Sunday, November 03, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

These Spicy Sweet Potato Fries are deliciously vegan for Meatless Monday!

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

I try to post a meatless main dish every week for Meatless Monday, but some weeks it just doesn't work out.  Last week I tried out an idea for a meatless pasta dish, and it was definitely tasty.  Unfortunately, the photos were so unappetizing that the recipe still needs work.  Luckily, I did manage to get some good photos this week to update this favorite recipe for Spicy Sweet Potato Fries.  The first time I made this recipe, I took one bite and knew immediately I'd be making these sweet potato fries over and over.   My favorite sweet potatoes fries are not only meatless, but this recipe is deliciously vegan.  Who knows, this just might become your favorite way to cook sweet potatoes?

(If you're a Meatless Monday fan, you can find more meatless recipes by clicking the label Meatless Monday anywhere you see it on the blog, and you also might like to see my Meatless Monday Pinterest Board, where there are meatless recipes by food bloggers from all over the web.)

You can certainly make this recipe with those pre-cut sweet potato fries that show up in the stores this time of year, but I prefer to cut my own so I can make them a little thicker.  Having a little more thickness lets me cook them slightly longer for maximum crispness, although sweet potatoes don't ever get as crisp as regular fries.

Some stores sell the darker red sweet potatoes shown on the top and call them "Yams" or "Sweet Yams," but they're sweet potatoes, as are the slightly lighter-skinned ones on the bottom.  Please trust me on this.  (There's also a tan-skinned variety of sweet potato with white flesh, but I haven't tried making this recipe with those.)

Cut off both ends of the sweet potato and use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel off the skin.  (Thanks to my brother Dave and sister-in-law Amy who gave me this Cutco vegetable peeler that I love!)

Then cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and again in half crosswise, so you have four pieces.  Slice each piece longways into 2 or 3 slices.

Then cut each slice into 5 or possibly five fries.

I like to make thick fries, about 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick (15-18 cm.)  I don't mind if the pieces are a little irregular, it adds to the charm!

Put the fries into a large bowl and toss with enough olive oil so all the fries are very lightly coated with oil (1-2 tablespoons of oil for 2 sweet potatoes, depending on how big the sweet potatoes are.)

Then sprinkle with 2-3 teaspoons of spicy sweet potato fry seasoning (see below.)

Use the largest baking sheet you have and spray with olive oil or non-stick spray.  Arrange sweet potatoes so the flat side is down and they're not touching each other.  (Use 2 pans if your pan isn't big enough.)  I used to bake these at 425F, but I've come to like them better cooked at 450F/230C, and that's the temperature I used.

Cook 15 minutes, then use your fingers or a fork to turn them over (this photo is after they're turned) and put back in the oven. 

Cook 15 minutes more and turn them again (this photo is after they've been turned a second time.  Put back into the oven.

Cook another 5-10 minutes, depending on how well-done you like them.  (I cooked mine about 7 minutes more.)

Spicy Sweet Potato FriesThis recipe for Spicy Sweet Potato Fries was updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, November 2013.  And just to entertain you, here's the previous photo for this recipe, which I think wasn't showing off how delicious the sweet potato fries really are!

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
(Use one sweet potato per person. Recipe adapted from I found the recipe via Food Musings, who also loved these sweet potato fries.)

orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, one per person
olive oil (see below)
Spicy Dipping Sauce with Sriracha (optional, but good)

Seasoning Mix Ingredients:
(You'll want to make this over and over so my recipe makes enough spice mix for several batches.)
2 T ground coriander
1 T ground fennel
1 T dried oregano (use any Mediterranean oregano like Greek Oregano or Turkish oregano, but not Mexican oregano for this.)
1 T Aleppo Pepper (or use a smaller amount of cayenne pepper)
2 T kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450F/230C.

In mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind together coriander, fennel, oregano, and Aleppo pepper. Mix in salt. (This makes enough for several batches of sweet potatoes, so you'll need a small jar to store the extra.)

Cut off both ends of the sweet potatoes and peel with a sharp vegetable peeler.  Then cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise and again crosswise so you have four pieces.  Slice each piece into 2 or 3 thick slices, then cut each slice into fries.  (I made them about 1/2 - 5/8 inches thick, or about 15-18 cm.)

