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
4.75 from 72 votes

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.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 76 kcal
Cost: $3

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. 
  • Cut the sweet potatoes in half, lengthwise, with a sharp knife. Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Bake the sweet potatoes, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, until the skins begin to look shriveled and soft. Remove the potatoes from the oven. 
  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSodium: 35mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 9220IUVitamin C: 1.6mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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.

149 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow..those look delicious!!! I love sweet potatoes, but like you said they take forever to bake! I will be trying this recipe out!! Yum!!

          1. I don’t know, I personally don’t have experience cooking with foil so can’t speak to this. My thought is it should still caramelize.

            LS Team

  2. Thank you for this! I have a few recipes that use roasted sweet potatoes, but I put them off due to the tiiiiiiiiiiiime…… These look amazing all on their own 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I do the same thing with roasted veggies- add to eggs in the morning or serve a bunch of quinoa for a quick and healthy lunch. Thanks for the sweet potatoes post! Love them in their pure form.

  4. 5 stars
    I don’t know which I like better – your sweet potato recipe or ideas for using roasted vegetables! Thank you for sharing both!

  5. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful idea!! I raise my own sweet potatoes and have a bunch so always looking for a quicker way to cook them. This recipe will be used weekly in my kitchen, for sure. Also, just FYI, you can also cook a big one in an instant pot and they turn out pretty good as well. God Bless you and your family.

  6. These sweet potatoes are fantastic. I love that they only took about 40 minutes to bake and they taste creamier than when you bake them whole.

  7. 5 stars
    Wow! These turned out great! Nice and soft. I added butter, brown sugar and cinnamon – DELICIOUS!!! They were cooked perfectly. Doing it this way from now on. Thank You so much for the recipe! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    My mother and my Aunt would wrap several in foil then bake. When they were finished baking they would then let them cool stick them in freezer in any vacant spot that they could. When they wanted one or more they just had to pull them out and use in any manner they wanted but usually with just butter on them. That was the way they liked them.

    1. 5 stars
      This worked, thanks, my son saved his potato for breakfast, he is going to try your recipe with peanut butter banana and Cinnamon I top, I will have to take a bite, sounds good and vitamin rich.

  9. You inspired me! I have 4 sweet potatoes (actually 2 sweet potatoes and 2 yams) in the oven right now! Thanks for this easier way to cook them!!

  10. Hi Kristin, have to share a funny story: my husband and I are applauding this! I started doing this over 10 years ago when I got home late from work and my kids were starving and I was planning to bake sweet potatoes! I have not baked sweet potatoes since then, b/c everyone loves these so much. My friends and family are all doing the same thing! Cheers for publishing!!

  11. Can’t wait to try this!
    Here’s another sweet potato method, if you chop them into rough 1-inch squares you can dump them on the same baking sheet as other roast vegetables (carrots, turnips, brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc. and roast them all together in a 400-degree oven. Roasting is simply the best way to cook veggies, period. Plus you don’t lose any of the nutrients like you do if you boil them in water.

    1. Oh My Goodness! I jus baked up some big sweet potatoes I had using your recipe And they turned out fabulous. They are Sooo sweet and soft. And in half the time. Tonight we’re having our first freeze so the warm oven was a bonus. Thx so much… From east coast NC

  12. I was looking up different ideas for sweet potatoes and came across your site.
    Hands down…This is best and most simple recipe!
    So sweet, creamy and delicious. All I topped them with was butter.
    I’ll be cooking them this way from now on.

    Thanks so much!

  13. 5 stars
    Omg! You have changed my life with this recipe. Every time I’ve roasted them they came out dry and never soft. These are delicious, easy and fast. Perfect recipe. Thank you for sharing this secret.

  14. 5 stars
    OH my goodness! These turned out perfect! I have never had sweet potatoes turn out right! I just used sesame oil and salt because I wasn’t sure what it would taste like. Just the oil and salt alone was amazing. Eating them right now for an in between doing dishes “snack”. They are so versatile too, I may have found a new staple in our kitchen. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  15. I just took them out the oven … they will be in our weekly meals now.. not just for the holidays… thanks for sharing..

