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!

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!

They are also naturally gluten free, making 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.

Should I wrap them in foil?

If you want crispy potato skins, don’t use foil. Baking sweet potatoes in foil creates steam, which keeps the skin soft.

Bake sweet potatoes using the cooking method of your choice. The classic method is to make baked sweet potatoes in the oven, but you can also use the microwave, crockpot, Instant Pot, or air fryer.

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.

Oven Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked sweet potatoes are a favorite of many people. Making them in an oven creates a potato with crispy skin and a fluffy center.

Oven directions:

  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.

How long to bake sweet potatoes in an oven?

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.

Microwave Baked Sweet Potatoes

This method is the quickest way to cook a potato. The skins won’t become crispy but because of the short cook time, the sweet potatoes will retain more nutrients.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.

Microwave directions:

  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.

Crockpot Baked Sweet Potatoes

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.

Slow cooker directions:

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

Sweet Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot baked sweet potatoes are another quick and easy side dish. They come out perfectly fluffy and delicious, every time!

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.

Instant Pot directions:

  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 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.

Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato

Making a healthy baked sweet potato is easier than ever before, thanks to the Air Fryer. This method is similar to using a convection oven, but it’s more energy efficient, especially when you make small batches. Plus, it allows the kitchen to stay cooler.

Air Fryer directions:

  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.

NOTE: To prevent soggy skin, avoid overfilling 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.

Sweet Potato Toppings

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 or your savory favorites.

If you want to take the flavor up a notch, stuffed sweet potatoes are the way to go!

Baked Sweet Potato Recipes

Mexican Pineapple Black Bean Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes
baked sweet potatoes stuffed with delicious Mexican spiced black beans, pineapple, shredded cheese and tomatoes.
Check out this recipe
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.
Check out this recipe
Jambalaya Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
A fun and easy way to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers.
Check out this recipe
Cranberry BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potato
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.
Check out this recipe
Caesar Salad Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe - Shugary Sweets
Baked Sweet Potato with butter on a plate

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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