July 11, 2011

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

final 3

Sometimes in life, we embark upon a quest. A noble pursuit of glory that takes us on an unforgettable journey, forging a path toward our ultimate destiny and the greater good of all mankind. It shapes us, challenges us, builds our character and strength. For some, the quest is providing food to the poor. For some, it’s curing an incurable disease. For some, it’s inspiring children to pursue their dreams.

And then there’s me. Me and my sweet potatoes.

For as long as I can remember, I have been caught up in the baffling conundrum that is the sweet potato fry. If it’s baked in the oven, it’s healthy, but soft and mushy. If it’s deep-fried in oil, it’s crispier than the crispiest thing in crispyland, but it’s a calorie-laden gauntlet, unveiling just how little self-control any of us actually possesses. There’s simply no way you can have it all—or so I thought.

Several days ago, while blog-hopping around the internet, I came across this amazing article at The Art of Doing Stuff, which outlines a way in which one can have the healthiness of oven-baked french fries, but the crispy texture of the deep-fried goodies. Follow me along on this photographic journey and you, too, will be enlightened.

It’s a simple equation really. First, you prep a bunch of sweet potatoes…

whole sweet potato

peeled potatoes

cut sweet potato 1

cut sweet potato 2

sweet potato slice

sliced sweet potatoes

Once you’ve got your sweet potato fries all sliced up into whatever thickness you prefer, the top secret magic starts to happen. In a plastic bag, dump the fries and a poof of cornstarch.

cornstarch add

Shake it all around.

cornstarch shake

Add a spot of olive oil…

oiled potatoes

…and shake it all again.

oil shake

Space them evenly on a baking sheet—if they’re too close together, they’ll steam instead of crisp. Not what we want.

sweet potatos layout

From there, it’s just a quick trip to the oven before you end up with a plate of these beauties!

final 2

Crisp, browned, gorgeous steak fries in all their sweet potato-y glory. Pair them with a dollop of super-easy Sriracha mayo dip and you’ve got something beyond delicious. Quest completed.

I tell ya, if I had a penny for every time I’ve said “quest” and “crisp” in this blog post…

Anyway, as for your own quest, before you embark upon writing that Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel of the century, make a plate of these as a warm-up. Even brilliant people like yourself need their yummy vitamins.

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Sweet Potato Oven Fries with Sriracha Mayo Dip

Recipe adapted from The Art of Doing Stuff

Printable Recipe

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

2 large sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

salt and pepper, to taste

Sriracha Mayo Dip

1 cup mayonnaise

3-4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil, or regular aluminum foil coated well with cooking spray. Set aside.

Rinse the sweet potatoes, scrubbing the dirt off the skins with a brush. Dry, then peel. Cut each sweet potato in half. Cut each of those pieces in half. Then cut each of those pieces in half.

Note: This recipe is more geared towards thick-cut, steak fries, with a crisp exterior and soft interior. If you want thin fries that are 100% crisp all the way through, cut each potato as small as you’d like. Just keep an eye on them in the oven, as they may take less time to cook.

Place half the potatoes in a large plastic bag and add 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Seal the bag and shake it all around to evenly coat the potatoes with cornstarch. Open up the bag and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sealing and shaking again until coated.

On the baking sheet, evenly space the fries with plenty of room in between each one, so they get crispy instead of steamed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Place in the oven. After 15 minutes, use a pair of tongs to flip each fry and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how dark you like your fries. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Prepare the other half of the potatoes in this same way—coating, cooking, flipping, etc.

While the final batch of potatoes are in the oven, prepare the Sriracha mayo dip by whisking the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl until well combined. Chill.

Serve the sweet potato fries warm, with Sriracha mayo dip.

Serves 4.


  1. You have found my weakness! Sweet potato fries! these look amazing and I am making them this week!

  2. Love love love sweet potato fries but I agree the soggy ones aren't so good. So glad I will be able to bake them now instead of fry them! You made my day!

  3. I recently made sweet potato fries and couldn't figure out why they had turned out so soggy/limp. Great tip, I'll be doing that next time around! Thanks!

  4. LOL you crack me up bella. I love sweet potato fries and I'm thrilled you posted this recipe, I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow, and I'm gonna get me some sweet potato deliciousness....thanks for the culinary inspiration today :)

  5. Yummy, Koci..I would eat an entire plate of these and not feel the least bit guilty!! Hope you're having a nice summer in Houston!!

  6. I wish I was home so I could make these right now! They look amazing!
    I am so glad you gave a step by step since my fries don't come out as crispy as I would like at times. :)

  7. @Maris: Aren't they delicious? Sweet potato fries are such a fun departure from the everyday regular potatoes.

    @Bobbidink Designs: Baking is definitely my favorite way to make french fries and chips. Then you get to eat something yummy and congratulate yourself on being so healthy. It's a win-win! :D

    @Jess: Sure thing! Hope it helps!

    @mangiabella: Yes! You should definitely grab some sweet potatoes while you're out and about. I love being able to have a few nearby for snacks like this.

    @Wendy: That's the best part! You eat a bunch of them and then just pat yourself on the back for making such wonderful food choices. :D

    The Houston summer's good, but majorly, stupendously hot! I bet San Antonio's feeling the same, right?

