You can make Instant Pot sweet potatoes in roughly 35 minutes and are incredibly easy to make. Making sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker is the perfect no-fuss weeknight dinners!
Confession: cooking with an Instant Pot is not something I ever expected to do. Alex and I are wary of adding new gadgets to our kitchen—and especially things that seem trendy! We want to know that a gadget will be useful in the long term before we’ll commit to hollowing out some cabinet space. So we were on the fence for years until a friend mentioned you can make all sorts of Instant Pot vegetarian recipes: like using an Instant Pot to cook sweet potatoes, grains, and dried beans. Since we eat vegetarian for most meals (and lots of sweet potato recipes!), we thought we’d give it a try. Still skeptical, we put in the raw sweet potatoes…and poof: out came perfectly moist sweet potatoes with little effort and faster than an oven! It’s now our go to method for cooking sweet potatoes. And we got rid of our rice cooker to make space for the Instant Pot! So without further ado, here’s how to cook sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot—first a video, then scroll down for the recipe!
Watch how to cook sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot
What’s an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is basically a programmable pressure cooker. The one we have is Instant Pot brand: here’s the Instant Pot we have. However, there are many other brands of electric pressure cookers. The concept is to cook foods at high pressure, which dramatically cuts down on cooking time.
Why cook sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker?
Cooking sweet potatoes in an electric pressure cooker has a few advantages over baking them. First, it’s a bit quicker: baking sweet potatoes takes nearly 1 hour when accounting for the oven preheat and 45 minute cook time, whereas it takes about 35 minutes total in the Instant Pot. Also, the sweet potatoes come out perfect every time, with a perfectly moist, velvety interior. Finally, cooking sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker is totally hands off: which is helpful since baking requires more steps (rubbing with oil, S&P, checking for doneness, etc). How to cook sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot? Keep reading!
How long does it take to cook sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot?
The cook time for pressure cooking sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot is 16 minutes. Wait, 16 minutes?! That’s what I thought — until I learned that the Instant Pot requires about 10 minutes for “preheating” and then about 10 minutes for “cooling down”. The cooling down process is called Natural Release, when the pressure cooker releases the steam inside naturally. So the total time for this recipe is 35 minutes. Pretty good compared to about 1 hour for baked sweet potatoes! The timing for how to cook sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot does depend on the size of the potatoes: this recipe is for medium to large potatoes, about 10 to 12 ounces each. For very large sweet potatoes, use a few more minutes (18 minutes); smaller potatoes could use less time (about 14 minutes).
What are other Instant Pot vegetarian recipes?
When we first heard about the Instant Pot, we thought it was mainly helpful for cooking meat quickly. However, since we’ve learned that it’s helpful for vegetarian recipes too, we’re starting to build up some Instant Pot vegetarian recipes. For example, you can make rice, quinoa, dried beans, dried chickpeas, mashed potatoes, and even soups. Here are some of our favorites. What other Instant Pot vegetarian recipes would you like to see?
- Basics: Refried Beans | Lentils | Lentils and Rice | Quinoa | Hard Boiled Eggs | How to Cook Rice: White Rice & Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Creamy Instant Pot Pasta
- Vegan Instant Pot Recipes
- Thai Sweet Potatoes with Peanut Drizzle
- Chickpea Couscous Bowls with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Instant Pot Tacos with Smoky Lentils
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
Looking for more healthy sweet potato recipes?
Here are a few other sweet potato recipes from A Couple Cooks where you could use this Instant Pot sweet potatoes recipe instead of baking!
This recipe is…
This Instant Pot sweet potatoes recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar-free.Print
These Instant Pot sweet potatoes are done in roughly 35 minutes and are incredibly easy to make. Pressure cooker sweet potatoes are perfect for no-fuss weeknight dinners!
- 4 medium to large sweet potatoes, about the same size (10 to 12 ounces)*
- Scrub the sweet potatoes. Place the stainless steel trivet into the Instant Pot, then place the potatoes on top. Add 1 cup water.
- Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
- Cook on high pressure 16 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time for 16 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. Wait while the Instant Pot cooks. (Note: During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
- Natural release for 10 minutes: After the Instant Pot beeps, wait for another 10 minutes to let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure. (Tip: We set a timer for this part so we don’t forget!) After 10 minutes, vent any remaining steam by moving the vent to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. (The pressure indicator in the lid may drop on its own after 10 minutes, meaning that there is no remaining steam in the pot.)
- Open the lid and carefully remove the hot sweet potatoes with tongs. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
*Important: this Instant Pot cook time was optimized for 4 medium to large sweet potatoes: do not use less than 4 sweet potatoes in the pot! (Promise: we tried it!)
- Category: Pantry
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: instant pot sweet potatoes, instant pot recipe, how to cook sweet potatoes in instant pot
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.