Meet your new favourite sweet potato recipe! Set in a mesmerising ringed pattern, this Sweet Potato Bake is simple to make, eye-catching and tastes even better than it looks. Here’s an excellent, special occasion-worthy side dish that’s still easy enough for dinner tonight!
A sweet potato side dish to impress!
I actually don’t have that many sweet potato side dishes in my repertoire. I think it’s because when I think of potato side dishes, I tend to think crispy (like Duck Fat Potatoes) or creamy and cheesy (like Potato Dauphinoise). So sweet potatoes are never my natural choice. For one, cream + cheese + sweet potato sounds like an odd combination to me (perhaps someone can prove me wrong here). Secondly, sweet potato just doesn’t properly bake up to be crispy like regular potatoes do.
So I decided it was time to expand my sweet potato collection. This spiral Sweet Potato Bake is what I’ve come up, to put an eye-catching spin on an otherwise straightforward bake!
What you need to make this Sweet Potato Bake
Here’s what you need to make this dish:
Sweet potatoes – To make this dish look neat, look for long, evenly-shaped ones so the slices will be as similar size as possible. But really, if the sweet potato you find aren’t exactly shaped like the above, don’t let that stop you from making this!
Rosemary – I often pair rosemary with sweet potato. The strong, woody flavour and aroma goes so well, and as a hardy herb it can also stand up to the 50 minutes it takes to bake. Dried herbs would also work here: rosemary, thyme, oregano or a herb mix all come to mind;
Garlic – For flavour. Not many savoury dishes happen around here without garlic!
Butter and oil – Butter for flavour, oil to promote some nice crispy edges.
Did you know? Butter is ~20% water and dairy solids. This is enough to stops things from baking up to be crispy. Oil on the other hand is 100% fat and makes things truly crispy. We love butter for flavour, though. So to get the best of both worlds, I use a combination of both!
Salt and pepper
How to make a spiral Sweet Potato Bake
Slice sweet potato – Leave the skin on and slice the potatoes 3-4mm thick. You can make short work of this if you have a mandoline that can slice them to this thickness. We don’t want them too thin or they’ll flop over when you try to arrange them;
Toss – In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with butter, oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. It’s best to use your hands. Separate the slices as you do this because they tend to stick together. We want each slice nicely coated!
Arrange in skillet – Arrange the sweet potato slices in an ovenproof skillet (mine is 26cm / 11″) in circles. (Yep, you got me, it’s not a true spiral! But rings actually make more sense here to fill the skillet properly.) To do this, gather a stack at a time (photo 3) and place them in the skillet on its side (photo 4). Continue placing end to end until you’re three quarters of the way around the skillet. Then push them over so they overlap each other. As they spread out, they should fill the perimeter of the skillet.
Other shapes: It doesn’t have to be round and it doesn’t have to be a skillet. I used my cast iron skillet because it looks great against the orange potato plus it retains heat so well. You can use a baking dish – round, oval or a 25cm/10″ square one. For square or rectangle dishes, I suggest arranging them in lines rather than spiral;
Arranging in skillet (continued) – As described in step 3 above;
Fill centre – Now do a small overlapping circle in the centre of the skillet, to fill the space as best you can;
Bake covered – Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C/350°F (all oven types). In this step, the potatoes should cook most of the way through but not completely;
Bake uncovered – Remove from the oven then crank up the oven to 220°C/430°F (200°C fan) to brown the top of the potatoes. Remove the foil, drizzle with olive oil (just to give the potatoes a little helping hand for the browning), and pop it back into the oven for 20 minutes or until the tops are a nicely coloured and a bit crispy.
Crispy facts: Sweet potato just doesn’t go truly crispy, unlike regular potato. It’s just a plain fact of life, sadly. We will get some nice edges, but actually they’re more chewy caramelised edges rather than crispy. Still, the caramelised bits are delicious and everyone’s favourite part!
Finally, garnish if desired with a little sprinkle of fresh, finely chopped rosemary, maybe also a little whole sprig or two, and a pinch of sea salt flakes.
Now serve your dazzling sweet potato side dish with anything and everything! The only catch is that those edges do soften over time so it’s not the best to keep. As sweet potato already struggles to get real crispiness, it’s at its peak fresh out of the oven. As it cools, the crispy edges soften and they can’t be resurrected.
After leaving it in the fridge overnight, you’ll find it’s completely soft. But that’s not to say it’s not tasty! It still is, with the lovely rosemary-garlic-butter flavour. I’ve been known to give it a freshening by pan-frying slabs of it until golden and crispy. SO GOOD! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Sweet Potato Bake
- 1.25 kg / 2.5 lb 4 -5 sweet potatoes (each 6cm / 2.5" wide, 20cm / 8" long, as evenly shaped as possible); finely sliced, skin on; (Note 1)
- 30g / 2 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- 2 garlic cloves , finely minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil , plus a little extra for brushing the skillet
- 3/4 tsp kosher / cooking salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped , plus more for garnish / serving
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Brush skillet base and sides with a little olive oil.
- Slice potatoes: Slice potatoes 3-4mm thick. A mandoline will make short work of this.
- Toss: Place in large bowl, pour in all butter plus 1 tbsp olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss well with hands, separating the slices so they are all coated with oil.
- Layer in skillet: Layer potato in skillet in a circular pattern, overlapping the slices. (See post for details)
- Bake covered 30 minutes: Cover with foil, bake for 30 minutes until potato is quite soft (almost fully cooked).
- Brush with oil: Remove from oven, turn up to 220°C/430°F (200°C fan). Remove foil, brush potato with remaining 1 tbsp oil.
- Bake uncovered 20 minutes: Bake 20 minutes until tops are golden and slightly crisp, and potato is cooked through (check with a knife or skewer).
- Serve: Scatter with more rosemary leaves, a whole sprig of rosemary and pinch of sea salt flakes if desired. Serve immediately! Sweet potato loses crispiness as it cools.
More sweet potato love
Life of Dozer
Photo from the Golden Retriever boarder while I’m in Tasmania – this is what surrounds her every morning when she’s munching on dry toast. (That’s Dozer’s big face at the front there, shoving his way to the front of the pack!).