Roasted savory sweet potatoes are the perfect easy side dish for chicken, pork, or beef. Add other root vegetables for more variety.
When I was growing up, sweet potatoes weren’t a favorite.
My mom would bake them, wrapped in foil, then we each got 1/2 a potato on our plates.
She would add some butter and sometimes sprinkle them with brown sugar.
If you’ve ever had baked sweet potatoes, then you know their texture can be a little stringy.
I think that’s what I didn’t care for.
Sometimes we would have canned sweet potatoes that were cooked in a syrup, and I really disliked those!
But as I got older, I tasted them prepared in different ways and discovered I liked them.
One of our neighbors, after I got married, brought a sweet potato casserole to a Friendsgiving dinner.
She used cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, raisins, flaked coconut, and pecans in the recipe.
It was amazing!
Other Ways to Season Sweet Potatoes
However, my love affair with sweet potatoes began when I had them at a local restaurant.
Instead of the traditional sweet, dessert-like seasonings, they were spicy.
The chef roasted them with garlic and then used salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne on them.
These were not the sweet potatoes of my youth!
Since then, I’ve played around with a variety of different seasoning blends.
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Seasonings to Try on Sweet Potatoes
- Garam Masala – A blend of cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and coriander
- Shawarma Seasoning – A savory mix of coriander, cumin, turmeric, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, pepper, and cardamom
- Caribbean Jerk Seasoning – A mix of black and red pepper, thyme, allspice, garlic, and chives
- Mojo Seasoning – A citrusy blend with bell pepper, black pepper, and salt
- Smoky BBQ Salt – A sweet and smoky blend with garlic, onion, pepper, and paprika
I’ve added these seasonings when I roast the sweet potatoes and also when I’ve cooked them in the Instant Pot.
Do Sweet Potatoes Need to Be Peeled?
I usually leave the skin on when I bake sweet potatoes or cook them in the Instant Pot.
The skin has lots of nutrients, so they’re very good for you.
Just wash the potatoes well and remove any rough bits and strings.
Or scrape away the skins with a vegetable peeler if you prefer.
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
It’s so easy to roast sweet potatoes!
I like for them to cook quickly and also love when the edges get a little crispy.
The secret to getting the best results is to cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.
I generally line my baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Be sure to use a sheet pan that’s large enough for the vegetables to spread out into a single layer.
If you’re making a big batch for a crowd, divide the vegetables between two baking sheets.
Place the veggies on the sheet pan.
Now, drizzle them with olive oil.
Stir them around so they’re evenly coated with the oil.
If you’re mixing up a seasoning blend, be sure to combine the seasonings in a small bowl before sprinkling them on the veggies.
This helps the flavors to be spread evenly over all of them.
What Other Vegetables Can You Roast with Sweet Potatoes?
Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to prepare them during cooler weather months.
You can get creative with the combinations you roast together, but I remember that different kinds of vegetables roast at different rates.
For instance, potatoes take longer to cook than broccoli.
So I either add the quicker-cooking vegetables after the potatoes have roasted a bit or I roast them on different pans.
Some of my favorite combinations to roast are:
- Bell peppers, onions, and zucchini
- Sweet potatoes, red onions, and brussels sprouts
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and onions
- Yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and carrots
- Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, red onions, and mushrooms
How Long Do You Roast Sweet Potatoes?
Once your vegetables are prepared, pop them in the preheated oven.
I typically roast vegetables at 400 – 450 degrees F.
The length of time will depend on how full your pan is, and how small you cut your potatoes.
I set the timer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, give the potatoes a stir and test how tender they are.
There’s a good chance they’re cooked through in just 15 minutes at 450 degrees F.
I like them to get a little browned, so I continue roasting another 10-15 minutes.
The natural sugars in the onions and sweet potatoes caramelize and taste so good!
So once your potatoes are fork tender, you can decide how much longer you want them to cook to suit your taste.
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If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!