In this flexitarian cooking guide you’ll get recipes, videos, inspiration, fabulous flavour combinations, and the best techniques for how to cook sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are an extremely versatile nutrient-dense power food with endless possibilities in the flexitarian kitchen. It also has many therapeutic properties, including high fiber.
How To Cook Sweet Potatoes – Cooking Techniques
Sweet potatoes can be used in any recipe that calls for white potato. Caribbean cookery probably offers the most original recipes for them.
My dream is to become a farmer. Just a Bohemian guy pulling up his own sweet potatoes for dinner. – Lenny Kravitz
Scrub unpeeled whole sweet potatoes gently before baking. Sweet potatoes to be cut up or mashed can be peeled with a swivel blade peeler.
How To Make Baked Sweet Potato
Baking results in the best flavour. To bake whole sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 200°C. Pierce each potato in several places with a fork or knife tip. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until tender.
Baked sweet potatoes can be halved and served with butter as a side dish. Their sweetness can be enhanced with a drizzle of honey or by cooking them with lime juice and cilantro.
How To Cook Oven Roasted Sweet Potato
Preheat oven to 220°C. Peel and coarsely chop sweet potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Pour into a shallow roasting pan. Roast sweet potato in the preheated oven, turning frequently until soft and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Drizzle with lime juice, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
This is one of the easiest sweet potato side dish recipes ever. It’s all prepped in 10 minutes with minimal ingredients, and it will appeal to the pickiest of eaters.
And it is very versatile it is? You can serve this dish with steak, chicken, pork, turkey or easily incorporate it into a vegetarian or vegan meal.
Marcie considers this to be one of the best sweet potato recipes for so many reasons. The sweetness of the sweet potato is balanced out with the savory flavor of garlic powder and the sharp, woody flavor of the fresh rosemary.
The fresh rosemary is what makes this dish truly magical in Marcie’s opinion.
Sweet Potato Chips
Thinly slice sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 200°C oven until tender and crisp.
If you are a sweet and salty fanatic you’ll LOVE the seasoning blend that is included in the recipe, but you could really use any kind of seasoning for these chips (garlic and herb, taco seasoning, salt and pepper). Another little secret: add a little corn starch to your seasoning blend. It will make your sweet potato chips extra crispy.
Sweet Potato Fries
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries don’t need to be soggy! These secrets and the recipe will help you have crispy fries from your oven.
How To Make Boiled Sweet Potato
Boiled sweet potatoes are not often served on their own, they are mostly used in other dishes such as sweet potato salad. Boil whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes for 20 to 40 minutes. Boil sliced potatoes for 10 to 20 minutes.
How To Make Sweet Potato Salad
Make sweet potato salad with cubes of cooked sweet potatoes. Dress with lime juice, olive oil, finely chopped spring onions, a little curry powder, and salt.
Hearty Sweet Potato, Arugula & Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing by Kathryne Taylor from Cookie and Kate
This delicious salad recipe features roasted sweet potato, wild rice and arugula. It’s fresh, filling and nutritious! Enjoy this salad all week long. This recipe yields a lot of salad (6 generous servings) and is easily halved.
Kate says that this salad works becasue the spicy arugula offers a nutritious, green base; and the fresh ginger in the salad dressing balances the sweetness of the caramelized sweet potatoes.
A beautiful and festive roasted sweet potato, pear and pomegranate spinach salad with creamy goat cheese, toasted pecans and a tangy balsamic dressing.
The recipe is a combination of Monique’s favorite seasonal fruits and veggies: roasted sweet and savory sweet potatoes (or you can use butternut squash), juicy ripe pears, gorgeous pomegranates, crunchy toasted pecans, goat cheese, and a very delicious balsamic dressing. All over a bed of nutritious spinach.
How To Cook Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is a traditional American Thanksgiving side dish.
Boil 6 large sweet potatoes, then halve them lengthwise. Arrange in a greased casserole. Combine 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of a lemon and a teaspoon nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake in a 180°C preheated oven for 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the juices. Serve at once.
How To Make Mashed Sweet Potato
Baked or boiled sweet potato can be mashed to use as a side dish or to make desserts such as sweet potato puddings and pies. For a side dish, mash them with roasted garlic, salt, and pepper.
Spice up your favorite lasagne recipe by replacing half the cheese in your recipe with mashed sweet potatoes and grated Parmesan cheese.
There are several ways to make sweet potatoes smooth and creamy- by using a potato masher, electric hand blender, or, a blender. Jessica tried every single one of these methods on this recipe and only one method provided the super creamy mash/puree that I was looking for.
The winner says Jessica is blending your sweet potatoes in a blender.
