Sweet Potato Recipes: 40 Irresistible Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato is an incredibly versatile tuber, but I tend to prepare them in the same two or three quick and easy ways most of the time, so I decided to seek new ideas. I wasn’t disappointed: there seems to be no end to the inspired recipes one can dream up to use sweet potatoes and enjoy their irresistibly sweet taste and superfood status (more details here), and I collected my forty favorites to share with you below, organized by cooking method.

My sweet potato of choice is the orange one, which is vibrantly flavorful and loaded with nutrients (especially beta-carotene and vitamin A). It’s not easy to find Europe-grown ones at this point, but you can find imported ones in an increasing number of supermarkets, organic or not. Sweet potatoes grown in the United States tend to keep longer (at cool room temperature, never in the fridge!) and their flesh is moister.

You’ll find all the recipes I linked to below gathered on this Pinterest board for easy browsing.

Winning pairings

~ Sweet potato + Bacon
~ Sweet potato + Leafy greens, especially kale and spinach, and salad greens, especially arugula and mâche
~ Sweet potato + Beans, especially black beans
~ Sweet potato + Chickpeas
~ Sweet potato + Lentils
~ Sweet potato + Maple syrup
~ Sweet potato + Chicken
~ Sweet potato + Pork
~ Sweet potato + Miso
~ Sweet potato + Butter
~ Sweet potato + Tahini
~ Sweet potato + Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds
~ Sweet potato + Potato
~ Sweet potato + Sage
~ Sweet potato + Olives
~ Sweet potato + Anchovies
~ Sweet potato + Herbs, especially cilantro and chives
~ Sweet potato + Citrus, especially lemon and lime
~ Sweet potato + Avocado
~ Sweet potato + Carrot
~ Sweet potato + Quinoa
~ Sweet potato + Feta cheese
~ Sweet potato + Broccoli and cauliflower

Steaming and boiling

Steaming is the best way to retain all the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes. Cut into 2- to 3-cm (1-inch) cubes, they will need about 10 minutes of steaming. Sweet potatoes also do well boiled and puréed in the cooking liquid for a soup.

~ Make patties with the steamed and mashed sweet potatoes and an egg as the binder, possibly mixing them half and half with regular potatoes, and cook in the skillet or the oven. Add feta cheese to the mix.

~ Pair with lentils for this Thai-inspired sweet potato soup.

~ Pair with chickpeas to make sweet potato falafel.

~ Use it in an easy vegetable curry.

~ Turn it into a sweet potato hummus.

~ Use it to make a gluten-free pizza crust.

~ Make sweet potato and kale balls.

~ Add to your burritos, quesadillas and tacos.

~ Roll into sweet potato tots.

Grilling

Cut the sweet potatoes into thickish slices or wedges, and pre-steam the sweet potatoes until just tender (8 to 10 minutes) before brushing with oil and throwing on the grill.

~ Make grilled sweet potato wedges and sprinkle with black olives and toasted almonds.

~ String sweet potato slices together like kabobs for easy handling.

~ Assemble sweet potato skewers with halloumi cheese.

~ Pair grilled sweet potato wedges with a cherry salsa.

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos, recipe and photography by Jeanine Donofrio.

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos, recipe and photography by Jeanine Donofrio.

Roasting

This cooking method really highlights the sweetness of sweet potatoes and makes them almost caramelized. You can roast them whole in their skin (prick with a fork first; about 45 minutes at 200°C or 400°F for a medium sweet potato) or cut them into 2- to 3-cm cubes or slices and bake them for 30 minutes at 200°C (400°F). Fries will only take about 20 minutes.

– Make sweet potato oven fries with lots of spices. Coat them with cornmeal or panko to make them extra crispy, or use a spiral slicer to make shoestring fries.

– Make a salad with roasted sweet potatoes, arugula, roasted walnuts and avocado.

– Make a two-potato gratin with alternating slices of potatoes and sweet potatoes.

~ Pair with black beans and quinoa for these filling lunch bowls (or this soup).

~ Bake sweet potato skins and load with all kinds of zesty or wholesome toppings.

~ Combine with black beans and rice to make the burger patty for this sweet potato burger.

~ Mash into a sauce for pizza.

~ Make crisp sweet potato salt and vinegar chips.

