How To Cook Sweet Potatoes Two Ways: Roasted & Puréed

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Sweet potatoes are a delicious, naturally sweet, and healthy vegetable that’s easy to prepare. These are the two best ways to cook sweet potatoes by roasting and puréeing them, along with step-by-step instructions for foolproof home cooking.

The two best ways to cook sweet potatoes are by roasting and puréeing. To roast, cut your potatoes into even sizes (sticks, discs, half-moons or cubes) and toss them on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasonings of choice. Roast in a 400°F oven for 20-30 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. To make sweet potato purée, simmer diced sweet potatoes in salted water until very tender, then mash or blend with cream, milk, and butter until soft, fluffy, and delicious. 

As with the potato, the sweet potato is also a food that has reached the tables of the world. Native to Central and South America, sweet potatoes are now popular throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. In general, these tubers are readily available at grocery stores throughout the year. They’re also inexpensive, nutrient-rich, and filling vegetables that fit into any healthy diet.

How to Store Sweet Potatoes for Freshness

Sweet potatoes are a hardy vegetable that lasts a long time in your pantry. Store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight for the longest possible shelf-life. If stored properly, your sweet potatoes can last over a month.

Cut sweet potato should be wrapped tightly and stored in the fridge. use it within four days to avoid the potato going soft.

Selecting the Best Sweet Potato

When grocery shopping, choose the best sweet potato by avoiding any with soft spots, bruising or wrinkled skin. Size is not an indicator of flavor or freshness, so small and large potatoes are both good options.

What is the Best Way to Cook Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potato can be cooked exactly the same as a traditional potato. That is, it can be fried, boiled, baked, microwaved, steamed, and much more. It is really versatile and easy to prepare.

That said, our two favorite ways to cook sweet potatoes are by roasting them and pureeing them. These two methods are totally different and yield completely different dishes. For roasted sweet potatoes, you’ll use your oven and make crispy individual pieces. Puréed sweet potatoes come together on your stovetop and make a soft, silky, spoonable dish.

Both methods are tasty, easy, and healthy recipes for this all-purpose vegetable.

How to Roast Sweet Potatoes

First, roasting sweet potatoes. In the oven, sweet potatoes turn crispy and golden on the outside with a creamy, soft interior. This is a great hands-off way to make a healthy vegetarian side dish any night of the week.

Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients you need to make simple roasted sweet potatoes:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • A pinch of rosemary
  • 2 tablespooons extra virgin olive oil, or enough to coat your potato slices fully
  • Salt to taste

This ingredient list makes savory roasted sweet potatoes with a garlic and rosemary flavor. However, it’s easy to swap out the garlic powder and dried rosemary with any of your favorite dried seasonings, spices, and herbs. Roasting sweet potatoes is also a great way to use spice blends like garlic salt, taco seasoning, and curry powder for an easy and instant flavor upgrade.

Roasting Sweet Potatoes

Now that you have your ingredients at the ready, here are the simple steps to making perfect oven-roasted sweet potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  2. Wash the potatoes well under running water. Use a scrub brush to remove any stubborn bits of dirt (remember, these came from underground, so a little dirt is normal). If you like, you can peel the vegetables now.
  3. Slice the potato. You can choose fries, wedges, half-moons, rounds, or cubes. The only thing that really matters when slicing sweet potatoes for roasting is that the pieces are all of similar sizes. Otherwise, the potato won’t cook evenly and you’ll end up with some overcooked and other undercooked pieces.
  4. Place the cut sweet potatoes on your prepared baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil and your seasonings. Toss the potatoes well to coat them fully in the oil and seasonings. Spread them out into a single layer on the baking sheet, giving the potatoes as much room as possible to help them crisp up in the oven.
  5. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, tossing them halfway through. The potatoes are done when they’re golden brown and soft all the way through.
  6. Serve your roasted sweet potatoes hot out of the oven.

Storing Roasted Sweet Potato

Store leftover roasted sweet potato in an airtight container in the fridge. It may lose some of its crispiness during storage. If that happens, you can reheat the sweet potato on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven until hot.

