Who doesn’t love sweet potato fries? You can make crispy sweet potato fries in the air fryer or the oven, they’ll be delicious either way! Serve them as a tasty side dish or enjoy as a healthy sweet potato appetizer recipe.
This post has been updated from the original published January 30, 2017. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
Which do you prefer, regular fries or sweet potato fries? I’m all in, either way. Especially when they’re crispy fries and there’s an incredible dipping sauce. If you’re having a hard time deciding, opt for the healthier sweet potato fries. Next time you can use regular potatoes and make some maple miso potato wedges.
I love to make crispy sweet potato fries because they use simple ingredients and can be enjoyed any time of day. They’re so easy to make, with minimal clean up and a lot of people really love them! Bonus: they are a healthy alternative to french fries and are the perfect healthy side dish that will go well with whatever you’re serving as a main dish.
What to eat with Sweet Potato Fries:
- Vegan Meatloaf Recipe
- Quinoa Veggie Burger
- Vegan Chicken Salad
- Healthy Falafel Recipe
- White Bean Burgers
- Vegan Tuna Salad
- Black Bean Veggie Burger Recipe
- Zucchini Corn Fritters
- Loaded Sweet Potato Fries: Make the the sweet potato fries in the oven, leave on the sheet pan when done and then load ’em up with vegan sour cream, black beans, fresh tomato salsa or chunks of tomato, avocado lime dressing or diced avocado, scallions or diced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro and some diced bell peppers. A drizzle of chipotle dressing on top would be amazing too.
Sweet Potato Fries Nutrition
While fries aren’t considered a health food, sweet potatoes do have a lot of nutritional benefits. Sweet potato fries are also more nutrient dense than regular french fries. Pairing sweet potatoes with healthy fats, helps the body absorb the nutrients better.
- VITAMINS: Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene that converts into vitamin A that supports our immune systems and contributes to healthy eyes, skin and nails. It reduces oxidative stress and promotes good gut health. They also have good amounts of vitamin C, good for tissue repair.
- Anti-inflammatory: Cyanidin and choline help remove toxins and help protect against long term illness.
- Fiber: Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, helping maintain regularity and good gut health.
- Minerals: They contain magnesium, potassium, and biotin, helping to ease stress and regulate sodium levels in our cells.
- Antioxidants: help protect our cells from day to day damage and promote a healthy brain and healthy gut.
- Low on the glycemic index: helps to stabilize blood sugar levels by slowly releasing the starch they contain.
How to choose sweet potatoes for fries
Look for firm sweet potatoes with smooth skin, deep color and no cracks or bruises. Smaller potatoes will be sweeter and creamier than larger ones.
Red or orange potatoes will have less starch and be more moist and creamy inside. Orange flesh potatoes have the most beta-carotene. Humans convert beta carotene into Vitamin A.
Some types of sweet potatoes are dryer and more starchy, more like russet potatoes. These include varieties with lighter tan skin or purple skin or japanese sweet potatoes that are white inside. If you want sweet potato fries that are crisp on the outside, and sweet and moist inside, I don’t recommend these.
Red and orange sweet potatoes are sometimes incorrectly labeled “yams.” Take note because real yams do not make good fries because they are super dry and have thick skins.
How to tell if sweet potatoes are bad
- LOOKS: Black or brown spots indicate the vegetable is rotting and should be thrown away. Visible mold or sprouts that have developed are also signs the potatoes aren’t fresh. A shriveled sweet potato shows loss of moisture, a sign of spoilage.
- TEXTURE: Any soft or mushy spots suggest rot.
- ODOR: Sweet potatoes that give off a strong smell are bad.
How to store sweet potatoes
- Fresh sweet potatoes stored in a cool dry place with adequate air circulation will last between 4-6 weeks.
- Storing potatoes in the fridge will result in loss of taste, poor texture and a hard center.
- Once cooked, sweet potatoes can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for 3 months.
How to cut sweet potatoes for fries
Begin by rinsing potatoes under running water and scrub off any loose dirt. I use a loofah to make this easier. Leave the skins on, that’s where much of the nutrition is concentrated.
Slice off a thin piece of potato from a lengthwise end so the potato will sit flat on the cutting board. And then, cut into ¼″ thick ovals.
Stack the ovals and then cut ¼″ slices the other way so the potatoes resemble french fries. Place cut fries in a bowl of cold water. Use ice cubes, if necessary to keep the water cold.
Potato slices should soak a minimum of 30 minutes. Place soaking potatoes in the fridge if you can leave them longer than an hour, for as long as overnight.
Drain, rinse, and thoroughly pat potatoes dry. Whisk honey into oil, if desired, and drizzle onto potatoes. Then sprinkle with cumin, paprika, sea salt and white pepper and toss until evenly coated.
Crispy air fryer sweet potato fries
- Cut into long thin fries, or wedges.
- Soak in cool water. This step is necessary for sweet potatoes to release some starch making the outside crispy while allowing the inside to stay soft and creamy.
- Toss in oil and spices.
- Preheat your air fryer. It needs to be hot before you begin.
