Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
I’ve never had much success cooking sweet potatoes, but thought I’d try again to add some more colour to a vegetable rotation that leans green. Eat the rainbow they say, but, save for the odd carrot or red sweet pepper, we are pretty monochromatic in our vegetable choices. (We do better getting the other colours from the fruits in our diet.)
The two big players on the orange side of the vegetable spectrum–sweet potatoes and squash–always seem like so much work to me that I often pass them by. And, honestly, the only thing I’ve cooked successfully with either of them is soup. But there was something about the gigantic pile of sweet potatoes I encountered during my shopping trip last week that inspired me to try again. Given the sheer volume at the store, it was clear that someone was buying and enjoying these things. Surely I could figure out a way to cook them so they didn’t turn into baby food or burn to a crisp, the only two results I could seem to manage in my previous sweet potato cooking experiences. So I grabbed one of the smaller ones and put it in my cart.
Seeking a happy medium between mushy and charred, I looked for air fryer sweet potato recipes. I don’t have an air fryer, but I do have a convection setting on my oven that I often forget exists but have heard functions much like an air fryer. For basic technique, I chose this recipe from Piping Pot Curry. I then remembered that I had some leftover fajita seasoning in the cupboard and decided to use that for my sweet potatoes, along with a little kosher salt. (It’s the seasoning mix in Carlsbad Cravings‘ chicken fajita recipe. I recommend the entire thing. So good.)
As I watched the potatoes roasting, I thought they looked a little dry. At the halfway point, when it was time to turn the potatoes, I tossed in a little more oil and salt. This step is totally a judgment call that you may not need, depending on how much oil you added before the pan went in the oven. Similarly, after the roasting was done, I thought the flavour needed a little boost so I sprinkled some granulated garlic into the sweet potatoes in the serving bowl, when they were still hot. I added the garlic to taste, but you may not feel the need to do the same, depending on what type of seasoning you used.
I was quite pleased with the results. These sweet potatoes were very tasty, with a good texture. They were also a hit with my husband and son, both of whom said they would eat them again. Finally, an orange vegetable for my recipe roster.
Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato
- olive oil, to taste See Notes, below.
- fajita seasoning, to taste See Notes, below.
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch granulated garlic See Notes, below.
- Set oven to convection and preheat to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and cut sweet potato to make cubes about 1.5 cm (or half an inch) in size. You can go bigger, but the cooking time will be a bit longer.
- Place cubed sweet potato in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil for a thin coat, or more, to taste. Toss in enough fajita seasoning to coat lightly, or more, to taste, followed by a couple of pinches of kosher salt. Toss all together untill well combined.
- Place sweet potato on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Be sure the pieces do not overlap.
- Place pan in preheated oven and roast for about 15 minutes. Remove and turn pieces, tossing lightly with a little more oil and salt if needed. Ensure the pieces remain in a single layer, then put the pan back into the oven. Continue roasting until the colour has deepened and the pieces are easily pierced with a fork, about another 15 minutes. (About 30 minutes total.)
- Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes on the pan. Place in a serving bowl and taste. If needed, toss some granulated garlic on while the potatoes are still hot to enhance the flavour.
- The amount of oil is a personal preference. I like the potatoes to be lightly coated in oil before they go into the oven. As they roast, I judge whether they look a little dry, then toss more oil in if needed at the halfway point of the roasting time, as indicated in the steps above. Too much oil can make them greasy, but you have to judge the volume of oil on the basis of the amount of sweet potato you are roasting.
- I used fajita seasoning on the sweet potatoes but you can use any dry seasoning mix you prefer, or even just salt and pepper.
- The fajita seasoning works well but I felt the flavour needed a little more intensity, so I tossed in some granulated garlic after the roasting was done. Depending on which seasoning mix you use, you may not need this step.