Easy and satisfying, these Shawarma spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes are sweet with a spicy edge. Cut them in wedges or slices, they’re easy to pull together, and make ahead ready! Choose from two dipping sauces to complement these grilled sweet potatoes. This recipe is vegetarian, and easily vegan. | This post is sponsored by World Spice Merchants. Thank you for supporting brands that help make Vanilla And Bean possible.
Can You Grill Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes grill up beautifully! This cooking method brings out so much flavor in these potatoes through caramelization of sugars and charring. While we love sweet potatoes in the oven baked whole, cut wedge style or sweet potato fries, it’s grilling season, so if there’s a way to enjoy those creamy spuds grilled, let’s do it!
There are several methods to grilling these garnet beauties, however, the easy method I’m sharing is a simple way to prepare sweet potatoes on the grill. This way, you can grill sweet potatoes without foil and without them drying out before they’re fully cooked. Read on to learn more!
How to Grill Sweet Potatoes Without Foil
For this grilled sweet potato recipe, foil is not necessary to cook (or steam) the potatoes simply because the potatoes are parboiled prior to slicing, seasoning and grilling. Parboiling partially cooks the potatoes prior to grilling them resulting in creamy sweet potato goodness on the grill.
It’s easy to do! Simply boil the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, then drain them. Prepare your grill by oiling the grates, then preheating it. Slice the sweet potatoes and slather on the marinade seasoning, then toss them on the grill.
Because the sweet potatoes are par-cooked and sliced thick, there’s no need for foil to hold smaller sweet potato bits together or to contain stem within a foil packet. Also, there’s no chance of the sweet potatoes drying out from the dry heat a grill produces since the sweet potatoes are par-cooked.
Wedges or Slices
Wedge cut is my favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes on the grill, however sweet potato slices are just as simple to prepare. Either way, you’ll cut wedges and slices to about 1/2″ (1.3cm) thick.
Choosing generally depends on how you want to devour these delicious and nourishing potatoes. I find wedges to be more of a finger food while the slices are better enjoyed with a fork.
How to Grill Sweet Potatoes
Get your gas grill fired up, grab the ingredients and get ready. Grilling a sweet potato couldn’t be easier! Seasoned with World Spice Merchants Shawarma Spice Blend, these sweet and savory spuds have a mild kick that makes them so crave worthy! In summary, here’s how to make the recipe (see recipe card below for details):
- First, parboil the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes with their skins on. This is for small to medium size sweet potatoes (about 3/4 – 1 lb ea). Larger sweet potatoes (1 1/2 – 2 lbs ea) will take longer.
- Second, whip up a dipping sauce while the potatoes are boiling
- Third, mix your marinade with olive oil, a bit of lemon juice and Shawarma spice blend.
- Fourth, drain the potatoes and slice.
- Next, brush/paint the sliced sweet potatoes with the Shawarma marinade.
- Last, grill the sweet potatoes!
The sweet potatoes need about 4-6 minutes on each side for grilled perfection. Time is approximate and will depend on the heat intensity of your grill.
Shawarma Spice Blend; a Perfect Partner
A perfect pairing with sweet potatoes, World Spice Merchants’ Shawarma Spice Blend offers a complex flavor profile to these grilled sweet potatoes.
Shawarma spice has a deep flavor base of toasted cumin, smoked paprika and garlic paired with tart notes of sumac and lemon. This spice blend adds interest without overwhelming the sweetness of the potatoes. Put it on your shopping list!
Be sure to check out my two dipping sauces below that complement these Sharwarma spiced sweet potatoes.
TWO Sauces for Your Dipping Pleasure
Playing off World Spice Merchants’ Shawarma Spice Blend and the creamy sweetness of the sweet potato, I’ve incorporated two tahini dipping sauces that bring even more flavor to this grilled sweet potatoes recipe party. Both are make ahead ready, one sweet, and one savory!
Honey Tahini Sauce: For grilled sweet potatoes with honey (or sub maple syrup), this is such a delight! The honey complements the bitter notes of tahini and cools the shawarma spice. It’s make ahead ready and the tahini pairs perfectly with these seasoned grilled potatoes.
Herby Yogurt Tahini Sauce: A cooling blend of garlic, herbs, yogurt and lemon, this sauce balances and cools the sweet and spice of these sweet potatoes. Use at least two to three herbs to amp up the flavor! Choose from parsley, mint, cilantro and/or dill and make it ahead, at least an hour, so the flavors can marry.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes FAQs
Can You Grill Sweet Potato Wedges?
Sweet potato wedges are easy to grill, but cutting them thick is the key to success! Simply slice a medium parboiled sweet potato in half, lengthwise, then cut the half into three wedges. Slather on the shawarma Spice marinade (oil + spice) then grill on each side of the wedge.
How Long to Grill Sweet Potatoes
Par-cooked sweet potato wedges and slices need about 4-6 minutes, each side, on the grill on medium to medium high heat. You’ll know they’re ready when they’re fork tender, fragrant, have a bit of caramelization and have some charring on both sides.
