Looking for the best way to cook sweet potatoes or yams? This fool-proof method to make baked yams and sweet potatoes is a game changer! Meal prep a bunch of them and store them in the refrigerator so you can grab one whenever you get a craving for something naturally sweet!

Side view of a baked sweet potato on a plate topped with toasted almond slices and pomegranate arils.

The folks at Cooks Illustrated write in their ever-so-modestly titled tome The Best Vegetable Recipes that the best way to make baked yams and sweet potatoes is to lightly coat them in vegetable oil, pierce ‘em multiple times with a knife, and stick them in a 400°F oven for 45 minutes to an hour. I follow their same technique, but I use paleo-friendly fats in place of the vegetable oil!

Collage of the different steps to make baked sweet potatoes.

Time to make Baked Sweet Potatoes!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (garnet yams)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil/ghee/rendered animal fats
  • Optional toppings: ghee, toasted almonds, pomeganate arils, aged balsamic vinegar, etc.

Method:

Heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Grab the sweet potatoes/garnet yams and pierce them all over with a sharp paring knife.

Three raw sweet potatoes on a aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Brush on your paleo-friendly fat of choice (e.g. avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil/ghee/rendered animal fats)…

Close-up of a silicone brush applying melted fat on top of a raw sweet potato.

…and pop the sweet potatoes in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife. I rotate the tray 180° and flip the sweet potatoes over at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.

Close-up of baked sweet potatoes right out the oven.

Voila!  Perfect baked sweet potatoes – creamy flesh and dry, crispy skin. Not too shabby for 5 minutes of hands-on time.

Add some ghee…

A baked sweet potato is split in half and a spoon with ghee is positioned on top.

…let it melt…

A baked sweet potato split in half with melted ghee.

…and add your favorite toppings, like sliced toasted almonds, pomegranate arils, and aged balsamic vinegar!

Overhead view of a baked sweet potato on a plate topped with toasted almond slices and pomegranate arils.

Don’t wrap your tubers in foil before you bake them, people! You can store these baked sweet potatoes in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Baked Sweet Potatoes (Yams)

4.83 from 23 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
This fool-proof method to make baked yams and sweet potatoes is a game changer! Meal prep a bunch of them and store them in the refrigerator so you can grab one whenever you get a craving for something naturally sweet!

Ingredients  

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes garnet yams
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil extra virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil/ghee/rendered animal fats
  • Optional toppings: ghee toasted almonds, pomeganate arils, aged balsamic vinegar, etc.

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Grab the sweet potatoes/garnet yams and pierce them all over with a sharp paring knife.
  • Brush on your paleo-friendly fat of choice (e.g. avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil/ghee/rendered animal fats) and pop the sweet potatoes in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife. I rotate the tray 180° and flip the sweet potatoes over at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
  • Voila!  Perfect baked sweet potatoes – creamy flesh and dry, crispy skin. 

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I so often forget the delicious nature of simplicity. Thank you for the recipe and for teaching me how to actually cook these! As Julia Child would say ‘Bon Appetit!’