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Spice-Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

5 from 3 votes

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Jazz up your sweet potato recipe file with this recipe for perfectly crisp-tender roasted sweet potato cubes. The bite-size pieces of sweet potato have delectable caramelized edges and a meltingly soft texture inside, each one seasoned with savory spices. We love them as a side dish, in salads and so much more!

Roasted sweet potato cubes on a spatula.
Sweet potato cubes with crisp edges and fork-tender texture.

Comforting, tender, sweet and delicious. Those words really sum up my feelings about roasted sweet potatoes, a preparation I could eat almost every day in some form.

If you’re looking for the best, basic recipe for roasted sweet potatoes, I’ve got your back! This is the method I used for making savory sweet potatoes in my years as a personal chef. The recipe doesn’t include any added sugars in the form of marshmallows or cloying maple syrup — just the pure, natural taste of sweet potato enhanced with olive oil and seasonings.


Fun facts about yams and sweet potatoes


  • Even though sweet potatoes are often called yams, they are completely different vegetables. True yams grow in the Caribbean, West Africa and Asia and have starchy, dry textures and white to yellowish flesh.
  • Botanically, all types of sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family (convolvulacae). In the United States, the largest crops are grown in the South —North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • These tubers are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins A and C as well as potassium.
Whole sweet potatoes, cubed sweet potatoes, a dish of spices and a cup of olive oil on a surface.
Jewel or Garnet sweet potatoes are the best varieties for roasting.

About the ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes: To serve four as a side dish, this recipe calls for 1-1/2-2 pounds sweet potatoes, which is a total of about four medium sweet potatoes. Larger sweet potatoes can weigh more than 8 ounces each. If you don’t have a scale, measure 6 cups of cubed sweet potatoes. Scrub the skin to remove any soil. Leave it on for extra fiber and color. I like to compromise and peel the skin in random strips.
  • Spices: Because of their natural sweetness, sweet potatoes pair beautifully with all kinds of spices, everything from curry spices to pumpkin pie. For this recipe, I complemented them with a savory blend of smoky, earthy flavors. You’ll need ground cumin, smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper and granulated garlic (or garlic powder) Crushed red chili delivers just a touch of heat. Chili powder is an all-in-one spice you can add, too.
  • Olive oil: For the best flavor, I use extra virgin olive oil. You can also roast sweet potatoes in coconut oil or avocado oil.
  • Fresh or dried herbs: Chopped fresh tender herbs like parsley or cilantro add a pop of color to garnish the roasted sweet potatoes. You can also use a teaspoon of dried oregano or thyme, but add them in with the spices before sliding the sheet pan into the oven.
Ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder and crushed red chili in a small bowl.
Savory spices for sweet potatoes: Crushed red pepper, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and smoked paprika

Best types of sweet potatoes for roasting

  • Jewel or Garnet are the best types of sweet potatoes to bake or roast, and they’re what you’re most likely to find in your supermarket. Both are described as “moist” by growers and wholesalers, as opposed to dry-fleshed Japanese and Latin American varieties, such as boniato.
  • Either type will have reddish-brown to deep copper-colored skins and vibrant orange flesh. They have a meltingly soft texture you’d also find in a roasted delicata squash, and loads of natural honey-like sweetness when cooked.

How to slice sweet potatoes into cubes

Sweet potatoes are oblong-shaped with pointy ends, which means making cubes out of them can be an exercise in geometry. But with a little patience and a sharp chef’s knife, you can cut them into neat cubes. Here’s how:

Tip: Put the excess ends and pieces from the the prepped sweet potatoes in a storage container and keep or freeze for another use, such as in a hearty sweet potato chili with black beans or a smooth sweet potato soup.

Roasting sweet potatoes, step by step

Pro tip: To achieve a crisp texture and beautiful caramelization in less time when roasting sweet potatoes (or any vegetable), take advantage of your oven’s hottest section — the bottom rack. And don’t be tempted to stir them around while they’re baking. One side of the sweet potatoes will get perfectly brown and crisp, while the insides become fork tender.

Sweet potato roasting time

When sliced into cubes that are less than one inch around, sweet potatoes will roast to perfection in about 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Larger chunks will take 5-10 minutes longer.

Note that not all ovens are accurate. Yours may run hotter or cooler than the set temperature, so just keep on eye on them as the roast or use an oven thermometer for the best accuracy. If the sweet potatoes are getting too brown too quickly, move them up to a higher rack.

Serving: Roasted sweet potatoes are best served warm from the oven. They will soften as they cool, but will still taste delicious! Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or cilantro over them, or drizzle with a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar to play up their flavor.

More ways to enjoy roasted sweet potatoes

Storing

  • Keep roasted sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze them for 1-2 months.
  • To reheat sweet potatoes, place them in a baking dish and cover with foil. Heat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through. Or fry them in a little olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, just until they crisp up.

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Roasted sweet potato cubes on a spatula.

Spice-Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Karen Tedesco
Savory, perfectly roasted sweet potato cubes baked on a sheet pan and seasoned with savory spices! This basic recipe makes the best veggie side dish or add-in for grain bowls, salads or as a taco filling.
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 7 ounces each, 1-½-2 pounds total), peeled and sliced into ½-inch cubes (see step-by-step photos above) to make 6-7 cups.
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 (220 C) and arrange oven rack to the lowest position.
  • Put the sweet potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Make sure they're not crowded, or they will steam rather than brown on the edges. Use an additional pan if needed.
  • Pour the oil over the potatoes and sprinkle the salt and spices on top. Toss the potatoes with your hands to coat them evenly, then spread them out in an even layer.
  • Roast 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and crisp on the edges. Don't stir them — you want the sides of the sweet potatoes that are touching the bottom of the pan to get nice and caramelized.
  • Sprinkle the parsley over the sweet potatoes. Transfer to a platter to serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Serving: Roasted sweet potatoes are best served warm from the oven. They will soften as they cool, but will still taste delicious! Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or cilantro over them, or drizzle with a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar to play up their flavor.
  • This recipe easily doubles or triples for a crowd. Be sure to use a few pans, or roast them in batches.
  • Keep roasted sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze them for 1-2 months.
  • To reheat sweet potatoes, place them in a baking dish and cover with foil. Heat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through. Or fry them in a little olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, just until they crisp up.

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 510mg | Potassium: 795mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 32398IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    My love of sweet potatoes makes this a “must eat” (and of course “must make”) recipe! Thank you for the inspiration (and as always, the clear, easy to follow recipe).