Seven Smart Tips for Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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This post contains Seven Smart Tips for Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and the end result is Maple Thyme Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes. This type of recipe produces what’s sometimes called “melting potatoes“: crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. It’s based on science, but I think once you taste them, you’ll agree that artistry is involved in the recipe development, as well. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Glazed with Maple and Thyme

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Glazed with Maple and Thyme

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray for Roasted Sweet Potatoes. PAM asked me to share my “Smart-Tips” for making sure my holiday recipe comes out just right!

 When it comes to side dishes at holiday meals, I have a love/hate thing going on with sweet potatoes. I’ve had to-die-for sweet potato fries in restaurants. I know, in theory, that it can be done. But my results at home have always turned out a little lackluster, at best.

Let’s face it: fried foods are not that good for us, even if we’re frying that rock star of a vegetable: the sweet potato. And fried sweet potatoes are hard to get right, unless they’re frozen, and done in an air fryer. 

So if we’re avoiding frying them, we often resort to roasting them. And that’s a good idea, but the reality is that  sweet potatoes always seem to steam, without getting crispy or browning on the outside. 

How to Solve the Problem of Non-Crispy Sweet Potatoes Starts with PAM:

 I knew there had to be SOME kind of tricks that a home cook could employ that would make roasted sweet potatoes turn out right, and today, I’m going to share those “Smart-tips” with you! 

 My recipe called for spraying my foil-covered pan in cooking spray, so that the sweet potatoes wouldn’t stick to the pan. PAM Cooking Spray is known for being a helpful tool in a cook’s arsenal of culinary weapons, because it was designed to help keep food from sticking.

The product packaging states that their cooking spray now leaves up to 99 percent less residue buildup than margarine or bargain brand-cooking spray, while still offering superior no-stick results. Sounds like a long-needed improvement to me: my major complaint about using cooking sprays is that yellowish goo that shows up on your baking and roasting pans, after its use.

Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

PAM Cooking Spray kept the sweet potatoes and their glaze from sticking to the foil.

 So, to prepare a fantastic side dish for your holiday meal, (or any weeknight meal, for that matter), while at the same time taking advantage of the fresh produce of the season (the beautiful, delicious and nutritious sweet potato) here are seven “Smart-tips” that make this recipe super-easy and delicious! This recipe will produce roasted sweet potatoes that are sweet and creamy on in the inside, yet crispy and flavorful on the outside.

Seven “Smart-tips” for Stellar Sweet Potatoes

  1.   Cover the bottom of your pan with foil: this makes clean-up practically nonexistent.  The first time I tried this recipe, I used regular strength, 12″ foil, and my rimmed baking sheet needed two sheets to cover the bottom of the pan, and another two two sheets to cover the sweet potatoes. That was a lot of foil! The second time I tested this recipe, I used the heavy-duty 18″ roll of foil for my pan, and only needed one sheet for the bottom of the pan, and one sheet to cover the potatoes. I strongly recommend going with the 18″ heavy duty foil, if you have it, for ease. 
  2. Spray the foil covered pan with PAM Cooking Spray. The recipe calls for the foil to be sprayed with a cooking spray, and PAM worked like a charm. Super easy!
  3.  Cut off the tiny ends of your sweet potatoes. The sweet potato slices should be relatively uniform in size to roast evenly. Those skinny tips will burn! Side dish fail!
  4.  Start roasting the sweet potatoes in a cold oven: NOT pre-heating the oven is counter-intuitive to everything you’ve ever been taught, but there is a scientific method to the madness. The longer sweet potatoes stay between 135-170 degrees, the sweeter the flavor. Once their temperature exceeds 170Β°, the starches will no longer convert to sugar. 
  5.  Cover the sweet potatoes with foil initially: this first step (while they’re covered with foil) steams and tenderizes them, so that their interior is perfect. 
  6. Uncover your sweet potatoes for the rest of their time in their oven.This second part of roasting – where they’re uncovered – allows them to develop that caramelized, buttery crispy edge that we all long for in sweet potatoes. Perhaps surprisingly, the browning shows up on the UNDERSIDE of the sweet potato slice, so you’ll be flipping them even though they don’t look like they’re browning on top. That’s as it should be. To check how well the first side has browned, you’re going to have to watch the timer, and then peek at the little sweet potato slice’s bottom. Go on. You know you want to. πŸ˜€
  7.  Brush the halfway roasted slices with a super simple glaze. After half the browning is done, and right before you flip them, using a pastry brush, brush the slices with a flavorful glaze of maple syrup, butter and chopped fresh thyme.  This glaze adds several important flavor components: the sweetness of the maple syrup, the silky mouth-feel and creamy flavor of the butter, and the savory, herbal note of the thyme. Put them all together and they pack a powerful flavor punch. (And don’t skimp on the salt and pepper: I love the zing that freshly ground black pepper adds to this dish.)


