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Baked Sweet Potatoes are a highly nutritious and versatile side dish that can easily be transformed into a complete meal. They are easy to prepare and dependably delicious!
Swapping regular baked potatoes for sweet potatoes is a delicious way to add interest and a ton of nutrition to your menu. They take some time in the oven but they are exceptionally simple to prepare and the payoff is big in both flavor and healthy benefits.
Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes are very tender with a fluffy interior and are super rich in flavor. Naturally sweet, they need very little to dress them up as a simple side dish. They also happen to make the perfect base for a wide variety of toppings that will make them a complete meal.
- Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors and sizes. I prefer orange or red-skinned sweet potatoes with a bright orange flesh. Look for sweet potatoes that are similar in size so they will need the same amount of time in the oven.
- I like to coat my sweet potatoes in a little olive oil before baking. It adds some gloss and helps to crisp up the skin a bit, providing a little more structure to the thin skin. Unless you plan on eating the skin, the oil is for appearance only. Feel free to skip this step if you’d like.
- A little butter, salt and pepper is all that’s needed to top a baked sweet potato. See below for more fun serving suggestions.
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to protect it from the sticky-sweet liquid that tends to seep out of the sweet potatoes while they bake. Parchment paper will keep your baking sheet clean and will help prevent the sweet potatoes from sticking to the metal pan.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes until clean and dry them with paper towels. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and poke each sweet potato with a fork about 3 or 4 times per side.
- Drizzle each sweet potato with 1 teaspoon olive oil, if using, and use your hands to rub the oil to coat all sides. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender all the way through when pierced with a toothpick (don’t use anything large like a knife to test them as it will allow them to start releasing more liquid).
If preferred, you can skip the parchment paper and enclose the prepped sweet potatoes in foil before baking to contain the liquids.
Allow the sweet potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing them open.
Slice the sweet potatoes down the middle and use your hands (use paper towels if too hot) to squish the ends in and open it up.
Sweet Potato Nutrition
Sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious super food, packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are exceptionally high in beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A when consumed and helps to support good vision and your immune system. Sweet potatoes are a delicious, nutrient-dense carb option.
One sweet potato can contain up to 65% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, another strong antioxidant and immunity booster.
How to Serve Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potatoes are a simple and versatile side dish option for a wide variety of meals. They pair deliciously with steak, chicken, or pork. Keep them simple with a little butter, salt and pepper or jazz things up with a drizzle of maple syrup and a pinch of crushed red pepper for a sweet and spicy kick. A sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar is a natural flavor combo.
- Skip the bun and spoon my Cajun Sloppy Joe filling over the top for a complete meal.
- Top them with a spoonful of the filling for my Turkey Tacos and your favorite taco toppings for a nutritious Mexican-inspired meal.
- Stuff them with Shredded BBQ Chicken and garnish with diced red onion and cilantro.
Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes red or orange skin with orange flesh
- 4 teaspoons olive oil optional
- butter salt, and pepper, as desired
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes until clean and dry them with paper towels. Place on the prepared baking sheet and poke with a fork about 3 or 4 times per side. Drizzle each sweet potato with about 1 teaspoon olive oil, if using. Use your hands to rub the oil and coat all sides of each sweet potato with the oil. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender all the way through when pierced with a toothpick (don't use anything large like a knife to test them as it will allow them to start releasing more liquid).
- Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Slice down the middle and use your hands (use paper towels if too hot) to squish the ends in and open up the potato.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste and top with a pat of butter, if desired.
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