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Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds

Total Time
30 mins

Virgin coconut oil is unrefined and cold-pressed, like extra-virgin olive oil, and isn’t hydrogenated. It has a clean, slightly nutty taste that’s delicious in this dish. Deborah Madison, who adapted this recipe from one in a new revision of her book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), likes to use a mix of sweet potatoes, but it’s fine to go with just one kind. Paler sweet potatoes tend to be drier, so if you use them, add more oil.

su-Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds

Photo: Aya Brackett; Styling: Amy Wilson
 3 or 4 sweet potatoes (orange-fleshed, yellow, white, or a mix; about 3 lbs. total)
  About 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil*, divided
  About 1/2 tsp. medium-coarse sea salt
 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds mixed with a few white sesame seeds
  Flaky sea salt*
Step 1

Scrub sweet potatoes, then chop into cubes a scant 1 in. across.

Step 2

Warm 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, turn to coat, and season with a few pinches of sea salt.

Step 3

Cover pan, turn heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring every now and then, until sweet potatoes are tender and browned, about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a frying pan (not nonstick) over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until aromatic and the white seeds are golden.

Step 5

Serve sweet potatoes drizzled with remaining oil and sprinkled with flaky sea salt and sesame seeds.

Step 6

*Find at well-stocked grocery stores and natural-foods stores. For flaky sea salt, any kind will work; a good one is buttery Jacobsen sea salt, made in Oregon (

Step 7

Make ahead: Chopped raw sweet potatoes, up to 1 day. They don't hold well once cooked--they tend to shrivel--and taste best hot, so make them just before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 187Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9.5g15%

Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 0.0mg0%
Sodium 162mg7%
Total Carbohydrate 25g9%

Dietary Fiber 3.7g15%
Protein 2g4%

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