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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Crispy Sweet Potato Fries | A Couple Cooks

Most people don’t become interested in healthy eating overnight; at least we didn’t. It took a few “gateway” foods to get us interested, one of which was the sweet potato. A few meals of loaded sweet potatoes and we were hooked, not only on the potato itself, but the concept that healthy eating could be vibrant and delicious.

And what’s a more satisfying in a gateway food than fries? We’ve been searching for a no-fail baked sweet potato fry recipe for years, but it’s been hard to come by. We gave up after several failed attempts where the fries turned into a pile of mush in the oven (have you been there, too?).

We got the bug again recently and this time, they finally turned out as we’d hoped: slightly crispy on the outside, perfectly seasoned, and lusciously sweet on the inside. The trick was using a bit of cornstarch to coat the outside, then baking at a high temperature with the fries as spread out as possible.

A word of warning: don’t expect these to be crispy like standard fries; the moisture content in sweet potatoes makes it almost impossible to crisp up in the oven (unless they’re burned — been there too!). The cornstarch method helps most of the fries to become slightly crispy on the outside, but you’ll find stragglers that are soft. They’re best fresh from the oven; sitting time afterwards allows them to become mushy.

Once you’ve adjusted your expectations to the baked sweet potato fry, you’ll find they’re addicting-ly delicious: an ideal gateway into the world of whole food eating.

Do you have a favorite sweet potato fry method? Let us know!

More of our sweet potato recipes

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
 
The tricks to this preparation are using cornstarch to give the fries a "crispy" exterior, baking at a high temperature, and keeping the fries from touching each other as much as possible while cooking. While the sweet potato doesn't crisp in the same way as the standard potato, it is possible to get relatively crispy exterior with this method. Note that the fries do become soft as they sit, so they are best served warm from the oven.
by:
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
What To Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes, leaving on the skin. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice the potato in half lengthwise. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a ¼-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. (See this video for inspiration, though our method is slightly different.) The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible.
  3. Place the fries in a large bowl; drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if using table salt), 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 2½ tablespoons cornstarch. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
  5. Bake 15 minutes on one side, then flip the fries and bake 10 to 15 additional minutes until the fries are dry and slightly browned; watch them carefully as the cooking time can depend on the thickness and the heat of your oven. (If the majority of the fries seem soft, continue to cook.)
  6. Cool for about 5 minutes, then serve immediately. Some fries may be slightly soft, but the outside of the majority of the fries will be crispy. (Note: Fries are best right out of the oven; they become softer as they sit.)
Notes

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    shanna mallon
    April 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Guys! That picture is KILLER.

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Thanks Shanna :)

  • Reply
    Chrystin @ A Mate & a Rottweiler
    April 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Mmmm I love sweet potatoes!! I actually just had them tonight with dinner, but I’m always looking for different ways to make them and incorporate them into meals. I can’t wait to try this cornstarch trick!

    Kisses from Buenos Aires xx

  • Reply
    molly yeh
    April 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    my favorite sweet potato fry method is i make my boyfriend order them at restaurants and then steal all of them off of his plate because if you don’t order them yourself, the calories don’t count, amiright? (but i should probably come to terms with the lies i tell myself and make your recipe…)

  • Reply
    Tieghan Gerard
    April 20, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I love that photo!! And these fries!! :)

    Oh and I cannot wait to try out the cornstarch. Cool!

    Oh AND I have to tell you guys, we are getting chickens! Taking classes next month an hopefully getting 3 this summer. So excited for fresh eggs! :)

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

      That’s awesome Tieghan! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  • Reply
    Elyse
    April 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I love sweet potatoes and have suffered from many a soggy chip (from the uk so just can’t bring myself to call them fries!) so will certainly be trying this method.

  • Reply
    Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs
    April 21, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Love love love sweet potato, so these fries are definitely next on my list of things to try :)

  • Reply
    Christine
    April 21, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Accidentally ate all my sweet potato fries a couple of nights ago out to dinner. Oops! Just can’t resist them though! I am having trouble getting half my family on board with sweet potatoes, so will try your method at home for a healthier sweet potato fry and see if they will go for it. Maybe the extra seasonings will bring them over to the sweet potato side finally. Then again, more for me if they decline… Yum!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    April 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I like your idea of “gateway” food. And you’re so right, it’s about changing the way we think about what real food is that changes expectations, for the better! Love the chili powder on these.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    April 21, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I love sweet potatoes so much! This recipe looks lovely!

  • Reply
    Matt Robinson
    April 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Love sweet potato fries and these look absolutely amazing!

  • Reply
    Hiba Shibu
    April 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Looks so delicious http://hibzshibz3.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Reply
    Valentina @Hortus
    April 22, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Sweet potato was such a revelation. Sweet potato fries are the best! I like to cut them a but thick, and usually make them with celeriac as well. I use a light dusting of fine breadcrumbs – a trick my mom taught me, and it’s AMAZING.

  • Reply
    cath t
    April 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I just read this recipe and am intrigued by the addition of corn starch for crispiness. I’m looking forward to trying SP fries this way. I’m a little confused by the proportions of spices–2 teaspoons in the ingredients list and 1 tablespoon (the equivalent of 3 teaspoons) in the body of the recipe. In the end, it really depends on how hot your chili powder is and what your tastes are. Also, it would help to put “kosher” in your ingredients list, not just in the body of the recipe. If you missed that point as you were preparing them and you used table salt, they’d potentially be too salty. Thanks for the tip. SP fries are great.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 22, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Great catch! I’ve made a note about the kosher salt in the recipe as well. We use kosher salt in all of our recipes, but you’re absolutely correct that they are not interchangeable, though many people may believe them to be! We’ve been pondering a post on salt and it might be a great time to bring that up again. Thanks for your comment!

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    April 23, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I’ve yet to find a good source of sweet potato fries on this side of the Atlantic so I’m just going to have to make them aren’t I? Corn starch is such a helpful tip!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen
    April 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I love sweet potatoes! I just wish my husband felt the same way. He had some bad sweet potato/squash experiences as a kid and now he’s totally against them. It can make it hard to plan healthy meals that I would otherwise find delicious.

  • Reply
    Kim
    April 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I have been there and seeing your picture on instagram gave me hope :D
    I just don’t have any cornstarch at hand.. because I don’t usually use it or I would have tried the recipe right away.

    Happy cooking^^

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    July 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

    It’s interesting to me that sweet potatos are the new, sexy tuber. Growing up i the South, this is a staple food that I’ve eaten weekly my entire life: baked, candied (yum!) , as a fried, scalloped, and mashed. I like your recipe, though, and I’ve used one similar to it to make baked fries, and it comes out well.

  • Reply
    Amanda R
    August 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I was very excited to try the corn starch idea but ended up being very disappointed :( !!!! I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with fries covered in powdery corn starch and minimal crunch. Many of them burnt even when I put them in for a shorter time than recommended (despite the fact that they were uniform in size as I used a special french fry cutter). I prefer using my oil-less fryer and plain sweet potato. Sorry!

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