Homemade Sweet Potato Fries: From Selection to Seasoning

by Ella

Sweet potato fries are a beloved and flavorful alternative to traditional potato fries, offering a delicious balance of sweetness and savory goodness. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a dinner party or craving a healthier twist on a classic side dish, mastering the art of homemade sweet potato fries is sure to elevate your culinary repertoire. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making perfect sweet potato fries, from selecting the right potatoes to seasoning them to perfection.

Selecting the Perfect Sweet Potatoes:

Before diving into the cooking process, it’s essential to start with the right sweet potatoes. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect spuds:


Choose Fresh, Firm Sweet Potatoes: Look for sweet potatoes that are firm and free from soft spots or blemishes. Fresh sweet potatoes will have vibrant skin and a slightly sweet aroma.


Opt for Medium-Sized Sweet Potatoes: Medium-sized sweet potatoes are ideal for making fries, as they are easier to cut into uniform pieces and cook evenly.


Check for Even Shape and Size: Select sweet potatoes that are relatively uniform in shape and size to ensure consistent cooking times.


Consider Varieties: While orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are the most common choice for fries, don’t hesitate to experiment with different varieties such as purple or white sweet potatoes for unique flavors and colors.

Preparing Sweet Potatoes for Fries:

Once you’ve selected your sweet potatoes, it’s time to prepare them for frying. Follow these steps for optimal results:

Wash and Scrub: Thoroughly wash and scrub the sweet potatoes under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris from the skin. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Peel (Optional): Depending on your preference, you can choose to peel the sweet potatoes or leave the skin on for added texture and nutrients. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin if desired.

Cut into Uniform Shapes: Using a sharp knife, slice the sweet potatoes into uniform shapes for even cooking. You can cut them into traditional fry shapes (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) or experiment with thicker wedges or thinner shoestring fries.

Soak in Water (Optional): Some recipes recommend soaking the cut sweet potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to remove excess starch and prevent them from sticking together during frying. Drain and pat them dry before proceeding.

Cooking Methods for Sweet Potato Fries:

There are several methods for cooking sweet potato fries, including baking, frying, and air frying. Each method offers its own unique advantages and flavors. Here’s how to prepare sweet potato fries using each method:

1. Baking Sweet Potato Fries:

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

Toss the cut sweet potatoes with a small amount of oil (such as olive oil or avocado oil) and seasonings of your choice, such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, or rosemary.

Arrange the sweet potato fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are not overcrowded.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the fries are golden brown and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

2. Frying Sweet Potato Fries:

Heat a large pot or deep fryer filled with oil (such as vegetable oil or peanut oil) to 350°F (175°C).

Carefully add the sweet potato fries to the hot oil in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot.

Fry the sweet potato fries for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.

Remove the fries from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

3. Air Frying Sweet Potato Fries:

Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5 minutes.

Place the cut sweet potatoes in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd them.

Cook the sweet potato fries in the air fryer for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until they are crispy and golden brown.

Remove the fries from the air fryer and season them with salt and any other desired seasonings before serving.

Seasoning and Serving Sweet Potato Fries:

Now that your sweet potato fries are cooked to perfection, it’s time to add the finishing touches with flavorful seasonings and delicious dipping sauces. Here are some seasoning ideas and serving suggestions to elevate your sweet potato fries:

Classic Seasonings: Sprinkle the hot fries with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of smoked paprika for a classic and flavorful seasoning blend.

Garlic Parmesan Fries: Toss the hot fries with minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil for a savory and indulgent treat.

Spicy Cajun Fries: Coat the hot fries with a Cajun seasoning blend or a mixture of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme for a spicy kick.

Sweet and Savory Fries: Drizzle the hot fries with a touch of honey or maple syrup and sprinkle them with cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt for a sweet and savory flavor combination.

Dipping Sauces: Serve the sweet potato fries with a variety of dipping sauces, such as ketchup, aioli, chipotle mayo, ranch dressing, or barbecue sauce, for added flavor and enjoyment.

See Also: Freezing Cooked Sweet Potatoes


Making homemade sweet potato fries is a rewarding and delicious culinary adventure that offers endless opportunities for creativity and flavor experimentation. By selecting the right sweet potatoes, preparing them properly, choosing your preferred cooking method, and seasoning them to perfection, you can create crispy, flavorful fries that are sure to impress friends and family alike. Whether you prefer baking, frying, or air frying, sweet potato fries are a versatile and satisfying side dish or snack that can be enjoyed on any occasion. So roll up your sleeves, sharpen your knives, and get ready to embark on a culinary journey that will elevate your fry game to new heights!



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