British-Style Roasties: Sweet Potato Version

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Sweet Potato Roasties. Photo: Kim Laidlaw
Sweet Potato Roasties. Photo: Kim Laidlaw

Last year I posted a recipe for my Scottish husband’s favorite potato dish (something that is near and dear to the hearts of nearly every Brit I know): potato roasties. This year, I thought I’d get a little crazy and make them using sweet potatoes.

While these aren’t as insanely crisp as the russets, the exterior gets beautifully caramelized and the interior becomes oh-so-tender and meltingly delicious. These beauties will definitely be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving table. And a far better option than Aunt Bessie’s marshmallow-studded, syrup coated yam-in-a-can casserole.

Before you go shopping though, let’s get something clear. You may be confused as to why I call these “sweet potato roasties” yet call for yams in the ingredient list. Sweet potatoes and yams are technically not the same thing, but yams you buy in most U.S. grocery stores are really just soft varieties of sweet potatoes. They aren’t true yams. Check out this The Kitchn article or this Serious Eats article if you want more info about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes.

And don’t just make these for Thanksgiving. These nuggets of delight are great with any hearty winter fare, and especially delicious alongside roasted pork or braised pork shoulder. Let’s get to roasting!

Recipe: Sweet Potato Roasties

Serves 6



  • 3 lb red garnet or jewel yams
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil


    1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet that will hold the yams in an even layer without touching.
    2. Peel the yams and cut them into equal-sized chunks (I cut mine into pieces about 1 inch by 2 1/2 inches) so they are all about the same size. Place in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them. Season with plenty of salt and turn on the heat to high.
    3. Place the baking sheet in the oven to heat.
    4. Bring the yams just to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the oil to the baking sheet, keeping the baking sheet in the oven.
    5. Once the yams just start to boil, using a lid, carefully drain the water from the pan. Cover the pan and give it a good shake to bash up the yams slightly. Remove the lid and set the pan aside, uncovered, for the yams to dry for a few minutes.

    1. Carefully add the yams to the hot oil in a single layer so they are not touching and return the baking sheet to the oven. Roast, turning them once or twice during cooking, until they are golden brown, crisp, and tender throughout, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve right away.

Sweet Potato Roasties. Photo: Kim Laidlaw
Sweet Potato Roasties. Photo: Kim Laidlaw