How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

Naturally sweet and nutrient-packed, sweet potatoes are so versatile.

You can cook sweet potatoes using a lot of the same methods as for regular potatoes. To get started, pick out a sweet potato recipe and follow the tips below on choosing, storing, and cooking with sweet potatoes.


Choosing & Storing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Follow these tips:

-- Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but look for the tastiest ones in their peak season, winter. Choose firm sweet potatoes that are small to medium in size with smooth, unblemished skins.

-- If you do not plan to use the sweet potatoes right away, store them in a cool, dry, dark place. Do not refrigerate sweet potatoes - they'll dry out.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baking sweet potatoes in your oven is a simple but delicious method to prepare them. Here's how to do it:

-- Scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly with a brush, then pat dry.

-- Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork.

-- Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender.

-- Place each baked sweet potato inside a kitchen towel. Gently roll to soften the flesh.

-- Cut an X in the top of each sweet potato and press on the skin to push the flesh upward.

-- Serve with butter, brown sugar, and/or cinnamon.

To prepare baked sweet potatoes in your microwave: Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning the potatoes once.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries -- packed full of vitamins A and C -- are a more nutritious alternative to regular deep-fried french fries. Here's how to make perfect oven fries:

-- Use a sharp thin-blade knife to cut sweet potatoes into 1/4- or 1/2-inch strips (peel the potatoes if you like, or leave the skins on).

-- Toss potatoes with olive oil and desired seasoning.

-- Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking pan. Be sure your baking pan is large enough to bake the sweet potato wedges in a single layer so they brown evenly.

-- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once, until tender.

Tip: Cut each fry to an even thickness. Because sweet potatoes contain more sugar than regular potatoes, they tend to burn easily and cook unevenly if cut too thin.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Making mashed sweet potatoes is almost as easy as baking them. Here's how to do it:


Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Glazed sweet potatoes enhance the natural sweetness of the potatoes by coating them with a luscious sauce. Here are some tips to get started:

-- In a large pot cover potatoes with water and simmer until they are tender but not soft.

-- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring glaze to a boil and then simmer.

-- Place potatoes in a single layer in a buttered baking dish.

-- Pour glaze over potatoes.

-- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes, basting occasionally, until potatoes are well-glazed and begin to caramelize on the edges.


Slow Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Maple-Ginger Sweet Potatoes

It's easy to prepare slow cooker sweet potatoes. Here's how to do it right:

-- Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork.

-- Place sweet potatoes in a slow cooker with a splash of water.

-- Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours, or until tender.


Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Spice Loaf

Much like banana bread, sweet potato bread is super moist and quick and easy to prepare -- no kneading or rising required. Here's how:

-- Use the coarse side of a box grater to shred the sweet potatoes for the bread.

-- Following the recipe, combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another.

-- Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

-- Fold in sweet potatoes.

-- Bake in a greased loaf pan for 65 to 70 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.