Sweet Potato Fries


When I told my kids we were having sweet potato fries at dinner, I got two polar opposite responses. My 6-year old was ecstatic at the prospect of eating sweet potatoes again since he devoured the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole I cooked for Thanksgiving.  My 9-year old daughter wasn’t at all interested.  Although she sampled the same beloved casserole, its consistency reminded her too much of “baby food.” So, I strategized my approaches. My daughter would need a positive spin like, “you’ll LOVE these fries…they’re similar to the fries from McDonald’s just healthier and a bit sweeter.”  For my son, I would need to manage his expectations a bit.  Unfortunately, these fries would not be oozing with scores of melted marshmallows like the casserole version. They would, however, have their own buttery brown sugar sweetness.

Sweet Potatoes ready to be “fried”

Growing up Mom served sweet potatoes but they were always whole-baked in the oven, with butter spread down the center. For some reason, I remember liking the starchy/salty combo of a regular baked potato more.

But, it then it dawned on me. What my kids are willing to actually try in the kitchen is directly correlated to their visual stimuli.  For example, they never would’ve tried the Pomegranate Smoothie the other day if they had known it contained two heaping cups of spinach.  However, they were certainly amazed at the flourescent green hue to the drink so they just HAD to try it.   Same goes for the Sour Cream Bavarian.  They poked it with their fingers before they tried it.  When it bounced back like jello, they were intrigued.

I’m convinced the kids finally gave in and tried the sweet potato fries because they look exactly like home style french fries.  Plus, anything that can be eaten with fingers at the dinner table is an added bonus (I wouldn’t normally let them eat with their fingers but, anything goes when the kids try food for the first time).  And, the best part?  They’re sweet!  The combination of cinnamon mixed with heaping amounts of butter and sprinkled brown sugar turn this side dish into a potential dessert option too.

Brown sugar and cinnamon heating on stove top

This recipe is way too easy to pass up, requiring no culinary talents except for trying to cut same-sized rectangular pieces from the sweet potatoes without cutting finger in the process (This almost happened to me.  I wish I remember all of the skills I learned in the Knife Skills class!)

I was very generous with the butter and sugar but I know that’s kind of self-defeating if you’re trying to err on the healthier side of potato prep.  You can sample along the way to get the right proportion of sweetness versus potato.  If you use too much butter (like I did on some of the slices), when the potato cools, it’ll become very limp and soggy and won’t retain any crispness. Plus, it’s important to try to get the outsides of the slices a bit browned and too much butter won’t help.  These fries they won’t get crispy like the classic french fry, they’ll harden up a bit but, that’s it.

Sweet Potato fries doused with butter, sugar and cinnamon

Also, remember not to buy too many potatoes.  You’d be surprised how many slices one lone potato produces.  I purchased 5 potatoes and was left with three extra. Now they’re growing sprouts, looking like my son’s science project.

Ready for baking.  All of these slices came from only two potatoes



  1. Nice knife skills. I am not sure you need butter/sugar (I know nutriitonist talking) but I use cayenne and cinnamon a little oil (coconut) and delicious/crispy. Sounds like fun to be a taste tester in your house these days.

  2. Love sweet potato fries, some of the best I have seen in your pics, yummy

  3. Hello again! This would also be a great family friendly recipe at Kids in the Kitchen. A great easy recipe for kids to help prepare! Thanks again for linking up with us! Blessings, Carrie
    The link: http://younglivingoillady.com/kids-in-the-kitchen-week-3/

  4. We do love a good sweet potato — these look like they’d be good enough & sweet enough to have for dessert 🙂

    Thanks for your interest in Friday Favorite Finds – however, the linky’s purpose is to highlight recipes that are on your “to try” list, not ones that you have already made. I’d love to have you join us again next Friday with a post containing your list of recipes to try.

  5. Yui @ Sweet Potato says:

    Sweet potato fries is the best side dish ever. We only need sweet potato and all the spices we might already have at home. Even we don’t have cinnamon or black pepper, we can toss the potatoes with salt and pepper. Cinnamon and brown sugar would make it just more perfect.

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