Sweet Potatoes Article - Allrecipes.com
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How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

Find recipes and tips for cooking sweet potatoes in pies, casseroles, and more.

Sweet Potato Pie

Look who's giving traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie some healthy competition. A favorite holiday dessert in the Southern United States, sweet potato pie is easy to make from scratch.

Sweet Potato Casseroles

Think beyond the marshmallows! There are plenty of other ways to top your favorite sweet potato casseroles.

Sweet Treats

Sweet potatoes are a great match for dessert ingredients like brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, ginger, coconut, nutmeg, pineapple, pecans, and fruit juices.

Savory Complements

Sweet potatoes love to take on savory ingredients like cumin, coriander, lime juice, beans, cheese, herbs, garlic, and onions.

Endless Possibilities

You can use sweet potatoes in just about any place you would use white potatoes:

  • Mashed
  • Soups
  • Baked
  • Potato salads
  • French fries
  • Latkes

For a quick side dish, peel, shred, and sauté with butter or olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar, or sprinkle of herbs or shredded cheese. (Also try tossing with pasta!)

Sweet potatoes also taste great raw: cut them into sticks for a new addition to the veggie platter, or shred them for salads.

Picking Potatoes

Available from mid-fall to mid-winter, sweet potatoes are best in season. These tips will help you make the most of sweet potatoes:

  • They don't store as well as white potatoes, so enjoy them within a week of purchasing.
  • Choose sweet potatoes that are firm, with unwrinkled skin and no bruises or soft spots.
  • Store in a cool, dry place in a container that's open to the air.
  • Don't refrigerate raw sweet potatoes, or they will develop a hard core and their flavor will deteriorate.

