Sweet potatoes can be cooked in many different ways, but baking them in the oven is my favorite. A form of dry-heat cooking, baking brings out its natural flavors and sweetness without the need for any added syrups, sweeteners, marshmallows, or oils. But mostly, sweet potatoes are just really really good and super easy to cook. And with right around 180 calories per medium-sized baked sweet potato, you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The mealtime opportunities thanks to a simple baked sweet potato are endless. This recipe is perfect for anyone learning the basics or just brushing up.
Preheat your oven and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Wash and gently scrub the potatoes under cold running water. Dry the potatoes as thoroughly as possible. Baking sweet potatoes in the oven with dry skin will allow the skin to get crispy (yum!) rather than steamed and soggy.
Transfer your sparkly clean (and dry!) potatoes to your prepared baking sheet. Use a fork to poke holes all over the surface. I usually poke my potatoes a few times on each side.
Bake in the oven. Then rotate 180 degrees and bake again until you see some of the natural sugars have started to caramelize, ooze from the fork punctures, and a fork or sharp knife is easily inserted into the thickest part of the potato.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow your baked potato to rest before slicing open (they will still be hot!) and seasoning with salt, black pepper, butter, brown sugar, or maple syrup if desired.