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12 Easy Ways to Perfectly Cook Sweet Potatoes

12 Easy Ways to Perfectly Cook Sweet Potatoes

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Love sweet potatoes, but aren’t sure how to cook them?

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How to Freeze Three Types of Sweet Potatoes

Nutritious, flavorful sweet potatoes are available year-round, and there are few vegetables as versatile. Sweet potato can be baked whole or diced, or used in savory dishes like gratins, bread, biscuits, and casseroles. The root vegetable also makes delicious desserts, including sweet potato pies, moist cakes, muffins, and even cookies.

With all those amazing ways to eat sweet potatoes, you'll want to stock up in the fall when prices are lowest. You can then slice, dice, bake, or mash what you won't eat immediately and freeze the sweet potatoes for up to 12 months.

12 Super-Easy Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipes

By now, we know that the key to eating healthy(ish) on those days when we’re short on time — and patience — is having an arsenal of recipes that are simple to whip up, eat up, and clean up.

Though sandwiches are sure winners, there’s a new favorite in town: stuffed sweet potatoes. All you need to do is pop them in the microwave (or roast them), stuff ’em with ingredients, and attempt to eat politely.

But what do you stuff them with? Great question. Let these recipes answer.

1. Healthy chipotle chicken sweet potato skins

Sweet, spicy… these skins seem to have it all. Plus, they’re filled with spinach, spices, and herbs. Sound a little too healthy? The melted cheddar cheese topping makes it feel like more of a treat.

2. Moroccan stuffed sweet potatoes

Bet you haven’t had these before! Here sweet potatoes are stuffed with an eggplant-tomato mix topped with Moroccan spices, a combo called zaalouk. Then, the sweet potato is stuffed to the brim with chickpeas and tahini.

These vegan, gluten-free little boats turn out as gorgeous as they are delicious (especially with the pop of red from the pomegranate seeds), so you can expand your culinary horizons and be totally pat-your-belly satisfied.

3. Baked, stuffed, and overstuffed sweet potatoes

Looking for a lighter meal? There’s a kale salad add-in for that. Want to scarf down everything in sight? There’s a quinoa, black bean, and mushroom solution for that as well.

These recipes cover all the bases by providing a variety of ways to stuff (and overstuff) a sweet potato — and each one is delicious.

4. Easy paleo chili stuffed sweet potatoes

Chili in 20 minutes? We’re onboard.

This recipe is exactly what it sounds like: smoky, beefy, spicy, chili scooped into a sweet potato bowl (genius!) with a Whole30-friendly ranch sauce drizzled over the top. Add a sprinkle of scallions and grab a napkin (or five).

5. Spinach and artichoke sweet potato skins

There’s spinach artichoke dip, and then there’s spinach artichoke sweet potato skins. While both are delicious and great game-day recipe options, there’s one clear winner when it comes to health: the beloved sweet potato.

These skins are filled with cheeses, secret spices, and plenty of veggies, so you won’t even miss the cream-filled dip and salty chips.

6. Baked sweet potatoes stuffed with feta, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes

Mediterranean ingredients are known for being delicious and filling. This recipe combines favorites like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese to create a twist on a Greek salad. Goodbye for now, sweet pita bread!

7. Broccoli cheese stuffed sweet potatoes

Everything just tastes better with melted cheese… including broccoli, the vegetable we all wish we loved. So, if you need an instant winner without a lot of effort for even the pickiest of eaters, this is that recipe.

With such a minimalistic list of ingredients (a few spices, cheese, veggies), it’s kind of a wonder how it’s so. dang. good. But we’re not one to ask questions — after all, our mouths are full right now.

8. Healthy creamy buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes with ranch

We never thought we’d see “healthy” and “creamy buffalo chicken” and “ranch” all in the same sentence, but alas, here we are. Dreams really do come true.

Beyond being super easy to throw together, they’re also paleo and Whole-30 compliant, dairy-free (yes, even with the creamy factor), and gluten-free. Basically, it’s a recipe sure to please the whole family.

