I am a sucker for sweet potato fries.  At this very moment, I have a mental ranking the best places to order sweet potato fries running through my head.  For me, this equation is 50% about the fries and 50% about the dipping sauce.  By a ginormous margin, my favorite pairing for sweet potato fries is a creamy chipotle dipping sauce.  More than an aioli.  More than even the finest of house made ketchups.  I love the balance of the sweetness of the fry against the smoky, spiciness of the chipotle.

Unfortunately, my favorite version of this combo is roughly 2300 miles from my house according to “the Google.”  So, its not always the most convenient….

When I want this combo at home… I can either turn my house into a sputtering, smoky mess with a deep fryer.  Hard pass.  Or I can go he healthier and much less messy route by baking my fries. Yes, please.  By tossing the fries in a bit of cornstarch with before baking, we can get a nice crispiness.  Since baked fries are often limp, soggy, and lacking,  I find this trick better emulates the texture of a fried sweet potato fry…. but without the mess and grease.

Since sweet potatoes are already orange and round and in season…With a tiny bit of shaping, they make the perfect Halloween appetizer.  I sliced my sweet potatoes and cut each slice into a pumpkin shape.  As delicious as that string cheese cut into the shape of a finger may be, Halloween themed appetizers often leave something to be desired in the taste department (ahem).  And because I enjoy food far too much, I refuse to make an appetizer that is more about looking cute than tasting good.  If it can’t pass the taste test without the cute-factor, then I don’t want to eat it.  But you guys, these are delicious sweet potato fries….with a pumpkin shaped option.  (I sliced up a giant batch of non-pumpkin shaped ones for a football party last weekend!)

And we haven’t even talked about the dipping sauce!!  I really do apologize because this sauce is ridiculously good.  Where do i even begin?  The creaminess is off the charts and the craziest part is… This. Dip. Is. Vegan.  What the whaaa??  I know!  I didn’t even know a super creamy chipotle dip without any mayo or dairy was possible, and truth-be-told I did not set out to make the dip vegan.  But a super amazing and crazy creamy recipe from another blog I recently tried convinced me I was dead wrong on that whole vegan dips aren’t as creamy myth.  In fact, all of the ingredients in this dip actually lend to the flavor rather than being something that either tones down the spiciness or is just there to add creaminess.  You guys: sunflower seed butter is the answer.  Its crazy creamy, blends perfectly with the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, a little garlic, lemon juice, and spices for the most out of this world CREAMY chipotle dip ever.  My sweet potato fries have met their new best friend.

In all seriousness, I want to bottle this stuff and hide it in my purse to use at restaurants.  People do it with hot-sauce!  Why can’t I do it with this??  (Yada-yada refrigeration…Dangerous blah-blah.)  😉

Nonetheless, I am obsessed with this dipping sauce.  I think it would also be delicious on regular fries, zucchini fritters, or drizzled on a taco!  Yaaaassss!!! (Making a mental note to try it with tacos ASAP! YUM!)  

This appetizer is here to state for the record that you don’t need to choose between cute and delicious for your Halloween apps!  And…. that I don’t need to go 2300 miles for sweet potato fries with an amazing chipotle dipping sauce. 😉

Halloween Sweet Potato Fries with Creamy Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Halloween Sweet Potato Fries with Creamy Chipotle Dipping Sauce

    For the fries:
  • 3 small Sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds (the diameter of a small sweet potato works best)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • For the dipping sauce:
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, + 1 tsp. adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (juice from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons sunflower seed butter (unsweetened!)
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste (will depend on salt level of sunflower seed butter)
  • 2-4 tbsp. water
  • finely chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

To assemble the sauce:  In a food processor, combine garlic, adobo peppers, adobo sauce, lemon juice, sunflower seed butter, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 tbsp. water.  Process until smooth. Drizzle and pulse in additional water if too thick.  Season with salt and sprinkle with cilantro to garnish.  Set aside.  Dipping sauce can be enjoyed immediately or covered and chilled 2hours ahead of time.

To make the fries: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To create the pumpkin, shape carefully cut out a stem and a small triangular piece on either side of stem to turn the circular slices into a pumpkin shape.

Once all the slices have been cut into the desired shape, arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.  Toss them in the oil until thoroughly coated.  In a small bowl combine salt, paprika, chili powder, cayenne (if using), and corn starch.  Use a fork or the tips of your fingers to combine the mixture.  Toss a few of the sweet potato slices in the cornstarch mixture at a time so that they are lightly coated. Return coated slices to the baking sheet and repeat until all sweet potato fries have been lightly coated.  Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 10 minutes more.  Fries should be crisped and golden.

Remove from baking sheet and transfer to serving platter.  Serve immediately with the chipotle dipping sauce.