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Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes

This purple sweet potato recipe uses Stokes sweet potatoes that are smashed, drizzled with melted butter and herbs then roasted until super crispy. The perfect potato side dish with a stunning appearance!

This purple sweet potato recipe uses Stokes sweet potatoes that are smashed, drizzled with melted butter and herbs then roasted until super crispy.

Sometime over the last year I was introduced to purple sweet potatoes. 

I’m pretty sure it was from one of the bajillion health related podcasts I listen to but all I remember was hearing about the added health benefits found in purple sweet potatoes and I was sold.

On my next trip to the grocery store I grabbed a few of what was labeled “Stokes” purple sweet potatoes and I haven’t looked back since.

Loving traditional sweet potatoes in everything from sweet potato cookies and sweet potato steel cut oats to sweet potato mac and cheese and harissa sweet potato hash, I definitely shocked myself at how easily I’ve since brushed them aside when it comes to my favorite dinner side dish.

Purple sweet potatoes just blow regular sweet potatoes out of the water and if you give this roasted smashed purple sweet potato recipe a try, I think you’ll easily see why.

Stokes purple sweet potatoes


First things first, purple sweet potatoes are just like any other potato in that they’re a tuber/root vegetable. 

You can bake and cook with purple sweet potatoes just like you would other potatoes.

If you’re baking the potato whole, it’s recommended to cook purple sweet potatoes a little bit longer to really soften the flesh. 

That said, they can be boiled, mashed or steamed just like regular potatoes as well. Here’s an easy way to enjoy mashed purple sweet potatoes. And, of course, you can make crispy purple sweet potato fries too.

Besides their stunning purple color, taste is what really sets these potatoes apart from the rest. Their flavor is rich and creamy and when cooked properly, they become candy-like. 

Purple sweet potatoes are well suited for incorporating into baked goods because of that trademark sweetness. These ube bread rolls are a delicious traditional recipe to try.

A bit confusingly, purple sweet potatoes can go by a few different names. Let’s break it down…


This is a specific variety that was originally cultivated in North Carolina by a farmer who was gifted some purple potatoes and apparently liked them so much that he decided to grow his own.

The patented name “Stokes” came out in 2006 and has been sold commercially since.

Stokes potatoes (what’s featured in this recipe and pictures) have a bright purple flesh and purple tinted skin. 


Also known as the Japanese sweet potato, Okinawan sweet potatoes have a skin that’s more white/cream colored compared to the Stokes variety. Their flesh is comparably purple.

These potatoes are also sometimes called “Ube” but that’s not technically a correct label.

Ube are actually a yam not a tuber originating from the Philippines and very rarely found in the United States.

This easy purple sweet potato recipe smashed, drizzled with ghee and herbs and broiled until crispy is the perfect side dish to any meal.


The gorgeous deep purple color is the result of anthocyanins.

I’ve written about this specific type of flavanoid a bunch before in reference to tart cherries (you can read about some of their amazing health related contributions in these tart cherry oat bars). 

Anthocyanins are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their natural red, purple and blue colors. So anytime you see red cabbage, purple potatoes, plums, cherries, etc. you can thank anthocyanins for that!

Those lovely colors provide much more than just a pretty appearance too. They’re packed with antioxidants and one of the reasons that initially drew me to purple sweet potatoes.

In addition to the antioxidants, purple sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, fiber and potassium and are also lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes.

Smashed purple sweet potatoes before being broiled until crispy in the oven.


With just four basic ingredients to this recipe, it’s incredibly simple.

You’ll need:

  • 2 large Stokes purple sweet potatoes
  • melted ghee (or butter – use a good quality unsalted grass-fed variety)
  • fresh rosemary
  • garlic

First, trim the ends off the potatoes then cut into 3/4″ – 1″ slices.

Gently lower the slices into a pot of salted boiling water for about 15 minutes until they’re tender but not mushy/falling apart.

