Baked Sweet Potato Fries

4.91 from 31 votes
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Baked sweet potato fries are an easy-to-prepare side dish or appetizer. Adding a seasoned starch coating to the sliced sweet potatoes will give each bite 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 a high enough temperature to kick-start the drying process. Get ready for handfuls of tasty sweet potato fries that will disappear in an instant.

How to make 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 works best

Potato starch mixed with sweet potato slices.

Creating a blend of potato starch with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder worked well. You can even add some smoked paprika. This process coats the outside of each potato and seasons it simultaneously. It also helps soak up any additional surface moisture to make the fries more crisp.

Mixing the coating in a large bowl 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!

Ready to bake

Drizzling olive oil over sweet potato slices.

A little olive oil is drizzled on the potato starch-coated fries to prevent sticking on the pan and encourage quicker crust development 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 they hit the oven. However, we 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 placing them on baking sheets in a single layer at an oven temperature of 400°F (204°C) was just the right amount of heat to create crispy, sweet, and savory fries.

Fry length

Sweet potato fries lined up on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Cut the sweet potatoes into finger-length pieces, about 3 to 4 inches long and about ⅜ 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 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 it’s made with just a few simple ingredients and something my entire family enjoyed. I hope you gobble them up just like we did!

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Photo of hands dipping sweet potato fries into a dipping sauce.

Recipe Science

What’s the difference between sweet potatoes and regular potatoes?

Sweet potatoes, which have bright orange-fleshed or cream-colored, are 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.

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!
4.91 from 31 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
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 

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

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Equipment

Notes

  • Starch Substitute: Cornstarch can be substituted for potato starch. However, it will have a slightly different taste.
  • Omit the Starch: 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.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 230kcal (12%)Carbohydrates 33g (11%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 10g (15%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 7gSodium 378mg (16%)Potassium 484mg (14%)Fiber 8g (32%)Sugar 6g (7%)Vitamin A 20150IU (403%)Vitamin C 5mg (6%)Calcium 40mg (4%)Iron 0.9mg (5%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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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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20 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Dr. Manarii Tane says

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

    • Jessica Gavin says

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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