Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Tangy Goat Cheese Aioli

Oh sweet potato.  My other orange love.

Pumpkin isn’t stealing all the glory this fall season because I have a big soft spot for sweet potatoes.  I eat them as a hash under my eggs in the morning, sprinkled on a wrap for lunch, shredded in a muffin, or baked as crispy fries.  Sweet potato fries have much more flavor than regular fries and also offer more nutritionally. And when they are baked instead of fried, you can dive into a big pile of fries guilt-free!

If you’re active in the food blog community, you probably have noticed a lot of recipes for sweet potato fries claiming that the only way to get them crispy is to soak them for hours and toss them in corn starch.  And to never use olive oil.  Um, I never soak my sweet potato fries first, definitely don’t use corn starch, and olive oil works great (although I prefer coconut oil).  And you know what?  They come out perfect every time! Crispy on the outside while soft and chewy on the inside: everything you want out of a good fry.  So I decided to share my simple recipe for baked sweet potatoes fries, requiring minimal work to achieve the perfect fry every time.
To make things fancy, I created two dips to pair with your fries.  Actually it’s one dip and plain greek yogurt, but believe me when I say dipping one of these crispy sweet potato fries in greek yogurt is amazing and perfect when you are crunched for time, or feeling lazy.  The other dip is a tangy goat cheese aioli, with lemon and greek yogurt punching up the flavor.

They key to making crispy baked sweet potatoes is patience.  They take about an hour to cook, meaning you can’t throw them together last minute.  Usually when I make sweet potato fries I take them out when they are just soft because I’m lazy.  But trust me, if you take the time to just let the sweet potatoes take their time and bake, you will always wind up with crispy fry perfection!  The other essential step is laying the sweet potato fries out in one layer on a parchment lined pan after cutting and dressing them.  If you throw them on a pan and some are stacked on top of one another, they will not be able to crisp on all sides.  One last thing…put them in a cold oven!  Don’t preheat the oven before baking these babies: by slowly allowing them to come up to temperature they dry out more, therefore crisping better.

Take those simple measures, and you can achieve the best crispy baked sweet potato fries right in your own home!  No bells and whistles, just amazingly tasty fries that will put a smile on everyone’s face.  These might make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year 🙂

*This recipe was updated December 2015.  I have had a lot of success making these fires this way, and it’s easier.  Win-win!

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries 

serves 2

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1/4″ wide)
1 Tbsp coconut oil*
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp ground dry rosemary (optional)
1/2 tsp dry sage (optional)

*you can use olive o
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  In a bowl, toss the sweet potato pieces with coconut oil, salt, pepper, sage, and rosemary.  Arrange on the prepared baking sheet in one layer, making sure none are overlapping.
3.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Check to see how the fries are doing.  They should be starting to brown. Leave in another 10 minutes.
5.  Start checking the fries ofter, because they go from done to burnt fast.  Once all the fries are done, remove from oven and lay out on a cooling rack.  This allows the fries to cool properly and keep their crispy exterior.
6.  Grab some dip and enjoy!

Tangy Goat Cheese Aioli

4 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh chopped sage
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Mash everything together very well with a fork.  You can also throw it in a food processor or blender to achieve a super smooth texture.  If the dip is too thick, you can add more olive oil, or water.  Store covered in an air-tight container.

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