Sweet Potatoes in the Kitchen

Not sure how to cook sweet potatoes? You’re not alone! A recent consumer research survey showed that 20% of young adults feel that sweet potatoes are not easy to cook. Have no fear! The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission is here to help you conquer the kitchen and learn the easy tricks of cooking sweet potatoes.

While baking is the most traditional way to cook sweet potatoes, there are countless ways to prepare them and cash in on their heavenly sweetness.


Baking sweet potatoes is a simple and delicious way to savor your favorite spud. It’s as easy as popping that tater into a hot oven and 45 minutes later, you have a steamy pocket of sweet, caramelized fluffy goodness.

Butter and a dash of salt is what we like to call “The Classic.” But baked sweet potatoes leave plenty of room for taste bud creativity. Take that tater up a notch by loading it with your favorite fillings. From chicken chili to Thanksgiving leftovers, bacon to kale salad, scrambled eggs to guacamole, baked sweet potatoes were made to be stuffed.

Enjoy it as a side dish or on its own as a light lunch or dinner, a baked sweet potato is full-proof deliciousness! Follow the 1-2-3’s of Baking Sweet Potatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. With a fork, pierce sweet potato skin 5-6 times.
  3. Place on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Short on time and simply ravenous? Pop that spud into the microwave and your sweet potato craving will be satiated in a matter of minutes!

Microwaving a sweet potato is quite possibly the quickest and easiest way to cook your sweet potato. Without wasting precious time to preheat and bake, you’ll still achieve the sweet caramelization that an oven-baked sweet potato is known for. Not sure when your microwaved sweet potato is ready? The sweet potato’s thin skin puffs to a crisp finish and inside you’ll discover sweet, pillowy flesh.

How to Microwave a Sweet Potato:

  1. Pierce the sweet potato skin 5-6 times.
  2. Place on a microwaveable plate and microwave for 5-8 minutes, rotating halfway through.

What’s orange and creamy with black all over? Grilled sweet potatoes! Don’t let their sweet nature fool you – sweet potatoes can take the heat! Famous for its long-standing appearance on holiday dinner tables, most people are surprised to find that sweet potatoes are actually a year-round vegetable. When the temperature starts to warm up, it’s time to grill sweet potatoes. Sweet and creamy on the inside, charred and crunchy on the outside – what’s not to love?

From wedges to rounds, planks to cubes, grilled sweet potatoes come in many forms! Click here for tips on how to cut sweet potatoes to your liking.

Grilled Sweet Potato Instructions:

  1. Just before putting on the grill, season sweet potato wedges liberally with salt.
  2. Place sweet potato wedges directly on the cooking grate over direct heat; grill until well marked, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Move to indirect heat. Finish cooking, turning halfway through, until soft and tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove from grill.

Too cold outside? Don’t worry! You can have grilled sweet potatoes year-round! Here’s how:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. On a rack fitted into a baking sheet, place sweet potato wedges and season well with salt.
  3. Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes.
Baked Fries

When it comes to sweet potato fries, crispy perfection is what we strive for! Don’t worry, our extra crispy sweet potato fries do not require buckets of oil or deep-frying. In fact, these crunchy bites of heaven are BAKED. Oh yes, baked sweet potato fries! Dive deep into a hot, crispy batch without an ounce of guilt.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, if desired, and cut into 1/4-inch strips.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, oil and salt; with your hands, toss to coat.
  4. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on racks or foil without crowding; set aside remaining sweet potatoes.
  5. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Repeat until all the sweet potatoes are baked.

Sweet Trick: For crisper results, place a metal rack on each baking sheet.

For the official Baked Sweet Potato Fries recipe, visit our recipe page!

Need a visual? No problem! The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission teamed up with Jeanine Donofrio of the blog Love & Lemons to create a step-by-step video showing you how to bake your sweet potato fries to crispy perfection!

If you’d like to download or print this information, please click here for a downloadable “Sweet Potatoes in the Kitchen” resource.