Have you ever come home from a long day at work or college, opened the fridge, and wondered what you could make fast that would be a warming, healthy, and tasty dinner with minimal work? I keep a variety of sweet potatoes on hand for just such occasions.
These tubers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are orange fleshed, while others are purple or white. They do taste different, with orange being the sweetest variety. My local whole food market has many bins of American and Japanese sweet potatoes.
Growing up, we ate orange fleshed, creamy, and sugary sweet potatoes at most holiday dinners. They were plentiful and super sweet when mashed with butter, milk, and brown sugar. My mom placed the mash in a casserole dish, topped it with marshmallows, and baked the casserole until it was bubbling hot and the marshmallows started to form a brown crust. This was a vegetable dish that tastes like candy.
Sweet Potatoes as an Adult
After graduating from university, I found that sweet potatoes were an affordable source of nutrition. I was definitely on a budget with all those student loans to pay off. A colleague suggested I “bake” a sweet potato in my microwave for just a few minutes and top it with butter. I apologize to all the microwave lovers reading this, but I am seriously microwave impaired when it comes to making a meal in one. My microwaved sweet potatoes were mushy, unevenly cooked disasters. Once, I actually turned a potato into a rock in the microwave.
My go-to quick dinner became oven roasted sweet potatoes piled high with toppings, such as yogurt, avocado, crumbled bacon, herbs, or toasted pecans. The only problem was that I had to wait for an hour to eat and I grew weary.
I recently started air frying my sweet potatoes to cut the time down. All I can say is that air fried sweet potatoes are better than oven roasted. The flesh is steaming hot and soft. The skin is just browned enough to offer a great contrast in texture. I still serve these beauties with butter, avocado, Greek yogurt, and the occasional crumbled bacon or grated cheddar cheese.
I also love sweet potato fries. If they are on a restaurant menu, I will order them. I used to make sweet potato fries at home all the time in my oven. My air fryer sweet potatoes are finished in mutes and have a crispy outer shell with a soft interior. I serve them with just ketchup.
Now, let’s get to the recipes.
Air Fryer Baked Whole Sweet Potatoes (Gluten-Free)
A large sweet potato can be a meal for one person. Or, serve 1/2 a sweet potato with a large salad or air fried rib eye steak for more people.
- 2 whole sweet potatoes, approximately 6 ounces each, washed well
- 2 tsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Salt and pepper for serving
- Butter and Greek yogurt for serving
Total time:43 min – Prep time:3 min – Cook time:40 min – Serves:3 people
1. Wash the sweet potatoes well and pat them dry with paper towels. Make 6 to 8 holes in the skin of the potatoes with the tines of a fork, rotating to hit all surfaces.
2. Preheat the air fryer to 390°F for 3 minutes.
3. Rub the olive oil all over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the whole potatoes in the air fryer basket or on the crisper plate. Set the timer for 40 minutes. Cook the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes. Rotate the potatoes and continue to cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the skin is browned and the flesh is fork tender.
5. Slice the cooked potatoes in half lengthwise. Loosen up the flesh a little with a fork. Season the potato halves with a little salt and pepper. Top with butter and Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serve while still steaming.
If you have leftover baked sweet potatoes, try making an easy soup for another meal. A recipe is at the end of this post.
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
Sweet potato fries can be prepared with or without the skin on. The skin can give the fries a little more of a bite. If you do choose to leave the skin on, it is best to use organic potatoes to avoid pesticides and fertilizers. I left the skin on my organic purple sweet potatoes for a sturdier fry.
- 1 large sweet potato, washed and patted dry
- 2 tsps grapeseed oil or other mild vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (optional)
- More salt for serving
- Ketchup for serving
Total time: 19 min – Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 14 min – Serves: 2 people
1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Cut the pointy ends off of the sweet potato. Slice it in half through the center. Stand the potato halves up with the wider ends down. Carefully cut the potato from top to bottom into 3/8 inch thick planks. Lay the planks on your cutting board and cut into 3/8 inch thick rectangular fries.
3. Place the fries in a bowl and pour the oil over them. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
4. Add the fries to the air fryer basket or crisper plate in a single layer. You might have to do this in 2 batches. Cook for 6 minutes. Shake the bucket and cook for another 6 minutes. Try a fry to see if it is tender. Shake again and continue to a few more minutes until the fries are just the way you like them.*
5. Place the sweet potato fries on a serving platter and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve while warm with ketchup.
*Note: You will see many fry recipes that call for cooking for 20 minutes at higher temps. I have owned 2 air fryers. One cooked in less time than the other and actually melted because of the high heat output. My new air fryer cooks differently. Adjust the timing as necessary for your particular air fryer.
Air Fryer Roasted Sweet Potato Soup (Gluten-Free)
- Flesh from 2 (6 ounce) air fried sweet potatoes (see first recipe)
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 2-1/2 cups GF vegetable or chicken stock (less for a thicker soup)
- 1 tsp sea salt (adjust to your liking)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Plain Greek yogurt for serving
Total time: 15 min – Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min – Serves: 2 people
1. In a soup pot over medium heat, place the oil and shallots. Cook until the shallots are aromatic and tender, approximately 3 minutes. Add the thyme, cumin, and turmeric and heat through until the spices are fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
2. Add the stock to the pot, stir, and bring to a rolling simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sweet potato flesh to the pot and mash just to combine with the stock. This can be rustic.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Alternatively, blend the soup with an immersion blender in the pot. Place the soup back in the pot and heat through until just bubbling and hot.
4. Serve the soup with a dollop of yogurt on top and a slice of toasted bread.