Baked sweet potato fries are an easy to prepare side dish or appetizer. By adding a seasoned starch coating to the sliced sweet potatoes, each bite will have an extra layer of crispy irresistible crunch!
Baked sweet potato fries are a favorite savory and delicious side dish that’s easy to prepare. You can often find them on restaurant menus, rivaling traditional french fries. The roasted sweet potato slices are a gluten-free healthier alternative to their fried counterparts. The challenge is how to create a similar crisp texture without having to deep fry the potatoes.
Two things help achieve the sought out texture; adding a starch coating and baking the fries at high enough temperature to kick-start the drying process. Handfuls of tasty sweet potato fries will disappear in an instant!
How to Make Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
After testing various batches of sweet potato fries with different coatings or without any at all, I finally found a recipe that adds just the right amount of extra texture. The no-coating method created baked fries that were okay, but not crunchy. If you’re in a hurry, it will still taste yummy, but not as good as it could be.
What worked well was to create a blend of potato starch with salt, pepper and garlic powder. This process coats the outside of each potato and seasons it at the same time. It also helps to soak up any additional surface moisture so that the fries bake up more crisp.
Adding the coating is similar to breading chicken before you fry it for more crunch, it would taste good without it, but takes the experience to the next level. I also tested cornstarch, and even though it has a similar crispy texture, there was an off taste that my husband quickly picked up on. The potato starch was a clear winner!
A little bit of olive oil is drizzled on the potato starch coated fries to prevent sticking on the pan and encourage a quicker development of crust on the surface. Melted coconut oil or ghee can also be used as a substitute for the olive oil.
Now it’s time to bake! I selected a temperature that would promote quick drying for crispy fries in a relatively short period, but it didn’t make the sugars in the potatoes burn the minute it hit the oven. We do however want the sugars to lightly break down and caramelize to enhance the sweetness of the potatoes naturally.
Sweet potatoes have a high ratio of sucrose, and caramelization begins at about 320°F (160°C). Therefore a temperature of 400°F (204°C) was just the right amount of heat to create crispy, sweet and savory fries.
Something I learned when I was selecting ingredients is that if you get large sweet potatoes, make sure to cut them into finger length pieces, about 3 to 4 inches. Even though longer fries look pretty, they don’t hold their shape. Plus shorter pieces are crisper.
If you’re a dip fan, they are perfect with ranch sauce, ketchup, or homemade spicy mayonnaise.
When I was on the Whole30 diet, I obsessively ate a lot of baked sweet potatoes. This baked sweet potato fries recipe is an excellent switch up because its’ made with just a few simple ingredients and something my entire family enjoyed. I hope you gobble them up just like we did!
SEE ALSO: Some Burger recipes you might like to try with these fries
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #jessicagavin on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
What’s the difference between sweet potatoes and regular potatoes?
Sweet potatoes, may it be bright orange-fleshed or the cream colored variety have become the star stud on the plate. They’re considered waxy potatoes because of the high starch content and the flesh flakes when baked. They contain more moisture and sugar (particularly sucrose) than other types of potatoes and can brown quicker under high heat due to the sugar caramelizing in the flesh. Keep a close eye on the baking time when roasting sweet potatoes to prevent burning.
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