How to Bake a Sweet Potato

A baked sweet potato cut open next to a fork

This EASY method for baking sweet potatoes in the oven is so simple it almost doesn’t count as a recipe. 


  • 1 medium to large sweet potato
  • Water, just for rinsing
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
  • Kosher salt, optional


Preheat your oven to 375F. Get out a baking sheet, parchment paper, and aluminum foil. Set aside. 

Prep the sweet potatoes: Quickly rinse your sweet potato in water. If you plan to eat the skin, which I do when not using the sweet potato for baking, you can also coat it in about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Just pour a bit of oil into your hands and then rub it onto the skin.  Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt if desired. The oil and salt give the skin a bit of extra flavor.

Wrap in foil or use a lined baking sheet. Wrap the sweet potato in TWO layers of aluminum foil. You can use one layer of foil if you also use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The layers of foil or baking sheet will prevent any juices inside the sweet potato from bubbling out and burning on the bottom of your oven.

Bake. If you are using two layers of foil, you can bake your potato directly on the oven rack. I usually bake sweet potatoes for about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. 

Test for doneness. The potato is ready when it gives to pressure. So when you put an oven mitt on and gently squeeze the potato through the foil it should feel soft. Another way to test is to take the potato out of the oven, peel back the foil and then test it with a butter knife. The knife should easily slide into the center of the potato.

Serve or allow to cool! If you are eating the sweet potato as the main course, you can add your fixings and dig in. If you are using it as an ingredient in another recipe, then allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before peeling back the skin and scooping out the tender flesh.


You can bake sweet potatoes in advance. I often do this and then use them for quick meals or baking later in the week. Simply follow the above instructions, then allow the sweet potato to cool completely before placing it in an air-tight container and storing it in the fridge. Baked sweet potato can be kept for up to 4 days.

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