How to Bake a Sweet Potato

Always tender and rich, baked sweet potatoes make the perfect side to any main dish.

Eating a baked sweet potato has always felt like an indulgence to me. Even without cinnamon, brown sugar and butter, a plain baked sweet potato can taste like candy when prepared correctly. It’s hard to believe that a simple root vegetable can provide so many vitamins and be so delicious! Baked sweet potatoes are versatile and incredibly easy to prepare. You can go sweet or savory with your toppings; you can make mashed sweet potatoes with the cooked interior for adding to baked goods; you can even puree to make baby food!

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Choose your potatoes by looking for several that are close to the same size. If you try to cook a large potato at the same time as a small potato, the cook times will differ. Wash them with warm water, taking care to scrub any loose dirt from the skin. Then pat your potatoes dry.

Store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place, away from your onions. Onions release gases that cause potatoes (regular and sweet) to spoil quickly.


Pierce each potato 5-6 times with a fork. Line a baking sheet with foil (this will help with drips and make for easier clean up) and space the potatoes an inch or two apart. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Variation - Wrap your potatoes in foil!
Instead of lining a pan with foil, you can wrap each potato individually. This can be a great option if you are serving a crowd and want the sweet potatoes to stay hot for an extended time. Keep in mind that wrapping the potatoes in foil yields a more tender skin that peels away from the flesh of the potato rather than pulling away when sliced.


Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
Let the potatoes rest for a minute or two before slicing and serving with your favorite sweet potato garnishes!
I adore butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, but sweet potatoes are so versatile that there is plenty of room for creativity.

Want more?
Learn how to boil sweet potatoes, then make 'em mashed
 • Make a regular baked potato, then load it up with sour cream and bacon

About Heather T.

Heather, who runs, has been making messes in the kitchen since she was a little kid when her mom handed her a cook book and told her, “If you can read, you can cook.” Today she serves up fresh, healthy eats, easy weeknight meals and decadent sweet treats.