Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

A quick post, which is really more of a complaint. Freakin’ sweet potatoes. I have pounds and pounds of them thanks to my winter CSA storage share. Healthy and tasty, but I still ask more of them. I wish they’d be just a little more like regular potatoes when they cook. I wish that I could get the darn things to crisp up a bit without having to burn them. A slight char is a-okay with me (I tend to order my fries well-done), but a charcoal fry isn’t exactly my cup of tea.

Don’t get me wrong, these spiced sweet potato fries were really good. But they were also kind of mushy. Parts of some of the fries were approaching a crispy, but those parts were more rapidly approaching burnt. Anticipating the mush, I did some research ahead of time to try and prevent it, but it didn’t help much. I cut them fairly thin, baked them at a high temperature, and finished them off under the broiler. I didn’t want to fry them (which apparently doesn’t work much better, anyway).

The spice mix I whipped up for these was really tasty, and I think it’d be good over all types of potatoes, or even over popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to get the last of it out of your mixing bowl and over the fries. It gives a mild heat and flavor to the potatoes, but if you’re looking for really zippy fries, double the spices.

Sweet Potato Fries
Plenty of fries for two

2-3 Medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled

Oil and Spice Rub
2 Tbs of Earth Balance, melted (vegan margarine)
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp Salt
Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 450º F.

Sweet Potato Fries

Slice potatoes into thin fry shapes with a large chef’s knife. Mix melted earth balance and spices together and toss the potatoes in it. Place oiled/spiced fries on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper (they might stick to foil). Do NOT crowd the pan – you want space between every fry. Bake for 20 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.

Place potatoes under the broiler, turning every minute or so and keeping a close eye on them. Broil them for as long as you can without incinerating them. Serve immediately or you’ll lose any crispiness you achieved. Goes great with ketchup or a creamy vegan mayo.


  1. Soni

    Have you tried baked sweet potatoes served with a spicy tomato/mexican chocolate mole sauce? To die for!

    Also, I second the lack of crisp with sp fries. There just ain’t no justice in this world.

  2. ruby red vegan

    I didn’t realize sweet potato fries were so hard to make! I tried some for the first time at a vegetarian restaurant, and ever since I’ve had a soft spot for them. I was all excited when you posted the recipe because that reminded me I wanted to make them, but hmm… I don’t know if I want to go through the trouble if they’re so temperamental! Gosh darn those sweet potatoes.

  3. Jason

    I work in the culinary field and I’ve got a couple of tips on crispy sweet potatoes.

    Thin. Like, really super thin. Potato Chip thin. I know it doesn’t help with fries (or baked sweet potatoes), but that’s the only way the starch will crisp.

    Also, try coating with flour, cornstarch, instant mashed potatoes or cornmeal. This works better when deep-frying, but in the case of baking/broiling they should be ok. Skip the oil and just season up your flour really well (a little more than you would if you were using just oil) and have at it. Should help with your crispiness.

    Let me know how they work out.

  4. Angie

    I agree with Jason on the thin suggestion. Rather than fries, I have used a mandoline to make chips. I oven-fry them with just a light spray of oil and a nice application of spices. They require watching as they will go from crisp to char in just a moment or two. They aren’t completely crispy but they are good. I’m going to try your fries, maybe picnic stix style.

  5. Bananahead

    I have found that pre-baking (or microwaving) the sweet potatoes helps with the charring thing … and they seem to get a crispier outside. I made samosas with yams, squash and chickpeas the other day … I love yams!! Thanks for all your recipes & awesome photos!

  6. the village vegan

    Yum! When I made regular oven fries I use a spice mix almost exactly like that, but with a little smoked paprika too. I’ve never tried with sweet potatoes, because I have horrible memories of them coated with cups of sugar and layers of awful marshmallows, but maybe it’s time to give them another try.

  7. Keira

    I made some sweet potato fries the other day and encountered the same mushiness problem… What made it worse is that I have a very tempermental smoke detector – even the Slightest charring sets it off as soon as I open the oven! So I ended up with mushy fries and a bit of a ringing in my ears… At least they tasted good!

