Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream (with Chili Powder)

November 13, 2009
12 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

When I make these I always double the batch, because they are gobbled up faster than you can say "Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries." The heat and spice of cumin, chile powder and paprika complement the natural sweetness of the potatoes. I don't peel the sweet potatoes, because the skin adds extra texture and nutrients. The Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream is cooling and fresh, balancing out the kick of the spice and the earthiness of the potatoes. —TasteFood

Test Kitchen Notes

The briliance of the sweet potato fry is that with all the sugar in the potatoes, you can really lay on the seasonings. Here, TasteFood has you use chili powder, cumin and cayenne. You might want to double the recipe so you'll feel better about sharing. You'll want to eat the first batch plain and the second tempered with the tangy sour cream sauce. And as we discovered, the hard way, cayenne's heat varies a lot -- start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more if you like. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut in large matchsticks/batons approx. 1/4" x 2"
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream (recipe below)
  • Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped cilantro
  1. Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes and olive oil in a large bowl.
  4. Combine salt, cumin, chile powder, paprika, pepper and cayenne in a small bowl.
  5. Add spices to potatoes and toss to coat.
  6. Arrange potatoes in one layer on baking sheet.
  7. Bake in oven on lowest rack until undersides are browned, 12-15 minutes. Turn potatoes with a spatula and bake 10 more minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream.
  1. Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro in a medium bowl and whisk together. Stir in cilantro.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Thethalithal
  • 8675309
  • Liz
  • CarlaCooks
  • Chef Carlos
    Chef Carlos

50 Reviews

Thethalithal March 9, 2022
Thank you for a great recipe. It’s super nice and complete and helpful.
onchees February 17, 2022
You are truly an inspiration. I love your recipes and have been following your blog for 2 years
onchees February 17, 2022
You are truly an inspiration. I love your recipes and have been following your blog for 2 years
arun October 12, 2021
wow nice!
8675309 March 13, 2019
Great recipe! Easy to make, very tasty, checks a lot of palate boxes. A nice combo of spiciness and crunchiness. A real winner!
Mary February 15, 2019
My first time making sweet potato fries. Happy with the spiciness, the crunch and the dipping sauce. Home cooks should remember the size of each sweet potato fry can impact how soft the fries will turn out....keep them matchstick size for more crunch. Yummy
NancyFromKona November 18, 2016
I tried these because so many had it on their favorite list and they were good but paled in comparison to Mark Bittman's treatment: slice sweet potatoes in batons and toss with EVO as was done here but instead of several herbs, he suggests 2 tsp of whole cumin seeds. This is very tasty and the crunch is a terrific contrast to the soft sweet potato. Carrots, fennel, parsnips, sweet peppers, onions can get the same treatment.
Liz October 18, 2015
These are delicious! Just made a modified version based on what ingredients I had already. Simple to make and a crowd pleaser. I always use Fage Greek yogurt in place of sour cream so I did the same for this recipe as well.
CarlaCooks August 24, 2015
I made the chili-cilantro court cream tonight to accompany my own sweet potato fried and holy smokes is it good! I think the sour cream (I actually used crème fraiche instead of sour cream) would be really good on a chicken taco salad, or tossed with some roasted veg and bulged. Thanks for a great recipe!
CarlaCooks August 24, 2015
Bulger, not bulged! Silly autocorrect.
rebecca August 15, 2014
I have recently taken to making my own home made potato (and sweet) fries. Love them SO MUCH MORE that the store bought frozen. Home made is key. Recipe on my blog, or here too!
Bec x | www.dancingthroughsunday.com.au
Chef C. January 18, 2014
A little - or a lot - on the spicy side, make sure your guests like really spicy food. I'll tone them down the next time, omit the cayenne entirely and use ancho chile powder. Very tasty though. Served them with Lamb T-bones and garlicky yellow squash & zucchini stir fry.
Deb W. January 12, 2014
The slices shown are longer than 2 inches. I tried to bake the 2" length at 425 and over half of them burned before I took them out early. They were still good though, even burned.
Rob L. August 5, 2013
Great recipe! Quick (important for me) easy, extremely nutritious and very tasty. This is a go-to recipe for me now - thanks!
Yuchao J. May 30, 2013
Made this tonight and the dip is amazing!!! My roommate told me adding a tsp of corn starch would help absorb the moist and make the fries crispy and it worked!! Maybe deep fry is not necessary after all!
Kimberly V. June 15, 2013
Did you add to spice mixture or toss with fries and oil?
Zaman January 21, 2013
Made this last night. It was so deliciously spicy, so warm and full of heat! needless to say, this is going to be one of those recipes I will be making over and over. My future kids should thank you for making sweet potato a big part of their diet. =)
heatherfingram October 5, 2012
The flavor is really fantastic. But the fries are limp. I'd love to know how to get them crispy without deep frying. I cranked up the heat and didn't put too many on the tray. Any ideas anyone?
loubaby January 23, 2013
I have never found a baked sweet potato fry to stay crisp without deep frying....I have a recipe from Jeff Mauro/Food Network Sandwich king...that is really good....but they are deep fryed...and they are crisp...
Kevin J. April 2, 2016
sprinkle cornstarch!
d&dlivestock September 8, 2012
Can these be frozen for later use? Precooked or partial cooked? Have lots of sweet potatoes and can only eat so many at a time! HELP!!
dazed'n G. April 17, 2012
Great recipe! These really wake up your taste buds. I'm making these again this weekend for company who appreciate a dish with a twist. As far as them going a bit limp, I put them on parchment paper [which also saves on clean-up] and cook them on convection-only for the last 10 min. That seemed to help crisp them up a little. Watch the ends don't burn though.
Brenzo April 10, 2012
Love it! Thanks!
suziqcu January 18, 2012
Made tonight and they are delish!!! Love the dip. Irresistible as everyone says. They did go limp, however, as mine always do with every recipe. I guess they have to be fried to be crunchy ;-(
shilp February 3, 2013
Used to have same issue, but resolved it my cooking all veggies on parchment paper! Now all come out crispy!