Soft and creamy on the inside with the spice of cinnamon and ginger on the outside, these roasted sweet potatoes are a must for your holiday table.
I have been known to make lunch out of a single sweet potato with a bit of butter, ginger, and cinnamon. It’s super easy and super yummy, probably one of my simplest lunch dishes, and comes together in about 5 minutes using the microwave.
This year, while planning out the holiday calendar for the blog, I knew I had to come up with a way to transform that lunch dish into an amazing holiday side dish. I wanted something that wasn’t candied or marshmallowed, something that let the sweet potato shine.
Behold: roasted sweet potatoes. Pillowy soft on the inside, kind of like the inside of a baked sweet potato, with just enough sweetness and spice on the outside. They are like little bites of sweet potato perfection and I hope you invite them to be a part of your holidays this year.
As you can probably tell from my Garam Masala Brussels Sprouts or my Easy Honey Roasted Carrots that I have a thing for roasting vegetables in the winter time. It not only brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, but these recipes tend to have less active, hands on time. Whether we are talking about a quick weeknight dinner or a big holiday spread, dishes that require less attention is a good thing!
Typically I roast vegetables at 425 degrees. This allows the veggies to soften without becoming mush while the outside caramelizes just enough. With roasted sweet potatoes however, we want the inside to be like mush to get the creamy baked potato texture. By starting with a cooler oven, the insides cook more evenly without the outsides burning. So, move the oven rack to the top slot and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
I am not a fan of sweet potato skins, so I peel them, but that step is optional and shouldn’t change the cooking time or temperature. When slicing aim for about 1/4″ thick and try to get them as evenly as possible, so that they cook evenly. The long, skinny sweet potatoes work better, and they are easier to slice evenly than the thicker ones. On the baking sheet they should be touching but not overlapping.
If your baking sheet is too large to hold them close together, you can use a sheet of foil to create a smaller pan inside of your larger pan by folding up the edges of the foil. The foil on the quarter sheet that you see in the pictures is optional. I personally don’t like cleaning up a baked on mess when I can throw away the foil instead.
I use a pastry brush to apply the butter for a few reasons. The brush helps the butter go on more evenly. It also lets you use a lot less butter. The most important reason however is that cold sweet potatoes will make the butter resolidify in an odd way if you try to toss them to coat. I store my sweet potatoes in a drawer in my kitchen, but in the winter time we don’t keep the house very warm and those potatoes are cold!
When applying the spice mixture try to avoid getting it on the pan. If too much of the spice mixture gets on the pan, it will start to burn and then re-stick to the potatoes when you turn them. It can also cause the potatoes to stick to the pan and burnt brown sugar and spice doesn’t taste very good.
The first part of the cooking, the low slow part, is what makes the insides super soft. To get the outside crispy, finish these under a low broiler for 3 – 5 minutes per side. Broilers can lead to burning quickly, so this is not something to do and then walk out of the room. Keep an eye on it and don’t forget to check after the three minutes mark.
If your oven doesn’t have a high/low option on the broiler, prop the oven door open to let out a bit of the heat. The potatoes are done when the edges start to brown slightly.
These roasted sweet potatoes are best served hot and fresh from the oven. Leftovers store well in the fridge or freezer. To keep that crispy texture, reheat in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes (15 minutes if frozen) until they are sizzling hot.
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Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1 lb sweet potatoes*
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- Move the oven rack to the top slot and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4" thick rounds.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a small baking sheet, touching but not overlapping.
- In a small bowl or ramekin mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- In separate bowl or ramekin melt the butter.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the tops each sweet potato with half of the butter then sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Flip the potatoes over and repeat the steps, brushing them with the remaining butter and sprinkling them with the remaining spice mixture.
- Place the pan on the top rack of your preheated oven, roast for 10 minutes, flip, and roast for an additional 10 minutes.
Turn the broiler on low** and continue to roast an additional 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Serve hot from the oven.
*Long, skinny sweet potatoes work best, and they are easier to slice straight than the thicker ones. !
**If your oven doesn't have a high/low option on the broiler, prop the oven door open and make sure to check the potatoes for burning after 2 minutes.