    @Kristen: Thank you! I definitely thought these merited a step-by-step. Whenever there's detailed things to be done in a recipe, I like to see some definite visual cues to help along the way.

  8. GENIUS. Thank you so much for sharing!!! I, too, share in your quest for crispy-baked-instead-of-fried-but-still-tastes-fried fries, and have yet to find the answer. These look perfect!

  9. Mmm, those looks great. I've always tried to make crispy sweet potato fries and I made some with egg white once, but they weren't quite crisp enough. I'm going to give these a try when the weather cools down a little :)

  10. What a great post! I love fries and this is a very healthy way to enjoy guilt free fries!

  11. Saw that same post... thanks for the details. I made some SP Fries just a few days ago. I found a way to get them sticky so the salt will stick. Now I need to try this method as well.

    BTW, have you considered submitting to eRecipeCards.com ??? that's where I get most of my ideas. it was just luck that i found this post

    GREAT Blog, first time here, gonna dig a little closer


  12. I make these often - but have been frustrated as to why they sometimes get crisp and sometimes don't....I knew that they were supposed to be spread thin, but didn't realize it was imperative!

    We also usually just brush with a bit of olive oil-I'm going to try the cornstarch next time!

  13. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh. My. Goodness.

    You are my hero. <3

    *evernotes*stars*pins*bookmark* I am TOTALLY going to make this and the sriracha mayo. TOTALLY.

  14. I've never tried them with cornstarch, what a great idea!

  15. Thanks for sharing! I haven't managed to get them that crispy up until now.

  16. My oh freaking my. I'm casting aside my life ambitions and making this my new dinner ambition. And yes, I totally intend to hum some dramatic, Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-esque music while I prep my potatoes, to make it all seem more epic quest-y. Just try and stop me.

  17. Baked and it looks so tempting...beautiful clicks

  18. i got my sweet potatoes bella....it's on!

  19. Lovely... healthy alternative than frying to enjoy crispy sweet potato... :D

  20. Yum love sweet potato fries they are the best, thanks for the secret to crispy baked sweet potatoes.

  21. Oh yum, these look beautiful, and so crispy! I really shouldn't be looking at your gorgeous photos so close too lunch, they're making me too hungry!

  22. Beautiful photos Koci!

  23. My kids love sweet potato fries, so thanks for sharing the trick to making them crispy when oven baked!

  24. I love the addition of the cornstarch, never thought of that! Great photos too, makin' me hungry!!! :)

  25. ditto the person saying the photos are beautiful! what lens & camera are you using?

    and thank you for the really nice comment on my blog post.

  26. This should be the only way to make sweet potatoes.

  27. Can I say that I love you right now? I used the method (but with regular potatoes) and they were divine. Crispy and just yum, no more soft and mushy oven baked chips in my house!

  28. @the sugar apothecary: Crispy-baked-instead-of-fried-but-still-tastes-like-french-fries are the best! I've actually gotten to a place where I prefer baked chips/fries over the deep-fried ones.

    @Heidi: Oooh, egg white? That sounds like a cool idea. I can see how they'd help out on the crispyness front.

    @Manu: Thank you! It is great to be able to eat a bunch of these and know that it's good for you.

    @A Year on the Grill: eRecipeCards.com? No, I've never heard of it, but I'll definitely be checking it out! Thanks for the tip!

    @Kaylen: Equal sweet potato distribution was something that I only learned about recently, but it really does make a big difference.

    @Maria Diana: hahaha I'm so glad you like them! Hope they turn out deliciouz! :D

    @Nikki: Maximum crispyness all around. :D

    @Jun: Hope this technique works well for you!

    @Indigo: Excellent idea! Personal cooking soundtracks always make things more fun. Especially when it's that intrepid, pirate-y stuff. :D

    @Sharmilee: Thank you!

    @mangiabella: Yay! Hope you like them!

    @Lisa H.: Thanks! These are definitely a guilt-free snack.

    @you-made-that.com: Sweet potato fries are the best. :D Hope you enjoy!

    @Aubrey: hehehe Thanks!

    @Becky: Thank you! :D

    @Jeanette: Sure thing! These are majorly kid-friendly fries.

    @Pretty. Good. Food.: I know--who knew that cornstarch was the secret to success?

    @domestic bunny: Thank you so much! I use a Nikon D3100, alternating between using the kit 18-55mm lens and my dad's 1.4 50mm from the 1970s. :D

    @Bizzy B. Bakes: Agreed! :D

    @LadyRaven: hahaha Absolutely. Declarations of love are something that I think all cooks must learn to get used to. :D I'm so glad the recipe turned out so well for you!

  29. I loooove sweet potato fries! Your sriracha mayo dip is genius! I will definitely be using that!

  30. I'm definitely going to try this now! So glad to have found you on food gawker.

  31. I made these this evening to go with the steaks I grilled for dinner. They came out perfect - crispy on the outside and sweet and tender on the inside. My husband's already requested that I make them to go with dinner tomorrow night. He also asked that I put this into the favorites list of recipes.


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