Spiced Oil-Free Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Oil-free roasted sweet potatoes are delicious and my favorite way of preparing them. Roasting caramelizes the sugars and intensifies the flavors of the sweet potatoes and without the added fat that oil brings.
The natural flavors of the sweet potatoes and the spices give ample flavor such that you don’t need salt, making this a naturally SOS free dish (no added salt, oil or sugar). The technique for oil-free roasted sweet potatoes described in the instructions below also works beautifully with all types of potatoes, root vegetables and some non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower. The roasting time and oven temperature varies, but the basic method remains the same.
Be sure to let the sweet potatoes rest for at least 10 minutes after spicing before roasting them (step#10 below). This will make it so the spices don’t over- brown or burn during the roasting. For sweet potatoes, the total roasting time is about 45 minutes. It’s best to check after about 20 minutes and flip them when they start browning on the pan side. A typical baking sheet will hold up to 2 pounds of sweet potatoes in a single layer.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- salad spinner or large prep bowl for washing the sweet potatoes
- vegetable scrub glove or brush
- Cutting Board
- chef knife or santoku knife
- large prep bowl for tossing the sweet potatoes with spices
- baking sheet
- unbleached parchment paper
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes
- 1–2 Tbls ground dried spices see step 5 below for spice blend suggestion.
- Preheat the oven to 375° and gather one kind or mixed sweet potatoes.
- Place the sweet potatoes in the wash bowl or salad spinner. Scrub the sweet potatoes really well with a scrub glove or vegetable brush. They brighten up after the scrub (so pretty).
- Cut the sweet potatoes to size, 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch pieces or larger. If the pieces are too small they get overdone on the inside before the have picked up color on the outside.
- Rinse the cut up sweet potato pieces in clean water in the wash bowl and drain, but not completely. They don’t need to be totally dry. A little water helps the dried spices to adhere to the sweet potatoes in the step next.
- Place the rinsed sweet potato pieces in a large prep bowl. Sprinkle with dried spices of your choice. In this one I used 2 tsps ground cumin, 2 tsps ground coriander, 1 tsp Aleppo (sweet and piquante hot red pepper flakes), and a few grinds of black pepper. Tossing the potatoes in the bowl gives the best distribution of spices (and kinda fun), but stirring with a wooden spoon or flat spatula will work well too.
- Set aside the sweet potatoes with the spices for 10 minutes to 20 minutes. This time allows the spice to absorb moisture and not burn during the roasting. It also flavors the sweet potatoes nicely.
- On a parchment paper lined bake sheet, place the spiced sweet potatoes on a single layer and put in the oven for 20–30 minutes (check at 20 minutes). The potato side on the paper should be brown in spots. When the undersides are browned in spots, turn them over and roast for another 10–15 minutes.
- Take the sweet potatoes out when they are done all the way through. You can toss them in a dressing if you like or serve them as is.