The Easiest, Fastest Way to Microwave a Sweet Potato

Learn how to microwave a sweet potato (or two) in minutes.


Crystal Hughes

If you are big on sweet potatoes but short on time, there's an easy solution: Microwave your sweet potatoes. It's really the best way. Microwaving sweet potatoes cuts down cook time by 45 to 55 minutes and helps maintain nutritional value. All cooking methods cause foods to lose some of their nutrients, but the quicker your potato cooks, the more nutrients it will retain. Baking a sweet potato in the microwave preserves far more nutrients (folate, vitamins A and C) than boiling it, for example. To learn how to microwave a sweet potato, read on.

Microwaving Sweet Potatoes

Is there a difference between the terms "baking," "cooking," or "steaming" sweet potatoes in the microwave? No. These are all different ways of describing this simple microwave process.

How Long to Cook Sweet Potatoes in the Microwave

Because sweet potatoes vary so much in size and weight, there's no one-size-fits-all time limit. In general, it takes five minutes to cook one sweet potato in the microwave, and add two minutes in the microwave for each additional potato.

How to Microwave Sweet Potatoes

Don't bother covering your potato in plastic wrap or with a towel because the sweet potato comes in its own jacket—its skin!


  1. Clean sweet potatoes under running water with a produce scrubbing brush, and pat dry.
  2. Pierce the sweet potato skin with a fork 5 to 6 times.
  3. Place the sweet potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 5-10 minutes—five minutes to cook one sweet potato in the microwave, and add two minutes for each additional potato—rotating them halfway through.
  4. You are done microwaving your sweet potatoes when a fork spears into them easily. If they are too firm, continue to cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave in one-minute increments.

Bonus Sweet Potato Recipes

Microwaving sweet potatoes doesn't need to stop with the simple potato in its jacket! Enjoy these microwave-friendly sweet potato side dishes in under 10 minutes.

01 of 02

Mashed Sweet Potatoes


Crystal Hughes


  • 1 or more sweet potatoes
  • Unsalted butter
  • Salt


  1. Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave as directed above.
  2. Slice the potatoes in half with a knife.
  3. Transfer sweet potato flesh to a bowl, and mash with plenty of butter and salt with a potato masher, or just a fork. If you like a rustic look, you can leave in the skins, which also ups the nutrients.
02 of 02

Sweet Potato Chips



  • 1 or more sweet potatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit a microwave-safe plate; lightly coat parchment with cooking spray.
  2. Slice a sweet potato very thinly, ideally with a mandolin, also known as an adjustable blade slicer.
  3. Arrange one-quarter of the potato slices in a single layer on parchment. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Check for crispness.
  5. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until crisp. Repeat procedure with remaining potato slices, salt, and pepper.
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