~ Wrap bites in bacon and bake!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls, recipe and photography by Danae Halliday.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls, recipe and photography by Danae Halliday.

Sautéing

You’ll want to cut the sweet potatoes into smallish dice so they’ll cook more quickly in the skillet. You can then pair them with whatever seasonal vegetables you like for a wholesome, one-bowl meal.

~ Sweet potato hashbrowns.

~ Julienne the sweet potatoes and cook with eggs.

~ Spiralize the sweet potatoes into sweet potato noodles.

~ Cook sweet potato fries in coconut oil.

~ Make a sweet potato hash with black beans and avocado sauce, or with sausage, or with kale.

Sweet Potato Pizza Crust, recipe and photography by Ashley Melillo.

Sweet Potato Pizza Crust, recipe and photography by Ashley Melillo.

Mashing

Comfort food par excellence! Steam until very tender then mash with the liquid of your choice — stock, cream, or milk, dairy or non-dairy. Once mashed, you can freeze the purée to use later, possibly in baking (see below).

~ Mash along with cauliflower.

~ Add a few drops of Angostura bitters to your mash.

~ Make sweet potato gnocchi.

~ Use mashed potatoes as a filler for meat balls in place of breadcrumbs.

~ Add to cornbread.

Breakfast and Dessert

The natural sweetness of sweet potatoes makes them prime candidate for dessert recipes, allowing you to decrease the amount of added sugar, or even use none at all. Generally, in baking you’ll be using steamed and puréed sweet potatoes.

~ Bake whole and serve with butter and brown sugar.

~ Add mashed sweet potatoes to your cakes, as in this sweet potato spiced bread.

~ Make these two-ingredient pancakes.

~ Grain-free sweet potato brownies.

~ Fold mashed sweet potatoes into your bowl of oatmeal.

~ Make sweet potato waffles.

~ Make a sweet potato and yogurt cake.

~ Bake donuts.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries, recipe and photography by Angie Tee.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries, recipe and photography by Angie Tee.

This post is sponsored by the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute; visit their website for more information and recipes to use the delicious sweet potato! All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the organizations who support Chocolate & Zucchini.

American Sweet Potato

Want more amazing sweet potato recipes?

Follow my sweet potato board on Pinterest!

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  • Ricki

    The sweet potato is definitely my favorite vegetable (kale is a close second!!). What a fabulous roundup of recipes here. . . I can’t wait to try them. Thank you so much for including the Sweet Potato & Kale Balls from my blog in your collection! :D

    • Thank *you* for the lovely recipe!

      • Julie Czosek

        We actually get the purple sweets in the ‘States as well. Seasonal. Not quite sure what season they are assigned to. They randomly show up at markets.

  • Cheryl Lim

    If you ever get the purple variety of sweet potatoes (I live in Asia), turn it into a mash with a little splash of milk and seasoning, then be amazed at how crazy vibrant the mash turns bright purple. I find that a fun part of eating it.

    We also use sweet potatoes, yams and sago as dessert around here.

    • I’ve never come across those! Where in Asia are you based, and what’s your favorite local dessert using sweet potatoes?

      • Cheryl Lim

        I’m in Malaysia in particular! I think my favourite sweet potato dessert would be bubur cha cha? Although my mom makes a non-coconut milk version at times and don’t necessarily make the tapioca jelly; sometimes she cooks it up with only a bit of sugar then have a small bottle of brown sugar syrup on the side to add to your taste with (one family member sensitive to coconut milk, another pre-diabetic). There are plenty of variations anyways but the fast rule is to have a variety of colourful tubers and sago pearls.

        Also, we use yams and sweet potatoes in various fried snacks (kuih) that I can’t decipher which is which and just usually eat up the tasty ones.

        Most of the time, my mother would just boil up some sweet potatoes so that you can season it precisely how you like it.

        Here’s some purple sweet potatoes she boiled up and I mashed it with a little bit too much milk, pinch of salt under fluorescent lighting with no editing.

  • Karen Kelly

    Great ideas! I love the flavor of sweet potatoes with maple syrup and roasted cranberries. It’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

  • Lisa Hutton

    Good news! Sweet potatoes are indeed grown in Europe – even if only in a small way – I buy them at this time of year from the producer at my local market in the Gers (SW France). Thanks for the mindboggling array of recipes!

