Learn How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in the oven- it is the best and EASIEST way to get a fluffy and tender texture! This guide explains how to wrap whole sweet potatoes in foil, how long, and at what temperature to roast them. Meal prep these healthy spuds to use in endless family friendly recipes for lunch or dinner.

Medium-sized sweet potato that has been baked in the oven.

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Recipe

Sweet potatoes are an absolute staple in our house.

They are a canvas for a myriad of flavor combos!

And one of the best ways to cook up this starchy vegetable is as a baked sweet potato.

Not only does wrapping them in foil make for easy clean-up, but it locks in the steam for tender and fluffy potatoes!

Plus, baking is much better than boiling sweet potatoes if you want the natural sweetness to come out.

This method also works for yams; you just might get a starchier result due to their drier texture. (Learn more about Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes here!)

You can then load them up with fillings in these BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, or turn them into some mashed sweet potatoes, a sweet potato casserole, or a sweet potato shepherd’s pie.

Oil, salt, and sweet potatoes are all you need for this recipe.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make baked sweet potatoes include:

  • Sweet potatoes. Look for medium-sized potatoes at the grocery store. You want potatoes that are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Oil. You just need a little, but olive oil or avocado oil work the best.
  • Salt and pepper. While optional, these are great for adding a little flavor to the potatoes.
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How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in the Oven

Before we dive into how to cook sweet potatoes in the oven, we will first need to get them ready.

Prepare the Potatoes (Rinse and Poke)

Since these root vegetables are grown underground you will want to make sure you rinse and scrub them thoroughly before baking, especially if you plan to eat the skin.

The skin generally has more fiber than just the flesh and will give you a boost of extra nutrition.

After rinsing and scrubbing, poke holes into the sweet potato with a large fork. This step enables them to release any excess moisture while baking in the oven.

It is optional, but you can also drizzle a little oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper over each one if you’d like to eat the skin.

Expert Tip: Sweet potatoes are one of the “dirty dozen” so it is best to buy organic if they’re available.

Wrap Sweet Potatoes in Foil

Cut pieces of aluminum foil that are large enough to wrap each potato at least twice.

Next, roll each sweet potato in the aluminum foil.

Fold over the ends of the foil in order to completely seal the potato.

Place the wrapped sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet.

Alternative: You can also place the potatoes in a baking dish or on a sheet pan and cover the entire dish/pan with foil.

Bake in the Oven

Bake sweet potatoes in a 400°F oven for 45-60 minutes.

The best temperature to cook sweet potatoes in the oven is 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is hot enough to cook the potatoes in under an hour while also not being so hot that they burn.

However, you can cook them in an oven anywhere between 350°F and up to 450°F if you have other dishes you are cooking at the same temperature. Just make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Larger sweet potatoes will take closer to 1 hour to cook while smaller ones can be ready in as little as 40 minutes.

To test if they’re done, place a fork or a knife into the thickest part of the potato to see if it is tender.

Sweet potatoes are opened after baking.

Serve it Up!

Once you’ve cooked them, it’s time to slice them open, fluff up the inside, and fill with yummy ingredients:

  • Add a tablespoon of butter or garlic herb butter.
  • Sprinkle on some cinnamon and brown sugar. (This is my favorite way!)
  • Mix up a savory spice blend with some cumin, garlic powder, and paprika.
Four sweet potatoes that have been baked on a sheet pan in the oven.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Sweet potatoes are a great meal prep side dish recipe to have on hand for busy weekdays. 
  • To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days
  • To Freeze: Seal baked sweet potatoes in an airtight container and freeze for up to 4-6 months.
  • To Reheat: It is best to re-warm sweet potatoes in a 275 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or by cutting them in half and heating in the microwave.

Baking versus Instant Pot

When I first created this Instant Pot Sweet Potato recipe I was in awe of how quickly you could cook them by using a pressure cooker.

However, I soon realized that if you want to cook more than 4 at a time, there is another way that simply can’t be beat.

So I learned how to bake sweet potatoes in the oven.

Not only can you put up to 15-20 sweet potatoes in the oven at the same time, but they also get a wonderfully crisp exterior the Instant Pot just can’t reproduce.

FAQs

How long to bake sweet potatoes?

Bake whole sweet potatoes in a 400°F oven for 45-60 minutes. Larger sweet potatoes will take closer to 1 hour to cook while smaller ones can be ready in as little as 40 minutes.

How do I know when sweet potatoes are done cooking?

The sweet potatoes are done when a knife cuts through easily.

Do sweet potatoes take longer to bake than regular potatoes?

Sweet potatoes generally cook faster than russet potatoes. However, the size of the potato and cooking method will affect the cooking time.

Is it better to microwave or bake a sweet potato?

A microwave is the fastest way to cook a sweet potato, however baking will result in a better texture.

What’s the healthiest way to cook sweet potatoes?

Oven Baked Sweet Potatoes, Boiling Sweet Potatoes, or Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes are the healthiest as they use little or no oil. But roasting them will give them the best flavor!

