Thinking about boiling sweet potatoes? Let’s do it! Here’s how to boil sweet potatoes and when it’s the right cooking technique.

Boiling sweet potatoes

Thinking about boiling sweet potatoes? Roasting sweet potatoes might be the most popular way to cook these root vegetables. But here’s the thing: boiling is the fastest! This technique is much faster than roasting, and it’s great for when you’re including them in a filling or topping in another recipe. Here’s what you need to know about how and when to use this cooking method!

When boiling sweet potatoes is best

Most people think of roasting sweet potatoes when they go to cook this vegetable. But do you need the fastest way to cook sweet potatoes? It’s boiling all the way. Here are some pros and cons to this method:

  • Boiling sweet potatoes is great for when you want to make a filling for enchiladas or tacos or a topping for pizza and don’t want to fire up your oven. It’s also great for mashed sweet potatoes, or as a quick side dish.
  • The potatoes come out perfectly tender and moist. You’ll need to season with a little olive oil or butter and salt and pepper for the best flavor.
  • Boiling does not caramelize like roasting, and the flavor is not as as sweet. You won’t get those lovely browned edges like roasted potatoes. Keep that in mind!
How to boil sweet potatoes

How to boil sweet potatoes

How long to boil sweet potatoes? Place diced potatoes in water, then bring to a boil and cook 7 to 12 minutes until fork tender. The exact timing depends on how large or small the pieces are. Here’s how to boil sweet potatoes:

  • Dice the sweet potatoes in 3/4-inch chunks. Peeling is optional: leave the skin on for added nutrients. Just make sure to cut off any dark or black spots!
  • Add to a pot and cover with 1 inch water. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Boil 7 to 12 minutes until fork tender. The exact timing will depend on the size of the pieces and the age of the sweet potatoes.
  • Drain, then use in recipes as desired. See below for some ideas!
How long to boil sweet potatoes

Boiling sweet potatoes as a side dish

You can use this boiled sweet potatoes recipe as a template for a fast and easy side dish. A tip? Make sure to add a little fat to bring richness and season with salt and pepper. Here’s what to know:

  • Toss with butter or olive oil, and kosher salt. You’ll need to add back some of the richness that’s inherent in roasting with olive oil. Make sure to season with enough salt and pepper to make the flavors sing.
  • Add other add-ins like spices and fresh herbs. Toss with cumin, garlic powder and a little chili powder for a zingy seasoning blend. Or add chopped fresh chives or thyme for an herby punch.
Boiling sweet potatoes

Ways to use boiled sweet potatoes

Boiling sweet potatoes is a great method for preparing fillings or toppings! Here are a few ways you could use them:

How are you planning to use your sweet potatoes? Let us know in the comments below!

Storage info

Boiling sweet potatoes and want to save them for later? These potatoes last for 3 to 5 days refrigerated. You’ll want to reheat them before using again to bring them back to that deliciously moist texture.

Boiling Sweet Potatoes

More sweet potato recipes

There are so many ways to use this delicious root vegetable! Here are a few more of our top sweet potato recipes:

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How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Thinking about boiling sweet potatoes? Let’s do it! Here’s how to boil sweet potatoes and when it’s the right cooking technique.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Dice the sweet potatoes into roughly 3/4-inch cubes. You can either peel or leave the skin on: just make sure to cut off any black spots.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with 1 inch of lukewarm water; add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, around 7 to 12 minutes. Then drain.
  3. Use in recipes as desired (see Sweet Potato Enchiladas or Mashed Sweet Potatoes), or for a side dish season with ½ tablespoon olive oil or butter and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and add additional seasoning to taste. Refrigerate leftovers for 3 to 5 days.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Potatoes
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Boiling sweet potatoes, How long to boil sweet potatoes, How to boil sweet potatoes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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2 Comments

  1. This recipe is pretty good as is, its basically what I do for the mashed I make for special dinners. My version follows the recipe, but I mix in sour cream (about 3/4 cup) and chopped green onion (two bunches or to taste) my family loves it.