- Don’t overcrowd, make in batches if necessary. Crowded fries will steam rather than air fry.
- Use tongs to turn fries over half way through cooking.
Tips for making crispy fries in the oven:
- Soak cut potatoes in cold water to release excess starch.
- Make sure you pat the fries dry after soaking.
- For crispy sweet potato fries, arrange fries on your baking tray in a single layer. If they won’t fit in a single layer, use a second pan, or your fries will be soft and soggy.
- Preheat your oven to 450. If you have a convection bake setting, use it at 425 degrees.
Sweet potato fries are best enjoyed fresh out of the air fryer or oven.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- SERVE: Fries taste best when hot. Serve them with veggie burgers and a side salad for a balanced meal.
- PREP AHEAD: Cut sweet potatoes into fries and leave soaking in cold water until ready to cook. Soak for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- STORE: Store leftover fries (seriously, who ever has leftover sweet potato fries???) in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days. Reheat to crisp in preheated air fryer for 5 minutes or in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- FREEZE: Lay cooked sweet potato fries onto a parchment lined baking tray and place in the freezer until hardened. Transfer to freezer safe zip top bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place frozen fries in preheated air fryer for 10 minutes, tossing half way. Or, reheat frozen fries in preheated 450 degree oven on parchment lined baking tray for 20 minutes, turning over half way.
The Best Sweet Potato Fries Sauce
Most ketchup brands are loaded with sugar. Look for a ketchup brand in a glass container that is organic and doesn’t contain sugar. Or, think outside the box, and make a homemade sweet potato fries dip.
- Vegan Avocado Dressing
- Mango Dressing
- Vegan Basil Pesto
- Chipotle Salad Dressing
- Green Tahini Sauce
- Vegan Ranch Recipe
- Vegan Caesar Dressing
Debra’s Pro Tips
- There’s no need to buy frozen sweet potato fries when they’re so easy to make from scratch yourself…when you also can control the ingredients to make healthy fries.
- Keep the skin on! Not only will you save time, but the skins are concentrated with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX: ketchup isn’t the only delicious sweet potato fries dip. Next time try some vegan pesto or avocado dressing to add both nutrition and taste!
- Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, making it a better choice for high heat baking. Healthy fats help the body absorb the nutrients in the sweet potatoes.
- Make sure to thoroughly pat the fries dry after soaking to avoid soggy sweet potato fries.
- For saltier tasting fries without adding extra sodium, save the salt for after the cooking process and sprinkle on when the fries are just cooked and still hot.
Looking for another healthy sweet potato recipe?
- Vegan Lentil Salad
- Tzimmes Recipe
- Healthy Veggie Burgers
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash
- Fall Harvest Salad
- Sweet Potato Cauliflower Tots
Sweet Potato Fries FAQs
It’s not necessary to soak sliced sweet potatoes before frying, but if you do soak them, they will come out crispier. Soaking sweet potatoes in cold water will help release the starch, making them more available to crisp up.
Sweet potatoes are naturally vegan. As long as you don’t sprinkle with dairy cheese or use dairy in other ways, your sweet potato fries will be vegan.
The number one reason sweet potato fries don’t come out crispy is from overcrowding while cooking. This is true for sweet potato fries cooked in the oven or the air fryer.
If baking sweet potato fries, lay them out in a single layer, use two baking trays if necessary. Also, be sure your oven is preheated and use convection bake if that’s available to you.
Crispy air fryer sweet potato fries also need to cook uncrowded. Make them in batches if there isn’t enough space.
Your fries will also come out more crispy if you take the time to soak, rinse and pat dry before cooking.
French fries are kosher to Passover as long as the ingredients in your recipe, aside from the potatoes, are kosher for Passover. Sweet potato fries are kosher for Passover if cooked in olive oil or avocado oil and sprinkled with kosher for Passover spices. You can always use salt and pepper plus fresh minced herbs for kosher for passover fries.
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Sweet Potato Fries
- 3 medium-large sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey optional
- Prep your sweet potatoes. Scrub and pat dry the potatoes. No need to peel. The sweet potato skins have a lot of health benefits. Cut off a super skinny slice vertically so your potato will sit flat on the cutting board. Cut into ¼" thick discs and then turn the opposite way to cut into ¼" fries.
- Place sliced potatoes into a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes.
- Dry potatoes completely before continuing.
- OVEN METHOD: Preheat oven to 450. Line a large rimmed baking tray with unbleached parchment paper for easy clean up. AIR FRYER METHOD: Preheat to 375.
- Mix cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in small bowl and set aside.
- If using honey, whisk it into the oil in a small bowl until well mixed.
- Drizzle dry potatoes with oil and then sprinkle with spices. Mix until fries are evenly coated.
- Spread fries onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Use more than one tray if needed, to make sure they have enough room. Using an air fryer, you may need to do this in batches. Load air fryer with a double layer maximum.
- OVEN: Roast in preheated 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Toss, then roast for 15 more minutes. AIR FRYER: Cook for 7 minutes. Use tongs to toss and then cook for an additional 7 minutes, until crispy.