Sweet potatoes are in season! This healthy root vegetable is so versatile and delicious! Check out these amazing recipes featuring hearty sweet potatoes.
Baked sweet potatoes are arguably one of the best things that can grace your dinner table. Actually baking them in the oven is a tried and true method, but we wondered if the microwave and slow cooker could yield similar (or better) results. So we put all the techniques to the test to find out which appliance will give you the best baked sweet potato.
Our control sweet potato was pricked with a fork and baked in a 400°F on a foil-lined baking sheet oven for about an hour. The results were reliable: a soft, sweet interior, dry exterior. Pretty much what you’ve come to expect from a sweet potato.
For our microwave sweet potato, we poked it with a fork a few times and popped it in the microwave on high for about 6 minutes. It could take several minutes longer depending on your microwave and the size of your sweet potato, but regardless, this is still the fastest way to get a sweet potato on your plate.
Unfortunately, the results were a bit lackluster. The interior is starchier, and the flavor is not as deep or sweet. Still, once you load it up with condiments, it’s completely edible. If it weren’t for comparing it to the other two potatoes, we would have liked it just fine. It’s a great way to make Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows for an easy weeknight side dish.
The slow cooker method took a couple tries to perfect, but once we got the right technique down, it was superior to both the microwave and the oven. To get the most out of the slow cooker, you really need to wrap the sweet potatoes in foil. Leaving them unwrapped puts your sweet potato at risk for burning and drying out, whereas the foil will keep the moisture trapped inside.
You can cook them for 4 hours on a high temperature or 8 hours on low—perfect for if you want to come home to baked sweet potatoes right after work. The long and low method helps caramelize the starches in the sweet potato, creating a beautifully soft interior with a deep, sweet flavor.
So the verdict is, if you have the time, the slow cooker will give you the softest, most flavorful sweet potato around. But the oven and microwave are perfectly decent options, too, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have 4-8 hours.Print
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew is a hearty dish that makes a perfect meatless dinner. It may sound like an interesting flavor combo but it’s delicious. Really. So. Good.
A few years ago I had this amazing sweet potato and peanut soup at an Ethiopian restaurant. It was strange, actually, because it was called Western African Peanut Soup on the menu, but Ethiopia is not in Western Africa. I was intrigued and ordered it anyways. I’ve been wanting to try to recreate it ever since then.
I couldn’t wait for a chance to share it with you, and our Sweet Potato Series seemed like a good place, especially as a great reminder that sweet potatoes aren’t just for pies and casseroles. You can include them in soups and stews, and even in quesadillas. Yes, we totally did that!
Yes, very easily! While I use chicken broth in it, you can totally substitute it out for vegetable broth instead.
If you are worried about getting enough protein in your meal, you can add chicken or cooked chickpeas. If you add chicken, cube it into 1-inch pieces and sauté the chicken until almost cooked through then remove from the pan and set aside and add back into the pan after adding the ginger and garlic.
If you want to add chickpeas, add 2 cans of chickpeas that you’ve drained and rinsed when you add the kale.
I really think you’re going to love this soup. It’s creamy and a bit sweet but also spicy too. I love that sweet-spicy thing. Enjoy!Print
Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes get nice and crispy. Plus, you don’t have to start the oven just to bake a few potatoes.
Baked sweet potatoes are delicious and they taste amazing, plus they’re so nutritious. They’re the perfect side with our Basic Baked Chicken Thighs. Best of all, you can have potatoes with perfectly crispy skin baked right in your Air Fryer. This keeps the oven free for your entree or allows you to skip turning it on.
To make the most delicious air fried sweet potatoes, first you need to wash them very well. Then, pierce them with fork all over. This will shorten the time of cooking and it will also prevent them from potentially bursting while they cook. No one wants to clean up that mess! After that, using your hands or a brush, lightly coat each sweet potato with olive oil then season with salt.
Place sweet potatoes in the air fryer basket or on a rack if you have an air fryer oven. We like this air fryer. The potatoes usually take 45-50 minutes to cook but cook-time may vary depending on the size of your sweet potatoes.
The circulating air of the air fryer works together with the oil on the outside of the potato to cook the skin to a nice crisp. Be sure to flip the potatoes over halfway through cooking to ensure a nice even crisp on all sides.
Simply insert a toothpick or fork into the center of the potato to check if it’s soft inside. When the potato is cooked through there will be no resistance and it will feel soft.
If you’re in a sweet potato casserole mood like we are, this is a quick and easy “cheat” for any night of the week. Sure, you can totally make our Classic Sweet Potato Casserole recipe, this healthier version, and these adorable bite-sized appetizers. Now we have a quick weeknight idea for when you’re craving sweet potato casserole but don’t have the time to make it.
