Mashed sweet potatoes are soft and creamy, smooth and buttery and a delicious dinner side dish! Add sweet or savory toppings and dig in!
Many of y’all know that I am a through and through potato lover.
I make my microwave “baked” potatoes at least once a week as a quick and easy side dish with dinner.
I devour them, skin and all.
And creamy mashed potatoes always feel like a special occasion. They’re also my daughter’s favorite.
Plus, we love doing roasted potato wedges and easy frozen stand-bys like oven fries and tater tots.
And sweet potatoes are no different; I adore those orange fleshed potatoes.
Of course, baking them is amazing. And sometimes I then stuff them with taco meat. And who doesn’t love some Air Fryer sweet potato fries? They get perfectly tender on the inside and crispy around the edges.
I also really adore the combination of sweet potatoes and black beans. (As is evidenced by my sweet potato and black bean chili, sweet potato and black bean enchiladas and sweet potato, black bean and spinach sauté. Can’t stop, won’t stop!)
And if you haven’t tried sweet potato toast, you simply must! It’s so easy and so fun! Makes a great breakfast that you can turn sweet or savory.
Today though, we’re going classic and enjoying a bowl full of simple, delightful mashed sweet potatoes.
The potatoes are slow roasted in the oven to develop ALL their natural sweetness, then mashed until smooth with some melted butter and a few simple ingredients.
I love doing microwave sweet potatoes and Instant Pot sweet potatoes to speed things up, but baking them is the best way to develop their sweetness. It’s all about that slow, steady, gentle heating for these.
And it’s totally worth the time it takes. They come out creamy, soft, buttery and hard to resist!
We can stop there and revel in this delicious side, or you can add some sweet or savory toppings to make them even more epic. (I’ve got tons of ideas below.)
Sweet potato-y goodness, here we come!
(And stay tuned because next week I'm bringing you more goodness with my classic sweet potato casserole that's perfect for the holidays!)
OK, let’s get cooking.
Now, I’ve got some notes, tips and substitutions coming up below on how to make mashed sweet potatoes. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making mashed sweet potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes: They should be scrubbed and then dried before you bake them. And you’ll want to poke them with a fork or a knife a few times to let them vent as they bake.
- Butter: I tend to just melt mine in the microwave before adding to the mashed sweet potatoes. You could also leave it on the counter while the potatoes are in the oven and use softened butter if you’d rather.
- Milk or cream: You can use milk (whole, 2% or even skim) or heavy cream for the liquid to mash these. Of course, these will vary in the amount of richness they lend. You can also substitute orange juice for the liquid or even use coconut milk for a different flavor.
- Peels: You’ll bake the sweet potatoes with the peels on. Once they are baked and tender, and have cooled just a few minutes so you can handle them, the peels should slide right off.
- Mashing: You can use an actual potato masher, a potato ricer if you’re fancy, or even just a fork. The flesh should be soft enough that it doesn’t take much effort to mash them.
As far as consistency, it’s up to you. Mash until totally smooth and uber creamy, or just lightly mash if you want a little more texture.
Also, just like regular mashed potatoes, you can definitely add a little sour cream or Greek yogurt to your mashed sweet potatoes. It gives them a slight tang, which can be scrumptious if you like that - and if it works with your toppings plan.
So, let’s talk toppings.
Extra butter is of course an easy go-to, but there are tons more ways you can add additional flavor and dress these up.
Let’s divvy them up into sweet and savory, but of course you can mix and match.
Sweet toppings for mashed sweet potatoes:
- Sprinkling of brown sugar
- Grated orange zest
- Sprinkle of ground cinnamon or a pinch of ground cloves
- Chopped pecans or walnuts (raw or lightly toasted)
- Mini marshmallows
And definitely go for some fun combinations here. Maybe a little brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts all together.
Make it your own!
And if sweet potatoes are sweet enough on their own for you, check out these savory toppings to bring a nice contrast.
Savory toppings for mashed sweet potatoes:
- Roasted garlic
- Cheese (such as Swiss, goat, gruyere, Parmesan or even cheddar)
- Cooked, crumbled bacon
- Sliced green onions or chopped chives
- Chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or thyme
And again, feel free to get creative with the combinations and make your own favorite concoction.
As far as leftovers, mashed potatoes are really best enjoyed as soon as they are made.
You can keep extras in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave until warmed through again.
(I do think sweet potatoes reheat better than regular mashed potatoes; seems to be a difference in the starches.)
I hope that helps answer all your burning sweet potato questions, and I hope you get some of this deliciousness on your plate soon.
- 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Up to ¼ cup milk or heavy cream (see notes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sweet: Brown sugar, cinnamon or cloves, chopped nuts, orange zest, mini marshmallows
- Savory: Roasted garlic, cheese, bacon, green onions or chives, chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley or thyme)
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (or parchment paper) and set aside.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes well then pat dry. Pierce each one with a fork or a knife several times.
- Place the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack. Place the foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below the potatoes to catch any drips. (Note: This can still cause drips on your rack. You can also just put the potatoes on the foil-lined baking sheet if you'd rather.)
- Bake at 400 for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until very tender. (If your potatoes are huge, it may take longer.)
- Let the potatoes cool slightly, until you are able to handle them, then remove the peels. (They should be loose from the flesh and peel right off.)
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and the milk or heavy cream and mash well with a potato masher or fork, until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Add desired toppings and serve hot!
Milk or cream: You can use milk (whole, 2% or even skim) or heavy cream for the liquid to mash these. Of course, these will vary in the amount of richness they lend. You can also substitute orange juice for the liquid or even use coconut milk for a different flavor.
Peels: You’ll bake the sweet potatoes with the peels on. Once they are baked and tender, and have cooled just a few minutes so you can handle them, the peels should come right off.
Leftovers: Once cooled, leftover mashed sweet potatoes will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave until warmed through again.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g