Adding sweet potatoes to your diet is an easy and delicious habit to pick up when you’re trying to eat healthy—the vegetable is a total superfood, packed with vitamin C and fiber. They’re also totally versatile but baking them whole in the oven is arguably the simplest way to prepare them (if you’re really pressed for time, you can always microwave your sweet potato), and makes them a perfect base for all types of toppings. We love them stuffed with barbecue chicken or as a bunless sloppy joe. Check out our easy instructions below for baking the perfect baked sweet potato—because in our opinion, nothing beats one topped with a big pat of butter and some salt and pepper.
Wash ’em clean.
The worst way to ruin a sweet potato casserole is with a gritty texture. Scrub the skins lightly to get rid of any dirt and soil.
Line your baking sheet with foil.
Sweet potatoes tend to get a little juicy while baking, so lining the baking sheet first insures an easy clean up. Parchment paper works too!
The pricking technique is always used when baking regular or sweet potatoes—the holes help to reduce baking time and ensure the potatoes won’t burst by providing steam vents.
Bake until tender.
How can you tell when they’re done? Stick a fork into the thickest part of the potato. If there’s no resistance, it’s good to go.
Keep them dry.
A lot of recipes call for rubbing the sweet potatoes in olive oil after pricking, but we find that it’s not necessary—unless you intend on eating the potato with the skin on! Oil will help the skin crisp up a bit during the baking process and develop a more delicious flavor.
- 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 4 tbsp. butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425º. On a baking sheet, prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork.
- Bake until tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Let cool, then split the tops open with a knife and top with a pat of butter.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving.
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