Jul. 22, 2009 5:27 pm
Need to put in Sweet Potatoes so it could go in recipe box.
Nov. 6, 2009 9:32 am
Does any one have a recipe for mashed sweet potatoes ? Thanks Miss Pearl
Nov. 15, 2009 9:23 am
Does anyone have a unique but delicious dessert made with sweet potatoes? It would be appreciated. I really want to impress the family this holiday season;)
Nov. 20, 2009 8:54 am
Many of these recipes freeze well too. My blog talks about freezing food in a Team Up method.
Nov. 25, 2009 8:17 am
My sweet potato recipe calls for a 400 degree oven. Nothing else I am baking is at 400 degrees. If I want to bake the potatoes at 350 degrees, does anyone know how much longer they would need to bake?
Nov. 25, 2009 10:48 am
I have found a lot of great recipenow I need to get busy and try them. Kathie Idaho
Dec. 19, 2009 11:49 pm
I always bake my sweet potatoes as usual and then the last 5 mins or so, I pull them out of the oven and split then open and add butter and brown sugar..mix well then take and drizzle caramel in the potatoes then stuff with mini marshmallows..bake until marshmallows are toasty brown..take fom oven and drizzle potatoes with caramel lightly over the marshmallows. very fattening but very good..and everyone always asks me to make these.
Jan. 10, 2010 11:50 am
MariD I know it's a little late but potatoes SHOULD all be cooked in a 400 degree oven for approx. 1 hour. This will give you that nice crust shell on the outside and soft insides - important especially if you are doing twice baked potatoes.
May 15, 2010 9:01 am
I want to roast sweet potatoes, but I couldn't find a way to do this on here so I went searching and this is what I found... Roast peeled chunks of sweet potatoes in a 400 degree F oven for 40 to 60 minutes.
May 18, 2010 11:19 am
What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. I love yams. Thanks? God Bless.
Jul. 2, 2010 3:52 pm
I love them but peeling them is a headache. Any tips?
Jul. 3, 2010 9:44 pm
Hey angelwings, though it's been over a month since you asked, if you're still interested... According to my university professor, in the U.S. we use the two names interchangably since we really only see one around here - but yams are and appear actually quite different from sweet potatoes as other countries know. Not sure if you want to know more, but does that help any?
Nov. 6, 2010 11:25 pm
Yams are to sweet potatoes as grapefruits are to oranges. Calling a yam a sweet potato is fraudulent.
Nov. 22, 2010 3:56 pm
How many sweet potatoes do I buy that will equal 8 cups of mashed sweet potatoes?
Nov. 24, 2010 11:50 am
Around here (Seattle) we have the Beauregard Yams and Sweet Potatoes in the grocery stores. I've always used the yams for my sweet potato recipes, but this year I used Sweet Potatoes, thinking they'd be more authentic -- they weren't orange and not as sweet as the yams. After cooked and mashed and seasoned they were a pale yellowish color. I don't think I like how they look, but I hope they taste okay. I'm always asked to bring the mashed sweet potatoes - I hope these don't ruin my reputation! Happy Thanksgiving!
Tom Nicholas 
Nov. 27, 2010 4:24 pm
Sweet potatoes and yams are not at all alike.Real sweet potatoes are much healthier than yams.They taste similar but not quite as sweet. They are not really interchangeable but you can spice them up the same way and they are excellent as fries. They are also better for diabetics. Their carbs are absorbed slower.I now prefer them. even more than regular spuds in many dishes.They aren't as prevalent as yams though.
Dec. 1, 2010 8:02 pm
We pre-boiled our yams in sugar water then baked them in a baking dish as slices. Very sweet and tender
Dec. 3, 2010 6:25 am
I grate a small amount of sweet potato instead, with my breakfast (scrambled eggs). Thank you.
Dec. 3, 2010 4:48 pm
I bake my sweet potatoes in the crockpot. No water, just prepare as you would when baking in the oven...no need to wrap in foil. cook on low for 3-4 hours or until tender. You can do regular potatoes this way too.
Dec. 4, 2010 1:11 pm
Why not microwave one sweet potato or yam when you live alone? Am I being a poor cook?
Dec. 4, 2010 5:30 pm
The best and easiest tool to cook sweet potatoes in is the Pampered Chef Baking Dish with cover. Just wash a sweet potato...throw it in whole....add a little water or apple juice ...and microwave for about 20 minutes....AWESOME! I have a dish but do not sell them.. but, I am sure you can find someone who does...
Dec. 4, 2010 7:31 pm
We are from the South and I hve worked in the food division and know that sweet potatoes are different from yams. There are several kinds of yams and they are almst all a shade of orange. The skins are either brown or red. Your sweet potatoes have a light color skin and the inside is a cream color. In cooking either the sweet potatos or the yams, do not boil them you lose most of the sweeness. If you are in a hurry you can microwave the potatoes for 5 minute ( pierce the potatoes on the top several times)and then bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes for a medium sized one or 45 plus for the extra large one. The sweet potatoes are not as sweet as the yams but they are a littl sweet, Do not boil either one bcause they lose the sweetness when thy are boiled. My mother was a wonderful cook and she taught me a lot abot southern cooking.
Dec. 5, 2010 8:22 am
I looked this up too around Thanksgiving and found this to be interesting.

Yams and sweet potatoes are biologically unrelated plants. In the U.S. the names are used interchangeably. The majority are different varieties of sweet potato. The main distinguishing factor is that a sweet potato tends to have ends which taper to a point and yams tend to have rough scaly skin. In addition, wild yams have been recorded to weigh up to 130 lbs. There are approximately 200 different varieties of yams with flesh colors varying from white to ivory to yellow to purple while their thick skin comes in white, pink or brownish-black. Their shape is long and cylindrical (oftentimes having offshoots referred to as "toes") while their exterior texture is rough and scaly. There is great confusion between yams and sweet potatoes in the United States; most of the vegetables labeled "yams" in the markets are really orange-c
Dec. 30, 2010 11:07 am
l have just discovered the sweet potatoe. it is just wonderful. l made mashed potatoes and they were so good now they are on my grocery list weekly
Susie Sanclemente 
Jan. 9, 2011 1:46 pm
I make a soup that I call skinny chili that's made with lots of veges (celery, onion, carrots, and anything else I can find in the fridge) rotel tomatoes and ground turkey. I was a recipe called black bean sweet potato burritos, sooo I added the black beans and cubed sweet potatoes to my usual soup. It was so good. Try it; you'll like it.
Susie Sanclemente 
Jan. 9, 2011 1:47 pm
That should read, "I saw a recipe . . .
Jan. 23, 2011 1:09 pm
Sweet potatoes are a staple in my home. My husband loves them baked with a pad of butter, honey and cinammon.
Jan. 31, 2011 1:48 pm
I've never had Sweet Potatoes/Yams before so thought I'd try them...Thought I had this Sweet Potato verses Yams figured out but the bag I just bought is labeled Sweet Potatoe/Yams (packaged in Minnesota)... So I'm not sure what I have...HELP!!!!
Feb. 22, 2011 1:53 pm
I use an old family recipe for "Sweet Potato Pudding." I confess, I use canned "yams," which according to some posts on this list, are actually sweet potatoes. I use 2 large cans of "Bruce's Yams". Pour the 2 cans into a very large pot and warm them. In the pot, mash them. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 2 Granny Smith apples, very thinly. Get out the butter! Layer the mashed sweet potatoes in a lasagna tray, about 1/2" thick. Cover with sliced Granny Smith apples. Sprinkle Granulated Brown Sugar lightly over the layers. Put generous dabs of sweet butter (I usually use about 9 pats per layer). Repeat. Finish the top layer with all ingredients but the apples. Cover with tinfoil, and bake about an hour. Remove tinfoil and continue to bake for another 1/2 hour. It is everyone's favorite!
Feb. 23, 2011 8:20 am
Granny Lindy, Do you drain the yams? Your recipe sounds yum! Thanks for sharing it!
Feb. 23, 2011 8:46 am
Bookmarker, yes, but not fanatically. It's good to keep some liquid. It also makes it easier to heat and mash.
Feb. 23, 2011 1:23 pm
boil before pealing sometimes helps i can them so it is soooo much easier when its time to use then cause they are already cooked
Feb. 23, 2011 1:23 pm
boil before pealing sometimes helps i can them so it is soooo much easier when its time to use then cause they are already cooked
Mar. 1, 2011 7:42 pm
I love sweet potatos cut in quarters lenghtwise and tossed with olive oil salt and pepper and roasted in the oven till nice and brown and fork tender. Yum, I eat it cold the next day.
Nov. 3, 2011 6:56 am
does anyone know why some sweet potatoes are really stringy. I bake, whip & freeze for baby food, pies etc -- but this last batch tasted great but was all caught up on hand mixer. thanks
Nov. 3, 2011 6:57 am
Sark -- don't peel them -- bake or boil, cool & they will slide or scoop out.
old cooker 
Nov. 12, 2011 6:03 am
If you have yams they were imported because yams are grown in Africa not in the states.
aNNa Ceci (nitzi) 
Nov. 14, 2011 7:34 am
ooohhh!!!! I think this page it's really pro!!! (asi dicen en mi pais)... me encantan todas las recetas Je suis your fan!!!
Nov. 15, 2011 7:53 am
I cook my sweet potatoes with a little water on the stove, or zap them in the microwave until tender. Just mash them with salt to taste when done. I add some butter and cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste and they are great as is. For angelia79, you could use the plain mashed potatoes as pumpkin in pretty much any recipe for a desert. Pumpkin bread is great and I'm sure the potatoes would be equally yummy!
Nov. 15, 2011 7:54 am
Ooops! I'm talking garnet yams, rather than sweet potatoes. I apologize!
Krista in the kitchen 
Nov. 17, 2011 12:27 pm