9. Southwest stuffed sweet potatoes with black beans and quinoa

Gooey, rich, filling… this recipe seems to tick all the right boxes for what you want in a stuffed sweet potato. It is basically a deconstructed burrito served inside an edible bowl, and we’re so pumped about it.

Pro tip: Add some guacamole on top of the whole thing — more, a little bit more. There ya go. Que perfecto.

45 Creative Ways to Cook Sweet Potato

Regardless of the season, sweet potatoes are always a versatile, healthy option for a colorful, filling meal. Not only are they beautiful, they’re also loaded with fiber and nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.

On top of all that, they can be grilled, baked, sautéed, and prepared in a huge variety of dishes—including these 45 healthier recipes ranging from savory breakfasts to salty snacks to chocolate-y desserts. Stock up on the orange tater and enjoy it a different way every day!

1. Quick Sweet Potato Hash

Antioxidant-rich red bell peppers, onions, lycopene-boasting grape tomatoes, and spicy cayenne combine with the star ingredient for a quick and easy hash. Add an egg on top for some extra protein, or eat it as a side or small meal.

2. Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale With Poached Eggs

Talk about your breakfast of champions: Sweet potatoes, heart-healthy olive oil, a whole bunch of kale (which is a great source of fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins K, A, and C), and some protein-packed eggs offer up a filling, well-balanced morning meal.

3. Baked Sweet Potato Latkes

These are a delightfully simple, healthier version of the classic latke: Sweet potatoes mixed with onions, eggs, panko, and a little of the flour of your choice (choose whole-wheat for an extra health boost) are baked—not fried—into pancake-y perfection.

4. Sweet Potato Scone

These cute little morsels make great fare as part of a relaxed weekend brunch. Vegan and free of gluten, soy, and dairy, they still manage to pack a healthy punch thanks to their low sugar content, as well as the addition of cinnamon, pecans (which are a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and additional nutrients), and quinoa flour.

5. Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Yes, you read that correctly. This smoothie packs in sweet potato, soymilk (or another milk of your choosing), protein-rich yogurt, honey, anti-inflammatory cinnamon, and some vanilla to taste. It’s like liquid pie (without all the sugar and crust and stuff).

6. An “Egg”cellent Baked Sweet Potato

Bake a sweet potato, cut it in half, scoop out a little bit of the flesh, add a tiny bit of butter, and crack an egg in the hole. Bake, season with salt and pepper, and shabam: You’ll be full till lunch, for sure. (Alongside a small green salad, this could also make a great lunch or light dinner!)

7. Sweet Potato Pancakes

These pancakes are full of healthy, wholesome ingredients: Whole oats, a bit of almond milk, an egg, some pecans, and super-spice cinnamon bring the structure and flavor, while sweet potato brings a beautiful orange shade and healthy dose of fiber to these cheerful morning ‘cakes.

Bake a sweet potato perfectly

Many mothers pass down a heritage of kitchen secrets to their daughters. This would probably be the case in my household if I hadn’t completely renovated my diet to manage my autoimmune disease. My mom’s ancient cookbook binder contains scraps of Danish pastry recipes passed down from her grandmother, and these treats would wreak havoc on my digestive system in all their glory of white flour and powdered sugar.

However, there is one recipe that my mom passed down to me that I will forever treasure: the perfect baked sweet potato. I’ve come to rely on this foolproof method any time I prepare sweet potatoes and now I’ve tailored it for various sizes of potatoes with perfect results.

How I bake a sweet potato

Follow the recipe below to perfectly bake a sweet potato, without having to test and guess when it is done. Here are the methods to the madness:

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

When purchasing, look for small to medium sweet potatoes that have smooth skin and are firm and free of soft spots. Store whole unpeeled sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week (do not refrigerate or they will dry out). To know how many sweet potatoes you need for your recipe, one medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces) equals approximately 1½ cups when peeled and cubed.

