sweet poThese Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Dipping Sauces have a wonderful crunch when you bite into them. Sprinkled with coarse sea salt and dipped in one of three sauces make this a delectable side dish or an afternoon snack. The secret ingredient to its crispiness is a coating of cornstarch before you bake them.
I love, with all my heart, a golden, crispy, hot french fried potato. I wish I could kiss whoever came up with the idea to take a brown rugged root vegetable from the earth, slice it into perfectly long strips, dunk it into a pool of scalding hot grease, and then douse them with loads of salt. In my book, this genius should go down in history as the ultimate recipe developer. How simple, but how profoundly innovative. If only they were healthy for you!
But then … along comes, a lovely orange beauty called the sweet potato! Who would’ve ever guessed? What an amazing array of things you can do with this delectable vegetable: sweet potato pie, sweet potato hash, sweet potato pancakes/waffles, sweet potato bisque. It seems these days, you can put sweet potatoes into just about anything and make it work. But taking center stage in this post are Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Dipping Sauces.
Why I love these Sweet Potato Fries:
Sweet potatoes are a delicious healthy treat. Baked sweet potato fries are a healthy alternative to the french fried potatoes that we all love and adore. Unless, of course, you eat a whole batch in one sitting. Okay, I do admit that I’ve done that a time or two.
They are baked in the oven NOT fried and actually come out of the oven deliciously crispy. I bet you thought you could never find a truly crispy “baked” sweet potato fries recipe. But there are several tips throughout this post that will help you achieve that very thing.
The dipping sauces top the fries off with AMAZING flavor. I have included three sauces in the recipe below – a sweet toasted marshmallow creme, grainy honey mustard sauce, and my favorite, spicy roasted tomato aioli. Each is very different from the other. But they’re all bursting with flavors that complement these fries.
How to prep for the crispiest sweet potato fries:
Big is not always better, especially to acquire really crisp fries. When cutting the strips, go skinnier. Try keeping them around 1/4 x 1/4-inch thick. First all, this helps to bake each fry consistently, with none being over-done or under-done. And secondly, skinnier potato fries are probably the most important way to ensure crispy ones.
How to cut skinnier fries. Take the sweet potato and cut lengthwise 1/4-inch thick from one side. Turn the potato on that flat end to stabilize it while you continue to cut. Cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices from one side to the other. Rotate those slices and stack a few together. Again cut 1/4 inch thick strips giving you long, skinny strips of potatoes. Here’s a great video on Youtube showing a variety of ways to cut potatoes.
Toss the sweet potato strips into a large bowl and cover with water and let them sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This process pulls the starch from the potato which helps them crisp up better. After an hour, remove the sweet potatoes from the water, and dry them on paper towels.
The mystery ingredient to crispy sweet potato fries
You might be surprised, but the secret to making these fries really crispy is coating them with a type of starch. This could be cornstarch, tapioca starch, or potato starch. Put your dried strips of sweet potatoes into a jumbo ziplock bag and add enough starch to lightly dust them (about 4-6 teaspoons). Not too much or the fries will end up tasting like starch. Shake until every piece has starch on it.
A little bit of oil is all you need. After coating the sweet potatoes with starch, place them into a large bowl and drizzle a small amount of olive oil (2 tablespoons) and smear it on all of the potatoes. Be careful not to use too much, just enough to coat over the starch.
Getting the fries ready to go in the oven
Don’t overcrowd the pans. To have plenty of room on my baking pans, I used two and lined them with parchment paper. It’s best to spray it with a light coating of cooking spray which guarantees no sticking. If the strips are too close together they will end up steaming instead of crisping, therefore, leave some room between each of them.
Baking the Sweet Potato Fries to Perfection
Make sure the temperature of your oven is hot – 425°F., any lower than that and you’ll end up with flimsy, somewhat soggy fries. If you turn the temperature any higher, you’ll end up with “burnt to a crisp” fries. There’s nothing wrong with having a few brownish-black spots on the fries, that just adds to the character and the flavor. But any more than that, you lose the substance of the sweet potato itself.
Halfway through the cooking time, flip the fries over. A large metal spatula works great because it is thin and is able to get under the fries better. And since you’re not using foil, there’s not a problem with the parchment paper tearing.
When the fries are done, turn off the oven, open the door about halfway and let them sit for 10 minutes. This step is not completely necessary, but it does help with creating a crispier fry.
Do not salt your fries before baking them. Salt draws moisture out during the cooking process and will leave your fries soggy. Therefore wait until after you bring them out of the oven to add salt.
The dipping sauces
Concerning dipping sauces for these crispy delights, I’m giving full disclosure right now. There is nothing healthy or light about them. But every once in awhile it’s good to throw caution to the wind and indulge. I have included three sauces in the recipe below. Each is very different from the other. But each enhances the sweet potato fries in a unique way.
Toasted Marshmallow Creme – toasting the marshmallows creates a fruity, nutty, buttery flavor in this dipping sauce and gives it burnt speckles throughout the dip. Make the dip once the marshmallows come out of the oven and have just slightly cooled. It’s really hard to dip the fries once the sauce has cooled completely. Consequently, the best time to enjoy it is when the dip is still slightly warm. If cooled too much, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it back up.
Grainy Honey Mustard Sauce – this combination of five power-packed ingredients (dijon mustard, stone ground mustard, mayo, honey and a pinch of cinnamon) brings an explosion to your tastebuds. This dip has rich, complex characteristics that work incredibly well with the sweet potato fries.