You can bake your sweet potatoes with whatever method you like, but I make them in the microwave because it saves a ton of time and sometimes you just need dinner on the table quickly. They cook through in about 6-8 minutes.
Then I add some marshmallows and pop them under the broiler just until they’re browned. Super-quick, fun, tasty, and easy. We all love them, and I hope you do too. Have a great day!Print
*Alternatively, you can bake the whole sweet potatoes in a 375°F oven for 1 hour to 1 and 1/4 hours, until pierces easily with a fork.
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Quesadillas are made insanely healthy with sweet potatoes and black beans. And whoa, are these ever delicious too!
I took the above picture for Produce for Kids (now knowns as Healthy Family Project) a couple of years ago. I didn’t create the recipe though. They did. When I first read the recipe, I was skeptical of the flavor combination: sweet potatoes, black beans, and cheese.
Honestly, it sounded like a weird combo. I was so wrong. These are some of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had. I couldn’t stop eating them. Those guys have good instincts on flavor and on making things healthy.
I think it’s the creaminess of the sweet potatoes that makes these quesadillas so good. It somehow seemed like they had way more cheese than there was because of it. Mmmmm. I think you’re going to love these.
This recipe makes four quesadillas, but they are cooked one at a time in a skillet. If you want everyone to be able to eat at the same time, there are two things that you can do.
Quesadillas made in the oven can get nice and crisp on the outside, while being gooey and melty on the inside if you follow these three rules:
So, if you want to have all your quesadillas ready at once, prep the filling, make sure it’s room temperature, heat your oven to 425F, and put an oiled baking sheet in there for 5-7 minutes. Assemble your quesadillas and then arrange them on the hot baking sheet.
Bake the quesadillas for 8 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and use two metal spatulas or egg flippers to flip the quesadillas over. Return the pan to the oven and cook until the underside is brown and crispy, 5-10 more minutes.
The other way to have all of your quesadillas ready at once is to cook them in the skillet but then keep them warm in the oven. To do this, put an oven-safe metal cooling tray over a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 250F.
After the first quesadilla is cooked, transfer it to the rack and transfer the baking sheet with rack to the oven. Using a rack allows the air to circulate under the quesadilla so that it is less likely to get soggy.
As you cook each quesadilla in the skillet, transfer it to the rack over the baking sheet in the oven to stay warm.
If you’re a sweet potato lover like we are, be sure to check out our whole Sweet Potato Series. You’ll find more reasons than ever to love sweet potatoes with our recipes, tips, and how-tos.Print
Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way by Produce for Kids for today’s article. They have given us permission to use their recipe with no conditions. However, our senior editor and the author of this article, Christine Pittman, has worked with them on other compensated projects in the past and will continue to do so.
Soaking the sweet potato slices helps remove excess starch to ensure that your sweet potato chips are crispy. It takes a little extra time, but once you have a bite of crispy sweet potato chips, you’ll know it was worth it.
Be sure to dry off the slices so they don’t have excess water on them when frying. This will ensure that any extra water doesn’t steam the potato and that the oil can stick to the potato.
The air circulation from cooling them on a rack and keeping them in a single layer will allow the heat (steam) to escape rather get trapped in the layers. If they are layered together with no air flow under them the extra steam would make your chips soft. No one wants soggy chips.
Before embarking on our big Sweet Potato Series, I had never had sweet potato pie. I wasn’t even entirely sure what it was. I did some research and found out that it is typically very similar to my basic pumpkin pie recipe (totally the best pumpkin pie out there. I swear. I got the recipe from my mom and she knows things), but with sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin.
I therefore experimented with that pumpkin pie recipe, swapped out the pumpkin for sweet potatoes and did a few other tweaks to get it just right.
For the pureed sweet potatoes, there are a few things you can do. First, you can roast whole sweet potatoes (use 2-3 medium ones) in the oven with the peels on. Go with 375°F for about 1 hour to 1 and 1/4 hours, until a fork pierces right through easily. Then scoop out the insides.
Alternatively, you can peel them, cut them into cubes and boil them until tender. This takes more work but is quicker.
Finally, you can totally buy already-mashed sweet potatoes at the grocery store in the refrigerator section. These already have butter and sweetening in them but that won’t matter at all. I tried it and it worked just great.
Sweet potato casserole is a tradition at American Thanksgiving. Because of that, we were a little bit reluctant to mess around with it or change it too drastically (you can see our nice and normal, deliciously classic version over here).
It didn’t seem like a big deal to make it smaller though. These little casserole bites are perfect for an appetizer or dessert party. The best thing about them is that they are ridiculously easy to make.