Step 1: Prep Sweet Potatoes

Wash sweet potatoes by thoroughly scrubbing with a clean produce brush and rinse with cool water. Use a vegetable peeler ($10, Crate & Barrel) or paring knife to peel sweet potatoes. With a sharp knife ($16, Target), cut off any woody portions and ends. Cut into bite-size cubes, keeping pieces as close to the same size as you can for even cooking.

Step 2: Boil the Sweet Potatoes

Select a saucepan or Dutch oven ($60, Bed Bath & Beyond) that is large enough to hold the sweet potatoes without crowding them. Add enough cold water to cover potatoes and sprinkle with salt. Bring to boiling, cover and cook until tender.

How long to boil sweet potatoes: For one pound of sweet potatoes, cover the pan and cook sweet potatoes in the boiling salted water 20 to 25 minutes or until just tender. You should be able to easily pierce the sweet potato with a fork or knife.

Step 3: Drain and use

Remove the lid from the pan and carefully pour the sweet potatoes into a colander ($10, Target) to drain. Set sweet potatoes aside until cool enough to handle, or run cold water over them to quick-cool if you&aposre not using them right away.

For an easy side dish, you can simply toss cooked sweet potato cubes with butter, salt, and pepper, and serve. Or use the cooked sweet potato (cubed or mashed) in quesadillas, pot pies, and other sweet and savory casseroles.

5 Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes

You may want to sit down for this one: In spite of its moniker, shape and thin outer skin, the sweet potato is not actually related to the common potato. These tubers, first cultivated in South America at about 2500 B.C., are instead part of the morning glory family. While the most recognizable are orange-fleshed, these beauties can be white or yellow inside with their skin ranging from white to yellow, orange, red or purple.

That's the key to knowing these sweet potatoes are a wealth of nutrition: the color. Colorful produce contains valuable phytochemicals, which HELP promote health and combat disease. In addition, these root vegetables are rich in beta carotene, which contain antioxidants that attack free radicals and help decrease the risk or fight certain types of cancer, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and even prevent cavities. Beta carotene’s benefits don’t stop there. When consumed, it converts into vitamin A, which helps with growth development and eyesight. And if you’re counting carbs, you won’t be increasing your intake. Even though sweet potatoes are starchier than the white or Irish potato, they contain approximately equal amount of carbs per serving.

When you're shopping for sweet potatoes, look for smooth skin, firm body — something we all want. No bruises or squishy spots. If you're not using them right away, store them in a cool, dark place, but not in the refrigerator — or else you’ll find them growing sprouts and getting moldy.

Again, while there is no relation, sweet potatoes can still be substituted in any recipe for your traditional potato with the cooking time identical. They are fantastic and simple when baked (or nuked), then smashed with a touch of olive oil and salt. (Keep the skin on so as not to strip off any nutrients.) Or you can get a little groovy with one of these recipes:

Easy Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes Recipe

These pan-fried sweet potatoes are so easy to make and taste amazing! Everyone will love these browned tender sweet potato slices!

There are so many way to make sweet potatoes &ndash you can boil them, bake them, mash them and even cook sweet potatoes in a microwave. Check out my growing sweet potato recipes collection for more inspiration! However, for some reason, when thinking of ways to make sweet potatoes, simple pan-frying method often gets overlooked. If you haven&rsquot tried cooking sweet potato slices on a frying pan, you are in for a treat!

Just like my simple sauteed boneless skinless chicken thighs, good old-fashioned pan-frying in a little oil always produces great results!

To make sauteed sweet potatoes, just heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add sliced sweet potatoes and cook on medium-high heat, stirring every 2 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are nicely browned and fully cooked and tender. At the end, sprinkle with chili powder or your favorite seasonings. So yummy!

These pan-fried sweet potatoes are amazing for breakfast with eggs! Here&rsquos a scrumptious breakfast idea for you: fried sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs and sliced avocado. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Just like with any type of sauteing, one important thing to remember is to not crowd the frying pan. Use one sliced sweet potato per large 12-inch non-stick frying pan. If you want to cook more sweet potatoes, you will have to cook them in batches or use two frying pans over two burners at the same time.