    • That’s good to know, Lisa! I wonder if it’s the same variety since the climate is so different.

      • Lisa Hutton

        It’s a good question but unfortunately my sweet potato knowledge doesn’t extend as far as recognising individual varieties! But they are the orange flesh type and behave in the kitchen pretty much the same as the ones available commercially in Australia (my home territory). And a small plug for the white fleshed variety: they are harder to find but their flavour simply wrapped in foil and baked on the BBQ is beyond compare!

  • Candy Sidner

    Such a wonderful collection of things to do with Sweet Potatoes, which I did not even see when I lived in paris!

    • It is indeed a fairly new development that they’re now easily available!

  • NotJoking

    And there’s always sweet potato pie which is as good as pumpkin pie.

    • What style of sweet potato pie do you prefer ?

      • NotJoking

        One using pumpkin pie spices and with enough liquid to keep the filling from being too dense. Also sweet potato bread is really good, I prefer the recipes that are similar to pumpkin bread. In fact pumpkin and sweet potato seem to be able to be substituted for one another in many recipes. When I make cous cous I often use both pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

  • Susan Coe

    I like sweet potato biscuits.

    As for why you’re not finding European-grown sweet potatoes: they like a hot (as in Southern US) climate with long summers. I would guess there aren’t too many areas with enough heat.

    • Ooh, do you have a recipe for sweet potato biscuits that you like ?

      • Susan Coe

        Sweet Potato Biscuits

        1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
        1/2 tsp salt
        1 cup flour
        4 tsp baking powder
        2 Tb butter
        Milk sufficient to make a soft dough

        Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder; add these to the potatoes, mixing in with a knife. Work the butter into the mixture lightly. Add the milk; work quickly and lightly until a soft dough is formed. Turn out on a floured board; pat and roll out lightly until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 2-inch biscuits. Place on greased pan and bake 12-15 minutes at 400°. Makes nine biscuits.

        I agree with the comment about substituting sweet potato for butternut squash or pumpkin. In a lot of recipes, it’s hard to tell the difference

  • This is a great collection, I love sweet potatoes and love to try something new with them all the time.

  • Anne

    Sweet potato gnocchi with sage brown butter is one of my go-to fall recipes — once I replaced the Thanksgiving turkey with that instead! Pair swell over a bed of sautéed onions, red peppers, zucchini, and spinach as well.

    • Wow, how did that turkey-less TG dinner go? Did the family riot at all? ;)

  • Annabel Smyth

    I love sweet potato chips! I haven’t yet tried making my own, but….. At home, I like to boil them up with swede and carrots to make a “3-orange mash”, or dice them and make an orange hash, or a winter vegetable curry.

  • Alexandra Palladino

    Quand
    je repense à mes années sans fauteuil roulant, je me dis que j’ai perdu une
    partie de ma vie et ces compagnies d’assurance, après un tel accident de la
    route, se comportent comme des chacals. http://aideauxvictimes.com/

  • Nehal Mc

    I am so glad you posted this Clotilde! I am a great fan of sweet potatoes, and you don’t come across sweet potato recipes that often. It is such an under rated root, despite being much healthier than potatoes. My favourite is a jacket sweet potato, roasted in foil with a sprig of thyme and smoked garlic served with creme frache and a basic salad. It is a very soothing, warm, autumnal dinner in a hurry.

  • The merrymaker sisters

    YUM! That pizza base looks delish!

  • Jason Siegel

    Braised with cream and butter in the microwave

    • I don’t have a microwave oven myself, but I’m sure others would love to hear more about your MO: would you give us a bit more detail on the method?

      • Jason Siegel

        Peel and Slice thin the sweet potatoes put them in a microwave dish with cream and butter cover and cook for 5 minutes poke with fork and add two more minutes till done

        cooking time really depends on how many you cooking but the add two more minutes till done method to make sure you don’t overcook

        Add salt and mash if you want at the end

  • Clinton Davidson

    In “The Science of Good Cooking”, they note that starch to sugar conversion in sweet potatoes occurs between 135 and 170. So they recommend starting them in a cold oven set to 425 covered with foil to maximize the conversion, then uncovering them to finish to get carmelization.

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