How to Cook a Sweet Potato

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on April 28, 2009

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes |

Tonight the guys had fish sticks (I know!), mashed sweet potatoes and corn. I didn’t have any trouble preparing the veggies, but just couldn’t handle the meat! Since Hubs gets home late on Tuesdays and couldn’t help with the meal, I had to get out the fish sticks!

I did want to share with you what I did with my sweet potatoes.  I bought these when they were on sale during the Easter week for $.49/lb!  I will have a few portions of inexpensive veggies for our meals!

This is my favorite way to prepare them as I find that cooking them this way brings out more “sweetness” and candy flavor than roasting or microwaving. We eat them plain too and they are plenty tasty!

If you have a baby or young toddler who still eats softer foods, this is also a great way to prepare sweet potatoes for little mouths!

Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

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How to Cook a Sweet Potato

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 60 minutes


  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water (depending on the size of your dish)
  • Optional: butter, cinnamon, and ginger


  • Place sweet potatoes into baking dish. Slit each sweet potato with knife.
  • Add about 1/4 inch of water to the baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Sweet Potato 1

  • When each sweet potato is soft, remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before handling.
  • Squeeze the ends and get the skin to come apart. Skin will be very soft and will come apart from the sweet potato flesh.

Sweet Potato 2

  • Scoop out flesh and mash.
  • If you like, add a little butter, cinnamon and ginger and mix in.

Sweet Potato 3

Place in meal size portions in plastic containers or plastic freezer baggies. Freeze if you don’t plan to eat them all right away!

See more $5 Dinners Cooking Tutorials here

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Krystal April 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I love mashed sweet potatoes. But I never involve my oven, I always use the microwave. I have a ‘baked potato’ setting on my microwave, I run that plus another 8 minutes or so because of the potatoes thickness.


Heidi @ Frugal Girls! April 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Yum ~ my mouth is watering!! I guess that means it’s time to go make dinner. :) Thanks for the great tip ~ I love sweet potatoes!


Julie April 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I always “bake” potatoes (sweet or white) in the crockpot. Just pierce, toss in the crockpot with about 1/4 inch of water at the bottom and you are good to go. They come out more moist than oven baked. As an added summer bonus, I can put my crock pot on my back porch or garage and I don’t heat up the house cooking them.


Amanda t November 6, 2014 at 12:47 am

How long do you put them in the crockpot?


Becca April 28, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I do the same thing to prep mine, but cook them in the Slow Cooker instead. They are super great!


Karen April 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Sweet potatoes are the perfect baby food! My baby can almost eat a whole one by himself. He is a little chubbo! :)


Alea April 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm


I am going to try your crockpot idea. I first heard about putting the crockpot on the back porch on this blog (the chili cornbread casserole post) and I think it is a brilliant idea!


Bridget April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Sounds very yummy! Thanks for the great idea. We love sweet potatoes and the are incredibly healthy for you. By the way, your story was very inspirational! Please keep up the great work and may you continue to be blessed!


Hindy April 29, 2009 at 7:36 am

We do this all the time! My family and my daughter love it. Sometimes I will add some fried onions and/or roasted garlic and some thyme to the mix, for a sweet/savory treat. Goes well with roasted chicken!


Nifty Nique April 29, 2009 at 8:10 am

Awesome! Thank you for the tip


Samantha April 29, 2009 at 9:20 am

How long in the crockpot??


Samantha April 29, 2009 at 9:21 am

oh yeah, and high or low??


Queen of Abstract April 29, 2009 at 9:39 am

I love sweet potato’s and need an easy way to cook them. (usually I just get them out of a can with all that high frutose corn syrup – yuk).

Unrelated question…I need some cheap N easy recipes for sun dried tomatoes. I found a large glass container of them for $8 at Costco. I’ve been chopping them up and adding it to cream cheese for bagels. Also made a sauce out of it for pasta,…but all the other reciepes I find for it online have these terribly expensive ingredients! And the thing is, you can’t use too much of it because it’s fat filled. Yummy!


Jamison April 29, 2009 at 10:36 am

I love SPs! We would make Sheppards Pie and use mashed SPs instead of white potatoes when we were low-carbing it.

Another GREAT way to enjoy them is to get a cookie pan, put some olive oil on the pan, slice the SPs thin like thick chips, bake at 400 or something for like 30 or 40 minutes… eat with ketchup!


Katy April 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm

We get “The Ultimate Fish Sticks” from Costco – they’re delicious! I wouldn’t eat any other kind of fish stick or feed them to my family until I found these. Crispy panko breading and real Alaskan cod pieces, not minced fish. Try ‘em!


Deidra Floyd May 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for sharing this method. I just put a pan of four sweet potatoes in the oven to cook with my Mexican Manicotti.


Betty May 12, 2009 at 9:04 am

Fell in love with Outback Restaurant’s sweet potatoes which the waitress said they were steamed.

Just add a little water to the bottom of a pan, add a steamer basket and cook your sweet potatoes.

Thanks for the other options.


Jane May 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm

We love sweet potatoes too and pretty much fix them according to Erin’s recipe, but since there so much nutrition in the skin, we eat the skins too!! (they’re well scrubbed and no babies in the home anymore)



Jennafer May 31, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Wow! Im so hungry now! Try wrapping in foil and grilling! Yummy!


Sarah K June 10, 2009 at 11:27 am

The crockpot variation sounds like a great idea. From searching online, it looks like 4-5 potatoes need to be cooked on low for 4-6 hours depending on their size.


Paralax June 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Awesome! Thank you for the tip!! Im so hungry now


Darlene Kistler-Alvord January 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Instead of mashing, I like to let them cool then slice them and fry in a little butter. If they get a little dark brown or black on them, they are even better.

I live alone, but really enjoy your suggestions for inexpensive meals.


Denise January 22, 2013 at 11:16 pm

I never use the oven. I boil the sweet potato in its jacket on top of the range.


Vida November 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm

sweet potatoes are also a healthy treat for dogs. Not only are they sweet, loaded with vitamins and minerals, but are full of fiber ( keeps them “regular”)😏


Jenny November 10, 2014 at 11:13 pm

How long do they keep in the freezer and how do you reheat them? Thanks!!


mo.kamel November 11, 2014 at 1:54 am

just wash and put them in the oven,no water ,nothing,and bake until soft,that’s it ,you may put a tray to keep oven clean. we love it this way in EGYPT,soft and very sweet.


chuck jackson November 16, 2014 at 9:52 pm

If you wrap the potatoes in wax paper and microwave , they will cook quick. about 4 mins. on high.


Jennifer D November 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I boil mine with skins on and the skins fall off the same way. Just pinch the skins and they fall right off.


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