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.
Sweet potatoes are such a versatile food. They can be boiled, baked, pureed, fried, mashed and even grilled! Sweet potatoes can stand in for meats, to add texture and flavor without a lot of calories or cholesterol. Sweet potatoes are a fun, Fall favorite but are great any time of year.
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 the basic salt and pepper, and half with the sweet, buttery cinnamon and sugar.
- 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 like 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 the pink skin and orange flesh. Yet, you have probably seen something else in the grocery store labeled sweet potato with a 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!”
How long to bake sweet potatoes: 400 degrees for 1 hour
If you like sweet potatoes, you might really enjoy some of these other delicious sweet potato recipes:
- Cinnamon Honey Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- The Best Sweet Potato Casserole
- Simple Sweet Potato Soup
- Chipotle Sweet Potato Burritos
Watch the video below where 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 on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrub the dirt off of each sweet potato. Use a fork to poke 8 to 10 sets of holes in the skins of each sweet potato for ventilation and wrap each tightly in aluminum foil.
- Place on a baking sheet to catch the juice that will inevitably leak out. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or until soft.
- Carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and unwrap. Slice them each in half length-wise.
- Add 1 tablespoon melted butter to the inside of each sweet potato to top. Season with salt and pepper.
Instead of seasoning with just salt and pepper, for a sweeter option top with butter and add in 1 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon