How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes 5 Ways

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Learn how to bake sweet potatoes five different ways. Get the instructions and tips to make baked sweet potatoes in the oven, microwave, crockpot, Instant Pot, or air fryer. Plus recipes to use them!

5 Ways to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes image with title

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Do you know that sweet potatoes are a superfood?

They’re full of nutrients like iron and fiber, and they have plenty of vitamins and beta carotene, too. With their antioxidant properties, any variety of sweet potato can be a great addition to a healthy diet. Even sweet potato skins are good for you!

Just like regular potatoes are gluten free, sweet potatoes are also naturally gluten free. This makes them a great alternative to bread and rolls for stuffing with things like apple cider pulled chicken, barbecue pork, or even taco meat.

But if you want to keep it simple classic, slice them open and add some butter. They make the perfect side dish for cube steaks, grilled chicken, and more!

If you aren’t sure how to cook sweet potatoes, keep reading. We’ll show you 5 different ways to bake them.

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

Prepare the potatoes for baking. Use a vegetable brush and cool water to wash them. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife, then use paper toweling to pat them dry.

Bake sweet potatoes using the cooking method of your choice. The classic method is to make baked sweet potatoes in the oven. However, other popular appliances like the microwave, crockpot, Instant Pot, and air fryer can make it quicker and more convenient. Choose your preferred method and keep reading for specific instructions for each.

Methods

You’ll find instructions below for each of these five methods.

  • Oven – The traditional way of making baking sweet potatoes. Using this method creates a potato with crispy skin and a fluffy center.
  • Microwave – This method is the quickest way to cook a sweet potato. The skins won’t become crispy but because of the short cook time, the sweet potatoes will retain more nutrients.
  • Slow Cooker – Baking sweet potatoes in a slow cooker is a great option when you don’t have a lot of hands-on time. Plus, this method allows you to come home to a meal that’s ready to serve.
  • Instant Pot – Another quick option that is also hands-off. The benefit over the microwave is a creamier, fluffier texture.
  • Air Fryer – This method is similar to using an oven cooking, but more energy efficient and perfect for smaller batches. Plus, the kitchen stays cooler.

Slice and serve. Use a knife to slice the potatoes lengthwise down the middle. Then, using your hands to hold each end of the potato, press inward toward the center to open and fluff the insides. Serve with butter, a sprinkle of brown sugar or cinnamon, or even some toasted nuts.

slicing sweet potatoes open with a kniife

How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes in the Oven

Oven baked sweet potatoes are a favorite of many people. Making them in an oven creates a potato with crispy skin and a fluffy center. If you want crispy potato skins, don’t use foil. Baking sweet potatoes in foil creates steam, which keeps the skin soft.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Pierce the skin of the potatoes in several different places sing a fork or the tip of a sharp knife. This will allow steam to escape, which prevents them from bursting during cooking. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil, unless you prefer a crispy skin on them.
  3. Bake the sweet potatoes. Place the potatoes on the center rack of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tender.
Oven Baking Tip

Cooking time will vary. Factors include the oven temperature, size of the potatoes, and the recipe you are making. On average, you’ll want to add 10 minutes to the cook time for every 25 degrees you lower the oven temperature. Medium-sized sweet potatoes in an oven heated to 375°F will take approximately 65 minutes.

How to Microwave Baked Sweet Potatoes

  1. Pierce the skin just as you would if you were using the oven method.
  2. Microwave the sweet potato. Place the potato on a microwave safe plate and cook on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the potato over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. If the sweet potato is large, it may take up to 15 minutes total.
Microwave Tip

As you microwave sweet potatoes, you may notice that sparks appear inside of the microwave oven. This effect is known as “arcing” and is a result of minerals in the potato bouncing off of the walls of the microwave. It is perfectly normal and will not alter the taste at all.

Crockpot Baked Sweet Potatoes

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes clean under cool tap water, but don’t dry them off. As a result, the moisture will help them cook without drying out.
  2. Place the potatoes into the slow cooker. It’s fine to stack them, but avoid packing them in too tightly.
  3. Cook on high power for 3-4 hours or low power for 6-7 hours. When they are fully cooked, the tines of a fork should slide easily through the skin and into the flesh.
Slow Cooker Tip

To create crispy skin on crock pot baked sweet potatoes, place them under a broiler or on the grill for a few minutes.

How to Make Instant Pot Baked Sweet Potatoes

  1. Add 1 cup of cold water to the inner pot and place the wire trivet inside. If you use an 8 quart Instant Pot, add an extra 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork several times and set them on top of the trivet.
  3. Pressure cook. Seal the Instant Pot and manually set to high pressure or Manual cooking. Use 15 minutes for small to medium potatoes, 30 minutes for large, and up to 60 minutes for extra large sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot.
  4. Release the pressure. After cooking, perform a Natural Pressure Release. The pin near the vent valve will drop when it’s safe to open the lid and remove the potatoes.
Instant Pot Tips

Depending on their size and the size of your pressure cooker, you should be able to cook up to 6 small sweet potatoes at a time, or up to 4 if they’re extra large.

Every Instant Pot is slightly different and potatoes are different sizes, so you may find you have to adjust the cooking time. If pressure cooker baked potatoes aren’t fully cooked, just place them back in the Instant Pot and cook for a few more minutes.

Directions for Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Coat potatoes with oil and salt, then use a fork to pierce the skin in several places. This will allow steam to escape. 
  3. Air fry the sweet potatoes. Place in the air fryer basket and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.
Air Fryer Tip

Depending on the size of your air fryer, you can make up to four air fry baked potatoes at a time. To prevent soggy skin, avoid over filling the basket.

Baked Sweet Potato with butter on a plate

What to Serve with Baked Sweet Potatoes

Now that you know how to make baked sweet potatoes, choose your favorite method and get ready to serve them as a side or with your favorite meal.

Topping Ideas

Butter and maybe a little salt are all you need to make them taste delicious, but you can also try one of these simple toppings when serving them as a side dish.

Make it a meal

The natural sweetness complements so many of your savory favorites.

Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipes

If you want to take the flavor up a notch, stuffed sweet potatoes are the way to go. Try some of these!

Mexican Pineapple Black Bean Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes

baked sweet potatoes stuffed with delicious Mexican spiced black beans, pineapple, shredded cheese and tomatoes.
Get The Recipe
Two baked sweet potatoes in a cast iron skillet stuffed with a jambalaya mixture and topped with melted cheese.

Jambalaya Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes

Jambalaya made with leftover turkey or chicken is stuffed into baked sweet potatoes for a delicious and hearty gluten free dinner.
Get The Recipe
Barbecue Stuffed Sweet Potatoes on a Baking Sheet

Cranberry BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Cranberry BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes give your Thanksgiving leftovers new life. Turn them into an easy dinner recipe the family might love even more than the holiday feast. Leftover turkey is slathered with a tangy mixture of cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce and loaded on sweet potatoes. Then finish it off with a cheesy crumb topping made from extra cornbread or stuffing.
Get The Recipe
Caesar Salad Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe - Shugary Sweets

Caesar Salad Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe – Shugary Sweets

Sweet potatoes and Caesar salad come together in this healthy, easy and unbelievably delicious meal. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are the Whole 30 friendly recipe you’ve been missing in your life.
Get The Recipe
A buffalo chicken sweet potato on a plate topped with blue cheese and Ranch.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

If you just can’t get over the combination of slightly sweet and a little spicy, you’ll love this satisfying and delicious dinner with hot wings flavor!
Get The Recipe
How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes Square Featured Image
5 from 2 votes

How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes 5 Ways

Learn how to make baked sweet potatoes in the oven, microwave, crock pot, Instant Pot, or air fryer. Here are instructions for all 5 methods!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 4 large sweet potatoes

Instructions

Baking Sweet Potatoes

  • Use a vegetable brush and cool water to wash them. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife, then use paper toweling to pat them dry.
  • Bake potatoes using the cooking method of your choosing.
  • Use a knife to slice the potato lengthwise down the middle. Using your hands to hold both ends of the potato, press inward toward the center to open and fluff the insides.

Baked sweet potatoes in the oven

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Using a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the skin of the potatoes in several different places. This will allow steam to escape, which prevents them from bursting during cooking.
  • Wrap sweet potatoes in foil, unless you prefer a crispy skin on them.
  • Place the potatoes on the center rack of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until tender.

Baked sweet potatoes in the microwave

  • Pierce the skin like in the oven method.
  • Place the sweet potato on a microwave safe plate and cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the potato over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. Depending on the potato’s size, it may take up to 15 minutes total.

Baked potatoes in a slow cooker

  • Wash the sweet potatoes clean under cool tap water, but don’t dry them off. As a result, the moisture will help them cook without drying out.
  • Place the potatoes into the slow cooker. It’s fine to stack them, but avoid packing them in too tightly.
  • Cook on high power for 3-4 hours or low power for 6-7 hours.
  • When they are fully cooked, the tines of a fork should slide easily through the skin and into the flesh.
  • To create crispy skin on crock pot baked potatoes, place them under a broiler or on the grill for a few minutes.

Baked sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot

  • Add 1 cup of cold water to the inner pot and place the wire trivet inside. If you use an 8 quart Instant Pot, add an extra 1/2 cup of water.
  • Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork several times and set them on top of the trivet.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and manually set to high pressure cooking. Use 15 minutes for small potatoes, 30 minutes for medium, and up to 60 minutes for extra large sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot.
  • After cooking, perform a Natural Pressure Release. The pin near the vent valve will drop when it’s safe to open the lid and remove the potatoes.

Baked sweet potatoes in the air fryer

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  • Coat potatoes with oil and salt, then pierce the skin to allow steam to escape.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes 5 Ways
Amount Per Serving (1 sweet potato)
Calories 194 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 124mg5%
Potassium 762mg22%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 7g28%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 32063IU641%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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