You can also freeze roasted sweet potatato by arranging it in a single layer on a baking sheet and freezing for up to two hours. Then transfer the frozen pieces to an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to three months. Reheat frozen sweet potato without defrosting. Simply place them on a baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven until crispy.

Serving Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted sweet potatoes are great for dipping into your favorite condiments and sauces. You can serve them like fries with ketchup, barbecue sauce or honey mustard. Or, you can change things up with some of these tasty dips for cooked sweet potatoes:

  • Tzatziki (yogurt-cucumber sauce with dill)
  • Hummus
  • Harissa paste
  • Green goddess dressing
  • Salsa verde
  • Nacho cheese dip

How to Make Sweet Potato Purée

The next method of cooking sweet potatoes is to purée them into a silky smooth, spoonable side dish. This is a favorite at Thanksgiving, but it’s just as tasty during other times of the year, so there’s no need to save this recipe just for special occasions.

Ingredients

To make creamy, silky sweet potato purée, you’ll need a few simple ingredients:

  • 2 pounds whole sweet potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon butter

Steps to Make Sweet Potato Purée

Here are the step-by-step instructions to cook sweet potatoes and purée them the simplest way that doesn’t lack for flavor:

  1. First, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes.
  2. Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Add a big pinch of salt and bring the water to a simmer. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 9 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are very fork-tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to blend or purée the potatoes until fluffy and smooth.
  4. Stir in the cream, milk, and butter until melted and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve your sweet potato puree hot!

Seasoning suggestions

If you want to play with the flavor of your sweet potato puree, you can add savory or even sweet additions. Some great ways to flavor mashed sweet potatoes include:

  • Dried rosemary, thyme, oregano, and/or basil.
  • Sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, or agave.
  • Nutty mix-ins like chopped walnuts, pecans, coconut flakes
  • Dried fruit like chopped dates, apricots, or golden raisins
  • Spices like chili powder, cayenne, or smoked paprika

You can even turn this simple sweet potato purée recipe into a decadent casserole. Simply transfer the purée into an oven-safe baking dish and top it with a sprinkling of cinnamon, brown sugar, and small pieces of butter. If you want to add crunch, add chopped nuts or even granola. Then bake in a 350°F oven until heated through and the top is melted and golden brown.

Storing Sweet Potato Purée

You can keep leftover sweet potato purée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. It also stores well in the freezer. Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. Defrost the purée in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove, adding chicken broth or water as necessary to loosen it up.

sweet potatoes

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

How to cook sweet potatoes two ways: roasting and puréeing.
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Peeler
  • Large pot
  • Strainer
  • Potato masher or immersion blender
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

For Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch dried rosemary

For Pureed Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 pounds whole sweet potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsp butter

Instructions
 

For Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  • Wash the potatoes well under running water. Use a scrub brush to remove any stubborn bits of dirt (remember, these came from underground, so a little dirt is normal). If you like, you can peel the vegetables now.
  • Slice the potato. You can choose fries, wedges, half-moons, rounds, or cubes. The only thing that really matters when slicing sweet potatoes for roasting is that the pieces are all of similar sizes. Otherwise, the potato won't cook evenly and you'll end up with some overcooked and other undercooked pieces.
  • Place the cut sweet potatoes on your prepared baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil and your seasonings. Toss the potatoes well to coat them fully in the oil and seasonings. Spread them out into a single layer on the baking sheet, giving the potatoes as much room as possible to help them crisp up in the oven.
  • Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, tossing them halfway through. The potatoes are done when they're golden brown and soft all the way through.
  • Serve your roasted sweet potatoes hot out of the oven.

For Pureed Sweet Potatoes

  • First, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes.
  • Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Add a big pinch of salt and bring the water to a simmer. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 9 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are very fork-tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to blend or purée the potatoes until fluffy and smooth.
  • Stir in the cream, milk, and butter until melted and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve your sweet potato puree hot!
Keyword pureed sweet potatoes, Roasted sweet potatoes

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