Can I get an amen for savory sweet potato recipes? I still can’t stomach sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, but I am perpetually in love with spicy sweet potatoes. That sweet-and-spicy combo keeps me going back for more, whether it’s featured in a burrito bowl, salad, soup… you name it, I’m in. Based on your comments, it seems like you guys are, too. It’s no wonder we all get along.
I rounded up ten of my favorites for you. I have some more sweet potato recipes here (all savory!)
Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet potatoes. I’d plan on at least one per person. Medium-sized sweet potatoes with smooth, firm, evenly toned skin usually make the best sweet potato fries.
- Corn starch. A big sprinkle’s worth. (optional)
- Olive oil. A couple of tablespoons or so. Enough to lightly and evenly coat the fries.
- Salt, pepper and spices. Amy suggested cumin, but I much prefer cayenne pepper, paprika or curry powder. Garlic is great as well. It’s up to you!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped pieces (see photos). Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces so the fries will bake evenly.
- Toss the uncooked fries into a mixing bowl or a plastic bag, or just onto your baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornstarch (if using) and pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the fries. Season with salt, pepper, and spices. I’d try to use half a teaspoon per potato or so. Mix/shake to distribute evenly (corn starch should be evenly mixed in so there are no powdery spots).
- Pour the fries directly onto a dark, non-stick baking sheet for best results (lining with aluminum foil produces mixed results and parchment paper can burn in the hot oven). Arrange your fries in a single layer and don’t overcrowd, otherwise they will never crisp up.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the fries so they can cook on all sides. I find the easiest way to flip them is with a metal spatula. Section by section, scoop up about ten fries and flip them with a quick turn of the wrist.
- Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until the fries are crispy. You’ll know they’re done when the surface of the fries change from shiny orange to a more matte, puffed up texture. It’s essential to bake them long enough, otherwise they won’t be crispy. Don’t worry if the edges are a little bit brown; they will taste more caramelized than burnt.
- Commenter Jeni of Bear + Goose suggested adding a bit of corn starch to help make the fries more crispy. It totally works. I personally skip the corn starch most of the time because my fries get as crispy as shown in the photos without it, but I’ve heard from several people whose fries never turn out crispy enough… so try it!
- This sharp little Y-shaped vegetable peeler makes peeling sweet potatoes a breeze and costs just a few dollars.
Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of ½ lemon
- ground sea salt, to taste
- 1½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (start with less, season to taste)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the sweet potatoes on the middle oven rack or in a baking dish for 45 minutes to an hour. They should yield to a gentle squeeze when they’re done baking.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooling, toss all of the other ingredients into a food processor (if you’re sensitive to spice, you may want to save the spices for last and add them to taste). Once the sweet potatoes have cooled enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin off of them. Add the sweet potatoes to the food processor.
- Blend well, and serve! I garnished mine with a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sesame seeds.
- Based on recipes by My New Roots and Whole Family Fare.
- This recipe yields 3 to 4 cups of hummus (a lot!).
- Strangely, the hummus tasted a lot spicier on the first day, but mellowed out overnight. Please add the spices slowly and taste as you go to suit your preferences. If your hummus tastes too spicy at first, just refrigerate it for a day and try it again—it should be just right!
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