Mary Berry's Surprising Secret Ingredient For The Crunchiest Roast Sweet Potatoes

<span class="copyright">Image Professionals GmbH via Getty Images</span>
Image Professionals GmbH via Getty Images

Look, I love a good sweet potato, but does anyone else think they turn mush a little bit too quickly in the oven?

Five minutes over time and my would-be crispy wedges have become limp batons of orange disappointment.

Well, no more. None other than Mary Berry is here to save us from yet another disappointing midweek meal ― and it turns out all we needed was semolina.


The Cordon Bleu-trained chef’s roasted sweet potato recipe is pleasingly simple. All it asks is the spuds themselves, a bit of oil, and dried semolina.

“The added semolina gives the potatoes a crispy, crunchy outside and helps to hold them together,” she says in her introduction to the recipe.

Mary Berry swears by semolina for roasted regular potatoes and parsnips too, as they’re fine and dry enough to toast up without causing steam to bloat your veggies.

“Vegetables that have less starch, like eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, benefit when coated with an ingredient like semolina, which keeps the final product from getting soggy,” Taste said of frying with the wheat product. 

The high-gluten product is sturdier and thicker than a lot of other flours, allowing for a more satisfying crunch ― especially on veggies like sweet potatoes, which typically run on the mushier side.

How do I add it? 

Mary Berry advises you simply toss semolina in with your peeled sweet potato chunks alongside their oil and seasonings before cooking.

For an extra-crispy finish, she heats the rest of the oil in the baking tray for five minutes before adding the coated spud squares ― a trick that works brilliantly for regular roasties, too.

She also uses sunflower oil instead of olive oil, which can have too low of a smoke point to work for roasting veggies (especially when it’s extra-virgin).

Anyway, I’m off to make lunch...