Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Whats not to love about a food that counts as a vegetable but tastes like a treat? Even without the sweetness of added toppings, I love me some sweet potato recipes! But then you go and add a pat of butter, spoonful of brown sugar, and sprinkling of marshmallows (cooked until puffed up and toasted(, and I’m in heaven.
The response to the photo of my baked sweet potato sitting next to my slow cooker turkey breast was overhwleming. I got emails, comments on facebook, and even had someone stop me in a store to say “Baked sweet potatoes recipe, making it for Thanksgiving!”
Easy way to make the Perfect Loaded Sweet Potato
Now I’m not saying you ‘ve been baking them wrong. There are countless ways to bake a potato and I don’t consider any of them wrong. But I wanted to show you a foolproof way to bake a sweet potato that was perfectly done, soft, tender, and could fluff up well, without being overdone like they are sometimes prone to be when you order them in restaurants and such.
Should I Use Yams or Sweet Potatoes?
I prefer the rounder ones that fill up my palm like the picture above. Sometimes, though, all you can find are the skinny ones and if that is what you have, they’ll do just fine.
Some people (and stores) refer to these as yams, which is an entirely different vegetable altogether. You’d be hard pressed to find a true yam in the United States. Yams are from Africa and can grow up to three feet in length. They aren’t even related to the sweet potato but when Africans arrived (against their will) in the American South and saw the sweet potato could be cooked in the same manner as they cooked yams, that is what they began calling it, which makes perfect sense, and this caught on.
Why do I call it a sweet potato? Well, for two reasons. 1. That’s what it is. 2. That is what my mother called it.
Having said that, though, if you grew up calling them yams, keep on doing your thing. I asked this sweet potato in the photo if it minded being called a yam and it just sat there, not moving an inch. It doesn’t care. 😉
How to Make the Best Loaded Sweet Potato
Step by Step Instructions
- Place sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.
A Tip to Prevent More Mess
You can skip the aluminum foil if you want but it will mean some cleanup later as sweet potatoes often weep a sticky liquid onto your baking sheet while cooking.
- Now for the baking part:
- Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
- Reduce oven to 350 and bake an additional 60 minutes.
Does My Cooking Time Change if I Add More Sweet Potatoes?
Nope, it shouldn’t. I am baking just two here and if added more the cooking time doesn’t change.
- These are how they will look when done.
Do I Poke Holes or Add Oils to Sweet Potato?
As you can see one of them weeped, the other did not. Some do say that poking holes in them or coating them in oil prevents this but in my opinion, it is just the luck of the draw.
But if you prefer to poke holes in it, you can! No worries! If you prefer to coat them in oil, you can! No worries! If you prefer to wrap the sweet potato in foil, go for it! You do you!
- Slice each one open at the top. I just use a butter knife or whatever I grab first.
They are soft at this point so a butter knife will do.
Use a dish towel so you don’t burn yourself or cover your hand with an oven mitt and grab hold of the sweet potato and push both of the ends together towards the center, that causes it to open up like in the picture above.
- Add butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon according to taste. I do about a tablespoon of butter, tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in each one.
Now they are ready to serve UNLESS You want to top them with toasted marshmallow goodness!
You know you wanna…
(or at least I want you to)
- Top with mini marshmallows.
- Return to oven until marshmallows are toasted.
Here’s How You Brown the Marshmallows Faster:
I just turn the broiler on low and keep a close eye on it. If you’ve never cooked anything under your broiler you need to know that it can go from just fine to burned beyond recognition in a matter of minutes so stay right there and keep an eyeball on it. My mother usually cracks her oven door open a little and watches.
Voila! Our perfect loaded sweet potatoes!
These make a great simple Thanksgiving side dish but I like them any time I can get them!
If you’d like a simple turkey breast recipe that you can cook in your slow cooker to go with this, click here.
- Sweet Potatoes
For each potato:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Wash sweet potatoes. Place on foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 60 minutes.
- Cut a slit down the center of each potato. Using an oven mitt, press in on both ends of potato at the same time, pushing towards center to puff up the potato. Fill each one with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Top with a handful of marshmallows.
- Return potatoes to oven until marshmallows are browned and puffed up, about five minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
You may also like these other sweet potato recipes: