Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Once Upon a Chef
Food & Cooking

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Once Upon a Chef

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Discover the secret to the crispiest roasted sweet potatoes—once you try it, there’s no going back to the traditional method!

roasted potatoes tossed with remaining rosemary

Have you ever tried to make perfectly crispy roasted sweet potatoes, only to end up with sweet potatoes that are disappointingly uncrispy? Don’t blame yourself—the higher sugar content and moisture in sweet potatoes leads to a softer texture when roasted. But this recipe, adapted from Jeremy Scheck’s new cookbook, Cooking Smarter, employs a few tricks to deliver the crispiest, most delicious roasted sweet potatoes I’ve ever tasted—no exaggeration! If Jeremy’s name doesn’t ring a bell (or, like me, you rely on the young people in your life for the latest online trends), he’s a rising star in the culinary world, especially on TikTok. I had the pleasure of meeting him at one of my book signings when he was still in high school, and it’s been incredible watching his journey since then.

So what’s Jeremy’s secret to making crispy roasted sweet potatoes? First, it’s key to par-boil the potatoes in salted water mixed with a little baking soda. The baking soda breaks down the potato’s surface, creating a rough texture that enhances crispiness upon roasting. Then, before roasting, the par-boiled potatoes are tossed with olive oil, seasoning, and potato starch. The potato starch serves as a coating that crisps up beautifully as the potatoes roast.

what you’ll need to make crispy roasted sweet potatoes

roasted sweet potato ingredients

step-by-step instructions

Preheat the oven to 450°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt and the baking soda. Add the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes thoroughly.

diced sweet potatoes in large pot with water

Directly on a rimmed baking sheet (avoid using foil as the potatoes may stick), sprinkle the par-boiled potatoes with the potato starch, oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, half of the rosemary, and the pepper.

potatoes on baking sheet tossed with potato starch

Toss gently to coat.

sweet potatoes coated with potato starch, oil, salt, rosemary, and pepper

Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, stirring once midway through roasting.

roasted potatoes on baking sheet

After roasting, turn off the oven but leave the potatoes inside for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining rosemary. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a platter and serve.

Q: What is the science behind adding baking soda to the cooking water?

A: When baking soda is added to the boiling water, it raises the pH level, making the water more alkaline. This increased alkalinity weakens the pectin in the potato cells, leading to a breakdown of the potato’s surface. As a result, the edges of the potatoes become softer and rougher. When roasted, these rough edges crisp up more effectively, giving you that desirable crispy exterior.

Q: I’ve never cooked with potato starch; where do I find it in the supermarket?

A: In most stores, you can find potato starch in the baking aisle alongside other starches and thickeners like cornstarch. It may also be in the gluten-free or international foods aisle, especially within the Kosher or Asian sections. Some stores that have distinct sections for natural or organic foods might also stock potato starch there. If you’re having difficulty finding it, ask a store employee.

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Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Discover the secret to the crispiest roasted sweet potatoes—once you try it, there’s no going back to the traditional method!

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large sweet potatoes (about 2½ pounds), cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt and the baking soda. Add the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes.
    Drain the potatoes thoroughly.
  3. Directly on a rimmed baking sheet (avoid using foil as the potatoes may stick), toss the par-boiled potatoes with the potato starch, oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, half of the rosemary, and the pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, stirring once midway through roasting. After roasting, turn off the oven but leave the potatoes inside for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining rosemary. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a platter and serve.
  5. Note: In most supermarkets, you can find potato starch in the baking aisle alongside other starches and thickeners like cornstarch. It may also be in the gluten-free or international foods aisle, especially within the Kosher or Asian sections. Some stores that have distinct sections for natural or organic foods might also stock potato starch there. If you’re having difficulty finding it, ask a store employee.
  6. Note: The sodium content provided in the nutritional section for the potatoes is based on the assumption that about ½ teaspoon of salt is absorbed during boiling in salted water. This is just an estimate, and the actual sodium level can vary.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 233
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 463 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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