Drain the sweet potato slices on some paper towels to remove any excess water.

Next, place the potato slices on a baking sheet and using the back of a fork, firmly press down on each slice to smash the potatoes and flatten into discs.

Mix the melted ghee, chopped rosemary and garlic in a small bowl and spoon the mixture over top each smashed potato slice.

Place the baking sheet in a preheated oven and broil for about 10 minutes until the edges and tops are crispy and browned.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper once out of the oven and serve hot.

Boiling like we do in this smashed purple sweet potato recipe before broiling results in the best of both worlds: a center that’s soft and moist with crispy caramelized edges.

The ghee brings an added savory decadence to each bite and these are truly a stunning side dish in both flavor and appearance.

Stokes purple sweet potatoes are a stunning bright purple fleshed potato perfect for roasting with butter and herbs.


If you can’t find the Stokes purple sweet potato variety (they do have a season so finding them all year round isn’t always easy), Japanese sweet potatoes can be substituted.

Japanese sweet potato flesh will still have the same bright purple color, the skin will just be whiter rather than purple.

They can be cooked and prepared the same way as in this recipe. 


Honestly, these potatoes make an amazingly delicious side dish to almost any main course. We often enjoy them alongside seafood like sheet pan turmeric salmon or tart cherry glazed salmon

They’re great with pretzel crusted pork chops and either piri piri chicken or sticky Thai chicken too.

Instead of fries, try them next time you make burgers! Want to shake things up? Try these at Thanksgiving this year instead of mashed potatoes!

Crispy roasted purple sweet potatoes with melted butter and herbs.

And don’t miss my roasted purple sweet potato web story for more info on this recipe!

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! I’d love to know how it goes. Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Tag @runningtothekitchen on Instagram & Facebook.

Roasted purple Stokes sweet potatoes

Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes

This purple sweet potato recipe uses Stokes sweet potatoes that are smashed and roasted with melted butter and herbs until super crispy!
4.7 from 125 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 large Stokes purple sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter, melted
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to high broil.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim ends of sweet potatoes then cut into 3/4" – 1" thick slices.
  • Gently lower potato slices into boiling water and boil, covered for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Remove to a paper towel and drain.
  • Stir the melted ghee, rosemary and garlic together in a small bowl.
  • Place the potato slices onto a large baking sheet. Gently press down on each slice using the back of a fork until slightly smashed.
  • Spoon the ghee and herb mixture over each smashed potato slice. Transfer to the oven.
  • Broil for 10-12 minutes until edges and tops of the potatoes are crispy.
  • Season each smashed potato with salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 71mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Side Dishes
Keyword purple sweet potato recipe, roasted purple sweet potatoes, smashed purple potatoes, stokes purple sweet potatoes

Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating


Sunday 13th of August 2023

Made it. We call it smash and bake potatoes. I usually just microwave them then smash them on the cookie sheet.


Sunday 26th of February 2023

The garlic didn't work for me. And the potatoes never crisped. I bought Violet Queen and although the color was gorgeous, the taste was not. I'll give it one more try with just baking.

Gina Matsoukas

Monday 27th of February 2023

Sounds like maybe you just don't like the taste of purple sweet potatoes? I've never tried Violet Queens before, only Stokes as mentioned in the post/recipe so I'm not sure if they have a distinctively different flavor.


Sunday 17th of April 2022

OMG I can't get over how good this recipe is. I have to admit I had my doubts ( I have tried other recipes) but for me this will be the only way to cook the purple sweet potatoes from now on. The sweetness and creamy taste that is good! Thank goodness I made enough for 2 meals preps this week! Thanks for the great recipe, I will definitely have this on repeat.

Nellie Tracy

Thursday 30th of September 2021

This looks delicious! Love the brightness of the purple potato! Yum!


Thursday 30th of September 2021

These sweet potatoes look delicious. I love that you used ghee here and the fresh herbs. So yummy! And the color is amazing. I have to make this.