The Best and Quickest Baked Sweet Potatoes

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A baked whole sweet potato can take an hour, or longer, to cook. And that hour-long bake time doesn’t always result in soft potatoes. Ugh!  Below, I share the secret to making the best and quickest baked sweet potatoes in under 30 minutes! This recipe is unlike any other baked sweet potato recipe. The caramelized flavor and quick nature of this recipe will leave you craving this vegetable all year long.

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

There are different ways to roast and bake sweet potatoes:

  • Chop sweet potatoes into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, then bake on sheet pan at 425F for 30 minutes.
  • Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork, wrap in foil, then bake in the oven for 1 hour, until soft and tender.
  • Then there’s the no-baking way to bake a sweet potato in the Instant Pot.

All of these methods and recipes will render a delicious end result, but nothing is like the method I’m about to teach you. Prepare to be majorly wowed by the flavor of this recipe. Even if you don’t like sweet potatoes, I think this recipe will change your mind. And the best part, this recipe only requires 3 ingredients: sweet potatoes, olive oil, and salt.

Just real-food goodness that’s flavorful and super healthy! Just as real food should be.

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.

How to Make the Best & Quickest Oven Baked Sweet Potato Recipe

The secret to creating the best and quickest baked sweet potatoes is to first slice each potato in half. Sweet potatoes are an incredibly large and dense vegetable, in their raw state, which means they take forever to fully cook. When the sweet potatoes are halved, the baking time is dramatically reduced.

But something else happens when the potatoes are halved. The halved potatoes, when cooked flesh-side down, caramelize. Caramelization = incredible flavor and texture. 

The end result is the best baked sweet potatoes!

I won’t ever go back to the slow method for baking a sweet potato ever again. Give this method a try and tell me what you think.

Here’s how to make this recipe…

  • Step 1: Scrub any dirt or debris off the potatoes (you’ll want to eat the delicious and nutrient-dense potato skin once baked)
  • Step 2: Use a large sharp knife to cut the potatoes in half.
  • Step 3: Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. This will keep clean up quick and easy for you.
  • Step 4: Drizzle the halved potatoes with olive oil.
  • Step 5: Sprinkle sea salt over each potato half.
  • Step 6: Flip the potato halves so the sweet potato is flesh side down.
  • Step 7: Bake for 30 minutes at 400F in the center rack of the oven.

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.

How to Serve Baked Sweet Potatoes

This recipe can be used in so many different ways to create a variety of nutrient-dense meals, from breakfast to lunch to a dinner main meal or side dish. Here are a few ideas:

  • As a side dish, enjoy the fiber-rich sweet potatoes with a healthy fat like butter and cinnamon or pepper.
  • For a dinner, top a sweet potato with homemade chili for a stuffed sweet potato meal.
  • For a lunch, make buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes by tossing roasted and shredded chicken with a buffalo sauce (like this one from primal kitchen), then top the roasted potato with the chicken and a dollop of sour cream and cilantro. You can also do this with BBQ chicken.
  • For a protein breakfast, spoon nut butter (like peanut butter) over the potato and top with banana slices and cinnamon and a teaspoon of hemp seeds (optional). This is one of my favorite breakfasts! Serve with eggs or alone.

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.

How to Prep Sweet Potatoes in Advance

Baking sweet potatoes in advance will save you a ton of time and make eating healthy, real-food meals easier during the busy week.

To prep sweet potatoes in advance…

  • Bake the sweet potatoes: cut in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast on a sheet pan for 30 minutes.
  • Once baked to perfection, allow the sweet potatoes to cool on the sheet pan. You don’t want to place the sweet potatoes directly into a storage container while hot as this will cause condensation to build in the container.
  • Once fully cool, place the potatoes in a storage container and place in the fridge. (Read: My best tips for storing fresh food in the fridge.)

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.

How to Reheat Baked Sweet Potatoes

To reheat the prepared potatoes, place the cold potatoes on a sheet pan and warm in the oven (at 350F), in a skillet, or in the microwave or a toaster oven.

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.

If you loved this recipe, you’ll also love…

  • This sweet potato casserole isn’t the marshmallow and brown sugar casserole from childhood. Oh no, it’s healthy, flavorful, and sure to have everyone asking for the recipe.
  • Sausage and sweet potato hash is a protein and fiber rich breakfast that you can prep in advance on the weekend and reheat throughout the week.
  • Apple and sweet potato bake is a sweet and savory side dish or topping for ice cream during the cooler months.
The Best and Quickest Baked Sweet Potatoes
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The Best and Quickest Baked Sweet Potatoes

The best, quickest, perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 30 minutes. This recipe is allergy friendly: vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. And the potatoes can be prepped in advance to save time.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Baked Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 76 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. 

  2. Cut the sweet potatoes in half, lengthwise, with a sharp knife. Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. 

  3. Drizzle the potatoes with one tablespoon of oil, then rub the oil on the flesh of each potato. Sprinkle each potato with just a pinch of salt. 

  4. Flip the potatoes over, flesh-side down on the baking sheet. Some oil will spill over on the sheet pan--that's normal and okay. 

  5. Bake the sweet potatoes, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, until the skins begin to look shriveled and soft. Remove the potatoes from the oven. 

  6. The baked sweet potatoes should be slightly brown and caramelized on the top of the flesh and soft throughout the potato. Enjoy the potatoes warm (I love to add a tablespoon of butter and cinnamon, or see other ideas in the post above), or place them in an air-tight container in the fridge to enjoy later in the week.

Recipe Video

Perfectly soft, caramelized sweet potatoes in under 40 minutes. Prep these sweet potatoes in advance for a quick and easy real food option throughout the week.