Learn how to boil sweet potatoes. Plus, get their nutritional information.

By Real Simple
Updated November 19, 2017

Sweet potatoes are quite the versatile vegetable. Incredibly satisfying with its sweetness and texture, this tuber can wear many hats. When it comes to cooking sweet potatoes, you can bake sweet potatoes in the oven, microwave them or boil them. The process for boiling sweet potatoes will be the same whether you keep the skins on or not. Boiled sweet potatoes are filling and make a simple side. Here, we give you tips on how to boil sweet potatoes and how to serve them.

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

There is not much of a difference in boiling sweet potatoes with the skins on versus peeling them. But you will get a boost of fiber and potassium if you boil and eat the potatoes with the skin on. If you’re looking for a smoother mash, for example, peel the potatoes first before boiling. The skin does add a subtle texture to each bite.

To boil about 4 pounds of chopped potatoes (roughly 6 sweet potatoes) to mash, it will take about 15 to 20 minutes starting them in cold water. You just need enough water in the pot to cover the sweet potatoes. If you’re making a mash, it’s best to chop the potatoes instead of boiling them whole. It will save you time. Here’s a step-by-step for how to boil sweet potatoes:

1. Shop for sweet potatoes with smooth skin and are firm when you press. Avoid any with soft spots. Store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week and avoid refrigerating them as they will dry out.

2. Rinse and scrub under cold water. For a more nutritious mash leave the skin on, for a smoother one peel with a vegetable peeler.

3. Cut into eighths and place in a large pot. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes.

4. Boil sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Note, it will take less time if you cut the sweet potatoes in smaller pieces.

5. Drain and return to pot to make your mash.

Boiled Sweet Potatoes Recipes

It’s easy to simply add butter and a touch of milk to make a simple Sweet Potato Mash. Can’t get enough? This recipe of Mashed Sweet Potatoes has hints of citrus, warmth from nutmeg, and added creaminess from the sour cream.