In plastic bowl, toss together cut sweet potatoes, olive oil, and spice mixture. You will need 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and 2-3 teaspoons of the spice mixture for every two sweet potatoes, depending on how big the sweet potatoes are and how spicy you like it.

Spray flat roasting pan with non-stick spray. (Use the largest baking sheet you have.) Spread out sweet potatoes in single layer, with the flat side down and not touching each other.  (Use two baking sheets if yours is too small to do this.)

Roast sweet potatoes 15 minutes, then use your fingers or a fork to turn each sweet potato.  Roast 15 minutes more and turn again.  Roast another 5-10 minutes, depending on how done you like them.  Serve hot, with Spicy Dipping Sauce with Sriracha, if desired.

Sweet Potato Info:
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are often called "Yams" or "Sweet Yams" in the United States. but they're really sweet potatoes.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Sweet potatoes are considered a "good" carb for the South Beach Diet (unlike potatoes, which are very high on the glycemic index.) This would be a great side dish for phase two or three.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Sweet Potatoes for Meatless Monday: 
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and Sumac ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes ~ Confections of a Foodie Bride
Soy-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Paleo Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash ~ Everyday Maven
Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Cups with Sour Cream, Chipotle, and Lime ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)  

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. i'll surely be trying this - just reading the seasoning is making my mouth water

  2. Coriander & fennel - what an interesting combination of spices!

  3. Kalyn - I too am head over heels for sweet potato is hard to believe they are so good for you!! Your herb mixture sounds great, I'll have to try this next time I make some "fries";)

  4. Sweet potato fries are awesome and true, much better than regular potatoes. I'm glad you've found sweet potato frites!

  5. You're featured in the biggest newspaper in Tampa!

  6. Yum! I'll have to try these. That's a very interesting spice combination. It's definitely important to cut sweet potato fries thick. I remember making my first batch a few years ago and burning them horribly. Oops!

  7. We often oven roast sweet potatoes to use as a garnish for rice with jerk chicken or pork. (I LOVE those sweet potatoes!)

    But I never thought of adding spices other than salt and pepper!! What a very good idea.


  8. This sounds mom use to make sweet potato fries for me but never used the spices...I should try that!

  9. they do sound good. When I was staying with my mum she introduced me to a tasty savoy cabbage dish with coriander and cumin. I suggested another addition (bacon). It's very good...!

  10. Yum!!! I've never cooked with sweet potatoes much, but I've been making them a lot for my daughter lately (11 months)--just roasting cubes with olive oil--and I keep sneaking bites from her. I'll have to make this one as a treat for mommy and daddy! Thanks Kalyn!

  11. My mouth is watering...sweet potato fries are my favorite!! Your spice combo looks great!

  12. Those look good and the spices sounds pretty interesting for sweet potatoes.

  13. Kalyn, these look fabulous. I'm a sucker for real sweet potato fries, but obviously they're not too SBD friendly. I'll definitely be trying these out. Oh, and I can't wait to see what the favorite herb of the year is this year!

  14. These look fabulous! And just perfect for fall. I'll be trying these soon.

  15. How great to hear that so many people like the sound of this recipe! I just can't say enough good things about the spice combination! Do hope you guys will like it as much as I did!

    Jaden, thanks for letting me know. How exciting, and I bet I have you to thank for this, right?

  16. that sounds soooo good. Our local Costco has now started carrying sweet potato sticks (pre-cut)...I might try this recipe with that. Thanks!

  17. Adore sweet potato fries but always season them with chilli. Looking forward to trying out your version! :)

  18. I love to make sweet potato fries, but mine always turn out floppy, whether deep-frying or roasting. What's your secret?

  19. Nabeela, I did make it the first two times with the very same pre-cut sweet potatoes from Costco,and they were definitely good. However, I really preferred the sweet potatoes cut a bit thicker. Either way I think you'll like it.

    Wendy, chili powder sounds good too!

    Mrs. W. I don't think it's possible to make sweet potato fries that are truly crisp (I read a bit about this online) but the higher temperature plus oil helps. They were just a tiny bit crisp on some edges, but still delicious.

  20. There is a vegetarian restaurant in Soho, London called Mildred's that I normally to to with my sister when visiting there.

    This last weekend we went there and I tried the sweet potato fries (as they came very highly recommended) and they were divine.

    I am so pleased that you have provided a recipe as this is definitely something that I want to try at home.

  21. I love sweet potato fries! I've never tried them with ground coriander. I'll have to pick some up.

    Thanks for another fabulous recipe- as always.

  22. I'm a recent convert to sweet potato fries, and I love all things spicy. Will definitely be bookmarking this recipe!

  23. we have sweet potato fries when we are fasting!:) its yummy!!and fennel sure sounds interesting...

    btw, I'm hosting AFAM-Peach event on my blog this October..I'd be glad if you could find some time to send in an entry!

  24. Delicious fries! And because it's sweet potatoes, they're good for you and I can eat more, right? :)

  25. Let's see . . . Monday will be the first day I can get these on the table. My Aleppo pepper is in Dallas.

  26. I made so much sweet potatoe fries in summer and I'm into baking sweet potatoe pies now. But seeing your recipe made me want those fries again. :)

  27. I will HAVE to try that spice mix! I do mine with coarse sea salt, pepper, and cumin, then dust with parmesan. We love the baked fries like this.

  28. Wow these fries sound amazing! Another wonderful fall dish. Yum!

  29. Thank you for this recipe, Kalyn! I made these fries last night (with a simple salt-cayenne pepper-cumin rub) and they are *delicious*.

  30. Rob, how fun! I do hope you like them. I'll have to remember that place if I ever get to London (hopefully someday!)

    Karina, I was completely surprised at how wowed I was by the coriander/fennel flavor combo here.

    Lydia, I'm also a convert now! Better for my diet too.

    Mansi, thanks for the invite. Unfortunately I hardly ever have time for many events since I teach school, write for, and spend so much time on this blog!

    Kelly, yes. Very South Beach friendly. Healthy for any diet!

    Tanna, love that Aleppo pepper.

    EMWK, happy to hear from another SP fries lover.

    Ex-Pat Chef, your version sounds great too!

    Amy, yes. When I went to the store I bought a big bag of sweet potatoes (called sweet yams in my store.)

    Nupur, glad you liked the idea! Cumin sounds like it would taste great on this too. Do post your version!

  31. droooool! Those look better than sex! Okay, better than bad sex. They're on my must cook list. Thanks for the recipe.

  32. Now I'm salivating! I love sweet fries to begin with but haven't tried them with the herbs. I just use a little salt and pepper and they wow me when cooked that way so this will probably put me in shock! Thanks for flingin' a cravin' on me. Off to check my spices to see what I need and don't have!

  33. I'm so making these! As it is, I often make sweet potato "wedges" with BBQs - I don't even peel them, just a good scrub, cut into wedges, tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary before roasting. When they come out they get a quick sprinkle of salt & that's it. People can't believe what they're eating when I tell them, especially fussy kids! I'm dying to try your spice mix...

  34. Yes, these are a great frenchfry alternative. I am wondering why you peel the potatoes, especially if you use organic sweet potatoes, then you get the peel benefits too.

  35. Margaret, very good point. I don't know why I peeled them, other than that's what the recipe said to do. Definitely I think I'll try them not peeled, and I bet the skin part will be delicious, all crispy from roasting. Let me know if you try it that way too.

  36. I just wanted to let you know that we linked to your recipe on this page:
    Thanks very much! Great stuff!

  37. I was just poking around the internet when i came across this post but i wanted to put my two cents in :-)

    My spice combination included:

    Cayenne pepper
    Black pepper
    Garlic Powder
    Brown sugar

    ...i think that little bit of brown sugar really helps balance the spices for a nice deep balanced flavor with just the right hint of kick.

    Admittedly this combo is amalgated from a few different recipes i came across. Hope it helps!

  38. Anonymous, your spice combination sounds like it would taste great! Unfortunately for South Beach Dieters, the brown sugar would not be an approved addition to the recipe. Just mentioning that for anyone who didn't know.

  39. This recipe is quite amazing! I really love the combination of spices. I ground everything up in my blender, and it was great. I feel that if you wanted to, you could cut back on the salt.

  40. This recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for dinner now!

  41. I mad ethis yesterday, and it was a fabulous recipe. Works well with white sweet potatoes. Instead of fennel, which I didn't have, I substituted Chinese five-spice powder: cinnamon, fennel, anise, pepper, and cloves. I think it turned out great- it gave a littl extra pretend sweetness to the potatoes that is totally yummy and totally South Beach friendly. If you have never used it, it's a great spice blend to have. A little does go a long way..

  42. Vegeturtle, thanks for the feedback! I love the idea of using five spice powder in this too!

  43. I just had to comment on these, oh, my goodness, they are soooo good. The spice mixture is great, I have tried many different sweet potato fries recipes over the years and this is the best. Thank you for sharing it with us. I did make a garlic curry aioli to serve with the fries and it was great. If you don't have all the spices, it is so worth you going to get them.

  44. lovely recipe! i am looking for something similar. can't make this cuz don't have the necessary spices :(

  45. We tried this the other night and almost everyone -- especially the babies LOVED it (I didn't have fennel so I want to get some and see how that affects the taste) 3 yr old wasn't so impressed...he feels strongly that french fries should be white...but then when you exist on belly button lint and dust bunnies gourmet food doesn't impress you ;o).

    I totally agree that it is a recipe that we'll be making again and again...

    have a Merry Christmas

  46. Mom-ster, how fun hearing that the recipe is (mostly) kid-approved! Thanks for taking time to tell me!

  47. This was fantastic. I made them tonight. I adjusted based on my pantry and potato volume.
    (and I don't like fennel)
    I used:
    1 T ground coriander
    1 T dried oregano
    1/2 Teasp kosher salt
    1/2 Teasp Ground Pepper
    1/2 T garlic powder
    1/2 T garlic salt

  48. Donna, thanks for sharing your version. I think there are lots of combinations of spices that would work here. Isn't this just delicious! Love this recipe.

  49. Hi Kalyn,
    I got the link to this recipe through Nupur's blog and I always wanted to try it I did it last week and these fries tasted so amazing!!! Thanks for sharing it.

  50. Sushma, thanks! So glad you liked it.

  51. These were *fantastic.* And I've made lots of sweet potato fries! These are a definite keeper, and I even decided to make my inaugural blog post about this recipe!

    Thanks for bringing these into the world, Kalyn :D

  52. New Cook, glad you liked them, but as the recipe credit says, I found the recipe on, so I can't take credit for that.

  53. Yikes! Big oversight on my part. Thanks for pointing that out--I updated the citation :)

  54. OOOOHHHH la la! Yes, I will be making and these look wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.

  55. This Thanksgiving, my wife made a delicious sweet potato side dish called shakkarkandi. This simple preparation can be found on the streets of Northern India when the weather gets cold. Check it out!

  56. Sean, sounds interesting! Haven't heard of that dish before.

  57. I'm excited to try this over the weekend. My son will surely love it! He's crazy about potatoes!

  58. Just realized as I came here remind myself of the oven temp so I can make these for what is likely literally the 50th time (I keep a baggie with the premade spice mix in my spice drawer at all times) that I've never left a comment!

    So... just wanted to tell you I love this recipe so much that I've made it probably 50 times since finding it here several years ago. Whenever I make it people go wild and gobble them up. I serve them with vegan aioli and the combination is sheer indulgence!

  59. Hi! Just found this recipe and decided to put together the spice mixture for my office for Christmas. So, I was ordering spices from Penzeys and wondered whether you use Mexican oregano or Mediterranean oregano. Thanks!

  60. Hi Jessica. You definitely want Mediterranean oregano for this recipe, sometimes called Greek Oregano or Turkish oregano. I'll edit the recipe to clarify that, thanks for the question. I bet this is a big hit with the office mates!

  61. I make sweet potato fries quite often but never tried that spice combo - that is my next batch! P.S. Thanks for including my sweet potato mash :)

  62. Alyssa, this seasoning mix is the bomb, hope you it! And my pleasure!

  63. I adore sweet potato fries! I'll have to try them with this spice mix...yum!

  64. Joanne, this recipe is such a winner! Hope you enjoy.

  65. I could happily eat these every day of the week. Adding some spice makes sweet potato fries even better, if that's possible.

  66. Fell in love with this as soon as I put the first sweet potato fry in my mouth. I didn't have all the spices on hand so just used what I had and they were awesome.

  67. Kathleen, that is just how I felt the first time I tried them! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  68. Just finished eating my 99th zillion batch ; Picked up beautiful sweet potatoes in today's CSA box (bittersweet last of the season). This recipe is perfection, although I stopped peeling them long ago - more nutritious, much easier/faster, and they still taste terrific!

    1. Doren, so glad you are enjoying them, and I agree about not peeling them!


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