Sweet Potato Oven Fries


I started this column with the hope that other students would be willing to eat more sustainably sourced and plant-based foods once they saw that “it is so easy a college student can do it.” Here’s to our health and the planet’s!

Happy fall, guys! Which is my absolute favorite time of the year - my birthday is coming up, the weather is cooling off and it’s flannel season! And, some of my favorite foods are coming into season so be sure to take some time before it gets too chilly out to walk through the farmers market and eat some good food. These sweet potato fries are a quick and easy way to get some veggies (that don’t come from a dining hall) in this week. They make a great side dish with anything grilled: hamburgers, chicken, veggie burgers, etc. or if you’re like me (a vegetarian with questionable college eating habits) you could make them a meal all on their own. One of my go-to meals is roasted vegetables of any type - I haven’t found a vegetable that isn’t made better by being lightly coated in oil and seasoning then roasted in the oven or on the grill. Broccoli, green beans, squash, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc - it’s all good this way and a great way to use seasonal produce of all types! I even had a family friend who would grill lettuce to make a “grilled caesar salad.”

Servings: 5 (as a side)

Time: 45 minutes


4-6 small sweet potatoes (found at Evanston Farmers’ Market)

¼ cup grapeseed oil (or other cooking oil)

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon each salt and pepper

Note: It’s extremely easy to add other seasonings so I encourage you to experiment and find what you like best with these potatoes or any other roasted veggie.


1. Preheat oven to 400°F and begin washing and scrubbing dirt off the sweet potatoes.

*Side Note on Potatoes - the purple-y ones are what is referred to as Japanese yams - they look a bit different but have basically the same flavor.

2. Once the potatoes are clean, you’ll need to cut them into vaguely fry-like shapes and place in a large bowl.

3. Add oil and seasonings to the bowl and toss well then spread evenly on a baking sheet (lined with foil to make clean-up easier).

4. Bake potatoes for 30 mins (stirring after 15) or until soft and beginning to brown.

5. Enjoy! I’m an awful person and tend to add ketchup (it’s my guilty pleasure with almost any form of potato).

As always, if you have any questions about my recipes or ideas, feel free to contact me at morganlee2021@u.northwestern.edu.