  8. Laura

    I just made these as a late night study snack and they were absolutely delicious! yes, not super crispy, but I liked them just fine and am tempted to make another one :O I used some creole seasoning, black pepper, and salt, and dipped it in vegan mayo (the dutch have the right idea with mayo on fries!)

  9. Casieopea

    The natural sugars in the sweet potatoes cause them to burn …the older the potato the better it will work.
    you can try the ice water bit – before you fry them (but you all seem to bake them…)
    or if you are ovo lacto you can coat them with an eggwhite wash and dip them in some breadcrumbs – this actually sort of works.

    you might want to try baking them longer at a lower temp – turning very often….

  10. John

    My absolute favorite thing with sweet potatoes is horseradish – they go perfectly together. A mix of vegenaise, horseradish, and lemon juice is very good with sp fries.

  11. Elle

    I make these all the time. And you’re right, getting them to crisp up is near impossible, and I’m also one to order fries well done. I get weird looks, but too bad–they’ve gotta be crispy!

    I usually toss them with olive oil, cumin, onion and garlic powders, and adobo, oh, and of course, kosher salt and pepper. Delicious! My sister inl aw seems to have “sweet potato fries esp” and always pops in when I’m making these. We just devour them, soft or not.

    To anyone that’s on the fence about making these–give them a try! Even if they’re slightly soft, they are absolutely delicious, not to mention ridiculously easy, and you won’t be sorry. Oh! I made the mistake of baking these on parchment once–don’t do it, they get VERY soggy. Just use a lightly greased sheet pan.

  12. Jenn

    These were great! The thinner the fry, the crispier they turned out to be. They still taste great even if they get a little well done. I had them tonight with homemade vegan sloppy joes and they were awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Bethany

    Loving these! I made a batch over the weekend and they were so good that yesterday I got a bunch of yams and made a huge bag of these to put in the freezer. Now I have (sorta after 25 minutes or so) insta-yamfries. Sweeeet.

  14. elizabeth

    I love sweet potato fries, but I make them a little differently, and they turn out pretty crispy (not I’ve-just-been-deep-fried crispy, but a different outside texture than inside texture, which I think is what you’re yearning for.)

    I just slice the sweet potato and spread the PLAIN fries (no margarine, oil, or anything) on my cookie sheet and broil them for about 7 or 8 minutes, flipping once. THEN, afterwards, I sprinkle them with any spices I want (usually garlic salt) and dip them in ketchup. I’m not that picky about sweet potato texture, so they may not pass your test, but it’s worth a try!

    (p.s. Nice blog! I’ve recently stumbled upon it and am enjoying myself!)

  15. hanban.

    omg!! i just made these and they are to die for.
    even though they didnt all fully crisp i found them delicious as they were.

    i served them with a sauce i just made up on the spot of vegan mayo, chilli, paprika and tomato sauce/. so good!!

    thank you soo much!!

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  17. Jen

    Just stumbled upon your site today and love it! I’m going grocery shopping right now and am excited to try a couple different things on here! Keep up the blogging

  18. Kathleen

    I have heard that by cooking them twice helps to make them crispy. Give them a quick initial cooking. Let them sit. and them finish them off. I learned this on the Food Network. Cheers, Lolo! Lovey our blog

  19. julio

    Great recipe. I doubled up on the spices since I live spicy food. Just came across your blog. This recipe certainly has made a dedicated reader of your blog of me.

  20. Megs

    I just walked out of my kitchen and I think I’ve got the solution (if you don’t mind having deep fried sweet potato fries).

    I used an older sweet potato, and cut between a julienne and a battonette cut (what some establishments would call a “skinny fry”).
    Place on a bake sheet covered with parchment paper and baked at 400F for under 5 minutes (just until they were flimsy).
    I allowed them to cool and then deep fried until cooking was complete.

    They came out CRISPY!!!

  21. Olaf

    I’ve been searching the net for a vegan roast beef recipe with no luck. I have a lovely sirloin tip ready to pop in the oven. Any Ideas?

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