Easy Grilled Sweet Potatoes
on Aug 21, 2023
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These simple grilled sweet potatoes are a fantastic side dish that goes with lots of other grilled recipes. After you slice the potatoes, you just toss them in a blend of dried spices, and then they are ready for the grill. They turn out tender in the middle with plenty of grill marks. I also make a quick and easy pico de gallo to go with them.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’ve only roasted, baked or boiled sweet potatoes, you have to try grilling them. Cooking sliced sweet potatoes on the grill gives them smoky flavor and charred edges that you can’t get when you roast them in the oven.
These sweet potatoes are seasoned in a mix of pantry spices before they go on the grill. I toss them with cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and of course, salt and pepper. Dried seasonings are perfect for grilling vegetable because they can handle the heat and not burn like what would happen with minced fresh garlic.
This is a great late summer to fall recipe. Sweet potatoes are one of those incredible vegetables that are tasty no matter the time of the year. For me, it has to be pretty cold outside before I stop firing up the grill. This is good choice for a shoulder season recipe.
The sweet potatoes are topped with pico de gallo. With fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños and lime juice, this is the perfect dip/condiment to make the dish feel complete.
This is what you need:
- Sweet potatoes can vary quite a bit in size. I prefer medium sweet potatoes because they are easy to cut. Peeling is optional. I don’t bother doing it. Look for sweet potatoes that are firm with no soft spots and feel heavy for their size.
- Dried seasonings: The recipe calls for cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I use a similar combination when I make Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
- Olive oil helps the spices go evenly onto the sliced potatoes and prevents them from sticking to the hot grill grates. I don’t put the potatoes into foil packets because I want them to get smoky and lightly charred by making direct contact with the grill.
For pico de gallo:
- Tomatoes: Always use ripe tomatoes for the best taste. This makes a big difference.
- Onions contrast with the tomatoes and add something crisp and sharp.
- Jalapeños give pico de gallo heat. You can increase or decrease the amount you mix in depending on your preferred spice level.
- Cilantro is a classic fresh herb in many Mexican dishes.
- Lime juice: Always squeeze limes and use fresh citrus juice rather than bottled.
- Salt & pepper: It’s important to add seasonings to round out the flavors.
This pico de gallo is one of several options you have for serving with your grilled sweet potatoes. You can swap it out and use one of the following:
- Store-bought salsa: If you want to reduce the humber of ingredients in the recipe and just focus on the sweet potatoes, go ahead and buy a jar of salsa instead of making your own pico de gallo.
- Pesto: Try herby basil pesto. This is a good substitution if you don’t like cilantro.
- Ketchup: Treat the potatoes like French fries and dip them into ketchup.
How To Make These Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.
1. Cut the sweet potatoes. Start by slicing them in half lengthwise and then cutting them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Again, peeling is optional.
2. Season the sweet potatoes by tossing them with olive oil, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. Grill the sweet potatoes. Give them about 6-7 minutes per side to become tender in the middle while getting grill marks.
4. Make the pico de gallo. Just stir together the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
5. Plate the grilled potatoes and top them with pico de gallo. You also can finish them with more cilantro if you want.
You can serve these sweet potatoes as an appetizer or a side dish. It makes sense to pair them with grilled dishes that have similar flavors such as a Mexican Chopped Salad, Southwest Pasta Salad, Black Bean Corn Salad or Vegetarian Burrito Bowls or proteins like grilled chicken, fish or burgers.
Leftovers & Storage
Grilled sweet potatoes are best eaten warm on the day you make them. If you do have leftovers, spoon the pico de gallo into a separate airtight container, so the potatoes don’t get soggy. They both can be kept in the refrigerator up to 3 days. You can rewarm the potatoes in a 350-degree F oven. They will lose some of the crisp edges they had when they were first grilled.
Pick sweet potatoes that are all about the same size. As mentioned, I look for medium ones that are close to the same shape and length. This will make consistent cutting easier.
Cut the sweet potatoes the same thickness. This is how you get them to cook uniformly. Stick to 1/4-inch thick. You can also cut them into rounds if you prefer that to slices. Again, thickness is what matters.
Watch out for hot spots on your grill. Get to know the heat. Certain areas might be hotter than others, so you may need to move some of the potatoes if they are getting charred to quickly, risking the centers not being soft and cooked through
No. This is optional. I like to keep the skins on for texture, and it saves a step.
You want the potatoes to be a uniform thickness for consistent grilling that’s why I prefer sweet potato slices. Wedges are thicker in the middle and narrower at the edges, which can burn more easily.
Yes, just make sure it is well preheated before your start grilling the potatoes.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
Grilled Sweet Potatoes Recipe
For sweet potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes scrubbed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For pico de gallo
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup chopped white onions
- 1/2 small jalapeño minced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus more for serving
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.
- Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise. Then slice them 1/4-inch thick.
- In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Grill the sweet potatoes until they have grill marks and are tender in the middle, about 6-7 minutes per side.
- To make the pico de gallo, combine the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper in a small bowl.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving plate. Top with pico de gallo. Garnish additional cilantro as desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.