How To Cook Sweet Potato Soup
To make a spicy sweet potato soup, peel and thinly slice 650g sweet potatoes, add to a saucepan with 425ml chicken stock, 250ml water, 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed, a pinch of chili flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Puree in a food processor, or with a hand blender, then stir in two tablespoons lemon or lime juice. Sprinkle with finely chopped cilantro before serving.
This beautifully orange Thai sweet potato and carrot soup is spicy, flavourful and totally comforting. It only requires a handful of ingredients and you can make it ahead of time. Tamsin says the flavours only deepen over time.
Sweet potato and red lentil soup is a delicious and easy recipe. This healthy vegan and gluten-free soup is a perfect filler that never fails to please.
Neil says it’s perfect for families as the recipe makes 6 portions and any leftovers can easily be frozen. Plus being thick, naturally creamy and deliciously sweet, it’s sure to be a dinner table winner!
Both sweet potatoes and red lentils are relatively inexpensive ingredients so this sweet potato red lentil soup makes an excellent budget soup recipe!
This is a filling soup. It’s great at any time of the year and makes a satisfying lunch or weeknight dinner.
Neil recommends pairing this soup with a slice of wholemeal bread. Perfect for dunking and wiping up the last few drops!
Microwaved Sweet Potato
To microwave, pierce whole sweet potatoes, then cook on high for 10 to 20 minutes (for 4 sweet potatoes). Remove from the microwave, wrap or cover and leave for 3 minutes to cover.
More Sweet Potato Cooking Techniques
You can also deep-fry, fry, grill, sauté and steam sweet potatoes.
I cook rarely, but I’ve kind of got two or three dishes that I stick to. I do a great sweet potato and lentil curry. – Chris O’Dowd
Sweet potatoes are an excellent addition to a balanced flexitarian diet.
Yellow sweet potatoes (borrie patats) have higher nutritional content than the white varieties.
Sweet potato is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of vitamin A. (Source: Nutritiondata.com)
Matches Made in Heaven
Matches made in heaven are considered classic combinations. Those in all caps are especially widely practiced.
Allspice, apples and apple juice, bay leaf, bourbon, BROWN SUGAR, BUTTER, chile peppers esp. habanero, cilantro, CINNAMON, cream, flat-leaf parsley, garlic, ginger, honey, lime juice, maple syrup, molasses, NUTMEG, olive oil, onions esp. red, ORANGE juice and zest, pecans, pepper black and white, rum, salt kosher, thyme, walnuts.
Fabulous Flavour Combinations
Sweet potatoes + allspice + cinnamon + ginger
Sweet potatoes + apples + sage
Sweet potatoes + bacon + onions + rosemary
Sweet potatoes + chili peppers + lemon zest
Sweet potatoes + chorizo sausage + orange
Sweet potatoes + cilantro + lime juice
Sweet potatoes + kale + prosciutto
Sweet potatoes + maple syrup + pecans
Sweet Potatoes Also Goes Well With:
When developing your own recipes, or changing existing ones, for how to cook sweet potatoes explore these flavour enhancers:
Herbs and Spices
Anise, basil, chives, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, paprika, red pepper flakes, rosemary, sage, sesame seeds, tarragon, vanilla.
Foods and Flavourings
Bacon, bananas, beans, brandy, caramel, cheeses, chestnuts, white chocolate, coconut, cranberries, creme fraiche, custards, dates, duck, dried figs, fruits and fruit juices, bitter greens, ham, hazelnuts, kale, ketchup, leeks, lemon juice and zest, meats esp. roasted, chanterelle mushrooms, oatmeal,peanuts, pears, persimmons, pineapple, pork, potatoes, poultry esp. roasted, prosciutto, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chorizo sausage, sour cream, chicken stock,tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, whiskey, sweet wine, Worcestershire sauce, yoghurt.
In The Pantry
Sweet potatoes can be stored for up to a month in a cool dark place. At normal room temperature, they will last up to a week. Don’t put raw sweet potatoes in the refrigerator; they tend to harden and develop an “off” taste. You can freeze cooked potatoes for longer storage.
At The Green Grocer
Sweet potatoes are usually available the whole year but they are in season (most abundant and at their best) in the autumn and early winter.
What To Look For
Choose firm sweet potatoes with smooth dry skin and no crackles or blemishes. Check the tips, which is where decay usually begins.
In The Food Garden
Sweet potatoes are a rewarding crop to grow. You do however need space and a long growing season to grow them successfully. Plant as early as possible in spring – you have to wait for cuttings. Harvesting starts in autumn. You can lift them and store them in a cool dark place, or you can leave them in the garden.
In the southern half of the country perhaps no crop has larger possibilities for quick increase of production of food for both men and animals than the sweet potato. – David F. Houston
Want to be notified every time there is a cooking guide?
Sign up for The Foxy Flexitarian Update!
For more information on how to cook sweet potatoes see these books I’ve referenced:
Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase I will receive a small percentage of the sale.