Charred to perfection, these smoky sweet potatoes on the BBQ become the ultimate Fall and Autumn side dish. Dusted with a simple coating of smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper heightens the sweetness of the potato and makes for a flavorsome orange “sugar” spud. The highlight of this dish is found in the Roasted Tomato & Garlic Aioli sauce.
I think I could eat sweet potatoes every day and not grow weary of them. There are a million creative ways (well maybe not a million) to dish them up, like these Sweet Potato Fries on my blog. Or what about mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes roasted with other veggies, sweet potato gratin, and sweet potato soup? I’ve even seen recipes for sweet potato cheesecake (which I may have to try very soon). Okay, I think I’ve sufficiently made my point about how popular sweet potatoes are.
The sweet creamy interior of sweet potatoes on the grill, along with the smoky charred outer surface, makes for a gratifying afternoon snack, a mouth-watering appetizer, or a nutritious accompaniment to these Bison Burgers with Peppadew Jam, Juicy Turkey Burgers or straight off the grill T-Bone Steaks.
What I love about these Sweet Potatoes on the BBQ:
They alone are a wonderful source of nutrients which makes sweet potatoes good for you. The benefits are plentiful with minerals and vitamins and have a rich source of fiber, especially when consuming the skin. Sweet potatoes abound in antioxidants which help safeguard against free radicals in our body. Those few factors alone entice me to devour more.
The smoky rub is simple with only four ingredients yet it adds a magnitude of flavor. Smoked paprika leads the charge in this power-packed rub. The rich red powder adds both color and mild heat to the sweet potato. I would have to say, smoked paprika definitely is my favorite spice right now. One of my beloved recipes with smoked paprika is Smoky Baked Spanish Eggs.
A Roasted Tomato Garlic Sauce truly tops the recipe off. Let me just say this … it’s beyond amazing. I literally have stood at my counter and eaten it with a spoon, all by itself. But when you dip these smoky sweet potato rounds into that beautiful orange mess, look out!! The culinary experience is addictive.
This recipe is quick and easy. After spending five minutes cutting and adding the rub, these little jewels are on and off the grill in about 20 minutes. I love low-maintenance recipes like this.
What are the ingredients for this Sweet Potatoes Side Dish?
The ingredient list is so minimal which makes this recipe incredibly simple. Six ingredients and five of them you will have in your pantry.
- Medium-Sized Sweet Potatoes
- Olive Oil for coating the Potato Rounds
- Smoked Paprika and Cumin
- Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper
What is the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?
On many occasions, the names sweet potatoes and yams are used interchangeably but in reality, there is a definite difference. Yams tend to be more starchy and less sweet than sweet potatoes. The most common sweet potato’s skin is smooth and has a reddish or orange color. The Flesh of the sweet potato is a beautiful orange hue and sweet in flavor.
Yams on the other hand are not even a potato. They have a rough brownish skin similar to tree bark and their flesh is white. The flavor is earthy and somewhat neutral. They can be mildly sweet but mainly tend to take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with. Be careful though. Uncooked yams are toxic when eaten raw.
How to Choose the Best Sweet Potatoes
There are many varieties of sweet potatoes but for the most part, we only see about two in the grocery stores. A light yellow-skinned one that resembles more of a baking potato and doesn’t carry as great of nutritional value. The other, which is the one you want for this recipe, has a more colorful orange or reddish skin. When you cut into it, the flesh is bright orange.
When sorting through the sweet potato bin for these sweet potatoes on the grill, choose those that are of medium size (they are not as starchy), fat and round (to get the best, consistent shapes), and have skins that are a deeper orange color. The deeper the color, the richer the antioxidant beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A and is essential for healthy bodies.
If the sweet potatoes have a stringing white beard, pass them over, it’s a pretty good sign they’re overmature and probably tough. Choose potatoes that are smooth, firm, and even-toned.
How to Store Sweet Potatoes
Just like regular potatoes, store sweet potatoes in a dry, cool place that doesn’t get direct light. A pantry is a great place or an unheated basement area. Use a basket, like a metal mesh one, that gives plenty of ventilation. Don’t store them in the refrigerator, as the cold turns their starch to sugar more quickly affecting their texture and flavor. Also, don’t store them next to onions, as the onion gasses will cause the sweet potatoes to ripen quicker.
Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are not as hardy and can spoil within a few weeks. Therefore the best time to purchase them is within of week or two of cooking.
How to Cut Sweet Potato Rounds for Grilling
Once you’ve washed and scrubbed the sweet potatoes, cut the ends off and slice each round about 1-inch wide. This way they’re thick enough to hold up under the scrutiny of the grill, but not too thick so they’ll cook through to the center without overcooking the outside. And by all means, keep the skins on which carries the most precious nutrients and vitamins of the potato. It also helps hold the grilled sweet potato round together once it softens.
A Smokey Rub is the best part of these potatoes
The rub, in my opinion, is the best part of these grilled sweet potato rounds. And the ingredient list is only four things – smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. It’s so simple but oh, so yummy because it enhances the sweetness of the potato-like you wouldn’t believe.
Before you add the rub, drizzle, and smear olive oil over the potato rounds in a large mixing bowl. This helps the rub adhere to the potatoes. It would be a shame if all that rich taste ended up falling off into the grill. Sprinkle the rub over all the rounds and use your hands to make sure it gets on both sides of every slice.
Fire Up the BBQ
You want a really hot grill to start with in order to get those nice grill marks. Turn all the burners on high and close the lid for about 10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 500°F.
Here’s a good way to tell if your grill is hot enough If it doesn’t have an internal thermometer. Hold your hand about five inches above the grill and if you can only stand the heat for a brief second, you are good to continue. Check out this site at Kitchn for more information on how to read the temperature of your grill without a thermometer.
