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
- Loaded Sweet Potato Rounds
- Loaded Sweet Potato Skins with Kale
- Shaved Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Salad
- Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Loaded Sweet Potato Skins with Kale
- Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chili Beans
- Moroccan Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Sweet Potato and Red Onion Galette
- Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Green Chile Enchiladas
- Sweet Potato and Feta Dinner Skillet
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs
- Kale, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew
- Sweet Potato Soup with Harissa and Greens
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.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- 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 1/4-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.
- 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 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
- 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.)
- 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.)
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction