How to make the best baked sweet potatoes in the oven for an easy snack or side to any meal! Packed with nutrients and vitamins, sprinkle with a little sea salt and cinnamon for extra flavor!
These healthy oven baked sweet potatoes are absolutely heavenly!
In this post, we’ll go over not only how to bake sweet potatoes perfectly so that you can enjoy the full beauty of the sweet potato, but also some of the wonderful ways we can enjoy them!
Easy to meal prep in advance and the perfect hearty addition to any meal, oven baked sweet potatoes are by far one of my favorite foods.
Plus, they’re packed with nutrients and vitamins, making them a great source of carbohydrates to add to a balanced meal.
But first, let’s start with the difference between a sweet potato and a yam! Then we’ll get into the benefits of sweet potatoes, and finally, my simple tips for baking the sweet potato just right!
What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?
Both yams and sweet potatoes are a part of the tuber family, but you may not have actually ever had a yam before. In fact, yams have more black and/or brown skin on the outside and are speckled white and purple (and sometimes red!) on the inside!
Sweet potatoes, however, have a wide range of different variations. We have Japanese sweet potatoes, which have more of a purple skin and white flesh.
There are also Hannah sweet potatoes, which have a delicate light brown/tan skin and white flesh.
There are more commonly known sweet potatoes, like the Jewel sweet potato (copper skin, orange flesh) or the Garnet sweet potato (red/purple skin, orange flesh).
You can use my oven baked sweet potato technique on any of the above tubers! I highly recommend Japanese and Hannah sweet potatoes for sweeter dishes, and the orange flesh ones for more savory 🙂
Benefits of baked sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are fantastic because they’re full of complex carbohydrates and are a great source of resistant starch when cycling between heating and cooling the baked sweet potato (which is easily done when you meal prep them!).
But let us not forget about the amazing micronutrients in sweet potatoes!
They are chock full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin B, manganese, and vitamin E.
Sweet potatoes are also very cost-effective, so if you like to budget, sweet potatoes are a cheap source for lots of nutrients!
How to bake a sweet potato
There are many ways to cook a sweet potato, but I believe that oven baked sweet potatoes are just the best.
You really get to caramelize the sugars in these beautiful taters and it makes for a more flavorful side or addition to your meal!
The only way I do not recommend is (obviously) cooking your sweet potato in a microwave. Believe me, that is the number one way to dislike sweet potatoes haha! You won’t get any of the caramelization!
To prepare to bake your sweet potato, you only have a few simple steps. This is honestly one of my favorite foods to meal prep because it’s so easy and you can store them in the fridge to build up some resistant starch (which is seriously good for gut health!).
Let’s start with the basics:
1. Wash the sweet potato
Before beginning, we’ll first go over how to prepare sweet potatoes for baking.
Sweet potatoes come from the ground, and let’s not forget how many people are picking up and examining your precious sweet potato before deciding to pass on it!
Make sure you give it a nice scrub because then you can eat the skin with it too. Running it under very warm water while scrubbing it will be fine.
2. Poke your sweet potato
Not exactly a crucial step, but I will say that your sweet potatoes will cook even better with a few holes in them to help the sweet potato cook more thoroughly.
You can, however, skip this step if you’re in a time crunch, but it only adds a minute or two on to the whole process. Simply take a fork and lightly stab a few holes (be careful of any hands and fingers) evenly around each sweet potato, and place onto the baking sheet lined with tin foil.
3. Bake the sweet potato
The final step is just to bake the sweet potatoes! It’s that easy!
Then you’ll serve them however you desire. You can use your baked sweet potatoes in a sweet potato casserole, or a buddha bowl, in sweet potato hummus, or even a sweet treat, like my vegan Paleo sweet potato cake or sweet potato mousse!!
But how long should I bake sweet potatoes?
I personally recommend going for 415F, as this is the quickest way, and will still yield that deliciously sweet caramelization of the sweet potato sugars.
Bake at 415F: 60 minutes * my favorite way! *
Bake at 375F: 70 minutes
Bake at 350F: 75-80 minutes
Keep in mind that these bake times also depends on how big your sweet potato is. If your sweet potato is 8″ inches or more than 10 ounces, it will take longer to cook, versus a sweet potato that is tinier.
How to enjoy baked sweet potatoes
My favorite ways to enjoy these baked sweet potatoes are:
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Boats
- Paleo vegan sweet potato waffles
- Whole30 Sweet Potato Mousse
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies
- Creamy Vegan Lemon Vanilla Tart
You can also pair them with main meals, such as:
- Vegan lentil meatloaf
- Gluten Free vegan lentil meatballs
- Paleo vegan sweet potato gnocchi
- Vegan lo mein
- Veggie Quinoa Burgers
Like I said before, these healthy baked sweet potatoes are just so easy to meal prep in advance and saves a whole lot of time throughout the week!
I have many meal prep tips besides just cooking sweet potatoes though! If you want to learn more about meal prepping and how to only spend an hour one day a week to save hours throughout your week, you can download my free fall meal prep guide below, and check out the video on YouTube!
Enjoy your sweet potato baking! 🙂
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How to make the best baked sweet potatoes for an easy snack or side to any meal! Packed with nutrients and vitamins, sprinkle with a little sea salt and cinnamon for extra flavor!
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Sea salt to tast
- Preheat oven to 415F (see above post for different cook times) and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
- Wash sweet potatoes very well in warm water and dry.
- Place onto the baking sheet and poke a few holes around each sweet potato using a fork.
- Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes. Check with a fork to make sure they are soft before removing.
- Let cool for 5 minutes then slice open.
- Optional: sprinkle sea salt, cinnamon, and add a pat of vegan butter for flavor!
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