If you’re looking for a super simple side, you can’t go wrong with Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pears. This sheet pan dish uses just a few ingredients and has easy instructions. Let it bake while you’re prepping the rest of the meal.
This is one of those surprisingly simple, but delicious, side dishes that takes no time to prep and can be served at any temperature. Use the leftovers for a cold salad the next day.
Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pears is the perfect side dish to serve any night of the week. A touch of brown sugar caramelizes the potatoes and makes them even crispier. Dried cranberries and pecans pair perfectly with roasted pears and a pinch of nutmeg. If you’ve got fresh or frozen cranberries, try adding them to a sweet potato casserole.
As a finishing touch, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar to balance the flavors and add a bit of depth.
Not as rich as a sweet potato casserole or as sweet as candied yams, this is a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving or Holiday meal.
Since everything is tossed together and baked in one pan, clean-up is easy. Also, it’s just as good served warm as a side or cold as a salad. Serve it with steak marsala or a seafood boil and you’ve got a complete meal that’s ready in under an hour.
You could use apples in this recipe, but I prefer pears since they have more moisture, a buttery texture and a sweet flavor. I recommend using Anjou pears or Bartlett pears. They are easy to find in stores and as long as they aren’t overly ripe, they’ll hold up well during baking.
For a simple dessert that combines both apples and pears, try a caramel apple galette.
While you can make this any time of the year, we especially love it in the fall. There’s something about the combination of cranberries, pears and sweet potatoes that makes it ideal for those cozy, cooler nights. If you’re looking for a richer sweet potato side dish, try grating the sweet potatoes for a sweet potato pudding.
Why you’ll love crispy roasted sweet potatoes
- A great side dish for any time of year
- Prep time is only 15 minutes
- One-pan meal makes cleanup a breeze
- You can eat them warm or cold
- Crispy potatoes go well with anything
What you’ll need
Sweet potatoes – you can use any variety and you don’t need to peel them.
Coconut Oil – I love the hint of flavor that coconut oil adds but you can use vegetable or olive oil
Pears – they should yield slightly to pressure but not be overly ripe, if they are too ripe, they will turn to mush when roasted.
Lemon juice – toss with the pears for a bright citrus taste and it keeps them from turning brown.
Dried cranberries – soak in hot water to rehydrate, otherwise they will burn when you roast them.
Pecans – roasting them brings out their nutty flavor and adds extra crunch
Nutmeg – use fresh-grated if you can find whole nutmeg
Balsamic vinegar – for a bit of acidity that balances the ingredients
Pantry staples – brown sugar and salt
Varieties of sweet potatoes
You’re probably familiar with the beta carotene-packed orange vegetables found in most grocery stores. These are usually Beauregard, (love that name!) Red Garnet or Jewel varieties.
But you might be surprised to know there are over 400 different types of sweet potatoes grown across the world. You can substitute most of them interchangeably, including the purple sweet potatoes commonly available in the winter months.
More sweet potato recipes to try
- Make-ahead Cheesy Breakfast Burritos are just the ticket for those crazy mornings.
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes make an impressive addition to any meal.
- Elevate Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with spicy dressing and honey.
- Serve Pecan Streusel Muffins for a coffee break or afternoon snack.
How to make crispy sweet potatoes and pears
Step 1- start with a hot oven
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Step 2 – cut the potatoes
Use a sharp knife to cut the sweet potato cubes, then add them to a bowl. In a separate small bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave. Toss it with the potatoes, then sprinkle in sugar, salt and nutmeg.
Pro tip: Since you don’t need to peel the sweet potatoes for this recipe, rinse them off under cool water before chopping. For stubborn dirt that won’t come off with water, use a clean scrub brush.
Grease a rimmed baking tray and spread the potatoes in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown.
Step 3 – cut the pears
Cut the pears into 1-inch cubes and mix with the lemon juice. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Gently stir in the pears, cranberries and pecans.
Step 4 – finish baking
Roast in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy.
FAQs and tips for crispy sweet potatoes
Do you have to peel sweet potatoes before roasting?
You don’t have to peel the potatoes for this recipe, plus the skin adds extra potassium, fiber and vitamin A. But if you prefer them peeled, go ahead and remove the skin with a vegetable peeler.
How do you get crispy roast potatoes?
Preheat the oven to 400° before baking to ensure your potatoes are crispy. Cutting the potatoes into cubes and tossing them in oil gives them the best texture — perfectly crunchy and crispy.
How do you know when sweet potatoes are cooked?
Fully cooked potatoes will be tender when pierced with a fork. The larger the potato cubes, the longer they will take to cook.
Here are some fan favorite one-pan meals
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Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pears
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes cubed
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil can use cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 pears cubed
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries rehydrated in hot water and drained
- ¼ cup pecans chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, add hot water to dried cranberries and let them sit for 10 minute, then drain and set aside.
- Place cubed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and set aside. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 10 second and drizzle over potatoes. Toss with sugar, salt, and nutmeg.
- Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Roast for 20 minutes or until undersides are lightly browned.
- While the potatoes are baking, cut pears into 1-inch cubes and toss with lemon juice.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and add pears, cranberries, and pecans. Toss gently and spread into a single layer. Return to oven and roast for an additional 15−20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and have crispy edges. (This could take longer depending on how large the potato cubes are.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Try to cut the sweet potatoes in similar size pieces for even cooking.
- You can substitute vegetable or olive oil for the coconut oil.
- This can be served warm or cold.
- It should stay fresh in the fridge for about 2 days.
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