesh variety is labeled yams. Guess what? Both of them are sweet potatoes! The kind of sweet potatoes you think of as yams are simply dark-skinned sweet potatoes.

You won’t commonly come across true yams in an American grocery store. True yams have brown or black skin and the flesh is either red, purple, or off-white. Crazy, right? You thought you’d been eating yams all these years! Now you can impress your family at the dinner table when someone inevitably says, “pass me some more yams, please!”

Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes (2)

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.

If you like sweet potatoes, you might really enjoy some of these other delicious sweet potato recipes:

Watch the video belowwhere Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes onYouTube,Facebook Watch, or ourFacebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes (2024)

FAQs

Should you wrap sweet potatoes in foil before baking? ›

Wrapping sweet potatoes in foil helps in a few ways. It prevents the exterior of the tuber from drying out and overheating too quickly, which would minimize enzymatic activity; it also results in a more evenly cooked texture.

Should you poke holes in sweet potatoes before baking? ›

Do you have to poke holes in sweet potatoes before baking? Typically holes are poked into a sweet potato to prevent a potato exploding in your oven. However, the chance of that happening is low, and according to Lifehacker, sweet potatoes will retain more flavor if you don't poke them.

What is the healthiest way to cook sweet potatoes? ›

Boiling may theoretically be best, but sweet potatoes are so incredibly healthy that the actual best way to prepare them is whichever way will get you to eat the most of them! The exception is deep frying, which can lead to the formation of acrylamide, a potential human carcinogen.

Can you overbake a sweet potato? ›

Unfortunately, yes! If your sweet potatoes cook too long in the oven they can overbake and become dry. The insides will become mushy. Moving your sweet potato cubes around and checking them periodically can help avoid overcooking.

Why is it advisable not to wrap potatoes in foil while baking? ›

"I see a lot of people using foil to wrap their potatoes in but this is a big no-no and causes soggy skins!" he says. Foil holds in moisture and steams the potatoes, resulting in a "boiled" taste and texture. Plus, without the use of foil, the skin will get extra crispy and flavorful.

Which side of the aluminum foil do I use for baked potatoes? ›

Quite simply, it doesn't matter what side of aluminum folk you use. Either is acceptable. Since the exact same material makes up both sides, they will perform precisely the same way. The only difference is aesthetic.

What temperature is a baked sweet potato done at? ›

If you'd like a more precise indicator, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the sweet potato. The internal temperature of a cooked sweet potato should read between 205- and 212-degrees Fahrenheit.

How to clean sweet potatoes before baking? ›

While the oven comes to temperature, scrub your sweet potato with a vegetable brush or designated sponge (or, worst case scenario, a paper towel). Remember, these tubers were ripped from the ground, after which they spent a fair amount of time hanging out in transit and in your grocery store. They're dirty!

What makes sweet potatoes better? ›

Because of their fiber and vitamin contents, sweet potatoes are often considered the healthier choice between the two. Sweet potatoes are likely healthier than regular potatoes. They have a lower GI, more fiber, and large amounts of beta carotene.

Is it healthier to bake or microwave a sweet potato? ›

It's really the best way. Microwaving sweet potatoes cuts down cook time by 45 to 55 minutes, and, according to a 2018 study, helps maintain the potato's nutritional value. All cooking methods cause foods to lose some of their nutrients, but the quicker your potato cooks, the more nutrients it will retain.

How to tell when sweet potatoes are done baking? ›

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.

Why are my sweet potatoes still hard after baking? ›

If the potato is still firm when squeezed, that means it needs to cook more. Baked sweet potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave, at 400°F in the air fryer for 5 minutes, or at 400°F in the oven for 10 minutes.

Is it safe to eat a baked sweet potato that was left out overnight? ›

Once they've been cooked, however, they should go in a shallow airtight container or zip-top bag in the fridge. They'll stay good there for about five days. Tip: You shouldn't leave cooked sweet potatoes at room temperature for more than two hours, as this can promote bacteria growth and cause foodborne illness.

Do you need to wrap potatoes in foil before baking? ›

NEVER BAKE POTATOES IN FOIL.

Foil wraps will not decrease baking time, but will result in a soggy potato interior with wet skin. Wrapping a baked potato in foil after it has been baked will allow you to hold up to 45 minutes, but the best method for holding a baked potato is in a bread warming drawer.

What is the benefit of wrapping potatoes in foil? ›

Some say wrapping baked potatoes in aluminum foil helps them cook faster (aluminum conducts heat, then traps it), and it does keep them hot for longer once they come out of the oven, which is why we think restaurants use this method. Wrapping potatoes will also give you a softer, steamed skin, if that's what you like.

How do you keep potatoes from sticking to aluminum foil? ›

Parchment Paper: When making foil packets, we really like to sandwich our food between two layers of parchment paper for a few reasons. 1) It prevents sticking. 2) Keeps the aluminum foil clean so it can be reused or recycled.

Do you poke holes in potatoes before wrapping in foil? ›

Directions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Poke holes in potato and wrap in foil. Bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes until tender.

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