Here’s what you do…
Make up a batch of sweet potato casserole filling. Any recipe. But skip the eggs since the cups don’t bake for long enough for the egg to cook through. You can use leftover sweet potato casserole as well. That works great.
If you don’t want to make a filling and you don’t have leftovers and you want your life to be easier, you can buy a tub of mashed sweet potatoes from the refrigerator section of your grocery store. The mashed sweet potatoes come with butter and sweetening in them already so they’re ready to use.
Get some mini phyllo shells. These are found in the frozen department near the frozen pie crusts and other pastry. The brand I use is Athens. To see what the package looks like so you know what you’re looking for, go here.
Now you’re all set. Simply scoop sweet potato filling into the cups. Put the cups on a baking sheet and arrange 3 mini marshmallows on each one. Bake in a 350ºF oven until marshmallows are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.
You can serve these immediately as a warm item. Or let them come to room temperature and serve. But don’t wait too long to serve them (not more than 2 hours) because the fillo shells will get soggy.
*Or cook and mash your own sweet potatoes or use any sweet potato casserole filling that you like (leftover sweet potato casserole works great!). If you’re making a new filling, don’t put raw eggs in it since these cups don’t cook for long enough for the eggs to cook.
Have you ever heard of sweet potato toast? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a slice of sweet potato, popped in the toaster and topped with your favorite toppings, like peanut butter or avocado. This technique spread widely across social media a couple years ago, offering something new to clean-eating trends such as cauliflower “rice” (see how to make our Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice here) and smoothie bowls.
With more people following gluten-free and paleo diet, sweet potato slices are a good substitute to gluten-packed toasted bread. It also offers a flavorful alternative if you’ve given up your favorite Avocado Toast.
Besides the fact sweet potatoes are delicious, they are also loaded with nutrients — from vitamins A, B6, and C to minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, and fiber. It is believed these vitamins and minerals help regulate your blood sugar levels, protect against the effects of aging, help you cope with stress, as well as have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
Being one of the most nutritious vegetables around, sweet potatoes are also delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. Make sure to include them in your diet throughout the year and not just for your Thanksgiving dinner. Making a sweet potato toast for breakfast is surely a great way to enjoy them and to take advantage of their unique health benefits.
To make sweet potato toast, take a large sweet potato and cut it into 1/4 inch thick slices. Toast them in the toaster two or three times on high, to get it toasted and cooked through. As every toaster is different, you’ll need to play around with yours to get it just right. It should be crisp and slightly browned on the outside and soft and cooked through on the inside.
The next step is to choose a topping. As with normal toasted bread, sweet potato toasts are really versatile. You can choose between sweet and savory toppings, whatever it is that you are craving. Here are some ideas to fuel your culinary creativity:
Cut the avocado in half, pit, and remove the skin. Slice and top your toast with it. Not sure about the poaching thing? No worries. We’ve got you covered. Head over here to learn how to poach a perfect runny-yolked egg every time. Place your poached egg on top of the avocado and drizzle it with Sriracha. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Spread some soft goat cheese on your sweet potato toast and top it with sliced dried or fresh fig and a couple of fresh sage leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Cut the avocado in half, pit, and remove the skin. Slice and top your toast with it. Drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spread some cream cheese on your sweet potato toast. Top it with halved grapes and roughly chopped walnuts. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
We’re really having so much fun with this idea and we hope that you are too. So go ahead and give us some of your topping ideas in the comments below. Can’t wait to see what y’all are up to!
It takes a little bit of preparation, but you can achieve oven fries that are crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside.
You’ll want to start by cutting your peeled sweet potatoes into ¼-inch thick sticks. Thinner sticks are key to crispy fries, and uniformity is important so that all the fries cook to the same texture and crispiness.
Possibly, the most important step for these fries is soaking them in cold water. This tip from the restaurant world draws the starches out of the potatoes, which helps them achieve crispiness.
You’ll want to soak the sweet potato sticks for at least an hour, and up to 24 hours. It’s a great idea to start soaking them in the morning so they’re ready when you want dinner! Just pop the sweet potato sticks in a bowl of cold water, cover, and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
When frying in oil, the chemical process pulls starches to the exterior of the potato and forms a crust. Since we don’t get that reaction during the baking process, we have to add our own starch to the exterior of the sweet potatoes. We used a blend of corn starch and tapioca starch (and some spices for flavor).
Bonus: using this blends of starches means your fries are still gluten-free. Just be sure to use gluten-free spices.
Finally, we reserve salting for after the fries come out of the oven, since salt draws out moisture and adding it early on can make the fries soggy. Be sure to salt them immediately after removing them so they are still nice and hot and the salt sticks.
No more excuses for floppy fries. Follow this advice and you’ll have perfect crispy oven fries by dinnertime.
