Sunday Staples: Perfectly Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These roasted sweet potatoes are so easy to make and perfect for batch cooking or meal prep. Try using this method to roast a big sheet pan of sweet potatoes at the start of each week for a quick and easy side dish that can be added to lunch or dinner!
I am so excited to share this new recipe series on the blog with you: Sunday Staples! I've been thinking of a fun way to share my favorite 'staple' recipes on the blog for a while. There are a few recipes that I make every single week in my kitchen. These recipes aren't glamorous or complicated but they're what I eat on a regular basis. Things like roasted veggies and potatoes, quick proteins, and easy sauces are all staples that help make healthy eating sustainable for me. As much as I love getting creative and trying new things with my food, I almost always return to the basics when life gets busy and I'm short on time. Sometimes, you just need to get food on the table and these simple recipes help me do that.
Over the next few months, I'll be sharing a staple recipe with you every Sunday. These will be in somewhat of a 'how-to' format that breaks down how I actually prepare the recipe. My hope is that sharing these simple methods of preparing nutrient rich food will help make it even easier for you to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle.
When I thought about the first recipe to share in this series, I knew it had to be my go-to recipe for roasted sweet potatoes. I've been making this version of easy roasted sweet potatoes since my first year of law school and they have been a staple on my menu ever since. I think sweet potatoes are naturally delicious all on their own, but dicing and roasting them with a few extra spices really takes them over the top.
The first step in getting perfectly roasted sweet potatoes is to peel them. Technically, you can leave the peel on, but I've found that it's still tough and chewy even after cooking which I don't enjoy. I start by peeling my sweet potatoes using a vegetable peeler which makes the process incredibly easy. Then, I dice them into roughly 1 inch chunks with a sharp knife.
The next step is to toss them with a little cooking fat. When it comes to choosing the cooking fat for sweet potatoes, my personal favorites are either ghee or coconut oil. You could also use avocado or olive oil, but I find that the ghee and coconut oil bring out the natural sweetness of the potatoes. If I had to pick coconut oil or ghee, I would go with ghee. The rich buttery flavor pairs perfectly with the sweet potatoes.
After you've tossed the sweet potatoes in the cooking fat, give them a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, chili powder, and salt. I don't have an exact measurement here, but a nice shake of cinnamon and chili powder, paired with a good sprinkle of sea salt, should do the trick. Cinnamon pairs perfectly with sweet potatoes and the chili powder gives them this delicious smoky flavor. If you've never tried a little chili powder on your roasted sweet potatoes I can understand why you might be hesitant, but just trust me on this one.
The next, and final, step is to put the potatoes on a sheet pan to roast. I roast my sweet potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes. The end result should be tender on the inside and slightly caramelized and browned on the outside. The trick here is to make sure that the potatoes are in a single layer on the pan when they go into the oven. You don't want potatoes lying on top of each other. They'll take longer to cook and you won't get that golden brown caramelized look that you're going for.
If you follow all of those steps you should end up with perfectly roasted sweet potatoes every time. Of course, remember that cooking is all about trial and error. So if you add a little too much cinnamon or over-salt the first batch just tweak things the next time. Practice, and patience, makes perfect.
Perfectly Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1-2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp cooking fat like avocado oil, coconut oil, or melted ghee
- chili powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel and dice your sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch chunks. Toss the potatoes in the cooking fat of your choice and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, chili powder, and salt.
- Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes until tender.