A sweet potato that has been cut in half and has been baked in the oven and wrapped in foil.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Scrub a dub, dub. Remove all of the dirt before cooking, use a vegetable brush if needed.
  • Poke some holes. This helps to release the juices when baking so the potato doesn’t build up pressure and potentially burst.
  • Drizzle on oil. If you’re going to eat the skin for the tons of fiber, add some flavor with oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Width is what matters. Select similarly sized potatoes so they all cook up at the same rate.
  • Test for doneness. Always check the largest potato to make sure it’s cooked through.
A fork digs into an air fried baked sweet potato.

More Sweet Potato Recipes

Still have a bunch of spuds? Here are a few baked sweet potato recipes you can try out.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries are a healthy alternative to French fries.

Add some flavor with Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas and Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

A Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger is the perfect picnic food.

Or whip up this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole or Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin for the holidays.

Make a Homemade Sweet Potato Puree and turn it into a Sweet Potato Pie!

Tap stars to rate!

4.67 from 56 votes

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

Learn How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in the oven, it is the best way to get a fluffy and tender texture! Meal prep these healthy spuds to use in endless family friendly recipes for lunch or dinner.
Medium-sized sweet potato that has been baked in the oven.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lbs. sweet potatoes about 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado, optional
  • 1 tsp. salt optional
  • ½ tsp. pepper optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prepare the Potatoes: Rinse and scrub potatoes to remove any excess dirt and poke holes all over potatoes using a large fork. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap in Foil: Wrap each potato in a large piece of aluminum foil, making sure the foil wraps around at least twice. Secure the ends so no juice escapes the packet. (Add a piece of parchment paper between the foil and potato, if preferred.)*
  • Bake in Oven: Place wrapped potatoes on a large baking sheet and bake potatoes for 45-60 minutes or until they are cooked all of the way through. You can test this by inserting a fork or knife into the thickest part or squeezing to see if they're soft.

Tap stars to rate!

4.67 from 56 votes

Video

Notes

*Alternative: You can also place the potatoes in a baking dish or on a sheet pan and cover the entire dish/pan with foil.
  • Nutritional information is calculated without optional oil, salt, and pepper.
  • To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days
  • To Freeze: Seal baked sweet potatoes in an airtight container and freeze for up to 4-6 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 94mg, Potassium: 573mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 24132IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. Instead of individually wrapping the sweet potatoes would covering the entire sheet pan with a single sheet of foil have the same result? Thanks!

      1. Thanks so much for the quick response! Especially since Thanksgiving is just a few days away 🙂 I’m thinking that I could save foil this way. With the economy being so bad right now, I’m always looking for ways to cut costs. For anyone who is reading this and not clear…I’m talking about putting a single sheet of foil over the top of the sweet potatoes potatoes vs. wrapping the sweet potatoes individually. I would secure the edges of the foil around the pan to keep the steam in.

        Happy Thanksgiving!!

        1. You’re so welcome, Carol! And yes- I actually added a note in the blog post as well as in the recipe card for other readers! Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Rebecca! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best way to bake sweet potato – been doing this for years and the finished potatoes are delicious. Thank you.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Estelle! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Tina! These are perfect for Sunday dinner. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve also cooked them in a crockpot. Using a liner. It’s been awhile so I don’t remember how long it took to cook.
    You also made a few suggestions like rubbing oil on them before wrapping them in foil. We’re already big sweet potato fans in my family. I eat mine skin on plain with a little cinnamon. I’m diabetic and I’m very careful of adding salt to any dish. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Hopefully this helps make sweet potatoes each time even easier. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  4. When you bake them wrapped in foil and you are planning on storing in refrigerator or freezer do you leave them wrapped in foil

    1. You can if you’d like, but I tend to unwrap mine and put them in a container so the oil doesn’t leak out of the foil. Totally up to you though, Denise!

  5. 5 stars
    Back in the 80s-90s….the instruction booklet for my microwave said to cook the potato(s) throughly but not overly then take them out and wrap in foil until use. I never thought 2x about it. But my girlfriend was all over with excitement and wanted my “secret”. Her husband wouldn’t eat micro’d potatoes , they tasted funny to him. I didn’t know that and served them with dinner. He ate them fine. I told my girlfriend it was all in his mind. So she went home and had a potato tasting contest. Which one was micro’d? He said no contest and picked the one that had not been wrapped in foil afterwards. Truth is they were micro’d together. I asked recently if one wrapped a sweet potato after microwaving in foil…..people thought I was crazy and had never heard of such a thing.

    1. Best just to follow this recipe from London and Brazil, it uses an oven, no need for the hassle of microwaves or contests

  6. I am cooking 60 potatoes in the oven. Why do they need to be on a tray with sides? Can they just be placed on the racks?

    1. Hi Mary! Great question. I place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed sheet pan to catch any excess liquid that seeps out of the foil packets (just in case they weren’t wrapped tightly enough.) You can definitely place them directly into the oven but you might have a little cleanup to do afterwards.