ERF traditional sweet potato recipe...who needs sugar and marshmallows?!

When our extended family gathers for holidays, there are several dishes that are just simply a given…and sweet potatoes are at the top of that list. But forget the sugary, marshmallowy version, which is what I grew up with. When I married into this family, I was introduced to Baked Sweet Potatoes…but not just “plain-ole” baked sweet potatoes. There is almost an art to making these yummy, crispy spuds. But it’s not really all that difficult…there are just a few secrets you need to know

A few years ago, before my mother-in-law quit cooking, I asked her to teach me how to make this family favorite so someone could carry on the tradition when she was no longer able. Now that she’s gone, my brother-in-law makes them, since oven space is at a premium in my house on the day we get together. Last year, with approximately 40 people for Christmas, we decided to simplify the menu and not do turkey, ham, and all the trimmings. Instead we had lasagna, salad, and garlic bread. But we STILL did sweet potatoes!! Just because.

Anyway, back to the recipe…there are really only two things to remember:

1) DON’T SKIMP on the butter!! We tried that one year, because it “looked like too much”. They didn’t get crispy and it took us awhile to figure out why.

2) Be patient! It takes time to properly brown and crisp these in the oven. No rushing through the baking on this dish.


3-4 pounds sweet potatoes

approx. 1/3 cup flour (any kind…gluten-free works fine)

6-7 Tbsp. butter

salt to taste

  1. Place whole potatoes in a large kettle and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft, 15-20 minutes, depending on the size. Drain and cool. Carefully peel the potatoes - the skins will slip off easily.

  2. Melt butter in a 9x13 glass pan (stick it in the oven while heating the oven to 400). Put flour in a small bowl. If potatoes are large, cut in half or quarters or desired size, roll in flour, and place in a single layer in the 9x13 pan with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt.

  3. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes on one side. Turn potatoes over and bake for another 30-40 minutes.

A few more tips:

1) These can be cooked and peeled a day or two ahead of time.

2) You can cut them whatever size you’d like, but the smaller you cut the pieces, the more browning surface you get for that yummy, crispy goodness!

3) Serve with your favorite gravy - that combination of sweet and salty that makes your mouth happy! (Pureed cauliflower, cooked in broth and seasoned, makes a wonderful gravy - my favorite.)

And there you have it…a scrumptious way to serve sweet potatoes without all the added sweetness.

Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe? Tell me about it, or let me know if you try this one!

Sandy ResslerComment