Fries are one of those foods I cannot live without. And it’s not just because I love potatoes (trust me, I really, really love potatoes).
It’s because a handful of crispy, matchstick fries are so simple and tasty and can be served with practically everything.
I mean, when you order a hamburger or a sandwich, is it really complete without that side of deep-fried strips of perfection?
When you order a milkshake, it is really as tasty without a side of crispy, salty spuds?
That last one might just be a me thing, but you have to believe me when I tell you that fries and milkshakes go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you haven’t ever dipped a fry in a milkshake, I demand that you go and do so immediately.
Seriously, stop reading this post and go right now!
When you take two amazing things and put them together, it’s like heaven on a plate.
This is true of many different flavor mash-ups, but it’s especially true when there is a combination of spicy and sweet in the same mouthful.
That is why this cajun sweet potato fry recipe truly stand out in a sea of fry recipes.
First, we are switching out the classic russet potato for a whole new root vegetable. To me, sweet potato fries are actually better than the classic French fry.
(Please don’t throw stones at me for saying that…)
I just love that subtle sweet flavor that works its way into every single bite. It’s a tiny burst of natural sweetness, on top of that classic savory flavor that you know and love.
While sweet potatoes are the star of this mouthwatering snack, the homemade seasoning with its punch of cajun flavor is an unbeatable and irreplaceable supporting actor.
When it comes to spicing things up for a recipe, I love turning to cajun flavors. Just like with these cajun tacos, or our skillet shrimp, the combination of savory and spicy seasoning really brings another level of flavor that you can’t get with many other spice combinations.
The best part is, the spices that you need for homemade cajun seasoning are already sitting in your spice rack. All you need is salt, paprika, onion and garlic powder, thyme, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne.
While these spices might seem humble as they sit on the shelf among your collection of canisters and jars, when combined you get an explosion or flavor that really makes this recipe stand out. It’s a spice mix that works just as well on salmon and chicken.
It’s the simplest snack to make, in addition to all the flavorful goodness that I just talked about.
There are three major points that you need to make sure that you do in order to prepare this recipe perfectly:
1. Cut Even Strips
You want to make sure that you are cutting them into even strips. This will ensure that the potatoes all cook at the same rate, and will get nice and crispy in the oven. Starting with similarly sized root veggies helps to ensure this.
Soaking the strips in cold water is very important, especially when you are baking fries. This step helps rinse off the excess starch, which makes the potatoes crisp up better in the oven.
Just make sure that you pat down those potatoes thoroughly after rinsing so they are dry before coating in oil and spices.
3. Use the Right Pan
The key is not to overcrowd the pan, and you want to be sure to use a large, rimmed baking sheet (two if you have to). You want all of your fries to bake in an even layer, so make sure none of them overlap. That way they will come out crispy.
Now you are ready to conquer this recipe!Print
Forget using the plain russet for your next fry adventure. Instead, look to the best cajun sweet potato fries recipe for a sweet, spicy combo.
- 2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 Tbsp paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- Cut each potato into thin strips, approximately ¼ inch thick. Place into a large bowl.
- Fill the bowl with cold water and soak for 30 minutes. Rinse in a colander with cool water, drain, and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
- Add remaining oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the spices. Toss well to coat.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet in single layer, without any overlap.
- Bake for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until fully cooked and golden brown.
- Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt to season. Serve immediately.
Adapted from The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: sweet potato, oven-baked, cajun, vegetarian
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure All Ingredients and Prepare Sweet Potatoes
Measure out all of the ingredients as listed in the ingredients list. Wash the root vegetables well, get out your vegetable peeler, and get to work.
Cut each sweet potato into thin strips that are about ¼ inch thick. The most important thing for this step is to make sure they are all uniform in thickness.
Add the strips to a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and let soak for 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water, then drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels.
Dry the bowl, and put the strips back in. You could use another bowl instead, but this helps to save on dishes!
Step 2 – Season
Preheat your oven to 425˚F. Use 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to coat a large rimmed baking sheet.
Add the rest of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the remaining spices to the bowl. Toss with tongs until the root veggie strips are evenly coated.
Spread the strips in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Be careful not to crowd the pan, or they won’t crisp up the way you want them to. Feel free to use two pans if you like!
Step 3 – Bake
Bake for 25 minutes. Toss halfway through the baking process. The sweet potatoes will be cooked through and slightly golden on the edges when they are done.
Transfer them to a large bowl once cooked through. It’s fine to wipe out and use the same bowl again! Toss with 1 teaspoon salt to season, and serve immediately.
What Sauces Can I Dip These Fries In?
When it comes to serving fries, I am a huge advocate of providing a variety of sauces to dip them in.
My personal favorite for this particular recipe is the classic ketchup. If you’d like to change things up, you can whip up a creamy garlic aioli. Other options include Dijon mustard, ranch dressing, fry sauce (a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise), straight up mayonnaise, or even cheese sauce.
Are you exhibiting symptoms of fry fever? If you are in the mood for something different than the classic russet, check out these recipes:
- Butternut Squash Fries
- The Best Zucchini Fries
- Crispy Oven-Baked Green Bean Fries
- Batter-Dipped Avocado
Still craving the real deal? Bring back the russets, and make our oven fries with green dressing and Gruyere cheese.
What sauce will you serve with these fries? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe. We hope you love these fries as much as we do!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on December 7, 2012. Last updated: August 1, 2022 at 14:25 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.