These easy roasted sweet potatoes with red onions are the best you'll try! Perfectly tender and creamy in the center with well-browned, caramelized edges. A few tips make all the difference, be sure to read below for how to roast sweet potatoes.
It doesn't matter what time of the year or what season, I am happy to heat up the oven for some hearty roasted veggies. Some of my go-tos are: Italian roasted vegetables, Mediterranean-style roasted eggplant, roasted cauliflower, or roasted butternut squash, done up with a little lime vinaigrette and crunchy nuts (a must-try)!
But roasted sweet potatoes--tender and creamy on the inside and perfectly carmalized on the outside--are a whole category of delicious goodness!
I'm sharing my tested, tried-n-true recipe for roasted sweet potato cubes, tossed in extra virigin olive oil and cooked with some red onions, and a little pinch of cinnamon and allspice, which truly play up the earthy sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
Before getting to the roasted sweet potato recipe, let's cover just a few basic questions.
There are 16 varieites of sweet potatoes. Go for jewel or garnet sweet potatoes, which are the ones with the deep orange flesh. They tend to be moist and more tender, perfect for roasting or in casserole.
Look for small to medium size sweet potatoes, the larger they are the starchier they become. And make sure the skin is tight, unwrinkled, and there are no signs of bruising.
Store raw sweet potatoes in a cooler, dry and dark location with good ventilation.
Cutting sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks or cubes is a great way to prepare them for roasting. They turn out crispy on the outside, but still substanial and creamy on the inside.
First, peel the sweet potato. Trim the top and bottom, then cut the spuds into round slices. Cut each slice into 1-inch cubes or chunks. Remember that cutting them as evenly and close in size as possible will enusre they all cook in the same amount of time.
No. You do not need to boile sweet potatoes before roasting. And actually, you should not. For perfectly roasted sweet potatoes, start with raw cubes and toss them in a little extra virgin olive oil, then let the hot oven do the work of cooking them and concentrating their sweetness.
Temprature and time play an important role in getting your sweet potatoes roasted just right.
Roast sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F. The sweet potatoes will take anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes. Yes, they can cook faster at 425 degrees F or 450 degrees F, but the longer timeperiod is just what you need to truly cook the interior of the sweet potatoes until nice and creamy, while perfectly concentrating their sweetness.
Remember to flip the sweet potato cubes over partway through roasting.
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes: 5 Important Tips
As simple as oven roasted sweet potatoes are, a few tips have made all the difference for me:
1- Cut Sweet Potatoes into Cubes. I like to cut my sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. This is a good size, not too large and not too small. And they'll work nicely as a side dish, or you can add them to dinner bowls or to augment a salad. I'm not 100% precise, but I do try to cut the sweet potatoes into evenly sized pieces so they can take the same time to cook.
2- Set the Oven to 400 degrees F (approx 205 degrees Celsius.) High heat is ideal for roasting vegetables, but, like I said earlier, choosing 400 degrees F as opposed to 425 degrees F or 450 degrees F will mean a longer cooking time, enough to coax more of the sweet potatoes natural sweetness out. It's also ideal for caramelizing the onions we're cooking along, without burning them.
3- Use a Generous Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Coating the sweet potatoes in olive oil is really what helps them crisp up well on the outside. And I always use a quality good-tasting oil because it does add flavor complexity to roasted veggies. This time, I used Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (you can find it at our online shop)
4- Season Sweet Potatoes Well. Yes, all you need is a generous dash of kosher salt and black pepper. But you can add more flavor to your liking. I went for a Middle Eastern/Persian vibe here with a bit of cinnamon and allspice, which really play up the earthiness of sweet potatoes.
You'll notice in the photo above that I like to season my sweet potatoes in a bowl first before transferring to a baking dish. The bowl allows me to give the veggies a good toss and make sure they are well coated with the seasonings and oil (just a more even result.)
5- Use a Dark Sheet Pan or Baking Pan. Whenever possible, I like to use my cast iron baking pan for roasting vegetables. The dark helps the veggies cook well, while cast iron provides the added benefit of even, steady heat, making it easy for the veggies to char.
And, of course, do not crowd the baking pan. If you want things to cook well to that perfectly charred point, make sure they are well spread.
Occasionally, toss the sweet potatoes and onions so they cook well on all sides (do this carefully, and use a pair of tongs to turn things over if you need to.)
Similar Recipes to Try:
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Easy Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle
- Place the sweet potato cubes and onion pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (3 to 4 tablespoons) Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Toss well to coat.
- Transfer to a sheet pan. Spread the sweet potatoes and onions well in one single layer (do not crowd the pan.)
- Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are well cooked through and charred on the edges.
- Tip: I use a black cast iron baking pan here. The dark color helps the veggies cook well, while cast iron provides the added benefit of even, steady heat, making it easy for the veggies to char.
- Visit our Online Shop to browse extra virgin olive oil bundles and all-natural and organic spices and more!
This post originally appeard on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been recently updated with new information for readers' benefit.