 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.
For more information, visit 

Maple Thyme Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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The Recipe for Maple Thyme Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Yield: 4 servings

Maple Thyme Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Maple Thyme Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Crispy yet tender roasted sweet potatoes, glazed with a maple thyme butter.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • For potatoes:
  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, small ends trimmed, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • For glaze:
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 2 t. chopped fresh thyme


  1. Toss sweet potato slices in a large bowl with oil, 1 t. sea salt, and 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper until potatoes are coated in oil and spices.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and spray with PAM Cooking Spray.
  3. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet (I put the largest, fattest slices on the corners and along the edges, since that is where the heat concentrates.)
  4. Cover tightly with foil.
  5. Place on middle rack of a cold oven.
  6. Turn oven to 425°, and roast for 30 minutes.

While potatoes are roasting, prepare the glaze:

  1. Whisk maple syrup, melted butter and thyme together.
  2. Remove baking sheet from oven, and CAREFULLY remove top piece of foil. (The steam will come rolling out, so be CAREFUL!) Return pan to oven, and roast potatoes, uncovered, until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown. This took me only 15 minutes, but your oven may vary.
  3. Using a pastry brush, brush the potato slices with the glaze.
  4. Now carefully turn the potato slices over using a thin bladed spatula, and baste the other side as well.
  5. Return potatoes to the oven and continue to roast an additional 15 minutes or so (your oven may take longer) until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, and serve.


These potatoes can be served without the glaze. The roasting method still works well, if you only use oil, salt, and pepper.

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated: The Science of Good Cooking

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 9gSugar: 32gProtein: 5g


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  1. Ginger Kay says

    I love sweet potatoes and pie. And sweet potato pie.

  2. Looks delicious, Susan! I just bake my sweet potatoes, those days are over!

  3. This recipe looks delish! I like my sweet potatoes cubed, tossed in olive oil with chopped onion, sprinkled with curry, salt and pepper, and then roasted. They're great just baked, too!

  4. This looks like a great recipe! And no yellow goo build up on my baking dishes? That sounds like a dream come true. πŸ™‚

  5. Sharon Andrews says

    Sweet Potato fries with Garlic Basil Mayo.

  6. I've never been able to get that nice crust on my sweet potatoes! I will definitely try these techniques next time we make them. Thank you, Susan!

  7. I like my sweet potatoes to be SWEET!! This recipe looks yummy and we will be trying it out soon!!

  8. Sweet potato fries! This recipe sounds yummy . Thanks for sharing it. πŸ™‚

  9. I think I would like my sweet potatoes the way you just described making them! I also love them baked with a little butter and salt and pepper. I also like to just chop them up, toss in olive oil and roast in oven. I'm a late bloomer when it comes to sweet potatoes, only started eating them in my 40s!

  10. Yumm! I am always looking for new sweet potato recipes. Especially easy ones. My family enjoys them steamed and then smashed with a mix of brown sugar and chipotle on them and baked in the oven. Delicious but a little time consuming for a weekday meal.

  11. I think my new way to like sweet potatoes will be glazed and roasted. YUM! That looks delicious!

  12. I usually like my sweet potatoes mashed with some coconut milk, butter, salt, and pepper. BUT . . . I am anxious to try your recipe, Susan!!! Those sweeties look SO delicious!!!

  13. I love sweet potatoes: pie, cooked 2 hours in their jackets so they carmelize, even with marshmallows on top in that super-sweet side dish that is de riguer at Thanksgiving.
    This looks amazing, and I'll be trying it soon. πŸ™‚

  14. Christi P. says

    Susan, those look scrumptious! You know what song I have going through my head, don't you? Sure ya do! "YAMS!" Yam right!

  15. Sounds delicious! thanks for the helpful hints on how to use Pam to cut down clean-up time — I'm always on the lookout for time savers.

  16. I am SO making these with Christmas dinner. YUM!

    How do I like my sweet potatoes? My favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is any way. πŸ™‚ Love em mashed, love em fried, love em roasted, love em baked, love em made into yummy little chips. Love em.

