Slightly sweet with a crispy outside and a soft center, these sweet potato fries bring everything that’s amazing about sweet potatoes into finger-food form.

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Top down view of a plate full of baked sweet potato fries, served with a bowl of ketchup.

About Baked Sweet Potato Fries

It’s easy to make crispy, restaurant-quality sweet potato fries at home. And better yet, they can be baked right in the oven – no need for managing hot oil or frying!

What’s in sweet potato fries?

To make a delicious batch of crispy sweet potato fires, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Medium sweet potatoes – The star of the show! You can either bake them with the skins on or peel them first.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Used for coating the fries and making the outsides of the fries nice and crisp when baked.
  • Sweet paprika – Adds a flavor that’s like classic paprika but with less heat and more sweetness. A great compliment to sweet potatoes.
  • Salt and pepper – Classic seasonings for baking.

Sweet potatoes vs yams

Although sometimes used interchangeably, there are quite a few differences between sweet potatoes and true yams that can impact your cooking. And notice I said “true yams”, as many American grocery stores add to the confusion by labeling some sweet potatoes “yams” despite the fact that true yams are nothing like sweet potatoes at all.

Confused? You and me both!

In short, this is the Cliff Notes version of what’s going on with these potatoes and how to tell them apart:

  • True yams – These are more like a russet sweet potato. They have white flesh with brown scaly skin and a dry, starchy taste. They’re typically grown outside of the United States, making them difficult to find in American grocery stores.
  • Sweet potatoes – A firm sweet potato with golden skin and light or purple flesh. This is the type of sweet potato that was originally grown in the United States.
  • Sweet potatoes that grocery stores call yams – A soft sweet potato with copper skin and golden flesh. Odds are, this is the type of sweet potato you see most often, simply because the soft texture works so well with many of the sweet potato dishes Americans traditionally make. And as for why they’re called yams, it comes down to marketing. The softer sweet potato was the second type of potato grown in the United States, and grocery stores wanted to differentiate this somehow to their customers… and instead of simply calling them firm or soft, they decided to call them yams – a type of potato they are nothing like, but since the “true” form is not commonly sold in the US, the name was seen as “available.”

There are other differences (nutritional value, various names, etc) but the above three points are the ones you need to consider when making substitutions in your cooking.

Given the above, a sweet potato (or a vegetable that looks like a sweet potato but has been labeled a yam) would be a better fit for dishes that use ingredients like brown sugar or maple syrup, while either true yams or sweet potatoes can be used for more savory dishes. The only real difference is that true yams may have a flavor and consistency closer to a white potato than a sweet potato.

So, in conclusion: In most cases, true yams can be substituted for sweet potatoes in savory dishes, but the taste and flavor may remind you more of white potatoes than sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes (and vegetables that look like sweet potatoes but have been labeled yams) are still preferred.

What dipping sauces go with sweet potato fries?

While fires are delicious on their own, dipping sauces are a fun way to change up the flavor. A few of my favorites for sweet potato fries are:

  • Ketchup – A classic for any french fry.
  • BBQ sauce – Any type or flavor, sweet or savory.
  • Aioli – A delicious emulsion with hints of garlic.
  • Marshmallow – This can come in a few different varieties, from straight marshmallow fluff to toasted marshmallow to a mix of marshmallow and mayonnaise.
  • Cranberry sauce – When blended well, cranberry sauce is a great choice for dipping!
Close up top down view of a plate of fries, focusing on a bowl of ketchup with a sweet potato fry dipped in.

How long are sweet potato fries good for?

For best results, I’d recommend enjoying sweet potato fries when they’re freshly made, as they will become soft and soggy when chilled and reheated.

If you need the fries to last a little longer after baking, they can be kept warm in the oven (at the lowest temperature setting) for up to one hour.

Can you freeze sweet potato fries?

You can freeze the raw cut potato stips (without oil or seasonings) in a storage container or freezer bag for up to two months. I do not recommend freezing the fries after they’ve been baked.

Notes & tips for sweet potato fries

  • For best results, cut fries in uniform shapes that are long, thin, and with blunt ends.
  • Sweet potatoes can be temperamental – they need enough baking time to become soft but will quickly begin to brown and char beyond that point. It’s okay if some areas have browned more, as it’s just the natural sugars in the sweet potato caramelizing, but you want to keep a close eye on them at the end of baking to ensure they don’t blacken and burn.
  • The fries may brown more evenly when cooking one baking sheet at a time.
  • For more caramelization on the outside, sprinkle fries with a little sugar before baking.
Close up top down view of a plate of sweet potato fries, showing off the crispy browned outsides.

More delicious side dishes

How to bake sweet potato fries

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Prepare the french fries by slicing the sweet potatoes.

Step 2 – In a Ziploc bag (gallon sized), add the following ingredients: cut sweet potatoes, olive oil, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Gently massage the bag to mix the seasonings and coat the cut sweet potatoes in oil.

Step 3 – On two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, arrange the cut and coated sweet potato fries in a single layer. If you’d like, season the tops of the fries with more salt and pepper.

Step 4 – Bake!

Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Top down view of a plate full of baked sweet potato fries, served with a bowl of ketchup.
5 from 1 vote

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

15 mins prep + 45 mins cook
322 kcal
Yields: 2 servings
Slightly sweet with a crispy outside and a soft center, these sweet potato fries bring everything that's amazing about sweet potatoes into finger-food form.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, then set aside.
  • Wash potatoes and peel if desired. Cut into 1/2 inch slices, then cut each slice into 1/2 or 1/4 inch sticks.
    2 medium sweet potatoes
  • In a Ziploc bag (gallon sized), add cut sweet potato fries, olive oil, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Seal the bag and gently massage to coat cut fries in oil and seasonings.
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Arrange cut and coated fries on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. If desired, season with more salt and pepper.
    2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Flip fries, then bake for another 20-25 minutes or until outsides are browned and crispy. NOTE: Cook time may vary depending on how thick fries were cut.
  • Do a small taste test; fries may absorb salt while baking. If needed, season again with salt.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 2451mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 32558IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy