Sweet potato fries

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Sweet potato fries

Out of town away from my usual farmers markets, I was cruising in a grocery store vegetable department. The sweet potatoes spoke to me but what I thought were "yams" were silent. Confused as to which was which, I bought sweet potatoes and headed to my laptop.

What I had thought was a yam was actually just another type of sweet potato. Real yams are a tuber that can grow to seven feet long, has a dark brown or black skin and very sweet red, pale, or purple flesh. I bet they all would make great oven fries. The sweet potatoes I bought sure did.

Servings: 4


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dried or fresh thyme


  1. If your oven is already in use cooking something else between 350 and 450 degrees, you can just add the nascent fries or preheat it to 425. 
  2. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slabs, then stack them and cut into 1/4 inch fries. Spread them out on a couple of baking sheets and sprinkle them lightly with salt. 
  3. Let sit about 20 minutes while the salt "draws" out some of the moisture. Pat dry with paper towel then spray with cooking spray, tossing on the sheet. 
  4. Sprinkle with black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme until the amounts seem right to you. 
  5. Lay them out in single layers with a little space between them on two baking sheets. 
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or a bit longer until golden brown. It isn't necessary to stir/toss during baking but it wouldn't hurt if you like to watch magic in process.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 60
  • Total fat: 0 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 13 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugars: 3 g
  • Sodium: 133 mg
  • Protein: 1 g