Recipe: Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Apples, and a Hint of Orange (2024)

Recipe: Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Apples, and a Hint of Orange (2)Please dig in to this easy, healthy, delicious dish before I eat it all.

Recipe inspiration can come from anywhere—including an eleven-year-old magazine clipping that mysteriously appears in the middle of the floor. Actually, the only mystery is which cat knocked the clipping from one of the many precariously stacked piles of papers taking up most of the space in my cute but cluttered studio office (which you can read a little more about


I didn’t grow up in a sweet potato-eating household—not even topped with marshmallows on Christmas. Sweet potatoes were no doubt served when we went to relatives' houses for Thanksgiving, but I never noticed them because I was too busy zeroing in on the stuffing and drowning my dinner in gravy.

When I finally did find myself face to face in the kitchen with a sweet potato, I—for some unknown reason—peeled it, cut it into chunks, and steamed it. I then put the chunks in a bowl, mashed them with a fork, sprinkled them with lots of salt, and never looked back because salted steamed sweet potatoes are wonderful.

I also never looked forward; that was the one and only way I ate sweet potatoes for years, despite knowing there are probably a million and one interesting other things you can do with them.

Many people roast sweet potatoes whole, but since I haven't baked a regular potato in a couple of decades (and even then it was only in the microwave), I haven’t felt compelled to try this lengthy endeavor. More than 20 years later, I still have mouthwatering memories of the mini sweet potato pies I was sometimes lucky enough to score at Pack Jack’s BBQ in Sebastopol, California, but I’ve never bothered trying to replicate them at home.

One of these days, though, I really will get around to making sweet potato chips and sweet potato fries. I’ve heard they’re especially addicting with a dusting of cumin and paprika.

In the meantime, thanks to one of the cats and a 1998 recipe for sweet potato and apple salad from Cooking Light, I’ve finally moved forward.

Now if only the Organic Valley coupon someone batted out from under the loveseat the other day hadn’t expired back in 2002.

So what’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?

Recipe: Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Apples, and a Hint of Orange (3)
Farmgirl Susan's Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Apples, and a Hint of Orange
Makes about 3 cups – Inspired by Cooking Light

**Click here to print this recipe**

This easy, healthy dish requires only slightly more effort than steaming plain sweet potato chunks, and yet is ten times tastier. It’s nice enough to serve to company, although I prefer to devour it all on my own. The roasting does take a little time, but will make your kitchen smell marvelous.

Sometimes I let the simplest recipes become far too complicated. The first version of this that I made was delicious, but because I used a 7”x11” dish and wasn’t sure if everybody had that size, I started experimenting.

After trying five different versions that were cooked for four different amounts of time, in three different-sized pans, at three different temperatures, using three different amounts of onions and two different amounts of sauce, I finally came to one big conclusion: they were all delicious.

You can use pretty much any type of apple you like here. Galas are nice and sweet. A tart variety such as Granny Smith take a few minutes longer to cook and will stay a little firmer.

The vegetables really cook down, so you don’t end up with a whole lot of finished product. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, try them for breakfast with eggs and toast in place of home fries or hash browns.

As always, I urge you to seek out

local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Sadly, apples are #1 on the Environmental Working Group's List of Most Contaminated Produce.

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” to ¾” dice (about 3 cups)
1 pound onions, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 3 cups)
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar or agave syrup
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon finely chopped orange zest (or more to taste)
1 apple (about 7 ounces), cored and cut into ½” to ¾” dice

1. Heat the oven to 425°.

2. Combine the sweet potatoes and onion in a 9”x13” baking dish (I love this

CorningWare French White dish and use it all the time).

3. Mix together the orange juice, olive oil, brown sugar (or agave), salt, and orange zest in a glass measuring cup. Pour it over the sweet potato mixture and toss well with a large wooden spoon.

4. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the sweet potato chunks are fully cooked. (I like mine really soft, but they tend to mash up a little while serving. For a prettier presentation, add the apples when the sweet potatoes are tender but not real soft.)

5. Stir in the apple and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir once more, and serve hot.

Didn’t get your daily dose of vegetables yet? Fill up on these:

Easy, Creamy Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic
Quick Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Parmesan

Caramelized Beets with Garlic

Radish, Scallion, Feta Cream Cheese Spread/Dip

Carrot Herb Rolls
(and a beautiful book for beginning bread bakers)
Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip

Swiss Chard Artichoke White Pizza

Swiss Chard Artichoke Soup

Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad with Garbanzos and Cottage Cheese

Swiss Chard Tuna Salad with Scallions and Kalamata Olives

(Can you tell I’m crazy about Swiss chard? Besides being delicious, good for you, and ridiculously versatile, it’s really easy to grow!)

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© Copyright, the roasty to the mosty foodie farm blog where this recipe is low fat and packed with healthy things like beta carotene and fiber and antioxidants, but that can be our little secret—you don't have to tell anybody they're anything except delicious.

Recipe: Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions, Apples, and a Hint of Orange (2024)
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