My favorite method for how to bake sweet potatoes in the oven that are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Plus lots of ideas for fun baked sweet potato toppings too!
Thousands of you have made and loved my recipe for the best baked potatoes. So today, I figured it was high time to follow up with a new recipe for…
…the best baked sweet potatoes! ♡
We are maaajor sweet potato fans here in our house, and love adding them to everything from tacos, soups, salads, curries, casseroles, and more. But one of our favorite ways to enjoy this vibrant, nutrient-rich, delicious root veggie is by simply baking it up in the oven solo. Baked sweet potatoes can function as the perfect simple side dish, especially when we happen to be grilling or making a big entrée green salad or serving main dishes that are more on the savory side. Or of course, baked sweet potatoes can also hold their own as the stars of a meal, especially when they are piled high with fun toppings. (I’ve included lots of ideas for you below!)
Best of all, baked sweet potatoes are incredibly simple to make in the oven. And with a few simple tricks, they can be perfectly crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and insanely good. Here’s how we bake sweet potatoes in our house!
Oven Baked Sweet Potatoes Ingredients:
To make oven baked sweet potatoes, you will need the following ingredients:
Sweet potatoes: Scrubbed and rinsed, to remove any dirt. If you are baking multiple sweet potatoes at the same time, it’s also helpful to choose a batch of sweet potatoes that are similarly-sized so that they will bake evenly.
Butter or oil (optional): If you would like the skin of your sweet potatoes to be extra-crispy, you can brush them halfway through baking with some melted butter or oil (such as avocado oil or olive oil). When serving plain baked sweet potatoes, I also like to add a pat of butter on top just before serving.
Sea salt and black pepper: I also recommend sprinkling the potatoes with a pinch of flaky (or fine) sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper for seasoning. Alternately, you could also use some old-school seasoned salt, which I love on sweet potatoes!
I also recommend using a good sturdy baking sheet (one that won’t warp under high heat), parchment paper (to catch the sweet syrup that tends to ooze out of the potatoes as they bake and make for easier cleanup), and a wire rack to place on top of the baking sheet for even baking (totally optional, though, if you do not own one).
How To Baked Sweet Potatoes:
Here is my favorite method for how to make baked sweet potatoes in the oven…
Prep your baking sheet. Heat the oven to 425°F. If you happen to own a wire cooling rack, I highly recommend placing one on top of a baking sheet, so that the sweet potatoes can bake evenly on all sides. If not, no worries, you can just bake the potatoes directly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Poke your potatoes. Scrub, rinse, and pat the sweet potatoes dry. Then use a fork or a paring knife to poke the potatoes (about 10 times each), in order to prevent the potatoes from potentially exploding in the oven.
Bake (round one). Bake for about 30 minutes.
Brush with butter or oil (optional). If you would like your baked sweet potato to have extra-crispy skin*, use a pastry brush to brush it evenly with melted butter or oil. Sprinkle evenly with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Then place the sweet potato back on the baking sheet reverse-side-up, so that it can cook evenly on both sides. (If not, you can skip this step.)
Bake (round two). Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes until the sweet potato is soft and cooked through.
Cut, squeeze, fluff, season and serve! Finally, slice the sweet potato open lengthwise with a paring knife, give it a good squeeze to open it up, fluff the insides with a fork, add your favorite seasonings or toppings…and enjoy!
Baked Sweet Potato Toppings:
Want to load your oven baked sweet potatoes up with some fun toppings? Here are a few of my favorite ingredient combos for loaded baked sweet potatoes…
Classic loaded baked sweet potato: Top with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and/or green onions.
Chili baked sweet potato: Top with traditional chili or vegetarian chili, plus cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, avocado (or guacamole) and/or sliced jalapeños.
Mediterranean baked sweet potato: Top with diced tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, Kalamata olives, hummus or tzatziki, and fresh herbs (dill, parsley and/or mint).
Heat the oven. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and if you happen to own a wire cooling rack, you can place it on top of the baking sheet for extra-even baking. (If not, no worries, you can just place the potato directly on the baking sheet.)
Prep the sweet potato. Using a dinner fork or a small paring knife, poke the sweet potato evenly on all sides (about 10 times). Place the potato on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake (round one). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven.
Brush with butter or oil (optional). If you would like your baked sweet potato to have extra-crispy skin*, use a pastry brush to brush it evenly with melted butter or oil. Sprinkle evenly with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Then place the sweet potato back on the baking sheet reverse-side-up, so that it can cook evenly on both sides.
Bake (round two). Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes until the sweet potato is soft and cooked through. To check for doneness, carefully give the sweet potato a gentle squeeze with an oven mitt, and if the insides are soft and give easily under pressure, it is ready to be removed from the oven. If not, continue baking for 5-minute intervals until soft. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.)
Cut the potato. Using a paring knife, slice halfway through the sweet potato lengthwise. Then give it a gentle squeeze to open.
Serve. Serve immediately with your desired toppings.
Lighter (butter-free) option: If you would like to skip the step of brushing the sweet potato with butter, you can just rotate the sweet potato on the baking sheet at this point in the recipe so that it is reverse-side-up.