How To Bake A Sweet Potato

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Sweet potatoes are one of those superfoods that are quite often underappreciated. They are hardy plants, so you can easily grow them in your garden. Being a self-reliant person, I recommend growing and stocking sweet potatoes, but it’s also crucial to know how to bake a sweet potato so you can fully enjoy all the benefits.

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are some of the easiest vegetables to prepare as a meal item, but they are also super beneficial to your diet. If you aren’t sure about whether or not you would like to grow sweet potatoes, here are some great benefits that may change your mind:

  1. They are highly nutritious – Sweet potatoes are packed with protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, and antioxidants that all are helpful in maintaining healthy bodies.
  2. Sweet potatoes are good for your gut – Because they contain fiber, they are great for helping your digestive tract digest food and soften your stools.
  3. Support your immune system – Vitamin A and C are crucial to a healthy immune system. Since these potatoes offer a lot of A and C, they are great at helping keep you healthy.
  4. Stable Blood sugar – The compounds in sweet potatoes have been known to help control blood sugar levels. They don’t raise blood sugar as quickly as regular potatoes or other sugary foods.
  5. Lowers cholesterol – Research shows that sweet potatoes lower LDL which is bad cholesterol. Thus, they can lower your chances of heart problems in the future.
How To Bake A Sweet Potato

Kitchen Items You May Need

For this recipe, you won’t need many kitchen tools. Make sure you have the following items:

Baked Sweet Potato Ingredients

For this recipe, you quite literally only need two ingredients. The rest are optional. Here’s what you need:

  • Sweet potatoes – I only cook 3 sweet potatoes at a time, but you can cook more if you like.
  • Non-stick cooking spray – You will need this to grease the pan so your potatoes don’t stick to it.
  • Butter – I always put butter on my sweet potatoes, but this is totally optional. If using butter, let it sit on the counter while the potatoes cook, so it is soft and ready to melt on your steaming hot sweet potato.
  • Cinnamon – Since these potatoes are sweet, they pair better with sweeter seasonings like cinnamon and sugar. I sprinkle a little bit on top.
  • Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is optional, but it pairs nicely with the sweetness of your potato. Again, I just sprinkle my desired amount on top of the finished baked potato.
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How To Bake A Sweet Potato

I know how to bake a sweet potato in two different ways, so I’ve provided both ways for you to enjoy. You can bake your sweet potatoes whole, or you can slice them to make Hasselback potatoes. Follow the steps below for the best baked sweet potatoes:

Step One: Preheat and Prep

Preheat your oven to (400°F) = (204°C). Grease your baking pan.

How To Bake A Sweet Potato

Step Two: Wash the Potatoes

Wash and scrub your sweet potatoes. Watch for any bad spots and cut them off. Cut the ends off of your potatoes with a sharp knife. I like to remove about 1 inch off the ends. Sometimes they’ll come with a little dirt on them, that’s why we wash them well.

How To Bake A Sweet Potato

Step Three: Pop them into the Oven

Place the prepared sweet potatoes inside your greased baking pan. Place the pan into your oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Step Four: Serve and Enjoy

Here’s the deal, once the potatoes cool down a little, you can eat them “as is” with the peels, if that’s how you like them. You can also remove the peels really easily, then mash or cube the potatoes. Easy, right? You can see the melted butter added on top, along with the cinnamon.

How To Bake A Sweet Potato

How to Make Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

I’m showing you two different ways to bake your sweet potatoes. The images above are the typical way to bake them. Sometimes, I like to change up my sweet potatoes. My family loves them both baked ways. Some people call the next group of potatoes Hasselback potatoes just because of how they are prepared. I’m not sure where the name came from.

Step One: Preheat and Prep

Preheat your oven to (400°F) = (204°C). Grease your baking pan.

How To Bake A Sweet Potato

Step Two: Clean the Potatoes

Wash and scrub your sweet potatoes. Watch for any bad spots and cut them off. Cut the ends off of your potatoes with a sharp knife. I like to remove about 1 inch off the ends.

Step Three: Cut Slices

For Hasselback sweet potatoes, all you do is cut slices in your potatoes. Cut deep slices, but don’t cut them all the way through.

Step Four: Bake Them

Bake the sweet potatoes until the center of the potatoes reaches (205°F )= (96°C) to (212°F) = (100°C), which will typically be around 45-55 minutes.

Step Five: Serve and Enjoy

Here are the baked “sliced” sweet potatoes. I love being creative when I bake. The butter, cinnamon, and sugar seep deep into the sweet potatoes, now you get it, right? Remove the pan from the oven when the potatoes reach the desired temperature. Let the pan cool enough so you can handle the sweet potatoes.

Serve with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, or serve plain. The Hasselback sweet potatoes are delicious with just butter, salt, and pepper too. Enjoy.

What’s the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?

In the United States, sweet potatoes and yams are typically used interchangeably, but they are completely different vegetables. It’s important to know the difference so that you are baking a sweet potato and not a yam.

Yams

Yams are starchier than sweet potatoes, and they contain less sugar. So flavor-wise, they don’t taste nearly as sweet and delicious as a sweet potato. If you aren’t sure if you are looking at a yam, you can tell by their appearance. Yam skins are typically dark brown too light pink, and the insides can be white, yellow, purple, or pink.

