Nature’s Candy

$2.93 recipe / $0.73 serving

I’m calling this one “Nature’s Candy” because my first thought upon tasting it was, “OMG, WHO NEEDS CANDY WHEN THIS EXISTS?!” … Yep, I thought it in all caps and everything.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Rachelle, who wrote to tell me that this has become her go-to side dish and even her 3 year old loves it! I was immediately intrigued by the cinnamon/basil combo and I just happened to have some extra apples that I bought on sale. All of the stars were aligned…

All I can say is that it completely blew me away. I fully expected to have to sprinkle a little salt or sugar on after baking, but it needed absolutely nothing. When is the last time you made a recipe that didn’t require even a little pinch of salt? The apples are incredibly sweet after roasting and the subtle creaminess of the sweet potato perfectly compliments them.

It’s sweet enough to eat as a snack, but subtle enough to eat as a side dish to a regular meal. I think it would be awesome with any number of roasted meats, Herb Roasted Pork Loin in particular. So, I hope you’ll try this one! I don’t think you’ll be sorry! :D

Nature’s Candy

Nature's Candy - Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

4.7 from 7 reviews
nature's candy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $2.93
Cost Per Serving: $0.73
Serves: 4
  • 1 large sweet potato $1.18
  • 2 medium apples* $1.37
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • ½ tsp cinnamon $0.03
  • ½ tsp dried basil $0.03
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the sweet potato. Cut the sweet potato into one inch cubes. Wash the apples and then cut them into one inch cubes as well.
  2. Place the cubed sweet potatoes and apples in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, cinnamon, and basil. Toss until everything is well coated in oil and spices. Spread the apples and potatoes out onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil. Make sure they’re in a single layer and not piled up on one another.
  3. Roast the apples and potatoes for 30 minutes, or until they are tender and begin to look shriveled. Serve hot.
*I used Gala apples, which are a nice middle ground between sweet and tart.


Nature's Candy - Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Step By Step Photos

sweet potatoes appleI used one large sweet potato (1.19 pounds) and two medium Gala apples (about 1 lb.). Cut both into one inch chunks. I peeled the sweet potato, but left the apple skins on for color and texture.

seasonPut the cubed apples and sweet potatoes in a large bowl and then add the olive oil, cinnamon, and basil.

toss to coatToss until everything is coated in oil and spices.

baking sheetSpread everything out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil. Make sure they’re all in a single layer or else moisture can build up and make them soggy.

roastRoast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until they are tender (particularly the sweet potato). They will also look a little shriveled. You may die a little from the amazing smell coming from the oven – just a warning.

EATAnd then you can dive in!

Thanks, Rachelle, for sending me this amazing and addictive recipe!!


  1. I added chick peas because someone else mentioned it, and substituted coconut oil and OH. MY. GOD. I was iffy because I don’t usually like fruit in my food but this was to die for! I served alongside Honey Spice Chicken Thighs and it was a huge hit! Thank you!!

  2. Beth says:

    I have made roasted sweet potatoes like this with beets and also rutabaga!! Never eaten either of those before and it was awesome. Just like candy! you can do just about any veggies roasted with a little olive oil and spices as you prefer. It is my go to method to get the kids to eat more veggies. Even had my 9 yr old asking for brussel sprouts last week!!

  3. I didn’t change a thing about this recipe, which is rare for me! Such a surprisingly good combination!

  4. Leann says:

    I LOVE this as written, and make it all the time. It’s also great if you extra fresh pineapple laying around – just throw in a handful or two. Nom nom!!

  5. Delicious, easy, pretty on a plate. What more could you ask for? I add an extra apple for my hubby and hog the sweet potatoes (he doesn’t care for sweet potatoes).

  6. Brit says:

    I have one spare sweet potato and the spices on hand. Free apples from the Christmas basket at work- FREE CANDY!!!