How Long on the BBQ Grill
Place the rounds over the burners and close the lid. Let them cook for five minutes. Carefully turn them over with a grill spatula or tongs. Close the lid again and let them cook for another five minutes. Turn one side of the grill completely off and move the rounds to the unlit side. Close the lid again, and let them continue to cook for 10 minutes or until they are tender in the center.
Can You broil the potatoes instead of grilling
You could broil these in the oven, only you’ll miss out on all that smokey char from the fire and the grill marks from the heated grates. It’s just not quite the same experience, which if you know me at all, I’m a little insane about “pretty” and “experience.”
If you do decide to broil, preheat your oven to 350°F then turn the broiler on. Broil the rounds for five minutes on each side and then return the oven to the 350°F heat again and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until they are tender in the center.
Roasted Tomato & Garlic Aioli Sauce tops off this recipe
I know I said the rub was the “best” part of these sweet spuds, but I’m wavering back and forth between the rub and the dipping sauce. Ok, maybe I LOVE them both equally!
Spicy Roasted Tomato Aioli Sauce is beyond lip-smacking good! If given the chance, you might find me drinking it out of a cup. Well, maybe that’s a little extravagant, but nonetheless, it’s Ahhh-mazing. It’s made with roasted Roma tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and thyme. Then throw in some smoked paprika, cumin, ground chipotle chili pepper, mayo, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, several dashes of Tabasco, and white wine vinegar. It has such a wonderful finished flavor, perfect for these Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
And there ya have it! A super easy, super simple, super delicious summertime side dish – Smoky Sweet Potatoes on the BBQ Grill. It converts into an afternoon snack, an appetizer, or if you’re like me, a meal all by itself.
If you’re looking for more potato recipes, I think you’ll enjoy these:
Grilled Potatoes and Onions in Foil
Roasted Veggies with Garlic and Herbs
Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
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Smoky Sweet Potatoes on the BBQ
Smoky sweet potato rounds that are charred to perfection on the BBQ grill become the ultimate summertime side dish. Dusted with a simple coating of smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper heightens the sweetness of the potato and makes for a flavorsome orange spud. The highlight of this dish is found in the aioli dipping sauce.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- Category: Vegetable Side Dish
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: American
Grilled Sweet Potato Slices
- 4 large (or 5 medium) Sweet Potatoes, sliced 1-inch thick
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
Spicy Roasted Tomato Aioli
- Get the recipe here.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Turn the grill burners on high and preheat to 500°F.
- Place the sweet potato rounds in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil, enough to evenly coat each slice. Smear with your hands to cover each piece.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- Sprinkle the spices over the sweet potato slices. Using your hands, rub the mixture over both sides of each round.
- Place the sweet potato slices on the heated grill, close the lid and cook for 5 minutes until there are nice grill marks on the bottom side. Carefully turn the rounds over, close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn one side of the grill burners off and transfer the rounds to that side. Continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the centers are tender.
- Serve with the aioli sauce.
Spicy Roasted Tomato Aioli
- Get the recipe here.
- When sorting through the sweet potato bin for this recipe, choose those that are of medium size (they are not as starchy), fat and round (to get the best, consistent shapes), and have skins that are a deeper orange color.
- The deeper the color of the sweet potatoes, the richer the antioxidant beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A and is essential for healthy bodies.
- Store sweet potatoes in a dry, cool place that doesn’t get direct light. A pantry is a great place or an unheated basement area.
- Don’t store them in the refrigerator, as the cold turns their starch to sugar more quickly affecting their texture and flavor.
- Don’t store them next to onions, as the onion gasses will cause the sweet potatoes to ripen quicker.
- Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are not as hardy and can spoil within a few weeks. Therefore the best time to purchase them is within of week or two of cooking.
- Once you’ve washed and scrubbed the sweet potatoes, cut the ends off and slice each round about 1-inch wide. This way they’re thick enough to hold up under the scrutiny of the grill, but not too thick so they cook through to the center without overcooking the outside.
- Keep the skins. They carry the most precious nutrients and vitamins of the potato. It helps hold the sweet potato round together once it softens as well.
- Before you add the rub, drizzle and smear olive oil over the potato rounds. This helps the rub to adhere to the potatoes.
- Make sure the grill is really hot to start with in order to get those nice grill marks.
- If your grill does not have an internal thermometer, you know it’s hot enough if you can only stand the heat for a brief second while holding it about five inches above the grill.
- If you choose to broil, preheat your oven to 350°F then turn the broiler on. Broil the rounds for five minutes on each side and then return the oven to the 350°F heat again and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until they are tender in the center.
- Serving Size: 5 Sweet Potato Rounds with 1/4 cup sauce
- Calories: 311
- Sugar: 10 g
- Sodium: 511 mg
- Fat: 20 g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 16 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 29 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 14 mg
Keywords: Sweet Potatoes on the Grill, Sweet Potatoes on the BBA, BBQ Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes Recipe
I’m so ready to fire up the grill and try these sweet potato rings. The smoky rub sounds fantastic. Thanks for such a great spring/summer idea.
Kristy Murray says
Thanks Eric. Yay that Springtime is finally here in the Midwest. I do think you will like the smokiness of the rub with the sweet potatoes. Hope you enjoy!
David @ Spiced says
Grilled sweet potatoes have been a favorite in our house for years! However, I realized as I was reading this post that I haven’t made ’em in quite some time. I clearly need to fix that problem! And I definitely need to make a batch of that roasted tomato garlic sauce – it sounds fantastic!! (And I bet it could be used in a lot of other ways, too!)