Mmmm, sweet potato fries. These are one of my favorite sides or snacks to get at restaurants. Most places fry their sweet potato fries, which I don’t like doing at home. I’ve been working on my baked sweet potato fries recipe for a few years now, and I think this one hits it just right!
When we lived in Pennsylvania when I was in high school, there was a restaurant called Iron Hill Brewery that had the best sweet potato fries. They were thick, crispy, and soft on the inside, perfectly salted, and just magnificent. They came with three dipping sauces: a smoky paprika mayo-based sauce, some kind of spicy green pepper sauce, and a sweeter vanilla maple bourbon sauce. I loved those things. The restaurant offered them as an appetizer, but I often wanted them just as my meal.
These sweet potato fries admittedly are not as good as Iron Hill’s, but they’re pretty close. I’ve accepted that I can never get them exactly right because I hate frying things. Baking is easier, less messy, and better for you, anyway.
Side note: I just learned that there’s an Iron Hill in Atlanta now?! Might be time for a road trip… but I digress. Back to the recipe.
What makes these Baked Sweet Potato Fries so good?
I’ve learned a lot about the “science” of good baked sweet potato fries recently, thanks to food YouTuber Ethan Chlebowski. In this video, he breaks it down way better than I ever could, but here are the highlights:
- Sweet potatoes have lower carb, sugar, and starch levels than regular Russet potatoes.
- Lower starch levels keep the sweet potato fries from getting crispy.
- We need to add more starch back to the sweet potatoes to help them stay firm and crispy. We’ll do this with cornstarch.
For my recipe, I loosely followed Ethan’s methods, but kept my flavors different from his. I admittedly forgot to par-boil mine with a splash of vinegar, but they still turned out pretty delicious. We don’t keep peanut oil (in fact I don’t think I’ve ever bought peanut oil), so I used extra virgin olive oil instead. Grape seed or avocado oil would probably work well here, too!
The real star here is the Herby Ranch dressing I made to go with the fries. Good Lord, y’all, this stuff is good. The keys are using fresh herbs (parsley, chives, and dill) instead of dried and bottled, and to make it a day in advance so the flavors can, as Babish says, “get to know each other.” I’ll be keeping a jar of this Herby Ranch in the fridge from now on.
Side note: you can add a little more milk to it to make it more pourable for salads.
Here’s how to make Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Herby Ranch.
To make them, you will need:
- Sweet potatoes (of course)
- Olive oil
- Coarse or flaky salt
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Fresh parsley, dill, and chives
- Fresh or dried rosemary (fresh is preferred)
- Salt & pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
First, make the ranch. Mix the mayo, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, herbs, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes. You don’t have to peel them completely; I do kind of a “rough” peel myself because I like to keep some of the skin. It’s up to you. Once washed and peeled, slice into your desired size.
Very important: par-boil the potatoes. In addition to all the science-y things Ethan Chlebowski talks about, this helps start the cooking process so the insides of the fries stay soft and fluffy, while getting a golden, crispy outside.
Toss in a cornstarch slurry. This is how we add that starch back to the sweet potatoes before baking.
Bake. Arrange the sweet potato slices on a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Drizzle very lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Check periodically and flip/turn as needed for even baking.
Season after baking. Once removed from the oven, transfer fries to a medium-sized bowl. Toss in salt, pepper, and other preferred spices and seasonings. Fresh rosemary and parsley are really nice! Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
There y’all have it—that’s how I make my favorite Baked Sweet Potatoes with delicious Herby Ranch dipping sauce. They’d be the perfect companion to your next burger, chicken, sandwich, or just as a weekend snack!
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Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Herby Ranch
Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 2-3 sweet potatoes (depending on size)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- Salt, pepper, fresh herbs to taste
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
- 1 tbsp each: fresh dill, fresh parsley, fresh chives
- First, make the ranch: mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash, peel, and slice the sweet potatoes into your desired size.
- Put sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Place pot over medium-high heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain and dry.
- Combine cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Toss sweet potatoes in the slurry to coat.
- Set a wire rack in a baking sheet. Place sweet potatoes on the wire rack in a single layer, so none are touching. Drizzle with a light layer of olive oil (max 1 tbsp).
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway for even baking.
- Transfer baked fries to a medium-sized bowl. Immediately toss in coarse or flaky salt and your desired spices and seasonings.
- Serve with ranch and enjoy while warm.