  7. gorettia says:

    SUPER ! I’ve been using baked sweet potato, cutting into cubes, and “cooked” apples (cut into cubes and cooked down in skillet) Then I just mix the two…and I add cut up avocado. Mine is mushier, but good. I add tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. I’m gonna try your recipe for Thanksgiving dinner as my Sweet Potato Dish…It is much prettier to look at than my mush…lol.
    I have celiac so this recipe makes me smile. Thanks for sharing

  8. Laura says:

    I just made a batch exactly as specified in the recipe, and OMFG, it is amazing. No tweaks or adjustments needed.

  9. Rebekah says:

    This was okay; I love roasted sweet potatoes but imo the apples need to be added just during the last few minutes, and it does benefit from a sprinkling of salt.

  10. Sophia says:

    Hmm, what if I put in dried oregano instead of dried basil?
    Or, what if I put in Thai basil (not dried) instead?

  11. Robin says:

    This is a great snack! The only change I made was that I roasted only the sweet potatoes, not the apples, because I didn’t want the apples to be warm and mushy. The contrast of the soft sweet potato and the crispy apple was lovely.

  12. Kimberly says:

    This was so good! And so easy! I made them for lunch, and came home and are them cold for dinner :)

  13. LadyAether says:

    Okay, so it just came out of the oven, and holy BALLS, this stuff is good. And I generally don’t like sweet potatoes. Based on this mix, which I LOVE, I can only come to the conclusion that all the sweet potatoes I have eaten have been overly sweetened (to be fair, most of them were in holiday casseroles). I only had Granny Smith apples, so I added a cup of golden raisins and just a little bit of sugar to compensate and it is GREAT. Now I wish I had more sweet potatoes (I’m surprised I even had the one that was in my fridge).

  14. LadyAether says:

    I literally just smelled this cooking in my oven and it was like in one of those cartoons when a smell wafts up to a character’s nose and they float back to the kitchen… excited to taste this soon…

  15. Beth, help a sista out. :) If I didn’t have basil, is there anything else i could use in place of? All purpose seasoning… italian seasoning… ??

    • Hmmm, I don’t know that there’s another herb that would blend quite as well as basil does here, but it would still be super fantastic without the basil. The roasting process is what makes it so amazing and that little touch of cinnamon really adds a lot. I think the basil is more in the background.

  16. Amanda – I think it would go great with this herb roasted pork loin :D

  17. This looks delicious. I want to make it when a friend comes over for dinner this week, but I’m not sure what to pair it with. Did you serve this alongside anything? Any recommendations?

  18. I’ve made something similar before but with chick peas instead of apples. I think next time I’ll put both apples and chick peas in with the sweet potato. This looks delicious

  19. SO DELICIOUS!!! I added a sprinkling of sea salt! It was really really good!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just got back from the grocery store and its in the oven, I can’t wait….

  21. I’mnot a fan of sweet potatoes at all but I made this for my daughter and it was delicious…even to me! I will make this again!

  22. Yum, this looks tasty. I never thought of doing roasted potatoes and apples together. What a great idea!

  23. You’re making me really sad I just got back from the grocery with neither sweet potatoes nor apples… sniff

  24. I think it is really amazing how veggies (and fruits, in this great recipe!), when combined with just a little olive oil and spices and stuck in the oven for half an hour, can turn into the most delicious and moist side dishes ever. So easy and simple yet so tasty! Thank you!!!

  25. Theresa W says:

    Just made this tonight. YUM! It made the house smell so wonderful, when my (very picky) kids walked in the ooooooh’d and awwwwww’d over the dish. My daughter ate three servings and my son ate three servings, but picked the sweet potatoes out. I count that as a WIN!!!

  26. This looks so… good… I put everything on this grocery list and I’ll be making it some day next week.

  27. Andrea – I would say that it reheats well. It’s already soft, so you don’t loose any texture upon reheating. If you rewarm it in the oven, I would cover it with foil so that it doesn’t loose a lot of moisture and end up too dry.

