How to Make Sweet Potatoes

The Taste of Home Test Kitchen explains how to cook sweet potatoes, whether on the stove or in the oven or microwave. Chopped into salads, served alongside a meaty main, or blitzed into a soup, sweet potatoes round out any cook’s repertoire.

By Elizabeth Harris, Contributing Editor and James Schend, Food Editor

Sweet Potatoes

Expert tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen

  • Select sweet potatoes that are firm with no cracks or bruises.
  • How to store: In a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, they'll stay fresh for about 2 weeks. If the temperature is above 60°, they'll sprout sooner or become woody. Once cooked, sweet potatoes can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
  • How to clean: Scrub with a vegetable brush under cold water.
  • Bonus: You can follow the foil-baking steps below for baking a sweet potato in toaster oven, too.
  • This colorful—and yep, sweet—alternative to regular potatoes gets its warm hue from the beta carotenes inside, the same compounds that mean your potatoes are full of nutrients.

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

What you’ll need:

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • Water


  • Large saucepan or Dutch oven
  • Paring knife

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 30-45 minutes or just until tender.
  4. Drain and cool slightly; peel and cut into cubes.
  5. Serve.

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes in Foil

What you’ll need:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes


  • Foil
  • Paring knife
  • Fork

  1. Wrap potatoes in foil.
  2. Bake at 400° for 45-50 minutes or until soft when gently squeezed.
  3. Cut an "X" on top of each potato.
  4. Using a fork, fluff the pulp.
  5. Serve.

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in the Microwave

What you’ll need:

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes


  • Microwave-safe plate
  • Fork

    1. Pierce potatoes with a fork.
    2. Place on a microwave-safe plate.
    3. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 12-14 minutes or until tender, turning once.