Just the other day we shared our Classic Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with you. Today, we’ve turned to our friends over at Produce for Kids for a healthier twist. It’s also quicker since they boil their sweet potatoes instead of roasting them.
Their recipe has less butter and no added sugar (except in the marshmallows, which are optional). It still tastes great though and we know you’re going to love love love this classic done healthy.
Recipe from Produce for Kids.
This is a pretty classic Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. We’ve gone with both pecans and marshmallows in the topping so that everyone is happy. The sweet potato part is really amazing because of the way we prepare the potatoes.
True yams are a totally different root vegetable and you don’t want to use them in this dish. That being said, the yams that come in a can are often actually sweet potatoes. You can learn more about the differences between sweet potatoes and yams here.
Some recipes call for boiling the sweet potatoes or using canned potatoes. We chose a different method because it makes all the difference in the flavor of your potatoes. We roasted them! Cooking them this ways ensures none of the flavor cooks out so you keep all the sweet potato goodness in the dish where it belongs.
There isn’t a ton of sugar in here because the sweet potatoes are already pretty sweet. If you like it on the sweeter side, you can double the sugar. Or, if you want it a little less sweet, you can cut the sugar down or totally skip it. The best thing to do is to make the sweet potato mixture adding everything except the eggs. Then give it a taste and decide if you want more sugar or not. I think you’ll find that it’s just about right with the amount listed.
Egg is an important binder to help the casserole hold together. If you need to skip the eggs, you can, but know that the casserole won’t stick together well and will be more like baked mashed sweet potatoes with toppings instead. It will still taste good though!
Definitely! There are two options for preparing the casserole ahead of time. The first option is that you can pre-bake the potatoes and refrigerate them until you’re ready to make and serve the dish.
The second option is to pre-make the whole casserole then cover with foil and reheat in an oven that’s been preheated to 300°F oven for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. You want to keep it covered while reheating so you don’t burnt he marshmallow and pecan topping.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know how you liked it or how you changed it up (we totally know you’re gonna do that!).
I first came across this conundrum in a Whole Foods Market in their produce section. Sitting side-by-side were two distinctly different potatoes, one white fleshed and one orange. The sign above them read “Yams and Sweet Potatoes.” I picked up both potatoes and wondered which was which.
I did some research and learned that they were both sweet potatoes. What’s going on here? Where’s the yam?
We all know sweet potatoes are orange, right? Well, not quite. Sweet potatoes can have a variety of different colors; ranging from white to orange and even to purple. You definitely have to try a purple sweet potato sometime if you haven’t already.
Sweet potatoes also have two different textures. One being firm (which has paler flesh) and the other being softer (which has an orange flesh). But essentially the thing that many of us grew up calling a yam is really a sweet potato. Wait, was my mom’s sweet yam pie a lie? Not really. There’s more to this story.
The first sweet potato introduced into the U.S. was the firmer paler one. When the softer orange one was later introduced there was concern that it would cause confusion. And with that, a new name, yam, was adopted. It might have something to do with the fact that it looks a bit like a true yam. But it was never a true yam. In fact, sweet potatoes and yams are not even related.
Yams are grown in Africa and Asia and you don’t usually find them in regular grocery stores here in the United States. They are starchy and drier than sweet potatoes and require different preparations than their orange counterparts. These tubers look less like potatoes and more like small logs from a tree. If you put a (sweet potato) yam next to a real yam, you won’t mistake the two.
In conclusion, a yam and a sweet potato are two totally different vegetables unless you are in the States, where yams and sweet potatoes have a little bit of an identity crisis with some sweet potatoes sometimes, but not always, being called yams. In truth, most Americans have never seen or eaten a true yam. But don’t tell my mom that. I don’t want her thinking I think she’s a liar; I need her to keep making me that pie!
For the next two weeks we’ll be bringing you all kinds of sweet potato bliss. There are tons of recipes, from Classic Sweet Potato Casserole to Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes, and lots of sweet potato tips and how tos.
Here’s a sneak peek at the recipes:
It’s going to be such a delicious couple of weeks!
Have a great day!
If you’ve ever made sweet potato fries before, you know it’s almost impossible to get them crispy. This is because they lack the starch that a white potato like a russet has. Their unique makeup when it comes to starch and moisture levels makes them a bit tricky to crisp up into a French fry.
After a little research, we found the best tips for air fryer sweet potato fries and it only requires one more step than our Air Fryer French Fries.
Christine is the founder of TheCookful and also of her blog COOKtheSTORY. Her passion is explaining the WHY behind cooking – Why should you cook things a certain way; Will they turn out if you do it differently; What are the pros and cons of the method? Learn more about Christine, her cookbooks, and her podcast.
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