In the hierarchy of all the ways to cook a sweet potato, perfectly roasted chunks of sweet potato will forever sit at the top of my list. I’m not talking about a quick flash in a screaming-hot oven when you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table. I’m talking about those perfectly roasted, substantially sized cubes with well-browned, caramelized edges that crackle when you bite through the crisp surface and into the creamy center. The kind is so impossibly irresistible you can’t help but risk burning your fingertips and tongue to pop a few into your mouth the second the baking sheet comes out of the oven.
Whether you prefer plain roasted sweet potatoes with just a sprinkling of salt or like to give them an extra sweet or savory twist, they’re easy to make once you know the few key steps to success. Here’s how to do it.
4 Key Steps to the Best Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. One-inch cubes are the ideal size when cutting up the peeled potatoes. These bite-sized chunks aren’t too big or too small and work just as well for a side dish as they do as an addition to salads, tacos, grain bowls, and wraps. Also, remember that cutting evenly sized pieces ensures they all take the same time to cook.
2. Roast at 400°F. Temperature is an important factor in getting roasted sweet potatoes just right. This temperature is hot enough to deliver the tender, creamy centers and the charred, caramelized surface you expect from sweet potatoes. Setting the dial at 400°F, rather than 425°F or 450°F, means a slightly longer cook time, which helps coax out even more of this spud’s natural sweetness.
3. Use plenty of oil. Don’t be afraid to use plenty of fat when roasting sweet potatoes. A generous slick of olive oil helps give the potatoes those caramelized, crispy edges that make them so irresistible.
4. Use your hands to coat the potatoes evenly. You’re going to want to make sure all the sweet potato cubes are well-coated with oil, and the best way to get the job done is with your hands. I know it’s a bit messier than using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, but those tools simply don’t work as well.
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