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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are much sweeter in flavor than a yam. They can come in a variety of different colors. You can find them with rose color skin and orange flesh, pale or copper skin with white flesh, red skin with dry white flesh, or purple skin with purple flesh.

What Type of Sweet Potato Should I Use?

For this recipe, we used a rose-colored sweet potato with orange flesh. These are called Covington Sweet Potatoes and are the most popular of all sweet potatoes you’ll find at your local store. I think they are the moistest and tender, but you can use any sweet potato you prefer.

Other Ways to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes

Baking sweet potatoes is one of the most common ways to enjoy them and their benefits, but you can cook them in a variety of different ways. Here are some other ideas for cooking your harvest of sweet potatoes:

  • Sweet potato chips – Peel the potatoes, and slice them thin. You can then bake or fry them to make chips.
  • Fries – Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into wedges or matchsticks and bake or fry.
  • Toast with sweet potatoes – Peel and cut the potatoes into paper thin slices and top them over buttered toast.
  • Mashed sweet potatoes – Peel, boil, and mash your sweet potatoes. Add milk and butter. Consider adding seasoning(s) you like on top.

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5 from 4 votes
How To Bake A Sweet Potato
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 people
Ingredients
  • 2-10 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, cinnamon, or brown sugar (optional for each sweet potato)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to (400°F) = (204°C). Then, grease a baking pan.

  2. Wash and scrub your sweet potatoes. Watch for any bad spots and cut them off. Cut the ends off of your potatoes with a sharp knife. I like to remove about 1 inch off the ends.

  3. Place the prepared sweet potatoes inside your greased baking pan. Place the pan into your oven. Bake the sweet potatoes until the center of the potatoes reaches (205°F )= (96°C) to (212°F) = (100°C), which will typically be around 45-55 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from the oven when the potatoes reach the desired temperature. Let the pan cool enough so you can handle the sweet potatoes.

  5. Use a sharp knife to slit the top of the potatoes. Serve with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, or serve plain. Remove the skins if desired.

Final Word

As a prepper, I recommend growing and harvesting sweet potatoes. Not only are they nutritious, but they have a long shelf life. They will last 3-5 weeks in a pantry and 2-3 months if stored in the refrigerator, and even longer in the freezer. Sweet potatoes are the perfect side to almost any dish. Make them ahead of time and reheat them in the microwave. May God Bless this world, Linda

12 thoughts on “How To Bake A Sweet Potato

  • January 22, 2022 at 7:46 am
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    5 stars
    I love sweet potato fries. Not too big on baked ones though. Well, I haven’t eaten a baked one in a long while. I do need to try them again. My grandmother and mother used to bake a lot of them, and wrap them in foil, after baked, then freeze them. They’d thaw them out and reheat when they wanted a fast baked sweet potato.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2022 at 9:40 am
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      Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend. I need to try freezing them, that’s a great idea!!! Linda

      Reply
  • January 22, 2022 at 11:02 am
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    5 stars
    Linda,
    I’ve grown Covington sweet potatoes from slips in my garden 2 of the past 3 years and they are delicious baked. Jane uses brown sugar on hers and I just used butter. But I’m going to try cinnamon sugar and butter next time because it sounds so delicious.

    I got my slips from Gurneys. They tend to get established and come up again the following year. Since I practice crop rotation I was careful to clear them all out last year. I’ll start them in a new bed this year.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2022 at 2:08 pm
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      Hi Ray, thanks for the 5 stars, my friend! I thought I had cleared out my sweet potatoes, and they came up again and again! I will have to see what I can grow here up north! Linda

      Reply
  • January 22, 2022 at 11:24 am
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    I can’t grow sweet potatoes here do when I want some I always use Garnets. They have a dark red skin and very orange flesh. I use them exclusively in my casserole for the holidays. After baking, I slice them and top them with crushed pineapple, cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped pecans. After growing up with the “way too sweet” ones with marshmallows on top, these are the only ones I make. We love them this way.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2022 at 2:10 pm
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      HI Cheryl, I will have to see if I can grow them up north here. If not I will buy them! I love the organic ones Costco has! I remember the marshmallows, your recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing! Linda

      Reply
  • January 22, 2022 at 1:47 pm
    Permalink

    5 stars
    My mother always cooked hers by making a long slit along the length of the potato. She would put Butter and Brown sugar in the slit wrap it in aluminum foil and bake it along with whatever she was making. Dad could eat 2 or 3 of them at a meal but she only made them for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. My dad was the only one who ate them.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2022 at 2:13 pm
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      Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! I love butter and brown sugar on mine! It’s so funny to hear only your dad ate them!! Love it! Linda

      Reply
      • January 22, 2022 at 5:20 pm
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        5 stars
        I loved the sweet potatoes once I tried them but they did not like me. Within 5 minutes my Easter dinner was over and we were on our way to the ER. Last thing I remember is my mother telling my dad never force her to try anything again

        Reply
  • January 22, 2022 at 3:58 pm
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    Because the marshmallows are too sweet, the pineapple really adds a great flavor to them. My Mom always made them with the m.mallows and I just couldn’t eat them like that. I am the same way with bananas squash. I tried growing sweet potatoes here in my area in SW WA and they didn’t grow at all. I get my Garnets at Winco and they are always good.

    Reply
    • January 22, 2022 at 4:22 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Cheryl, thanks for the tip, I will check out Winco here! Pineapple sounds delicious! Linda

      Reply

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