These savory pan-roasted diced sweet potatoes with bacon are quick, easy, and delicious. They’re easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but tasty enough to serve with your holiday meal. You simply peel and dice the potatoes, toss them in seasoning, roast them with chopped bacon, and serve! Give them a try tonight!
Not in the mood for candied yams again this year at Thanksgiving? Looking for a new way to get more sweet potatoes in your diet this year? This roasted sweet potato recipe is incredibly easy, and I promise your family will be impressed.
If you haven’t had sweet potatoes before, you’re in for a treat. My family likes them better than regular potatoes, and my youngest eats them by the pound!
What’s the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?
There’s actually a huge difference between these two vegetables, but everyone is confused because American grocery stores frequently mislabel orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as yams. Actual yams are from a completely different family of vegetables than sweet potatoes, and have a tough, bark-like exterior (similar to yucca root). They aren’t common in American stores, although some specialty markets may carry them. Both are higher in nutrients and fiber than the white potato, although the sweet potato is considered to be healthier than the yam. This recipe is for sweet potatoes, but yams could be substituted without difficulty.
What Kind of Sweet Potatoes Should I Buy?
Your grocery store most likely carries soft, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes with a reddish-brown skin (that they may label as yams). They may also cary dark skinned sweet potatoes with a white flesh, or even purple fleshed sweet potatoes. White and purple sweet potatoes have a firmer texture, and don’t mash as easily as the more common orange fleshed varieties. I prefer the texture of the soft, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in this recipe, but feel free to substitute. You may need to increase the cooking time.
How Should I Prepare Sweet Potatoes For Roasting?
All you need to do before roasting your sweet potatoes is to peel and dice them. The peel isn’t harmful, but most people prefer not to eat it. Peel the potatoes with a carrot or potato peeler, or carefully with a paring knife.
Then dice them. I dice sweet potatoes by cutting one slice off lengthwise to give the potato a flat surface to rest on. Then cut it into three long sections, each about 1/2-3/4″ thick. Stack the slices, and cut them lengthwise again, making 3-4 sticks out of each slice. Then turn the sticks, and cut them the short way to make rough cubes 1/2-3/4″ per side.
Seasoning Blend for Roasted Sweet Potatoes
I love to season roasted sweet potatoes with a blend of garam masala, garlic powder, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt and pepper.
What is Garam Masala?
Garam masala is a blend of Indian spices, usually consisting of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry leaf, mace, and peppercorns. I can get it these days at my local grocery store, but it’s also available at international groceries or online. You can make your own from ground spices, or get fancy and grind your own. For the cheater version, just add equal parts ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves to the recipe.
Can I Use White Sugar instead of Brown?
Of course you can, it’s your dinner! It won’t have that yummy molasses-y taste that brown sugar imparts, but you can always add a drizzle of molasses if you have any in the back of your cupboard. You could also try a adding a bit of maple syrup for extra flavor. If you’re cooking with sugar substitutes for health reasons you’re welcome to try them in this recipe, or to leave the sugar out entirely. I’ve never cooked with those products, so I can’t vouch for how they react to the heat of the oven.
My favorite ingredient! You can use homemade bacon or store-bought in this recipe. It doesn’t need to be pre-cooked. Bacon with a hint of sweet or spicy would be great – I’ve made a maple black pepper bacon that works well, for example. Simply cut it into lardons (slice the short way into thin strips) and add to a baking sheet with the diced sweet potatoes.
How to Make Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
Start by mixing up your seasoning blend. That recipe scales, so if you feel like making extra feel free. It’s also great on pork. Preheat the oven to 425. Dice your sweet potatoes. Cut the bacon into thin strips (lardons). In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato chunks with a tablespoon of neutral oil (grapeseed or vegetable) and the seasoning blend. Pour the sweet potatoes onto a 9×13 baking sheet. Nestle the bacon bits in amongst them, and shake the pan so that everything is in a single layer. Bake at 425 for about 40 minutes, turning everything halfway through. If the bacon isn’t quite crisp enough, broil for a minute or two at the end of the cooking time. Top with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley for color, and enjoy!
What to Serve with Sweet Potatoes and Bacon?
Honestly, sweet potatoes go with nearly everything. This dish is perfect alongside roast turkey at Thanksgiving, with baked salmon and asparagus as pictured above, and with chicken or steak. I always think sweet potatoes go especially well with pork. A few dinner ideas, from my site and other places:
- Mushroom and wild rice-stuffed bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin
- Apple pork chops
- Spatchcocked roast chicken
- Haddock with bacon breadcrumbs
- Crispy pan-seared salmon fillets
- Bacon-wrapped scallops with corn puree
- Grilled strip steaks with bacon butter
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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
- 9 x 13 baking sheet
- 1.5 lb sweet potatoes any color – about 3 medium
- 4 oz bacon sliced into 1/4" thick strips (lardons)
- 2 tsp garam masala see note
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or any neutral oil
- 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley -optional
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Mix seasoning for sweet potatoes in large bowl: garam masala, brown sugar, garlic powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper
- In large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with seasoning and grapeseed oil
- Spread seasoned sweet potatoes out on 9×13" baking sheet. Evenly distribute sliced bacon. Shake pan and make sure everything is in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Roast for 40 minutes at 425°F, flipping bacon and potatoes halfway through. If bacon isn't crisp enough at the end of cooking time, broil for 1-2 additional minutes. Watch closely to avoid burn.
- Serve sweet potatoes as is, or sprinkle with parsley or cilantro