If you have a large family and want to pan-fry a lot of things at once, consider getting an electric griddle. Another awesome thing I love about my griddle is that it maintains a constant temperature so food never burns on it!

If you like these pan-fried sweet potatoes, you will also love these easy recipes:

How to Buy & Store Sweet Potatoes

There are quite a few varieties of sweet potatoes, so expect a wide variety of squiggly shapes, vivid colors, and an assortment of sizes. They’re all great choices, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Look for firm and taut skin and no squishiness, and make sure to avoid potatoes with raw or broken fragments with white dots or streaks. Those sweet potatoes are past their prime.

Store sweet potatoes in a dry cool place, not the fridge. And rotate the potatoes (an open or mesh bowl is the best option) every few days to make sure they’re all getting some fresh air.

Photo Credit: A License to Grill

Tips for Baking Sweet Potatoes in the Oven

Our family eats a lot of sweet potatoes, even my two year old enjoys them regularly. I’ll share my tips for baking sweet potatoes in the oven to perfection.

Sweet potatoes are very easy to bake as long as you know a few trade secrets. I’ll share how I get a perfectly cooked sweet potato every time.

Why Everyone Should be Eating Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are absolutely delicious. I would dare to say they are my favorite food.

So since they taste so good -it would be too good to be true if they were healthy – right? WRONG!!

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and low in calories – a perfect combination for maintaining a healthy weight. The fiber is slow digesting and helps you feel full for longer periods of time.

A serving of sweet potatoes is about 100 calories compared to one serving of white potatoes at 400-500 calories. Awesome!

Sweet potatoes, bright orange color means they are jam packed with the antioxidant beta carotene. They boast anti-inflammatory properties as well.

If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic – sweet potatoes are a great food to add to your menu. There low on the glycemic index – meaning sweet potatoes slowly release glucose into your bloodstream, making them a great choice for diabetics.

4 Steps to the Perfect Sweet Potato

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. No need to pierce with fork like regular potatoes
  3. Wrap each sweet potato in aluminum foil with the foil opening facing upward. I line my baking sheet with aluminum foil in case the sweet potatoes leak.
  4. Bake the sweet potatoes for 2 -3 hours until a fork pierces easily. Lower temperate and longer baking time makes for a sweeter sweet potato.

I enjoy my sweet potato with some coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt. Delicious!

The Perfect Sweet Potato in a Fraction of the Time

Recently I discovered my pressure cooker makes an even better sweet potato – in a faction of the time! I steam my sweet potatoes in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes – it is hands down the easiest and fastest way to get a perfect sweet potato.

Just add about a cup of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker and set your regulator to pressure.

My pressure cooker has several preset settings – the steam setting automatically adjusts to 5 minutes – that was not long enough, so I make a quick adjustment so they steam for 10 minutes. Perfect every time!

If you eat a whole foods diet – you really should consider investing in a pressure cooker. The foods I cook in my pressure cooker come out fabulously and at a fraction of the time it took me to prepare in my oven or stovetop.

You can cook real food in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker – while sealing in nutrients that are stripped with normal cooking methods.

My favorite things to make in my pressure cooker are hard boiled eggs, yogurt, beans, rice, anything you would cook in your crockpot and of course sweet potatoes.

Where I Buy My Sweet Potatoes

I buy my sweet potatoes at Aldi. They have the best price and I always get a great sweet potato. When they go on sale – I can get a bag with 4-5 sweet potatoes in it for less than $2.

When I buy sweet potatoes from my local grocery store, they are more expensive. More concerning, I had several occasions with a strange texture after being baked – like a regular potato but orange.

I’m not sure why – Aldi has never let me down so they are where I purchase my sweet potatoes.

I originally thought it might be a yam instead – but the video below debunked that idea.

Get Cooking

Whether you are baking your sweet potato in the oven or steaming them in your pressure cooker – get cooking!Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods around – and did I say how delicious they are.

Consider adding a pressure cooker to your kitchen to make eating whole foods that are nutritious and delicious fast and easy!