I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s tried dozens of different and increasingly complicated ways to get oven baked Sweet Potato fries to come out right. As a matter of fact, I almost gave up on the idea of a crispy Sweet Potato Fry when I saw yet one more method out there – and it is so easy it’s “stupid” simple.
You can’t even compare these Sweet Potato Fries to any prepackaged bag fry I’ve ever had – they’re just two different animals – flavor is amazing and they bake up nicely. While they may never have quite the “crunch” of a regular old french fry, they’re a refreshing change from succession of limp, soggy Sweet Potato fries I’ve made in the past – and best of all, they’re baked, not fried. No mess, no bother and a lot fewer calories.
The method: just cut your fries and place them in a paper bag – add a bit of cornstarch and shake before you put them on your baking sheet and drizzle them with oil.
Sweet Potato Fries, serves 4 (about 8 ounces each) cost $1.63. This is about 2 pounds of sweet potatoes (I think this works best with larger sweet potatoes.) Two pounds will generally be two quite large potatoes or three of a more medium size.
- 2 pounds Sweet Potato
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (I imagine if diet dictated you could use arrowroot)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut sweet potatoes into fries, trying to be as even as possible in your cuts so they all bake at the same rate. I found a cut a bit thicker than a french fry cut works best.
Place the fries in paper bag and shake with two tablespoons of cornstarch. (The amount you need might vary just a bit with the thickness and cut of your fries – they should be just lightly dusted with the cornstarch.) If you can detect the cornstarch flavor on the fries, cut back a bit next time.
Place on two baking sheets (you don’t want to overcrowd or they won’t be crisp,) Drizzle with olive oil and toss until each fry has a very light coating. Use a judicious hand with the olive oil – you aren’t frying – just baking.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn fries over, with a gentle hand (a thin spatula really helps.) Bake for another five to 15 minutes or so. The baking time is going to vary dramatically depending on how thick your fries are cut. It won’t hurt to make a note of the size of your fries and how long it took to bake for future reference. As you can see, the fries I made were quite large in size – smaller fries will take about half the time and require a close watch.
I like to take my fries off the baking sheet and throw them on a rack if I’m not serving them all immediately so they don’t “steam” on the pan and ruin the crunch.
Sprinkle with salt while still warm – this is a great place to pull out a sea salt or even a kosher salt.
Serve with a dipping sauce if you’d like – we love to use Chile Lime mayonnaise for all kinds of items – see how I mixed it up in seconds under my Onion Ring post.
Money & Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
You can always precut the sweet potatoes – just drop them in water and store in the fridge. Drain and dry them well before proceeding with the recipe.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet Potatoes seem to vary in pricing a lot in my area, and they are always at their cheapest around Thanksgiving. They do last for quite awhile, so I try to pick them up on sale – even if they aren’t at their cheapest (which here runs 49 to 59 cents a pound) I like to avoid paying much for than 69 to 89 cents a pound rather than the higher pricing of $1.29 to $1.49 a pound. Cost for 2 pounds, at 69 cents a pound: $1.38a tablespoon and a half of cornstarc
- Oil: You’ll hear me say it a million times – olive oil is my go to oil for almost everything. I try hard to avoid trans fats. Olive is more expensive than vegetable oil, but I use coupons and sales to bring my price down. Cost 24 cents.
- Cornstarch: This is one of those baking items best bought around the winter holidays when baking items are at their least expensive and coupons are available. Cost for a tablespoon: about a penny.
- Sea Salt: If you decide to use a Sea Salt, your cost will vary depending – I tend to use Sea Salt sparingly rather than for every day cooking, and kosher salt will work, too. There is something about the slight crunch and distinct bursts of salt flavor that helps to “make” these fries.
Nutrition: Cal 297, Cal from fat (22%) 60.64; tot fat 6.87g; sat fat .97g; chol 0mg; sod 125 mg; tot carb 49.28g; sug 9.48g; prot 3.57g
Put Your own Spin on It:
- Add some spice – your favorite rub or seasoning blend, maybe a little cayenne or smoked paprika.
- Serve this with any dipping sauce you’d like.
Recipe made July 2012
- Sweet Potato Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing (pipandwillow.wordpress.com)
- Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (bookcasefoodie.wordpress.com)
- Sweet Potato and Zucchini Latkes with Creamy Chipotle Lime Dipping Sauce (happygoodtime.com)