  28. Andrea says:

    Does this reheat well? I’m making it now to take as an appetizer to a small party tomorrow. Was thinking of putting it in a Pyrex dish to reheat in the microwave or maybe the hostess will let me warm it up in the oven.

  29. Made this the same evening I got the email. Worked perfect as a side for our roasted chicken breasts spiced with smoked paprika. My goodness, the compliment of this sweet mix to the heat of the smoked paprika was just brilliant. Thank so very much for sharing this recipe. Also, your blog has become a staple in my home, so very appreciative of you for taking the time to put this all together – format and all, it’s wonderful!

  30. Rachelle says:

    Just for the record: I’m from The South. It’s a freaking sweet potato.

    Glad everyone is enjoying this! I threw it together by accident a couple of years ago and it was a roaring success. :)

  31. Heather says:

    Btw the recipe looks amazing, and I’m making it tomorrow.

  32. Heather says:

    What Neba said – these are actually sweet potatoes, and Beth did not incorrectly label them. Most things you see called yams in the US are not yams though, but sweet potatoes.

  33. I made it last night. It didn’t last long in my house!! Thanks for the recipe.

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  36. Apples are not a favorite at this house. Even apple pie doesn’t get a great reception. Will be trying this using a combo of sweet potatoes or yams and butternut squash so it won’t get rejected because it has apples.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Making this tonight! Was trying to think of a potato or sweet potato dish to make with what I had on hand. Thanks-this couldn’t have been more timely! It looks very promising! :-)

  38. Oh this is exciting. I’m going to try it today! ^_^

  39. Liz H. says:

    This is probably a silly question, but when you say “roasting,” are they baking or broiling? Or neither??

  40. “pretty much all sweet potatoes” — by this I meant that 90% of things labeled either “yam” or “sweet potato” in U.S. supermarkets (unless they offer African or Asian groceries) are sweet potatoes.

    If you saw an actual white-fleshed African or Indonesian yam in person you would not mistake it for a sweet potato. lol

  41. Did some digging, and here is some clarity on which is which:

    “In the United States, sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), especially those with orange flesh, are often referred to as ‘yams.’ In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the soft sweet potatoes “yams” because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, soft sweet potatoes were referred to as yams to distinguish them from the firm varieties. […] Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled with the term ‘yam’ to be accompanied by the term ‘sweet potato.'”


    So they’re pretty much all sweet potatoes, but if you want soft and sweet ones and you’re not in an ethnic food market, they might be called yams. The orange- or purple-fleshed, sweet, thin-skinned things that you can cook without too much trouble — I just call them sweet potatoes to avoid confusion.

    (Have you ever had fufu (an African dish made of pounded yam)? It’s interesting. Not sweet at all.)

  42. I’m with you Beth. I thought yams were the ones that were white-ish on the inside — more potato texture/conistency but sweeter, and sweet potatoes were the orange ones.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I just found your website over the weekend. It’s absolutely wonderful!I have many recipes I can’t wait to try. Thank you so much for taking time to write this blog.

  44. This looks delish! I have roasted winter squash this way and it’s soooo good! This sounds pretty amazing too…I think I would try baking them as fries with the cinnamon and basil too. I actually have grown cinnamon basil before, hmmm, that would be fun to try!

  45. K. Sterret – Yeah, those two names are definitely misused a lot in the U.S. I was under the impression that yams were actually a very large, white, starchy root veg grown mainly in Africa, and our orange “sweet potatoes” just started getting called yams somewhere along the way. I thought sweet potatoes came in a variety of colors, including orange, white, and purple. I’m no expert on root vegetables, though! hahah.

    Wikipedia – Sweet Potatoes
    Wikipedia – Yams

  46. I know no one cares but me, but I need to post it: what you’re referencing are YAMS, not sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are purple on the outside and white-ish on the inside. There is a big big difference in flavor :)

  47. This looks insanely delicious, I cannot wait to try it!

  48. Sounds wonderful!

  49. Carrots would be okay, but definitely not as creamy and delicious as sweet potatoes.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes – would carrots work?

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