My mother made wonderful sweet potato fries when I was a youngster (i’m now an ancient 29 years old!), and these baked garlic and olive oil sweet potato rounds are my healthy alternative, and a homage, to her lovely, addictive, and indulgent crunchy fries.
The rounds are beautiful, golden-orange, nutrient-dense slices of potato that are crunchy and savory on the outside and soft, steamy, and sweet on the inside.
The healthy fats in the olive oil and the nutritional benefits of the sweet potato makes this a go-to dish for me during a busy week. I never get tired of them alongside a fresh salad, and they are phenomenal dipped in aioli, ketchup or Sriracha.
This dish isn’t necessarily quick to make; the rounds take a bit of time in the oven and they require a flip halfway through the cooking process. However, they aren’t labor intensive in terms of prep.
The sweet potatoes require scrubbing, slicing, and a tossing in good olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder. The rounds are then spread out into rows on a foil lined baking sheet and popped into the oven. You don’t want the slices overlapping or they won’t crisp up properly.
You can personalize this dish, as it’s not an exact science. In the past i’ve added other spices such as chipotle (for a spicy smoky kick). Experiment with flavors you like that complement the sweet potato and any other dishes you are making for the night.
Note: My mother cringes that I use garlic powder in this dish. I can see the disgusted look on her face as she reads this. However, it really is delicious, and doesn’t burn like fresh garlic has the tendency to do in the oven. If you like, try substituting fresh, but this is how I’ve found the recipe works best!
- Slice a rinsed and scrubbed sweet potato into rounds. If you can only find yams, that’s fine too; I’ve used both in this recipe. However, according to Livestrong.com, sweet potatoes trump yams slightly in terms of nutritional value.
- Because of nutritional value in the skin of sweet potatoes, I don’t peel the potatoes, just wash and scrub them well before slicing; if there’s a spot that doesn’t look good on the skin I just cut that out. Note: make sure to use a sharp knife and a cutting board that has good traction on the countertop; you don’t want the mat slipping! Another note: you can decide whether you want to cut thicker rounds or thinner rounds of potato, or a mix. I like variety and texture, so normally I chop the potatoes in all different sizes. However, you will have to keep a closer eye on them in the oven, and flip the thicker and thinner slices of potato at different times during the cooking process; the thinner the slices, the quicker they will cook and crisp.
- Depending on the size of the sweet potatoes you have, and the number of people you are aiming to feed, you will want to alter the amount of potatoes you use (this seems like common sense), but also the amount of oil, garlic and salt. You want enough oil to coat the potatoes, so that nice crispy surfaces form on the slices in the oven. I am liberal with the garlic powder, but that’s because I like lots of flavor and kick! Add it according to your taste; you can do the same with the salt, and other spices that complement the potato.
- After you mix the ingredients to coat the potatoes, spread them out onto a sheet pan lined with foil. Put them into a hot oven. I like to bake them at around 410°.
- Cooking time will depend on the thickness you have sliced your potatoes. Plan on at least 40 minutes though, even if you have thin slices.
- When the slices are brown and crispy on one side, flip them, and brown and crisp the rounds on the other side. Then serve! Note: I like to dip the potatoes in ketchup, Sriracha, or aioli, and serve with a salad (as previously mentioned).
That’s it. Happy cooking!