We usually make sweet potatoes by baking them a good 2 hours in an oven that is about 325 degrees. I cut them in big fat chunks, lay them in a buttered glass baking pan, and cover with foil until the very end just to keep them moist. The key is to bake them until their own natural sugars start to caramelize (long and slow). Then you really don't need to add any sugar. I have had some that tasted just like a dessert even though I didn't add any sugar. It may depend on the sweet potatoes and their growing conditions how much natural sugar they have... But this works great. My kids love them. I like to put butter on top because I like butter, but you don't need a ton of it(think of buttering toast). This works for winter squash, too. Butternut is the best if you don't like strings. Yum.
Nov. 17, 2011 12:30 pm
sweet potato waffles 1 cup mashed sweet potato 1 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk 1 egg 1 tbsp. canola oil 2 cups low fat pancake mix 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. cinnamin Heat waffle iron combine all wet ingredients in a bowl, and dry in another. then combine together. batter will be thick! Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. Spoon 1/2 cup into iron; close and cook till crisp. Yum, my daughter loves them!
Nov. 19, 2011 9:41 am
I always store my sweet potatoes in the fridge and have never experienced a hard core or deterioration.
Nov. 20, 2011 4:02 am
Roasted Sweet Potatoes: A very good way to use sweet potatoes or yams is to peel them, then cut them like steak fries, toss them with olive oil, garlic powder, sald and pepper, then roast them in the oven at 400 til done. Simple but delicious.
Grandma Bev 
Nov. 20, 2011 11:02 am
I cut down on fat and sugar levels by spraying glass baking dish with "butter" spray. Sweet potatoes may be cut in chunks or left whole, but leave skins ON! They are totally edible and delicious! Spray again, cover with foil and bake until soft. They make their own syrup: don't waste a drop of it! At/near this point, you CAN sprinkle lightly with any/all of these: brown sugar (if whole, gently split first), cinnamon and/or pumpkin-pie-spice mix, sea salt, spray again, top with marshmallows and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or so to melt sugar and brown topping. Serve with the drippings as a kind of gravy.
Nov. 20, 2011 3:36 pm
I like my sweet potato/yams baked on the grill with skin on till cooked through. Then I split like a baked potato and add butter and a sprinkle of parmesian cheese. Yumm
Dec. 20, 2011 1:53 pm
I would love to try the one shown on the sweet potatoes inside the orange but I can not seem to find it can anyone help .
Dec. 24, 2011 11:41 am
Can you boil/cook the yams the night before making candied yams and leave them unrefrigerated overnight (like on the counter)?
Jan. 6, 2012 8:32 pm
Ok,from the south and my dad always bakes his sweet potatoes on a pan in a 400° degree oven for about an hour. Leave them in after turning the oven off is fine. Then, to eat, I cut one in half across the middle and scoop it out into a bowl. It is best just to eat it with a spoon. Butter? salt? you ask?? It needs NOTHING!!! They are absolutely wonderful just like this!!
Jan. 8, 2012 7:03 am
debbielee93 is absolutely right lived on cold sweet
Jan. 9, 2012 7:35 am
love sweet potatoes just baked out of the oven hot and toasty..no butter sugar or any thing else
Apr. 10, 2012 3:00 pm
I love sweetpotatoes no matter how they r made
Jun. 22, 2012 3:12 pm
This is other informaton that I'm sure I can use and my relitives can use. Thank you.
Sep. 7, 2012 8:57 pm
My husband's cousin told us an easy way to "bake" potatoes in the microwave and they will be moist every time. Wash potatoes and pierce with a fork. Take a plastic grocery bag and put the wet potatoes (3 or 4) in it. Make one loose knot and microwave about 5 minutes. They will be done and moist all the way through.
Sep. 21, 2012 3:07 pm
Plastic grocery bags are not safe to cook in. They give off gases in the microwave that may contaminate our food and over take may be harmful to our bodies. There is a rise in autoimmune deseases in this country many doctors attribute this to over toxifying our bodies. Cooking in plastic in a microwave maybe a contributing factor. I thought I would just pass that on as I am one who lives with such an illness. Semtchr
Nov. 15, 2012 9:51 pm
I'm a Canadian living in China and the best thing to have in the winter when you're out shopping in the markets in the cold is.....baked sweet potatoes. They bake them in coals in a big steel container right on the street....they're huge and delicious!! Nothing better to warm you up....you eat them wrapped in paper...just plain....they're very popular for a snack!!
Sep. 16, 2013 7:51 pm
My favorite sweet potatoe recipe is really a quick and easy one also. I fry them just like regular potatoes with skin left on. I use sunflower oil for a healthier dish. I salt and pepper them and then add a special ingredient that really give them a "kick". CAYENNE PEPPER Don't turn your nose up til you try them. You won't regret it.
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