The Best Way to Boil Sweet Potatoes

Your boiled sweet potato recipes will turn out great if you follow this method.

Sweet potatoes are versatile vegetables that are incredibly satisfying because of their sweetness and texture. When it comes to cooking them, you can roast sweet potatoes in the oven, microwave them, or boil them. Fortunately, the process of boiling sweet potatoes will be the same whether you keep the skins on or not, and the method we share is extremely simple once you learn how to do it. Here's what you need to know.

Boiling With or Without Skin

There is not much difference between boiling sweet potatoes with the skins on versus peeling them, but you will get a boost of fiber and potassium if you keep the skin on. The skin also adds a subtle texture to each bite. If you're looking for a smoother mash, peel the potatoes first before boiling.

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes


  • Shop for sweet potatoes with smooth skin that is firm when you press it, and avoid any soft spots.
  • Store them in a cool, dry place for up to one week, and avoid refrigerating them because they will dry out.
  • If you're making mashed sweet potatoes, it's best to chop the potatoes instead of boiling them whole because it will save you time.
  • To boil about 4 pounds of chopped sweet potatoes (roughly six sweet potatoes), it will take about 15 to 20 minutes if you start them in cold water.


  1. Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water. For a more nutritious mash, leave the skin on. For a smoother one, peel with a vegetable peeler.
  2. Cut into eighths and place in a large pot. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes.
  3. Boil sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a fork. It will take less time if you cut the sweet potatoes into smaller pieces.
  4. Drain and return to the pot.

Remove the boiled potatoes to make mashed sweet potatoes or continue on to another sweet potato recipe.

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