  17. Looks delicious! I bought sweet potatoes today. I might try this recipe tonight!

  18. This sounds super easy and delicious! Personally, I like sweet potatoes any way but raw.

  19. I like my sweet potatoes mashed with brown sugar and marshmallows on top :). This looks yummy though Susan. Everything of your that I have tried has been excellent.

  20. Tracy Creek says

    I like my sweet potatoes baked and loaded with butter, but I'm willing to give this recipe a try.

  21. Natalie Bradshaw says

    Yum! I love sweet potatoes, but unfortunately I'm the only one in my family who does.

    Sometimes I have one for lunch, all by myself…. sliced and roasted with olive oil, rosemary, and thyme.

  22. Tanya Easley says

    These look wonderful! I too have tried sweet potato fries and have been less than thrilled with the results. Can't wait to try this method and see how it stacks up. Thanks, Susan!

  23. imnotasupermom says

    I liked sweet potatoes mashed with a little maple syrup and a dash of cayenne.

  24. Jenny Smith says

    I love them with a praline topping. Yum!!

  25. I pretty much like sweet potatoes any way I can get them. I can't wait to try this recipe. The cold oven part intrigues me.

  26. Yum!

  27. I am SO making these with Christmas dinner. YUM!

  28. I like my sweet potato baked whole and then topped with plenty of butter πŸ™‚ and cinnamon & sugar. Yummy!!

    I love your sliced & roasted sweet potato idea. Sounds yummy and the glaze would be just. right. I'm a PAM fan so glad you said that helps this recipe! πŸ™‚

  29. I like mashed sweet potatoes with garlic and lemon. I can't wait to try the recipe you have posted!

  30. I love candied sweet potatoes but I also love a plain baked sweet potato.

  31. Honestly, my favorite way to eat them is just to roast them in the oven and then top with a little butter, salt and pepper. But I also really liked sweet potato casserole with walnuts and brown sugar. Just NO marshmallows!

  32. Stacey Ulferts says

    I love sweet potatoes baked with butter and brown sugar πŸ™‚ I can't wait to try this recipe, though!

  33. I've never met a sweet potato that I didn't like, but I think tempura might be my very favorite.

  34. Judy Prenevost says

    I like to just put a sweet potato in the microwave for 3 minutes, take it out and cover with foil for 5 minutes, then add better and brown sugar. Yum!

  35. I love my sweet potatoes roasted with either a maple syrup or honey glaze or baked and served with butter and brown sugar.

  36. I love sweet potato fries, but I have had mixed results on my own. Will definitely be trying some of your tips. Thanks!

  37. Rhonda Benz says

    I will definitely need to try this!

  38. Our favorite sweet potato is baked, then split and smushed a bit. I then top with butter and a few sprinkles of brown sugar and cinnamon, salt and pepper.

    However, we eat them roasted with olive oil and oregano quite often also.

    Mashed with sour cream and now and then we even just bake them with maple syrup covered with foil and then mashed them on the plate with butter s&p. They’re good all ways!

  39. I like sweet potatoes baked then with butter and brown sugar! YUM! And I like them in a souffle type dish with streusal topping. I'll have to try your recipe!

    – Jan

  40. I love them every way you can imagine. I love the new idea of starting with a cold oven

  41. I usually have mine mashed with some real maple syrup, butter & vanilla (cooked into homemade caramel) drizzled over the top. Yum!

  42. I like roasted sweet potatoes, but I suspect that your recipe is way better than the one that I use. Thanks for the tips, too!

  43. Susan, this recipe sound delicious! I've never heard of starting the potatoes in a cold oven! That's an excellent tip. Thank you!!

  44. Lisa/narcease says

    I like my sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, and caramelized pecans. mmm.

    I've also been known to indulge in that classic tinned-sweet-potatoes-with-marshmallows. Shh. Don't tell anyone.

  45. I love sweet potatoes in just about any form, but I have not found a great way to roast them – until now! I can't wait to try this recipe!

  46. I love sweet potatoes! And, by extension, I love you, because now I have a fabulous new way to cook them!

  47. I don’t even like sweet potatoes. But those looked delish

  48. I like them mashed with a topping of brown sugar flour and butter, yum…but these look much healthier ty for sharing

  49. I love sweet potatoes any way you slice them. Can’t wait to try this!

  50. I love them baked and covered with butter and brown sugar. The standard Thanksgiving dish is great, too. I'll have to try this. Never would have thought to start with a cold oven!

  51. I like my sweet potatoes sweet, hot and on my plate.

  52. carolyn turbett says

    can't wait to try this recipe!

