I don’t know too many people who don’t like fries. Besides being the perfect companion to a burger or some fish, they make for fun finger food.
I like fries just as much as the next person, but I think sweet potato fries are even better! Not only are they are healthier than regular potato fries, they’re more tasty, adding a bit of sweetness to the flavor. It made perfect sense for me to figure out how to make them at home!
However, trying to figure out how to make crispy sweet potato fries through baking is a bit of a challenge. We love having them in restaurants, but they deep-fry them to achieve the crispy factor. So how could I get the crispy into the sweet potato fries by baking them?
I tried several sweet potato fries recipes that promised “crispy”. However, I found the recipes themselves either too fiddly or complicated. Furthermore, most of the recipes didn’t produce the crispiness as promised.
Finally, through several disappointing attempts and playing with different ideas, I found something that works! And even better, I have a tasty dip to go along with the crispy sweet potato fries!
There are a few things that make this recipe a successful one. Firstly, it’s important to cut the sweet potatoes into wedges. I found the wedge cut had more exposed edges to become crispy.
Secondly, you need a good coating that will crisp up in the oven. In this case, it’s dry Parmesan cheese. Yes, like the shelf-stable kind that comes in a green bottle. Dry Parmesan is, indeed, real Parmesan, but it’s been dried out and crumbled. And it just so happens that it makes the perfect coating for sweet potato fries.
Finally, you need a high enough oven temperature. The high temperature cooks them quickly and helps ensure that the coating crisps up nicely.
I tried variations of making baked sweet potato fries with just oil, salt and pepper. However, they never quite crisped up the way I hoped they would. They often came out dry and limp. If I tried baking them longer, they just became hard and burnt on the bottom.
I also tried coating them with oil and freshly grated Parmesan. While the Parmesan browned nicely, it didn’t stick to the fries well and just fell off. It was also difficult to coat the sweet potato wedges evenly. The resulting fries were rather sad and limp.
I tried coating them in oil and then tapioca starch. Nope.
Soaking the sweet potato sticks before tossing them with oil and seasonings. Nope.
The dry Parmesan, however, works like a charm. After tossing the sweet potato wedges with some oil, the Parmesan is dry enough to adhere well and coat each fry evenly. Bake it at a high temperature and you’ve got crispy sweet potato wedges!
Obviously, they make a great side to burgers, pulled pork, chicken, sandwiches, salads…I think they’re actually MORE versatile that regular potato fries! However, they are also perfect to eat on their own with a side of Chipotle Mayo (the recipe is also below!). Crispy sweet potato fries with a spicy smoky mayo dip…how can you say no to that?? Try your hand at making this recipe and leave me a comment below!