What Goes with Grilled Sweet Potatoes?
They make a perfect snack or side with any protein, veggie or otherwise. Here are some recipe ideas of what to share with your scrumptious sweet potatoes:
Do Cooked Sweet Potatoes Need to be Refrigerated?
Cooked sweet potatoes can be left out out at room temperature for up to three hours. Afterwards they need to be refrigerated. Parboiled, the potatoes will keep for a few days in the fridge. Then, they can be sliced, seasoned and grilled. Once grilled, stack the potatoes in a lidded container and store for up to four days.
Sweet potatoes are delicious enjoyed straight from the refrigerator! Perfect for meal planning, a quick snack or even for breakfast!
Do Cooked Sweet Potatoes Freeze Well?
Absolutely! Simply freeze on a parchment lined sheet pan and in one layer. Once frozen, transfer the sweet potatoes to a lidded container and freeze for up to two weeks. The sweet potatoes can go from freezer to a 350F oven for about 10-15 minutes to reheat!
A Few Recipe Notes
- Meal Prep Ready? Yes please! Par-cook the sweet potatoes up to two days in advance. Cool, then store in the refrigerator until ready to slice and grill. The dipping sauce(s) can be whipped up days in advance!
- Make it Vegan: As written the sweet potatoes with the Shawarma spice blend are vegan, however use maple instead of honey in the honey tahini sauce.
- Parboiling: Keep the skin on because it’ll help hold the sweet potatoes together on the grill. To parboil, you’ll boil the potatoes just until fork tender (soft enough that you can stick a fork with little effort). This method partially cooks the potatoes. They’ll finish cooking on the grill.
- Freezer Friendly! Yes Please! Freeze for up to two weeks. The potatoes can go from freezer to oven to reheat.
For a flavorful, fresh and absolutely delicious Shawarma Spice Blend, check out World Spice Merchants, a family owned, female run company in Seattle, WA. They offer over 300 selections of handcrafted blends of vegan herbs and spices, ground to order. Shop in store or on web, delivered right to your door. World Spice Merchants caters to everyone who loves food and flavor!
Grilled Sweet Potatoes: Wedges or Slices
- 4 Sweet Potatoes unpeeled, about 3/4 lb to 1 lb each (340g-450g ea)
For the Marinade:
- 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil
- 2 Tbs Shawarma Spice Blend ground, I use World Spice Merchants
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
Honey Tahini Dip (yields 1 C/270g) (optional)
- 1/2 C (125g) Tahini I like Once Again
- 1/3 C (78g) Cold Water + more for thinning
- 1 1/4 Tbs Honey
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
Herby Yogurt Dip (yields 3/4 C/205g) (optional)
- 2 Tbs Tahini
- 2/3 C (160g) Greek Whole Milk Yogurt
- 1 1/2 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Minced Garlic about two cloves
- 1/4 tsp each: Fine Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- 6 tsp cilantro, parsley, mint, and/or dill use any combination of two or more, chopped fine (note dill and mint are assertive)
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- In a large, 7 quart boiling pot or Dutch oven fill water to half way. Transfer the sweet potatoes (skin on) to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set a timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are fork tender (soft enough that you can stick a fork in with little effort). If not give em' a few more minutes. Larger potatoes can take up to 25 minutes. This will par-cook the potatoes. They'll finish cooking on the grill. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool until they can be safely handled.
- Clean and oil your grill (I use canola oil). Preheat your grill to the highest setting.
- Slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2" thick rounds and/or 1/2" wedges (1.3cm). To cut the wedges, slice the sweet potato in half, length wise, then slice each half into three wedges (four for larger sweet potatoes).
- While the grill is heating, brush/paint both sides of the sweet potatoes with the spice marinade (see below). It can go on thick! Transfer the sweet potatoes to the preheated grill. Reduce the heat to medium to medium high. Cover the grill and grill each side for about 4-6 minutes or until there's some grill marks, charring and caramelization. Use a metal spatula to flip/turn the potatoes.
- Transfer the sweet potatoes to a warm oven if holding warm. Share warm, but these grilled sweet potatoes are fabulous chilled too!
For the Spice Marinade:
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, Shawarma spice blend, lemon juice and sea salt. Set aside until ready to use brush/paint on to the sweet potatoes.
For the Dips:
- For both dips the process is the same. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. About 1 minute each. Scrape down the bowl a few times and reprocess as needed. Taste for salt. Store in the refrigerator until ready to share. *Depending on how thick or thin your tahini is, you may need to drizzle in a bit more water into the Honey Tahini Sauce. It will thicken in the fridge so give it a good stir and/or a drizzle of water before sharing. Make up to three days in advance.
- Refrigerator: Store grilled sweet potatoes in a covered container for up to four days. Freezer: Freeze slices and wedges on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer the sweet potatoes to a lidded container and freeze for up to two weeks.
- Grilled sweet potatoes can go from refrigerator or freezer to a 350F oven for about 10-15 minutes.