In this easy mashed sweet potatoes recipe, the naturally sweet flavor of the potatoes is enhanced with butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Sweet potatoes are amazing. And when cooked in the microwave, then mashed with tasty ingredients such as butter and cinnamon, they are a real treat.
These tasty additions make the naturally delicious root vegetable even more palatable, and the preparation is done entirely in the microwave - can you say EASY? Oh, and leftovers of these mashed sweet potatoes are excellent too!
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need six simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Sweet potato: I use one VERY large sweet potato in this recipe. You can use smaller ones if that's all you can find, and microwave them for a shorter time.
Unsalted butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Whole milk: You can also use heavy cream or half-and-half.
Maple syrup: Honey works too, but using it will result in a slightly thicker mash.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Cinnamon: Make sure it's fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to make mashed sweet potatoes
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. You start by cooking the sweet potato in the microwave.
2. While it's cooking, add the rest of the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl, then heat the mixture in the microwave.
3. Mash the potato, then add it to the butter-maple mixture and mix well. I like a fairly rustic mash, so I simply use a fork, then use a rubber spatula at the very end, as shown in the video below. For a smoother mash, you can use a hand mixer.
How long does it take to boil sweet potatoes?
From the moment you add them to the boiling water, it should take about 15-20 minutes. BUT you can make your life easier by microwaving the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them, as explained in the recipe card below. Microwaving sweet potatoes is easy and fast.
Do I need to peel the potatoes?
This is completely up to you and depends on how you like your mashed sweet potatoes. Sweet potato skins are edible. I prefer to remove the skin for a smoother texture. But some people actually like the mash chunkier.
If you do leave the skin on, it's probably a good idea to use your food processor though. If you do it by hand, you'll be left with fairly big chunks of skin.
Is it OK to use the food processor?
Yes! Unlike white potatoes, you can use the food processor when making mashed sweet potatoes.
When I just started out cooking for my young family, one night I decided to make mashed potatoes. I decided to use the food processor, figuring out it would produce fluffier results.
To my surprise and dismay, my mashed potatoes turned into glue! They became thick, sticky and inedible.
Quick research taught me that you can't make mashed potatoes in the food processor. The quick-moving blades of a food processor will tear the starch molecules. The released starch will then mix with the liquid in the cooked potatoes, and the mash will turn into a gummy paste. 😳
But sweet potatoes don't have as much starch as white potatoes, so it's okay to use the food processor when making sweet potato puree.
A savory sweet potato mash
For a savory version of this recipe, simply omit the maple syrup and cinnamon. Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
Both versions are excellent - it's up to you whether you prefer the sweet or the savory one. If you like your sweet potatoes savory, you could also try these flavorful sweet potato cakes.
How do you make sure the mash is creamy?
Simply add small amounts of creamy dairy (such as butter and whole milk). It doesn't take a lot, because sweet potatoes have a naturally creamy texture.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep very well in the fridge for 3-4 days, in an airtight container. I gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
This is one of those recipes where leftovers taste almost as good as the freshly made dish. Unlike regular potatoes, which are best eaten fresh.
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Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 1 extra large sweet potato unpeeled, washed and dried (20 oz)*
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pierce the sweet potato with a fork on all sides. Microwave on high until very tender and the flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 4 minutes per side. Let stand 5 minutes until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, milk, maple syrup, kosher salt, and ground cinnamon. Microwave to heat through, 50-60 seconds. Don’t allow the mixture to boil.
- On a cutting board, use your fingers to peel the cooked sweet potato. Roughly mash it with a fork right on the cutting board, then transfer the mash to the bowl with the butter mixture.
- Keep mixing and mashing with a fork (or with a hand masher) until the sweet potato mash is uniform and smooth, about 1 more minute. It won't be perfectly smooth unless you use a hand mixer or an immersion blender. But I like it a bit rustic. When done mixing, I do like to use a rubber spatula to smooth it out, as shown in the video below.