Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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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!

basket of seasoned baked sweet potato fries with dipping sauce

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.

potato starch mixed with sweet potato slices

Potato starch works best

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!

drizzling olive oil over sweet potato slices

Ready to bake

A little bit of olive oil is drizzled on the potato starch coated fries to prevent sticking on the pan and encourage quicker development of crust on the surface. Melted coconut oil or ghee can also be used as a substitute for olive oil.

Oven temperature

I selected an oven 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.

sweet potato fries lined up on a foil-lined baking sheet

Fry length

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 long about 3/8-inches wide. 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!

Photo of hands dipping sweet potato fries into a dipping sauce

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 (in particular 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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Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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!
Pin Print Review
4.42 from 12 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Appetizer, Side, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ pound sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions 

  • Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 400°F (204°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and place in oven to heat before roasting the potatoes.
  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 3/8-inch thick and about 3 to 4 inch long pieces. Place potatoes in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together potato starch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  • Add spice mixture to the potatoes and mix to evenly coat.
  • Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes and mix to evenly coat.
  • Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Evenly space the sweet potato fries on the pan so they do not touch.
  • Bake fries for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip the fries over and cook until lightly brown and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy the sweet potato fries hot from the oven. The fries will not be as crispy once completely cooled.

Recipe Video

Equipment

Notes

  • Cornstarch can be substituted for potato starch, however, will have a slightly different taste.
  • Potato starch can be omitted altogether. However, the outside surface will not be as crispy.
  • MAKE IT WHOLE30: Use sea salt instead of kosher salt.

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Nutrition Facts
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 378mg16%
Potassium 484mg14%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 8g32%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 20150IU403%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

20 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Judy says

    How timely Jessica. My sister and I were just talking about her doctors advise to drop sugar and potatoes but he said seeet potatoes, yams and squash are fine. Would yams work for this too? Happy Wednesday!

    Judy

  2. Carl Hack says

    Can’t answer the question about the yams, however, at a neighbor’s house for dinner recently, I was introduced to Japanese Sweet Potatoes. Available at Whole Foods and some Farmer’s Markets, they have a wonderful flavor and texture. I’m eager to try this recipe, and will see how it turns out using the Japanese variety. .

    • Judy says

      I will be interested to see if Jessica used the Japanese Sweet potatoes as I know their color is more like yams and regular sweet potatoes are not as bright colored as these beautiful photos. At least mine. My regular sweet potatoes are more a light yellow.

      • Carl Hack says

        Hi Judy
        I hope you are following the posts on this recipe. Tonight I made Jessica’s recipe using Japanese Sweet Potatoes. They are, in fact, much lighter in color, (almost White) compared to regular sweet potatoes shown. So I can’t make a comparison to the taste of regular sweet potatoes, but I can tell you that the Japanese variety produce a wonderful and “””delicate””” flavor and texture. Crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. What’s not to love about that? I paired them with pork tenderloin, Oven roasted and slathered with whole grain mustard, garlic, rosemary, and olive oil. YUM The flavors of each were a hit at our dinner table.

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Wow Carl, your dinner sounds incredible! I will definitely have to try the Japanese sweet potatoes, they sound so appetizing. What are your thoughts on using the okinawa purple-fleshed potatoes next?

        • Judy says

          Carl we love pork tenderloin. That sounds very good and thank you for sharing what you did. I look forward to trying the Japanese Sweet Potatoes and also the okinawa purple-fleshed potatoes you mentioned Jessica if I can locate them in our city.

          • Jessica Gavin says

            Let me know if you can find the purple and japanese sweet potatoes and how they turn out Judy!

  3. Genny says

    My doctor also wants me to avoid nightshades, including white potatoes. Have you tried other starches for the coating, like arrowroot or casava? I look forward to seeing what you come up with next : )

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Genny- I haven’t but I think those might work nicely as well, and taste better than cornstarch.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You’re welcome! Yes, the extra layer of potato starch on the outside gives so extra texture 🙂

  4. Charlotte Harris says

    Hi Jessica,

    Do you have any advice on how to deal with frozen sweet potatoes? i always cut up a few kilos and freeze them in batches. Should I season before freezing?

  5. Jessica Gavin says

    Hi Charlotte- Great question! Are the sweet potatoes raw? If you are making the fries, would freeze the raw potatoes, defrost, dry and then toss in the seasoned potato starch.

  6. Ron says

    This is a comment about chef’s knives. I always thought you had to pay BIG bucks for a good knife and I have always bought semi professional knives, but was inevitably disappointed after a few months of use. I take care with knives and sharpen them usually with diamond. Recently I came across some knives, Kiwi brand made in China. I found them in my local Oriental food store here in South Mississippi. They cost only about $5.00, 12″ long and razor sharp right out of the store. I have had this knife for over a year now and it is still razor sharp. I take a stroke or two on a diamond block before each using. It is cheap enough that when I can no longer get a razor edge, I can just buy another one. I know I can just regrind it and use it indefinitely. Those expensive chefs knives I feel are over priced. The Japanese single edge knives are an exception, but they are expensive. The cheap Kiwi knives I use allow me to cut razor thin meats, thinner than you can slice with a deli slicer. In conclusion, I find that the inexpensive knives that are sold in Oriental food stores serve the interests of the serious cook better than the Henkels or Wusthoff brands. One brand that I do favor is the Chicago Cutlery brand.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your in-depth knife review Ron! I’m so happy to hear that you found an affordable knife that has become your workhorse in the kitchen. I will keep an eye out for the ones you have recommended!

  7. Svenia says

    I made these and coated them with cornstarch. Since I sometimes coat my regular fries in cornstarch I knew my hubby wouldn’t mind the flavor. These were so awesome! I paired them with ribs and roasted brussel sprouts. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Dr. Manarii Tane says

    Instead of cornstarch, try tapioca flour – it works great and doesn’t leave a funny aftertaste.

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