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Crispy on the outside with a fork-tender interior, this air fryer baked sweet potato recipe yields the perfect fluffy sweet potato every time. Naturally vegan and gluten-free, these simple baked sweet potatoes cook up in under an hour, making the perfect weeknight side dish.
I have made my fair share of sweet potato based sides using the air fryer. From air fryer roasted sweet potatoes to crispy sweet potato fries, the air fryer has cooked them to a crisp perfection time and time again.
I’m happy to report that not only can you cook a whole sweet potato in the air fryer, but they also come out crispy on the outside and fork tender on the inside.
This easy air fryer baked sweet potato recipe takes less than an hour to make, keeps your oven off, and involves no hands-on work. Best of all, this naturally vegan and gluten-free recipe can be made up to 5 days in advance making it an excellent meal prep recipe.
Reasons to love this recipe
- Make it sweet or savory – With unlimited topping options, these baked sweet potatoes can easily be dressed up to a sweet or savory side.
- Easy weeknight side dish – Ready in under an hour, and no oven is needed.
- No oil needed!
- Quicker than oven since there is no preheating needed!
- Easier to check for doneness in an air fryer compared to Instant Pot.
If you want to add a boost of nutrition to your diet, sweet potatoes make the perfect addition. Some of the main benefits associated with consuming sweet potatoes include:
- High levels of fiber – One cup of baked sweet potato contains about 6 grams of fiber.
- Great source of vitamins – Sweet potatoes also have high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Manganese.
- Great source of antioxidants that can help improve your gut health and vision.
For more information about the benefits of sweet potatoes, you can check out this Healthline article, 6 Surprising Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.
How to pick and store sweet potatoes
Selecting sweet potatoes
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a sweet potato at the store or market.
- Pick small to medium-sized potatoes – the larger the potato, the more starchy and dry they tend to be.
- Check the skin – You are looking for a spud without bruising and soft spots.
- Avoid signs of sprouting as they have been on the shelf too long and are no longer good for eating.
Storing raw sweet potatoes
To avoid sprouting once you select your sweet potatoes, store them in a cool, dark, and dry space. When stored properly, raw sweet potatoes can last between 3-5 weeks.
Here’s what you need to make the recipe
- Sweet potatoes – Smaller Garrett or Jewel sweet potatoes no larger than 8 ounces each will cook best in this recipe.
You’ll need an air fryer to make this recipe. Here are the two that I recommend
- Basket style (Phillips 7 QT, 1725W) – easier to flip food but cooks a smaller amount (2-3 servings).
- Oven-style (Ninja Dual Heat Air Fryer – 1800W) – The oven-style ones usually take more space but what’s unique about this Ninja one is that it flips vertically for easy storage on the countertop. Most importantly, it allows you to cook six chicken breasts, 2 lbs roast, or 4 lbs of fries – perfect for families of 4 or more.
- Pick sweet potatoes the same size for even cooking. Make sure they are firm to touch, and the skin is not wrinkly.
- Poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork or a sharp knife before air frying to release the steam that builds up as it cooks. This is to prevent the sweet potatoes from exploding.
- No overcrowding – Always arrange food in a single layer and cook in batches if needed.
- Cooking times may vary depending on your air fryer. Test for doneness – the sweet potatoes are cooked when a knife easily goes through them.
Baked sweet potato toppings
Once you have air-fried your sweet potatoes to a fork-tender perfection, here are a few ways to dress up and serve your spuds.
- Butter + salt with a dash of pepper – A simple combo that keeps your sweet potato the star of the flavor.
- Chili powder, garlic, and paprika – Sprinkle on top of your air-fried potato to add a kick of flavor.
- Fresh herbs – Cilantro, parsley, and thyme all independently pair perfectly with this potato.
- Butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon – This combo is sure to have your taste buds singing a sweet tune.
- Maple syrup + pecans – A drizzle of maple syrup with a sprinkle of crushed pecans will give a cozy sweet flavor to the potatoes.
How to prep ahead
Truly the best way to prepare in advance for this recipe would be to air fry the sweet potato up to 5 days before you plan to serve.
Storing and reheating
Refrigerator: Before storing your sweet potatoes, allow them to cool about 20-30 minutes. Store air-fried sweet potatoes in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after cooking.
Reheat: To reheat the sweet potatoes, put them in the air fryer and cook them at 375°F for 4-5 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
No. Simply scrub the sweet potato’s exterior to ensure it is clean. No need to soak them before going into the air fryer.
Boiling sweet potatoes allows the potato to retain more beta-carotene, making it a healthier option than baking.
Baked sweet potatoes are healthier because they help lower your blood sugar and have more antioxidants. Source: Why eating a sweet potato is healthier than a regular potato.
As many as your air fryer can hold without overcrowding. Make sure always to place the sweet potatoes in a single layer.
Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes ~4 (Garrett or Jewel)
- Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly to clean the skin.
- Use a sharp knife and make even slits on the sweet potatoes.
- Place the sweet potatoes in the air frying basket – don't overcrowd. Depending on the capacity of your air-fryer, you may need two or more batches.
- Air fry for about 40 minutes [see note] at 400°F. Turn the potatoes around the halfway mark to ensure even cooking.
- The sweet potatoes are done when an inserted knife goes easily through them. If it is not cooked through, just pop in for another 5-10 minutes.
- Enjoy it with the toppings of your choice.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.