  16. 5 stars
    Food snobs, stand aside……these are the bomb! I followed roasting directions and seasoned with just olive oil and pink salt. I had butter prepared for adding after plating, but it was completely unnecessary! These turned out to be so soft, moist and flavorful inside with a satisfying crust, that adding anything was just wrong. After one bite, I gobbled it down with ‘mmmm’s’ of pleasure. OK…….maybe a sprinkle of a spice to match it up with different main courses would be a good compliment, just to switch things around a bit, but this is a mainstay keeper. I can’t thank you enough for making my cooking so much easier!

  17. 5 stars
    This method of cooking sweet potatoes has changed my life. OK, yes, my life’s a little boring, but regardless, I am completely hooked on cooking sweet potatoes this way and will never go back. Just made them last night! YUM!

  18. 4 stars
    I make sweet potatoes often. Fried, baked, and even microwave, etc. I’m baking them today as I’m tediously working toward a perfect sweet potato pie recipe. Here a tweak there a tweak. I wanted to bake them this time to the point of caramelization. Mine a re nearly done but my comments have to do with advice. I recommend weighing the sweet potatoes first as one will have much better luck if they are all similar in weight. Many will think size but there is a difference. Nonetheless having them fairly close in size will ensure even cooking for all potatoes.

  19. I didn’t mean to submit my review but had hit the wrong key. Anyway the potatoes are delicious as I am eating the caramelized portions. 🙂 Also, they should be done to the point the skin peels off easily and sometimes wholly.

  20. 5 stars
    I just made these sweet potatoes tonight using this recipe, it was soooo good. I HIGHLY recommend cooking them using this recipe!

  21. 5 stars
    Living on a farm near the Sweet Potato Capital of the World means serving them in some fashion several times a week. Five stars for time saved, easy prep/cleanup, and great taste. Option – top with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and slide back in the oven for a few minutes.

  22. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing these Awesome potatoes .. I love simple meals since we have busy lives working full time and this fits perfectly. Love the taste, have already shared with my friends !

  23. 5 stars
    You have changed the way I feel about baking sweet potatoes! They took forever to bake and now they cook in half the time and taste more amazing than ever before. Bless you ??

      1. Just what I was looking for! Easy and yummy! Can’t wait to make tonite! I’m gonna choose coconut oil and sea salt! Happy cooking everyone!

  24. 5 stars
    I have used this simple recipe numerous times. Pair these potatoes with some steamed veggies and fish and my meal is complete ?

  25. 5 stars
    Made these tonight for dinner with salmon and steamed broccoli…. these were so much easier and absolutely delicious! Like candy! Thank you so much!!

  26. About to try this thanks! Quick question – Do you pierce the outside with a fork once or twice before baking?

  27. 4 stars
    Hello Kristin! Tried this recipe last night and it was so delicious.
    Last year I decided to become a vegetarian and since then have been trying new things. Such as sweet potatoes.
    I had my doubts because my family would struggle baking these. So, I’m really happy I found this recipe because it was absolutely worth trying out.
    I’ll be saving this and using it for further reference ?
    Thank you.
    – Steph.

  28. 5 stars
    Your baked sweet potatoes are looking amazing. It’s a first for me to bake them and I am super excited. I also like that you cut them in half, this way I can try it with two different toppings ?

  29. Baking the potatoes flesh down is a great idea! Can’t wait to try this tonight (:

    You have a great blog! Also, thanks for the informative affiliate information!

  30. 5 stars
    Hi Kristin,
    Thank you SO much for that wonderful hint! They are the best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had! Low in calories yet taste like they’re loaded with all that fattening stuff. Will never make a sweet potato any other way!

      1. Hi Kristin,

        Just wondering if I could cook the sweet potatoes in a toaster oven, or do you need to do them in the oven?

        Arbara

  31. 5 stars
    This recipe is a lifesaver. I was about to give up on baking sweet potatoes before I found this because I could never get them cooked thoroughly or they took forever. Thank you!! ?