  53. I like sweet potato casserole with pecan & brown sugar topping.
    My recent post 6 Danger Zones of "Selfies"

  54. I adore sweet potatoes in any form! I can’t wait to try this!

  55. Elizabeth Lee says

    “How do you like your sweet potatoes?” I like them any way I can get them. Your recipe sounds really, really good AND it's gluten free. πŸ™‚
    My recent post Plastic Beauty

  56. I'm going to try this yummy recipe. I love candied sweet potatoes, but of course, they are filled with calories.

  57. Sweet potato fries are yummy!
    My recent post Advent intentions

  58. I honestly love sweet potatoes most any way, but I do NEED for them to be orange. For some reason in some other parts of the world sweet potatoes are not orange, but white inside! Do you know if their nutritional value is different since they are not colored? I'm curious about this.

  59. Andrea Sanderson says

    I'm not a huge sweet potato fan, but I think I need to give this a try.

  60. I like mine baked, with butter, salt & fresh ground pepper. But I will definitely be trying this! Thanks, Susan!

  61. I like them with a glaze of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

  62. I like em sweet!

  63. Those look delicious. I like sweet potatoes lots of ways, but the best ones I've ever had were cooked like fried potatoes in a heavy cast-iron skillet by a little granny in Mississippi. I was about 9 years old, and I *still* remember that flavor. YUM!

  64. I love sweet potatoes roasted (but I haven't tried this crispier method–need to try!!!) and baked/topped with butter, brown sugar and pecans. Yum!!! I could eat sweet potatoes every day—

  65. Sliced, tossed in Butter flavored Grapeseed Oil, roasted in the oven or put on the grill (on a veggie grill pan). Yum!

  66. Oh these look lovely – and I forgive you for not including the UK. πŸ™‚

  67. Beth Hicks says

    I love my sweet potatoes baked with butter and cinnamon.

  68. I love my sweet potatoes baked, and I am gonna try your recipe for a nice change!
    My recent post India: Dancers demonstrate flexibility and femininity

  69. I like sweet potatoes baked or mashed, with butter and a little salt. I prefer to cook them from scratch–they are easy to do and taste much yummier that way.

  70. Oh my word, this sounds so good! I love the carmelized crispy edges on my roasted sweet taters! Maybe this recipe will make it happen in my kitchen!

  71. Love sweet potatoes mashed with brown sugar and covered with marshmallows.

    the dog loves them too.

  72. GODismyjoy says

    Oh, WOW — a COLD oven?! I have got to try this! My sweet potatoes routinely have to be mashed because they're so soft. *adds sweet potatoes to shopping list* πŸ˜€

  73. I like to make sweet potato casserole

  74. debbie jackson says

    I love them in pie and mashed with marshmallow

  75. I do NOT like them, sam-i-am! I'm not at all a picky eater- my "wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole" list is about three items long- but sweet potatoes are at the top of that list. However, my sweet grandmother loves them, so I do end up searching for sweet potato recipes and cranking out some kind of dish for each holiday, much to her delight. I'm always guessing though, because I can't taste it to see if they're "just right"!

  76. These look and sound delicious! I will certainly give them a try.
    To date, our family favorite for sweet potatoes is this:
    On foil lined baking sheet heavily sprayed with Pam Original Spray
    Lay out raw, peeled sweet potato wedges which have been tossed in a large bowl with
    Olive oil, oregano, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
    Turn oven to 375*
    Roast with foil cover for 20 minutes…remove foil and finish baking…depending on size, about 30 minutes more.
    My recent post Jo MIA for Now

  77. Karen Taylor says

    My favorite is a baked sweet potato, cut open and sprinkled with some butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.

  78. Mmmmm…Yam right!

  79. LOVE these, they look so carmelized and tasty. I will be trying this season. I'm on a big sweet potato kick.

  80. Easy and extremely flavorful. I could make a whole meal of this. I made it exactly as directed.

  81. Thanks for the tips! I’m gonna give this a try!

  82. Yum! This looks like a good way to use up the extra sweet potatoes I have left after Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole!

  83. Tana Whicker says

    Sweet potatoes in any form are just the best. My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is always sweet potato casserole with brown sugar-pecan topping. I love sweet potato-black bean chili, sweet potato fries, and just plain sweet potatoes too. Yum!

  84. Theresa Ingles says

    I made these today and couldn’t sto eating them! I kid you not! They were my favorite part of our Thanksgiving meal.

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