Sweet Potato Home Fries

Courtesy of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

This isn’t a very novel or complicated recipe. I’m sharing it nevertheless since it would never have occurred to me to make it if I hadn’t been served something quite similar by my neighbor Ruth Gillan a few weeks back. I figure some of my readers may not have thought of it either!

When I was a little girl I thought I disliked sweet potatoes. My mother served them every Thanksgiving and Christmas candied up with lots of butter and maple syrup, and I found them cloying.

As an adult I discovered that I actually LOVE sweet potatoes; I just don’t like them candied. The fact that they are super good for me, with lots of beta carotene and vitamins, is a bonus.

I love to bake them and eat them (healthy skin and all) with a little butter, salt, and pepper. I love to roast them with a little olive oil in the oven. And I love them as Ruth served them to me … chopped up into very small pieces and gently fried. She put a little maple syrup in her potatoes. I prefer them without it, oniony and peppery with just a little herb or spice.

For the picture below I peeled my sweet potatoes because the inner orange beauty is more photogenic than the brown skin. If you want to be extra healthy, however, leave on the skin.

You don’t have to use a nonstick pan as I recommend, but it helps control the amount of fat you will need in cooking. According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, one needs a little fat in sweet potatoes to enable one’s body to absorb the Vitamin A they offer. One doesn’t have to get carried away with the fat, however!

The Sweets


1 medium sweet potato (peeled if you like)
1 small-to-medium onion, peeled
a splash of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
chopped herb or spice of your choice: I like parsley or rosemary or sage or thyme; I also like a toasted cumin seed with or without a little cilantro


Cut the sweet potato into very tiny cubes, about 1/4 inch square or even smaller. Dice the onion into pieces of a similar size.

In a nonstick pan over medium-high heat warm the oil until it begins to shimmer. Toss in the sweet-potato and onion pieces. Let them brown for a couple of minutes, then add the salt and pepper and turn them. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to keep the sweets from burning, until the potatoes and onions are brown and cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The sweet-potato pieces should be able to be pierced easily by a fork.)

Toss on the herbs or spices and serve. This recipe serves 2 but can be doubled or halved very easily.

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4 Responses to “Sweet Potato Home Fries”

  1. Grad says:

    You are speaking my language here, Tinky. I love sweet potatoes savory- style as you do. The only other way I ever make it is in a casserole at Thanksgiving, mashed with brown sugar, eggs, cream, butter and a pecan topping and then baked. My boys, especially Charlie, always loved it and so I made it that way, but I never did prefer them made like that. Probably because I’m not a sweet lover. Sweet potato fries and sweet potato chips are the way to go as far as I’m concerned. And, like you, I love them baked simply. I think I’ll make your recipe for sweet potatoes on Sunday with baked chicken.

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    Baked chicken … another of my simple favorites! Sunday dinner sounds good at your place, Grad.

  3. Justin Towe says:

    I really love to cook but it seems cooking doesn’t love me at all but I’m on the process in making things okay.And I am thankful enough to find your site and glad to have another experience with this given recipes. Thanks!

  4. tinkyweisblat says:

    Well, Justin, if you’re dealing with sweet potatoes, as you obviously are, you must be doing something right!

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