There's no doubt that sweet potatoes are good in any way, shape, or form, but loaded baked sweet potatoes are particularly delicious. And this recipe for baked sweet potatoes couldn't be easier, thanks to the help of an air fryer. If you're a vegetarian or trying to eat on the lighter side, you can load these up with toppings and call them a main course. That said, these potatoes would make an excellent side to complement any protein.
Recipe developer Miriam Hahn of YouCare-SelfCare is the brains behind these tasty potatoes. "I love that this recipe is super easy and is the start of a very satisfying meal. I make these at least twice a week for breakfast, lunch, or dinner," Hahn shares.
Hahn also explains the beauty of the air fryer method. "I like using the air fryer better than the oven because it makes the outer skin crispy and cooks the inside perfectly," she says. "Plus, I am a huge air fryer fan because even though the cooking time isn't that much shorter than the oven, there is no time waiting for the oven to preheat. Plus, why heat up a whole oven for a sweet potato?"
We agree! Keep reading to find out how to make these sweet potatoes.
One of the best parts about this recipe is that it requires just 4 ingredients. Yes, you read that right. All you need is 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Once you have everything in front of you, go ahead and get started making your baked spuds.
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, and it's nice when you can feel good about what you're putting in your body at mealtime. "Sweet potatoes are honestly one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are loaded with so many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A which is great for [the] skin and eyes," Hahn raves. "They have fiber and also resistant starch [which make]them great for gut health, [and] in turn, [they help build] immunity. I always buy them organic and keep the peel on (this goes for chopping and roasting, too)."
Begin by grabbing the sweet potatoes and scrubbing them under running water to clean the skins well. Then, use a fork to pierce each sweet potato about 5-6 times. "You need to pierce the potatoes so they release some of the trapped steam," Hahn explains. "I am not sure if they will actually explode, but I have never wanted to risk it."
Using your avocado oil, brush or rub it all over the potato. "I use avocado oil because it has a high smoke point, meaning it won't break down and turn carcinogenic during high-heat cooking. I use avocado oil for any cooking in the oven or stove, and use olive oil for dressings and other [recipes] that don't involve heat," Hahn explains of her preference of avocado oil. "If you have a high-quality olive oil, you can go up to 425 F without it breaking down, but I still lean on avocado oil."
After oiling your sweet potatoes, place them in the air fryer in an even layer.
Set the temperature of the air fryer to 400 F, then set the timer to 50 minutes. If you selected potatoes on the larger side, you may need to increase the time to 60 minutes.
Turn the potatoes halfway through the cooking time. Once the timer goes off, pierce the potatoes with a knife or fork, and if it glides in easily, that means they're done. "If I am making these for a side dish, then a little butter, salt, and pepper are perfect [toppings]," Hahn says. "[But] if you want to make it a meal, you can stuff [them] with just about anything, I love black beans, salsa, avocado, sour cream, red onion, olives, cilantro, and salsa. You can also stuff with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and garbanzo beans for more of a Mediterranean meal. Or sometimes I do steamed broccoli with cashew cheese sauce."
Also, if you have leftovers or you make more than the suggested 2 potatoes, you can store them for later. "You can save these for up to 5 days and just pop [them] back in the air fryer for a few minutes to heat [them] up," Hahn says.