Move over french fries; there’s a new favorite fry in town! Sweet potato fries have quickly become a comfort food phenomenon, and there’s a good reason why. They are crazy delicious and super easy to make. And of course, they’re waaay healthier than traditional french fries—especially when you air fry them instead of deep frying!
Sweet and salty, crunchy and soft, this is the most perfect sweet potato recipe I’ve tried so far. Are you intrigued? You need to try them yourself! All you’ll need is an air fryer, a sharp chef’s knife, a large sweet potato or yam, salt, and red pepper flakes.Print
Is there anything better than some homemade sweet potato fries? Sweet and salty, crunchy and tender. These vegan air fryer sweet potato fries are a home run!
- 1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato or yam (sliced into 1/3 inch thick spears, as pictured.)
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt (plus additional for sprinkling)
- Wash sweet potato, slice off and discard the rough tips at each end, and place on a cutting board.
- Slice into 1/3 inch wide french-fry-shaped spears. To do so, use a shark chef’s knife and slice sweet potato in half lengthwise, placing the flat surfaces of each down on the cutting board to stabilize for easier (and safer) slicing. If you have a particularly long sweet potato, cut in half again (to shorten the length of the fries). For crispier fries slice thinner, and for softer fries slice slightly thicker. Fries should be uniform in size so they cook evenly.
- In a medium bowl, add the sweet potato spears, oil, red pepper flakes, and salt, and toss well.
- Place sweet potato spears in your air fryer basket, arrange in a single layer, and cook at 380 degrees F (190 celsius) for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, checking midway to ensure you don’t burn your fries). If you want them crispier, cook them one or two minutes longer—just be careful not to burn them. It’s okay if they get a little browned though, those are my favorite crispy parts!
- Sprinkle with additional salt to taste, and enjoy hot!
The sweet potatoes do not need to be peeled for this recipe, but should be rinsed and scrubbed under running water.
Do I Really Need To Air Fry These?
Air fryers are all the rage these days, and for a good reason. They enable us to fry up our favorite foods without massive amounts of oil. You can air fry most things with just a tiny drizzle of vegetable oil—or you can even skip the oil altogether if you’re going for ultimate health. This can save you money (oil can be pricey!), reduce food waste (a lot of deep frying oil is thrown away), eliminate messy cleanup (deep frying can get real nasty), and it’s infinitely better for your health.
We can all agree on trying to be our healthiest most of the time, right? But when it comes to fries, you want the full experience.
We tried a dozen versions of oven-baked sweet potato fries but none of them came close to these air fryer fries, which crisp up on the outside, while the inside gets perfectly soft and sweet.
Just be warned: they’re totally addictive. My hubby and I make them all the time. In fact…honeyyyy? Can you whip us up a batch?
If you’ve been on the fence about getting an air fryer, I encourage you to dive in! Mine sat unused on my shelf for months (just like my Instant Pot did) before I started keeping it on my counter and now I use it all the time. Like—almost every day. You can use it to make vegan chicken nuggets, crispy tofu, air fried veggies, and more.
Sweet Potato Perks
You’ll be glad to know that while you’re enjoying these delicious fries, your body will be enjoying a big rush of nutrients entering your system. Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods out there!
They’re rich in essential vitamins and minerals—most notably:
- Vitamin A (beta carotene)
- Vitamin C
Plus, if you’re living on a tight budget, you’ll be glad to learn that sweet potatoes have “one of the highest nutrient-rich food scores per dollar” (according to Dr. Michael Greger, author of the New York Times bestseller How Not to Die and founder of of NutritionFacts.org.)
A Kid Favorite
As parents, we can do our kids a great service by acclimating them to healthy food growing up. Instead of giving them nutrient-deficient french fries and calling it a vegetable, let’s say goodbye to those old Standard American ways. I think we can all agree deep fried french fries aren’t good for any of us. But these are! And guess what?
Kids love these sweet potato fries! You can send them in their packed lunches—maybe alongside some hummus, raw veggie sticks, and some baked tofu. A total hit!
There’s something about the sweetness of the potato that makes kids (and adults!) eat them as if they were candy. You can serve them with any dipping sauce you like. Some fan favorites include:
- vegan ranch
- vegan mayo
Playing Around with Shapes
French fries have a very specific “classic” shape, and so do sweet potato fries. Long evenly thick sticks, right? But I’m sure you’re aware there are so many different ways to cut potatoes, and each one is very special. Should we think of a few?
- Classic Potato Fries (or Belgian fries)
- Potato Wedges (thicker and less crunchy)
- Waffle Fries (remember these? A bit like a net-shaped oval)
- Crinkle-Cut Fries (or curly fries)
- Steak fries (a thicker version of the classic)
- Smiley Fries (a childhood classic)
- Round slices (chips)
The round slices are the absolute easiest to make, if you can’t be bothered cutting the hard potato into more creative shapes. Just slice your potato into rounds that are about 1/3 inch thick.
Which is your favorite? No matter which one you choose, they’re sure to taste amazing!
Potato Obsessed? Check Out These Vegan Potato Recipes!
Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries photos by Zhoro Apostolov for World of Vegan. Recipe and photographs copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Please note that this article contains affiliate links that support our work at World of Vegan!