Sweet potatoes, you’ve seen them before, the large orangy potatoes, but you’ve never really known what to do with them. If you’ve been wondering how to cook sweet potatoes, then you’ve come to the right place. You’ll learn how to boil, bake, roast, air fry, and microwave this versatile vegetable, and it’ll soon become one of your ‘must-have’ veggies on the table.
What are sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are root vegetables and are known for their sweet taste and vibrant colors; you’ll find them in colors ranging from orange and purple to yellow and white.
They are a different, more elongated shape to the common potato and have a slightly earthy flavor. Some people mistake them for yams, but they are very different.
Selecting and storing the perfect sweet potatoes
With so many different sweet potato recipes, it’s important that you select the best ones. Of course, for the best roasted sweet potatoes, it’s crucial to select well.
Look for potatoes that are firm, smooth, and free from blemishes. Preferably opt for medium-sized sweet potatoes, as they tend to cook more evenly.
Choose sweet potatoes with vibrant skin color, whether it’s orange, red, or purple, as this indicates ripeness and flavor.
If you’re not cooking sweet potatoes right away, store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place, and don’t store them in the refrigerator.
Different ways to cook sweet potatoes
There are five main ways to cook sweet potatoes;
- Air frying
Boiling sweet potatoes
Boiled sweet potatoes make an easy side dish or are perfect for mashed sweet potatoes.
Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potato into chunks. Place them in a pot, cover them with water, and bring them to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, approximately 10 – 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks.
Remove from the heat and, using a colander, drain the potatoes. They will now be ready to serve or for mashed sweet potato.
How to bake sweet potatoes in the oven
Baking is usually for whole sweet potatoes and is among the most popular cooking methods, but you can also bake delicious sweet potato fries.
Preheat your oven to 425°F/215°C. Scrub your sweet potatoes and pat them dry; use a fork to pierce the skin all over. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake until tender, approximately 40 – 50 minutes.
Once baked, the potatoes will be tender and soft, with a fluffy interior. Remove the perfect baked sweet potato from the oven, serve, and enjoy.
How to roast sweet potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes are delicious, the roasting brings out the potatoes’ natural sweetness, and they gain a delicious crispy exterior.
Roasting is perfect for sweet potato cubes and sweet potato wedges.
Preheat your oven to 450°F/230°C. Scrub your sweet potatoes and pat them dry. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut your potatoes into the desired shape.
Put the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and toss in olive oil and seasonings. Place the potato pieces on a foil-lined sheet in a single layer, ensuring that you don’t overcrowd them or they won’t crisp up.
Roast for approximately 18 – 20 minutes; remove them from the oven, use a spatula to flip them, and roast for 5 – 10 minutes.
When they are cooked, they will be tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. If you want extra crispiness, then broil them for a few minutes; they are delicious when dunked in sour cream.
How to cook sweet potatoes in an air fryer
This is how you would air fry a whole sweet potato. Scrub your sweet potatoes and pat them dry. Use a fork to poke holes all over the potatoes. Place them in the air fryer basket and air fry at 370°F/190°C until fork tender, approximately 30 – 40 minutes.
Remove from the air fryer basket, serve, and enjoy!
How to cook sweet potatoes in a microwave
If speed is of the essence for you, then the microwaved is perfect for quick-cooked sweet potatoes.
Wash and pat dry your potato, and prick it all over using a fork. Place it on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave it for up to 7 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. When the potato is cooked, then it should be fork-tender.
Remove from the microwave, serve, and enjoy!
Seasoning sweet potatoes
There are many different ways to season sweet potatoes; toss sweet potatoes in olive oil and kosher salt and pepper for a simple and delicious potato.
Make them even sweeter, drizzle them with maple syrup, and sprinkle fresh herbs.
And while brown sugar and cinnamon are a traditional fall favorite, have you thought of sprinkling the sweet potatoes with chili powder or smoked paprika and then squeezing a little fresh lime juice over them? It’s absolutely delicious!