  32. 5 stars
    Wanted to say this recipe has saved me time and again. Don’t have to have more than an hour to bake sweet potatoes any more and my family loves them baked this way, too. Thanks for sharing this tip with all of us!

  33. This has to be good, cant wait to have them with a slice of butter and spring onion on top, would cut a little pouch to let the butter melted thru the flesh ; ). Will report you back with feedback once im done cooking them this evening!

  34. Absolutely love this recipe! It’s become a staple in my house. When you heat them up, what method do you recommend? I’m looking to include them in my meal prep rotation, but unsure of how to warm them up so they are as delicious as the first time. Thanks!

  35. 5 stars
    I made these and they came out unbelievably delicious! Can you follow the same method for a russet potato? If so, is there anything else you would season The Flash with aside from oil and salt?

  36. 5 stars
    I love sweet potatoes, but they generally tend to be covered in very tough dirt where I buy them from, so i usually scrub and peel them. Should I keep the skin on or will they come out fine if I peel them?

  37. I just tried your recipe. Followed the instructions exactly. However, the potatoes took ove an hour to bake.

  38. Well, that is just brilliant! I cook sweet potatoes often and will try this next time to speed up… and get that yummy caramelization. Thanks!!

  39. Is it just me, or is it very difficult to cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise? I washed them first, and they were slipping all over the cutting board. Thanks for the extra advice.

  40. Hi! I’m a college student tinkering in the kitchen with healthy foods. I’ve never made a sweet potato before, and I did it this way for the first time and they turned out great!! It was so fast and so easy and SO YUMMY! Thanks for the tips and tricks! Xoxo

  41. 5 stars
    Thank you very much for this. I too reached my wit’s end on how to accelerate the healthy sweet potato cooking process. I was wondering if you thought blanching them first, might make it even speedier; then halfing, and baking. Thank you for this.

  42. 5 stars
    You are a genius! I’ve conservatively been eating sweet potatoes once a week for 6 years, and this IS the easiest, most AWESOME way I’ve every made them! They were fabulous! Soft all the way through, almost creamy in texture, and so sweet! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  43. Downside in half…looks super…
    I nuke my potatotoes and sweet potatoes in the microwave first.
    In a pyrex dish, lid closed, just enough water to cook by STEAMING , not submerged.
    Poke with a fork after 10mins to test softness.
    Continue with oven bake as per recipe.
    Time drastically reduced.

    1. mydude Leon. REALLY MICROWAVE??? Microwaves violently shakes every molecule in your food completely changing its properties. Im telling ya bro, there is a reason why leftover pizza recooked in a toaster oven tastes 100 times better.

  44. 5 stars
    I make these almost every week. Easy, delicious and good for ya’? Talk about your no brainers.
    Thanks for this simple-y great recipe.

  45. 5 stars
    These were amazing!! This is now my go to recipe for sweet potatoes!! I made them for a potluck supper and everyone raved about them. Delicious! Thank you for posting.

  46. 4 stars
    These were a great healthy way to prepare Sweet potatoes, sweet enough, and done to perfection. Thank you for this recipe

  47. 4 stars
    I love it. Such a simple recipe, great side dish. My go-to for sweet potatoes. I do cheat and add some butter and brown sugar on top when done. 🙂 Thanks.

  48. 4 stars
    Great recipe, I made the mistake and didn’t face them down, but still came out good. In my opinion I think sweet potatoes comes out best when they are steamed, but this is good for a time crunch.

  49. 5 stars
    I can definitely vouch for this recipe title… following this recipe will indeed guarantee you the best and quickest baked sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a staple in our household and since I discovered this recipe, they come out perfectly every single time!

  50. 5 stars
    I made this recipe exactly as it stated with the sweet potato omg they came out delicious thank you so much for the easy’s way to bake a sweet potato I love it l will continue to use this recipe as so easy !

  51. I was contemplating whether you thought whitening them first, may make it much speedier; then, at that point, halfing, and baking.

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