Grilled Sweet Potatoes

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If you aren't grilling sweet potatoes, it's time to start! With caramelized grill marks, the perfect spice blend, and minimal prep work - these will be some of the best sweet potatoes you've ever tried.

169 CAL 19g CARBS 10g FAT 2g PROTEIN
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Grilled sweet potato is a quick and delicious side dish that never does you wrong! It can be seasoned with all different spices to create the most delicious sweet and smoky grilled side dish. 

Think of Thanksgiving – what do you think of? Turkey, cranberry sauce, and what else? Probably sweet potatoes! However, it is time to switch up this classic holiday ingredient and get it on the grill. Trust me, the results are amazing. 

Sweet potatoes used to be one of those foods you would only see on the table on Thanksgiving – however with so many health benefits, this humble but delicious tuber has found its place on restaurant menus and at the dinner table.

When prepared correctly – ie., not covered in sugar and marshmallows – sweet potatoes are just about one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and one of the best ways to eat them is grilled.

Grilling them develops the flavor and keeps the nutrients in, so you get the most out of every bite.

Sweet potatoes that have been grilled on a plate with fresh thyme and barbecue sauce.

How to Grill a Sweet Potato

Grilling sweet potatoes isn’t hard by any means, but there is a little bit of an art to getting them really good. Start out by cutting your sweet potatoes into planks about a quarter of an inch thick. This helps them cook a little bit faster and gives more surface area for the grill marks. Toss them with olive oil and the seasoning of your choice.

Once your grill is at medium-high heat, place your sweet potato planks on the grill and leave them for about 5 minutes; flip the planks over carefully, as you don’t want to lose any between grill grates. They will need to cook for another 5 minutes, at which point, gently poke the center to check that they are tender. If they are, then they are ready to serve.

If they aren’t? Leave them sit for a few more minutes before trying again.

Recipe Ideas 

  • Sweet and Spicy – Brown sugar, paprika, poultry seasoning, chili powder, and cayenne powder combine to make a delicious mix that is sweet and spicy at the same time.
  • Moroccan – Mix ground cumin, cinnamon, cayenne powder, paprika, and salt for a delicious Moroccan twist.
  • Garlic & Herb – Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan then add 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, and a quarter of a teaspoon of red chili flakes. Cook them together until the garlic is soft – usually about a minute. Drizzle the whole thing over your sweet potatoes after you’ve grilled them and enjoy.
  • Honey Grilled – Combine honey and softened butter then gently brush it on your sweet potatoes while it grills. Be sure to flip the sweet potatoes a third time to cook the honey and butter on both sides.

Meal Prep Ideas

Grilled sweet potato is delicious made in advance and it reheats well, which makes it perfect if you like to do meal prep for a whole week, all in one day. In the fridge, these grilled sweet potatoes will stay good for days.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate them into your meal plan.

  • Half a sweet potato with beans, cheese, and other toppings for a spin on a loaded baked potato. Perfect for lunch or dinner.
  • Cut up into cubes as part of a breakfast hash with onion and peppers.
  • Sliced into grilled sweet potato fries and topped with lettuce, cheese, and corn for loaded fries.
  • Make these delicious Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos on the grill.

Should I Wrap the Sweet Potatoes in Foil?

Chances are if you’re asking this question, you’ve likely had a baked potato cooked in a fire while you were camping or have had a barbeque. It is a delicious way to cook them, after all, and you'll be happy to know that yes, you can do that with sweet potatoes too!

Mind you, when you cook them wrapped in foil, you won’t be able to get that gorgeous criss-cross char that makes grilled sweet potatoes so delicious; you’ll just have a baked sweet potato.

So, if it’s a grilled sweet potato you’re after? Leave the foil on the roll!

Sweet Potato vs Yam

In the United States, there’s a little bit of confusion when it comes to yams and sweet potatoes, all thanks to farmers living in 1930s Louisiana, who began marketing their orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as yams, which ended up perniciously sticking.

Today, however, most yams you see on grocery store shelves are in fact sweet potatoes, as real yams have a tough brown skin that almost makes them look like a tree trunk – absolutely nothing like a sweet potato.

If you see yams when you go shopping, but no sweet potatoes? Feel free to grab the yams – they’re functionally the same thing.

Grilling sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper on a wire rack with grill marks.

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The Recipe
Grilled sweet potatoes with olive oil and spices on a plate with fresh thyme.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

169 CAL 19g CARBS 10g FAT 2g PROTEIN
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  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

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Preheat the grill to medium high heat.


Cut the sweet potatoes into planks, about ¼ inch thick. Toss with the olive oil and seasonings.


Place on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until grill marks form and potatoes are tender on the inside.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 sweet potato
Amount Per Serving
Calories 169
Calories from Fat 89
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 354mg
Total Carbohydrate 19g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 8g
Protein 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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