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How To Boil Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a superfood that’s hard to pass up! They are sweet, earthy, and incredibly delicious. This recipe will teach you How to Boil Sweet Potatoes, which might just be the easiest way to make them.

The Best Way to Boil Sweet Potatoes

We love sweet potatoes around here because they are colorful, nutritious, and tasty. Plus, they are so easy to prepare. This Boiled Sweet Potatoes recipe is one of our favorite ways to make them because it’s just so simple! Looking to make sweet potatoes in the oven, we have a recipe for that too: How To Bake Sweet Potatoes.

The best part about learning how to boil sweet potatoes is that you can do just about anything with them once they’re done. We will simply add a little butter or a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar. But eating them as a side isn’t the only option.

This is a great way to prepare sweet potatoes to be pureed, too. You can use it for baby food, in soups, or as a way to add extra fiber to sauces.

Looking for more ways to enjoy Sweet Potatoes? Try out a few of these other favorites: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes and Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecans!

whole sweet potatoes on a cutting board with salt and a peeler

Just 3 Ingredients

You don’t need much to make this recipe! Just 3 simple ingredients:

  • Sweet Potatoes: This recipe also works for yams, too.
  • Water
  • Salt

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

This recipe could not be easier! Here is what you need to do.

Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes. You will want to make sure that the potatoes are cut into 1″ pieces. Try to keep them the same size so that they cook evenly. Then, place the potatoes in a large pot.

Add water and salt to the pot. Add the salt and enough water to cover the potatoes.

Boil the sweet potatoes. Now it’s time to boil the potatoes for 12-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork or knife.

cooked sweet potato cubes in a metal strainer

Drain the potatoes. Next, remove the sweet potatoes and strain using a large colander.

Serve them as you’d like! Eat them immediately or you can store them for another time.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Follow these helpful tips and you’ll be cooking perfect sweet potatoes in no time.

  • Cut them to be the same size. Do this to avoid an assortment of overcooked and undercooked pieces.
  • Don’t overcook them. You’ll want them to be tender, but not mushy (especially if you’re enjoying them as a side dish). You can test this when a fork can easily poke one of the sweet potato pieces.
  • Add just enough water to cover the potatoes. It will take longer if you add more water than you need.

Common Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about boiling sweet potatoes.

Should I peel sweet potatoes before boiling?

We recommend peeling sweet potatoes for boiling. Sweet potato skin is not quite as appetizing when it’s boiled in water. It will be tough to eat and not enjoyable.

Is it better to boil or bake sweet potatoes?

It’s really up to your personal preference and what you have the time for. It takes much longer to bake a whole sweet potato than it does to boil them with this recipe. Plus, baking them provides a slightly different roasted flavor.

How long do I let potatoes boil?

It will take about 12-15 minutes if you cut the potatoes into 1″ pieces. If you cut them smaller, it won’t take as much time. And if you cut them larger, it will take more time.

close up of cubed sweet potatoes

How to Eat Boiled Sweet Potatoes

You can keep it simple or dress them up. There are lots of ways to eat boiled sweet potatoes.

  • Keep it simple and savory. Just a little butter, salt, and pepper are all you need to make a really simple sweet potato side dish.
  • Add a little sweetness. You can add cinnamon and brown sugar or even a drizzle of maple syrup to make them a little sweeter.

Ways to Use Them

You can make a big batch of sweet potatoes and use them throughout the week. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Add to soups, sauces, and smoothies. Yes, we said smoothies! It sounds a little silly, but adding just a few cubes of sweet potatoes to your soups, sauces, and smoothies will up the fiber content and not really adjust the flavor. If anything, it may add a little earthiness to the dish.
  • Stir some into your oatmeal. This would be a great time to add that drizzle of maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Add chilled sweet potatoes cubes to a salad. They pair great with hearty kale, cranberries, and crunchy walnuts. Additionally, they would be great added to this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.

How to Store Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Here is the best way to store the sweet potatoes after they have been cooked. You can store them in either the freezer or refrigerator.

  • Fridge – Make sure that the potatoes are cooled completely. Then, simply store them in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer – Again, make sure that the sweet potatoes have cooled down before freezing. And make sure that they are stored in an air-tight container and that it’s labeled and dated correctly. Thaw the sweet potatoes overnight in the refrigerator prior to using them. Or, if you’re in a pinch, you can use the microwave.
close up of cubed sweet potatoes
5 from 1 vote
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Yield: 6 -8 servings

Boiled Sweet Potatoes

Boiled Sweet Potatoes are super easy and ready in less than 20 minutes and you only need 3 ingredients!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time17 minutes


  • 2 to 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water, enough to cover the potatoes


  • Rinse the sweet potatoes. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1” cubes. Try to keep them similar in size so they cook evenly.
  • Place the potatoes and salt in a big stock pot and cover potatoes with water. You want just enough water to cover the potatoes, adding any extra water then that will just take longer for them to come to a boil. 
  • Bring the pot to a boil and boil the potatoes for 12 to 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork or knife.
  • Drain potatoes in a strainer and use as desired.


  • Fridge – Make sure that the potatoes are cooled completely. Then store them in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer – Store in an air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the sweet potatoes overnight in the refrigerator prior to using them. Or, if you're in a pinch, you can use the microwave.


Serving: 1, Calories: 231kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 439mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 15g

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