Sautéed Sweet Potatoes

Sauteed sweet potatoes recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 5 servings

These sweet potatoes are easy to cook on the stove and are a savory, salty, healthier alternative to traditional oil-fried french fries or sweet potato fries. They pair well with any sandwich or veggie burger for lunch and make a quick and simple side dish for dinner. 

The sweet potatoes are seasoned while sautéing with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. They're perfect just like that, or you can try adding a bit of ginger or curry powder to the recipe for a lightly spicy twist. You can always use your own favorite store-bought seasoning blend too.

This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. If you're not eating vegan, a little dab of good-quality butter makes a nice topping. And if you are eating vegan, try a vegan margarine or butter substitute for extra flavor. 


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  • 3 sweet potatoes (or yams)
  • Olive oil (or another good-quality cooking oil)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • Optional: curry powder (to taste)
  • Optional: ginger powder (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sweet potatoes
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Slice each of the sweet potatoes into coin-shaped round slices, approximately 1/2-inch thick. For larger sweet potatoes, you may want to cut these coin shapes in half to make them closer to bite-sized pieces. Try to make sure all of your sweet potatoes are cut to the same width so that they cook relatively evenly. 

    Slice sweet potatoes
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  3. Heat a thin layer of olive oil or another good-quality cooking oil in a large skillet, frying pan, or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place a single layer of sweet potato coin slices in the oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and curry and ginger powder (if using), if desired.

    Sweet potatoes
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Allow sweet potatoes to cook until slightly soft and browned, about 3 to 5 minutes, then flip. Sprinkle the other side with salt, pepper, garlic, and optional spices. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife.

    Allow sweet potatoes to cook
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Repeat until all of the sweet potato slices are cooked, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

    Repeat until sweet potatoes are sliced
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Serve and enjoy.

    Serve sweet potatoes
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • There's no need to peel the sweet potatoes before cooking. The peel adds nutrition without disrupting the texture. If you don't care for the peel, peel the potatoes before slicing.
  • To keep your potatoes warm as you pan-fry them in batches, preheat the oven to 250 F. Place cooked sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and store in the oven until all of the potatoes are done.

What Takes Longer to Cook, Sweet Potatoes or Potatoes?

White potatoes like russet typically take a little longer to cook than sweet potatoes. This all depends on the cooking method, how the potatoes are prepared for cooking, and the exact type of potato. The difference in cook times is usually minimal.

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