Spicy Roasted Tomato Aioli – If I had to choose my favorite (which BTW is extremely difficult), it would more than likely be this one. Roasting Roma tomatoes, red onion, whole cloves of garlic, and thyme together contribute a depth of dimension to this aioli. An array of spices, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, Tabasco sauce and of course mayo rounds this dip to perfection. If you can only try one, try this one for sure. It goes wonderfully with my Grilled Sweet Potato Rounds. This sauce was inspired by Bobby Flay’s recipe.
The last thing a sweet potato wants to grow up to become is a flimsy strip of mush. What an embarrassment to every potato on the planet. But take heart. We can do our part in the world of “sweet potatoes.” We can help them find their true destiny which is to become this “Crispy, Crunchy, Sweet Spud.” There are a few extra steps involved, but in the end, it is so worth the effort. And your sweet potatoes will be forever grateful.
Here are some other fabulous side dish recipes that you might want to try:
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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Dipping Sauces
These baked sweet potato fries are perfectly crisp. Sprinkled with coarse sea salt and dipped in one of three sauces make this a delectable side dish or an afternoon snack.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes (not including refrigeration)
- Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
- 4 large Sweet Potatoes
- 4–6 teaspoon cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Coarse Sea Salt, to taste
Toasted Marshmallow Sauce
- 50 large Marshmallows
- 1/2 Heavy Whipping Cream (may need extra), warmed
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Honey Mustard Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 3 tablespoons Stone Ground Mustard
- 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons Honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
Spicy Roasted Tomato Aioli
- 2 large Roma Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 medium Red Onion, cut in 2-inch chunks
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 large Sprigs of Thyme
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
- 1//2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
- 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce, finely chopped
- 4–5 dashes Hot Pepper Sauce (Tabasco)
- Splash White Wine Vinegar
For the Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Wash and rinse four large Sweet Potatoes. Cut them into long strips about 1/4×1/4 inch wide.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl of water and let sit in the refrigerator at least one hour. You can let them sit overnight as well.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F, remove the sweet potatoes from the water and dry on paper towels.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a jumbo ziplock bag and sprinkle 4-6 teaspoons of cornstarch over them. Seal and shake the bag until all the potatoes have a very light coat on them. You could use a large ziplock bag and divide into 2 batches.
- Place the strips in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Smear a light coat of olive oil all over the sweet potatoes.
- Cover two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray the sheets with cooking spray. Place the sweet potato strips in a single layer on the cookie sheet without touching each other. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Carefully turn the sweet potato fries over and bake for another 15-20 minutes until they are nicely brown on both sides.
- When they are done, turn the oven off, open the door halfway and let the cookie sheets sit in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve with one of the dipping sauces.
Toasted Marshmallow Sauce
- Thread 50 large marshmallows on wooden skewers. Place skewers on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and place under the broiler in the top of the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes until charred and bubbly. Be careful that they don’t melt. Let cool slightly.
- Carefully remove the marshmallows and combine in a medium bowl with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Add 1/2 cup or more of warmed whipping cream to desired consistency. Beat with mixer until smooth. You will see specks of the toasted marshmallows in the sauce. Serve semi-warm.
Honey Mustard Sauce
- Combine 3 tablespoons each of dijon mustard, stone ground mustard, mayo, 4 tablespoons honey, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Keep refrigerated.
Smoky, Spicy Aioli Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Arrange 2 large Roma tomato, cut in half lengthwise on a shallow pan cut side up. Cut one medium red onion into 2-inch chunks and add them to the pan along with 6 garlic cloves with skins still on.
- Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add 4 sprigs of thyme over the top of the vegetables.
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour or until tomato skins are wrinkled and the vegetables are soft. Let cool.
- Squeeze the soft garlic out of its skin.
- In a food processor, blend the roasted vegetables, 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 finely chopped chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, 4 – 5 dashes hot pepper sauce and a splash of white wine vinegar.
- Process the mixture until smooth scraping the sides in between pulses.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight for all the flavors to meld together.
- When cutting the strips, go skinnier. Try keeping them around 1/4 x 1/4-inch thick.
- Take the sweet potato and cut lengthwise 1/4-inch thick from one side. Turn the potato on that flat end to stabilize it while you continue to cut. Cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices from one side to the other. Rotate those slices and stack a few together. Again cut 1/4 inch thick strips giving you long, skinny strips of potatoes.
- Putting unbaked sweet potato fries in water and the refrigerator helps pulls the starch from the potato which helps them crisp up better.
- Make sure and dry the sweet potato fries with paper towels before you sprinkle cornstarch on them.
- Be careful not to add too much starch to the ziplock bag or the fries will end up tasting like starch. Shake until every piece has starch on it.
- Don’t overcrowd the pans. If the strips are too close together they will end up steaming instead of crisping, therefore, leave some room between each of them.
- Make sure the temperature of your oven is hot – 425°F., any lower than that and you’ll end up with flimsy, somewhat soggy fries.
- Do not salt your fries before baking them. Salt draws moisture out during the cooking process and will leave your fries soggy. Therefore wait until after you bring them out of the oven to add salt.
- Serving Size: 1 Side Dish without sauce
- Calories: 271
- Sugar: 11 g
- Sodium: 342 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 36 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: baked sweet potato fries, baked sweet potato fries in the oven, baked sweet potato fries crispy