One taste of these grilled sweet potatoes with cilantro vinaigrette will convince you to make this your go-to summer side dish recipe.
I dreamed up these grilled sweet potatoes after picking up a tip in one of my favorite cookbooks. It's the simplest tip that can help to transform your cooking.
I'll admit that I don't always read the opening informational chapter of a cookbook, typically diving straight into the recipes and photos. But when you have Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home laid out in front of you, it's a good idea to take a few minutes to soak in the wisdom of one of the country's best chefs.
So what's the tip? Utilize acid.
The concept is simple…using vinegar as a seasoning device. Chef Keller goes on to talk about how just a few drops of vinegar, or other acids such as citrus, can significantly improve the flavor of a dish. When you taste the final product, you may not be able identify the vinegar, but it will show itself by helping the other flavors to really pop.
The next time you are making dinner (or even dessert - think lemon zest), consider adding a dash a vinegar or a squeeze or lemon or lime juice. I think you'll be surprised at how your flavors will sing!
In this recipe for grilled sweet potatoes, the lime juice in the vinaigrette acts as the perfect foil for the sweet and smoky potatoes. In fact, the flavor combination is nothing short of spectacular. Yeah, that's right, I'm patting myself on the back for this one, but the reality of the matter is that the simplicity of the ingredients are what makes this so good.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THESE GRILLED SWEET POTATOES:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Sweet potatoes: Use garnet sweet potatoes. No need to peel them.
- Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil to coat the slices before grilling and for making the vinaigrette.
- Cilantro: See my post on How to Chop Parsley & Cilantro.
- Lime: Fresh lime juice is best!
- Agave nectar: If you don't have agave nectar, substitute with honey (not vegan).
Tips for making this sweet potato recipe:
There are three simple steps to making this recipe - boiling the potatoes, grilling the potatoes and stirring together the vinaigrette.
Start by boiling the whole sweet potatoes. No need to peel them first! The goal is for the potatoes to be just tender when pierced with a fork. The potatoes will cook further on the grill, so avoid overcooking them in the boiling stage.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a sharp chef's knife to cut them into ¼-inch rounds. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss onto a hot grill. It takes 2 to 2 ½ minute per side to grill the potatoes.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the minced cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper.
What to serve with grilled sweet potatoes:
- Turn to chicken kabobs to serve with these potatoes. My tandoori kabobs or paprika yogurt kabobs are both great options. Other chicken options are grilled drumsticks or Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken. Or for an ultra-speedy meal, try a turkey cutlets recipe.
- Pork and sweet potatoes go together like Romeo and Juliet, minus the tragic ending. Try Grilled Pork Chops with Greek Salad Salsa or easy lemon pork chops.
- For a meatless meal, serve Grilled Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms or a Baked Egg Casserole with Salsa with the potatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can these be made ahead of time?
This sweet potato recipe can be mostly made ahead of time. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender, then slice (see Steps 1-3 in the recipe card below) - this can be done up to a few hours ahead of time. Grill the cooked potatoes just before serving.
Make the cilantro vinaigrette up to a day ahead.
I don't like cilantro. What can I use instead?
If cilantro isn't your thing, try a chimichurri dressing instead. Alternatively, use basil in place of cilantro and substitute the lime juice with lemon juice.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro Vinaigrette
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot of water. Boil the potatoes until they are just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and let rest until they are cool enough to handle.
- Preheat the grill to HIGH heat. Lightly grease the grill.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into ¼-inch rounds. Brush the round with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the grill and cook about 2 ½ minutes per side, until they have browned grill marks.
- Transfer the grilled potatoes to a serving platter and drizzle with the dressing. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, agave nectar and salt.
This post was originally published on June 5, 2015, and was updated on September 7, 2021.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.