Truly, it depends on your potatoes
Here I go again, arguing about something that isn’t technically that important, but on this blog, in this life, I will tell you: You can’t make a standard sweet potato crispy in the oven the same way you can make a white potato crispy. And that’s ok! Acceptance is the first stage of grief, and we’ve also found a work around!
And trust me, I’ve tried a lot of ways of making a sweet potato crispy. I’ve roasted them dry, roasted them sliced, crusted them, dusted them, corn-starched them, boiled them, etc. And while sometimes the skin got a little crisp, it was short-lived. I was looking for that Sunday-Roast-Extra-Crunchy kind of potato, and I think we found a way to get it!
In this lifetime, a crispy sweet potato depends a *bit* on your method, but also on the potato itself. A standard sweet potato has a lot of moisture, and its structure makes it behave less like a starchy potato, and more like a vegetable like squash or rutabaga. To make a sweet potato crispy, you have to choose the right sweet potato. I’ve found Japanese Sweet Potatoes and Purple Sweet Potatoes work wonderfully with this method, getting all crispy on the edges like a standard potato, and roasting in under 25 minutes. A crispy sweet potato dream!
My favorite kinds of sweet potatoes for roasting
Now that we know we need a starchy sweet potato, here are a few that I think are 10/10:
- Murasaki Sweet Potatoes (also known as Japanese sweet potatoes) – these potatoes are purple on the outside, white on the inside. They are subtly sweet with a dense and starch-filled texture. Perfect for roasting!
- Japanese Chestnut Yam – these behave and roast very similarly to a murasaki potato, they just grow a bit smaller!
- Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes – these are available in the US during August through Spring, and they are deep purple on the outside and even more vibrant purple on the inside. They tend to be easy to find at farmers’ markets!
- Kejora Japanese Sweet Potato – these are the same varietal as the above potato, and the one I used in this recipe! They tend to be the sweetest of these four potatoes, and they are dense enough to really hold some crispy, craggily edges.
My main steps to making a sweet potato crispy
There are three things that MUST happen when I make a sweet potato crispy:
- The potatoes must be peeled. I wouldn’t tell you this if it wasn’t imperative to the process – Trust me, with these starchy sweet potatoes, peels just get in the way.
- Boil the potatoes and rough them up – a potato that is boiled until it is fork-tender is just screaming to go in the oven. I like to boil my potatoes, add them to a bowl, top the bowl with a plate and shake them until they get all roughened up like the photo below. This makes it so their edges are begging to be crisped-up.
- Olive oil, or at least some kind of fat – my olive oil goes on the sheet pan first, then I lightly toss the potatoes in it. This makes it so the potatoes are coated but not too coated. It helps them roast faster and better. You can also use lard, duck fat or coconut oil, all of which are delicious.
How long do sweet potatoes need to roast to get crispy?
Here is where the type of the potato really matters. A standard sweet potato takes about 40-45 minutes in the oven to even darken (which is a crazy long time to roast!). These sweet potato varietals will take about 20-25 minutes at the same temperature. So choosing the right sweet potato saves time, energy, and heat.
Looking for ways to use these roasted sweet potatoes?
Here are a few recipes that would love a sweet potato partner!
And that’s everything for how to make the roastiest, crispiest sweet potatoes!
And of course feel free to leave any questions, comments or reviews! This is the best place to reach me, and I’d love to hear from you <3
How to Make Crispy Sweet Potatoes
- 1 vegetable peeler
- 1 large stock pot
- 1 half sheet pan
- 2 large Murasaki sweet potatoes or any of the potato varietals listed in the blog post
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Equally stagger two racks in the oven and preheat to 450°F.
- Peel and cube the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. (The peeling is necessary, I promise).
- Bring a large pot of water to a soft boil. Salt the water liberally and add in the potatoes. Boil for 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, drain and transfer the potatoes to a large heat-proof bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and shake the potatoes for 30 seconds to a minute (it'll be some work!). Do this to rough them up until they look "fluffy" and have a bunch of rough, craggily edges.
- Drizzle enough olive oil on the bottom of two half-sheet pans to coat them. Equally distribute the potatoes onto each pan. Gently mix to coat them in the oil, and spread them out to give them plenty of space. Season with salt.
- Roast both pans in the oven for 22-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden on the bottom. Flip the potatoes and roast another 5 minutes or until the other sides are equally browned.
- Serve all warm and crispy!