How To Cook Sweet Potatoes
How to make your best baked, hashed, fried and mashed sweet potatoes yet.
Sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidants and what's more, they're incredibly versatile, perfect for a delicious, low-calorie side or main for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are endless ways to cook a sweet potato- sweet, savory, mashed or as fries. I like to use them as my carb side for dinner or in a healthy vegetable hash on indulgent weekend mornings.
They’re also incredibly healthy. Sweet potatoes are rich in the following essential nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
Here are some of the most popular ways to cook sweet potatoes. No matter your method, the good news is that sweet potatoes are a forgiving ingredient in the kitchen. Just give them enough time, and you’re sure to get a tasty result.
Table of contents
- Preparing Your Sweet Potato
How to Make a Sweet Potato Hash
- How to Cook a Sweet Potato Hash in the Oven
- How to Cook a Sweet Potato Hash on the Stove
- How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes
How to Make Sweet Potato Fries
- How to Make Sweet Potato Fries in the Oven
- How to Make Sweet Potato Fries in the Air Fryer
- How to Make Deep-Fried Sweet Potato Fries
- How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Preparing Your Sweet Potato
Sweet potato skin can hide grit and sand, so make sure to give it a proper rinse with warm water before anything else.
For almost all of these preparation methods, you can choose to keep the skin on for some added texture or peel your potato with a vegetable peeler. Nutritionally though, it’s best to keep the skin on, as it contains a majority of the sweet potato’s nutritional value.
How to Make a Sweet Potato Hash
A hash consists of dicing the sweet potato into super small cubes. It’s particularly delicious as a hearty breakfast-- topped with some cheese, a fried egg and a bit of hot sauce, it’s the perfect energizing carb first thing in the morning.
The secret to a good sweet potato hash is getting the proportions right. Too big, and the outside will brown before the inside fully cooks. Too small, and you’ll get crunchy, instead of soft enters. What you’re aiming for is a crisp outside and soft, buttery middle.
Aim for about ½ inch, bite-size pieces. This might be smaller than you’d expect, but it hits a good ratio during cooking.
How to Cook a Sweet Potato Hash in the Oven
Baking in the sheet pan is probably the easiest way to cook a sweet potato hash. 2 big or 3 medium sized sweet potatoes are usually enough to fill one pan.
Once you’ve cut up your sweet potato, toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper and place it on a sheet pan with a bit of space between each piece. Roast at 400 °F for 40 minutes, until fork tender.
This should yield the perfect crispy yet gooey bite.
How to Cook a Sweet Potato Hash on the Stove
Cooking a good sweet potato hash on the stove is easy as long as you have the right pan. Use something big, so you can leave enough room between the sweet potatoes as they cook. A skillet’s your best option if you have one.
One big sweet potato is usually a good size for most medium/large pans. Simply add two tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 12-15 minutes, making sure to stir your potatoes every 5 minutes to toast the sides.
How to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes
Baked Sweet Potato with Quinoa Salad and Salmon
Baked sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile and delicious. Topped with olive oil and salt they become a tasty savory side dish next to chicken or tofu, or with a little coconut sugar and butter, a low-calorie yet satisfying dessert.
It’s also super simple to make. Simply poke some holes in your sweet potato, put it on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes at 425 °F. You can also throw your sweet potato in the microwave on high for about 5 minutes.
How to Make Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries might taste indulgent, but you can cut down on the fat and calories by skipping the deep fryer for the oven. This yields a super crispy, deliciously sweet french fry alternative that makes a perfect snack or side paired with our Garlic Aioli or just some simple ketchup.
How to Make Sweet Potato Fries in the Oven
Baking is the easiest way to make sweet potato fries, and saves a ton of fat and calories over frying. One sheet pan usually holds about 3 medium potatoes, or 1 pound.
When making sweet potato fries, make sure to keep the pieces as uniform in size as you can. We recommend cutting ¼ to ½ inch sticks about 2.5 to 3 inches long. Mix them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil per pound and salt and pepper to taste.
Spread them on baking sheets, making sure to give each piece a little room to cook. Cook for 15 minutes or until the bottom is golden crisp, then flip and cook on the other side for 10 minutes. Serve hot with flaky sea salt.
How to Make Sweet Potato Fries in the Air Fryer
Sweet potato fries are also a great out of the air fryer. Cook at 380°F for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Don’t crowd your air fryer basket, to ensure the fries come out nice and crispy.
How to Make Deep-Fried Sweet Potato Fries
Frying might not be the healthiest way to prepare sweet potato fries, but it’s probably the most delicious. Crispy, crunchy sweet potato fries taste super decadent, and while they’re high in fat, they pack a big nutritional punch, especially if you keep the skin on. Overall, these make a good special occasion treat.
Heat 3 cups of peanut oil per every 1 lb. of sweet potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes) in a deep fryer or dutch oven at 375°F.Fry the potatoes until crispy brown, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to soak excess oil. Top with sea salt and serve with ketchup.
How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes make for a delicious savory side to poultry and leaner red meat dishes, or a super satisfying, indulgent yet low-fat dessert. To get the perfect creamy consistency, you’ll want to steam your sweet potatoes first, which will also help the sweet potato retain more of its nutrients.
Simply place your sweet potatoes in a large pot of water, making sure they’re submerged in around 2” of water. Season the water with salt and bring to a boil.
Steam your sweet potatoes until tender, around 25-35 minutes. Mash your potatoes with a couple tablespoons of butter or margarine and a splash of cream or coconut milk until you have a stiff but creamy consistency.
Serve with maple syrup or marshmallows for dessert or with your favorite spices and spikes like fresh thyme, sage or paprika, as a savory side dish.
No matter how you decide to cook them, sweet potatoes make a delicious, mineral-rich and low-fat ingredient any time of the day. Want to know how to cook sweet potatoes another way, or have a suggestion for the next installment of our How To series? We'd love to hear from you! Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.