Air Fryer Whole Sweet Potatoes are cooked in 30-45 minutes with just a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. They come out with crispy skins and a smooth and creamy inside! This recipe is entirely hands off and has minimal preparation.
Sweet potatoes are a favorite food of ours. They're filled with fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and protein. Since they are a naturally sweet food, roasting them brings out this sweetness- but you don't need the oven to do that!
Air frying whole sweet potatoes is a simple way to create delicious, crispy skinned potatoes that can be topped with your favorite add-ins and served with a variety of dinners. This versatile side dish is also a must at traditional Thanksgiving dinners. If you'd like an option aside from air frying whole sweet potatoes, check out these recipes for slow cooking whole baked sweet potatoes, turning them into mashed potatoes in the crockpot or in the Instant Pot and chopping them into oregano-seasoned cubes and air frying til bright and crispy.
Why Use The Air Fryer?
- Saves Time: air frying sweet potatoes as opposed to oven baking them saves time since the air fryer heats up quicker and cooks food faster due to the circulation of hot air.
- Evenly Cooked: because the hot air circulates around the potatoes in the air fryer, the result is evenly cooked potatoes on all sides.
- It's Versatile: the air fryer is great for not just cooking perfect whole sweet potatoes, but ones cut into cubes or wedges or made into sweet potatoes fries.
You need only a few simple ingredients when air frying whole sweet potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes: you can use any size you'd like, but make sure they roughly the same thickness so they cook in the same amount of time.
- Olive oil: the oil is optional, but I like it because it gives the skin extra crispiness. I use extra virgin olive oil to keep it as healthy as possible.
- Salt and black pepper: optional as well, to give the sweet potatoes a light yet savory seasoning to counter their natural sweetness.
Cook Time Notes
At 400 degrees Fahrenheit, whole sweet potatoes should air fry for:
small potatoes: 30 minutes
medium potatoes: 40 minutes
large potatoes: 50 minutes
*These cook times are approximate, as different air fryer brands may vary. Make sure to check the potatoes by piercing them with a fork 5-10 minutes before the full cook times above and continue air frying as needed.
Air frying whole sweet potatoes is simple and hands off.
Step 1: Wash and scrub any dirt off the potatoes and dry them. You should begin preheating the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204C) if yours requires this step.
Step 2: Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil (if using). You can also use a spray oil. Toss with salt and black pepper.
Step 3: Place in the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray. Set the time to 30 minutes for small sweet potatoes, 40 minutes for medium ones or 50 minutes for large ones. With 5 minutes of cook time left, pierce with a fork to check if insides are tender. If not done, continue air frying in 2 minute increments until cooked through.
STEP 4: Remove the sweet potatoes from the air fryer using tongs. Transfer to a serving dish and top with butter (see below for more delicious serving suggestions).
There are so many ways to top your baked sweet potatoes. While I opt for lots of freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt and butter, here are some sweet and savory suggestions.
- black pepper
- ground cinnamon
- fresh or oregano
- red pepper flakes
- maple syrup
- brown sugar
You can even turn them into a full meal by topping with Mexican-seasoned ground beef or steak, black beans, corn, cilantro and sour cream to make a taco stuffed sweet potato. Or top with fried eggs and avocado like I do with this stove top sweet potato hash!
How To Store
Baked sweet potatoes keep in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container or wrapped in foil.
Air Frying Tips
- Rubbing the potatoes in olive oil is optional. Oil-free potatoes will not have a crispy skin like those that use oil. If not using oil, make sure to spray the air fryer basket with oil prior to cooking so the potatoes don't stick.
- Choose potatoes that are similar in size so they cook for the same length of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
There isn't exactly a "best" sweet potato for use in the air fryer. The most common type of sweet potato found in American grocery stores is the Beauregard. This potato has purplish-red skin and a bright orange flesh. They are especially sweet. The second most common sweet potato is the jewel, which has a little more moisture in it's flesh. Both are a great all purpose sweet potato and perfect for air frying.
Sweet potatoes are best in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, sweet potatoes can be air fried without oil. Because we are so accustomed to roasting and frying vegetables and other foods in oil, this may take getting used to. Oil-free potatoes will not have as crispy skin as an oil-rubbed sweet potato. If not using oil, make sure to spray the air fryer basket with oil prior to cooking so the potatoes don't stick.
If you are using an air fryer basket, there is no need to flip them since the holes and air circulation will evenly cook your potatoes. If you have a tray style air fryer and you are using a solid pan, you should flip them to ensure they cook evenly.
Sweet Potatoes Recipe (Air Fryer)
- Wash and scrub sweet potatoes to remove dirt. If your air fryer requires preheating, set the temperature to 400° F (204°C).
- Rub the sweet potatoes in the olive oil and toss with salt and black pepper.
- Place in the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray. Set the time to 40 minutes and press start (see notes for cooking times). With 5 minutes of cook time left, pierce with a fork to check if insides are tender. If not done, continue air frying in 2 minute increments until cooked through.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the air fryer using tongs. Transfer to a serving dish and top with butter or your choice of toppings.