One of the best cooking methods for sweet potatoes is to boil them. This simple way to prep them for any sweet potato recipe will help you create a variety of dishes, from that sweet potato pie to the perfect side dish for any meal!

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Healthy: Boiling sweet potatoes lets you reap the health benefits that this root vegetable has for you. They’re dense and filling while giving you plenty of beta-carotene too. And just so you know, this method is the best for preserving that key nutrient compared to when you bake sweet potatoes. 
  • Simple: If you can boil water, you can boil sweet potatoes! This is my favorite way to prep them for my recipes because it takes no time at all. 
  • Perfect for Your Recipes: When making sweet potato casserole, sweet potato pie, or any sweet potato recipe, boiling them first puts them in the proper texture to incorporate with ease. 

Is it better to boil sweet potato whole or cut it up?

It depends on what you’re using them for. Keeping them whole will preserve the nutrients better. Though, cutting them up will be a much quicker cooking process. 

Ceramic bowl with several sweet potatoes in it.

Ingredients + Notes

  • Sweet Potato: If you’re cutting them into cubes, you’ll want to keep the cubes about the same size so they cook more evenly. (For this recipe, you cut them to be roughly one-inch cubes.) Likewise, if you’re going to cook whole sweet potatoes, choose ones that are similar in size for the same reason. 

    As for whether to leave the sweet potato skins on or not, I’m a fan of leaving them on. You get added nutrients from the skin, and it saves you time! If you prefer them without the skin, you could use a vegetable peeler and a few more minutes of time.
  • Water: It’s always best to use filtered water whenever possible for the best results. 
  • Salt: Adding salt to the boiling water infuses the sweet potatoes with a little flavor. 
Cooked swet potatoes chunks in a black ceramic bowl.

Step-by-step Instructions: How To Boil Sweet Potatoes

The cooking process for sweet potatoes is simple. Boiling them is an easy option that takes minutes to prep. Wash the raw sweet potatoes thoroughly. (This recipe calls for about a pound of sweet potatoes.)

1. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. 

2. Add sweet potatoes to a medium pot.

3. Cover the sweet potatoes with water bringing the water line an inch above the potatoes. 

4. Add salt to the pot and bring it to a boil. (This should take about 7 minutes.)

5. Turn down to a simmer, cooking for an additional 12-15 minutes. (Until fork tender.) The exact timing will vary depending on what size sweet potato cubes you cut as well as your elevation.))

6. Drain water and enjoy!

Full Recipe Video

How To Boil A Whole Sweet Potato

Cooking whole sweet potatoes has a very similar boiling process to sweet potato cubes. There are two main differences. You don’t have to spend time cutting up the sweet potato. However, it does take more than double the amount of time to boil whole sweet potatoes versus cubed. That being said, the size of the potato greatly impacts the cooking time. If you opt for using smaller sweet potatoes, they cook faster than larger potatoes. 

1. Wash the dense sweet potatoes thoroughly.

2. Add sweet potatoes to a large pot.

3. Cover the sweet potatoes with water bringing the water line an inch or two above the potatoes. 

4. Add salt to the pot and bring it to a boil. (This should take about 7 minutes.)

5. Turn down to a simmer, cooking for an additional 30-50 minutes. (Until fork tender.) The exact timing will vary depending on what size sweet potato cubes you cut as well as your elevation.))

6. Drain water and enjoy!

Overhead view of a ceramic bowl filled with chopped sweet potato.

How To Use Boiled Sweet Potato

Adding a little olive oil and some seasonings like garlic powder is the fastest way to a healthy side dish with boiled sweet potato. You can make them even sweeter with maple syrup or brown sugar. Or you can give them a savory flavor with sage and tarragon

And, of course, you can use your boiled sweet potatoes for those holiday dishes like sweet potato casserole, sweet potato pie, and any other favorite sweet potato recipes. 

Close up view of a bowl of cooked sweet potato.

Storage Tips

Storing cooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator or the freezer both work well.

Fridge

You’ll need to let your boiled sweet potatoes cool down a bit before you store them. I recommend using a Stasher Bag or an air-tight food storage container that’s glass. You’ll want to use them within 3 to 5 days. 

Freezer

Even better, you can freeze them if you have too many boiled sweet potatoes left over. This makes it easier to add them for any meal prep or to cut down on cook time for dinner. 

FAQ

How long should you boil sweet potato?

It will take about 15-20 minutes to boil if you’ve cubed your sweet potatoes. You should plan on doubling that time for whole sweet potatoes to be the perfect texture.

Should I peel the sweet potato before boiling it? 

You don’t need to peel your whole sweet potatoes before boiling them.

If you don’t like the skin and you are opting to boil them cubed, then I recommend using a potato peeler and peeling them before chopping.

Alternatively, if you are going to boil them whole, removing the skin can be just as easy after they are boiled and cool down.

Are sweet potatoes healthy?

Yes, you’re choosing good health when you choose to put sweet potatoes on the table. They are full of powerful antioxidants and a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium.

What is the healthiest way to eat sweet potatoes?

If you’re eating for your best health, you can’t go wrong with boiling sweet potatoes. Cooking them this way locks in more of that beta-carotene while making it easier for your body to absorb. 

Tasty Vegan Potato Recipes

Bowl of cooked sweet potato chunks with gold flowers in the foreground.

Recipe

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How To Boil Sweet Potatoes


  • Author: Rae Aflatooni
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

One of the best cooking methods for sweet potatoes is to boil them. This simple way to prep them for any sweet potato recipe will help you create a variety of dishes, from that sweet potato pie to the perfect side dish for any meal!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 medium Sweet Potatoes, cubed (3 medium sweet potatoes is roughly 1 pound)
  • Water
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Add sweet potatoes to a medium pot.
  4. Cover the sweet potatoes with water bringing the water line an inch above the potatoes.
  5. Add salt to the pot and bring to a boil. (This should take about 7-minutes.)
  6. Turn down to a simmer, cooking for an additional 12-15 minutes. (Until fork tender.) The exact timing will vary depending on what size sweet potato cubes you cut as well as your elevation.))
  7. Drain water and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: cooking tips

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2 Comments

  1. I love how simple this recipe is. Thanks for all your recent plant-based cooking tips!