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South African Sweet Potato Recipes

Updated on November 12, 2014

Tasty South African Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet potatoes are my favourite vegetables. It is unbelievable what you can do with them and any dish can be improved by adding sweet potatoes.

Even though sweet potatoes and potatoes are only very distant cousins potatoes can always be substituted with sweet potatoes. Maybe this is one of the best pieces of advice I can give you about this tasty vegetable.

Whatever you can do with potatoes you can also do with sweet potatoes, sometimes the dish is even tastier that with the standard potatoes.

Even though sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet taste it can still be used very successfully in any savoury dish. As a stand alone vegetable it is a very tasty addition to any main course, I cannot think about a main course that does not taste good with sweet potatoes as a side dish.

In South Africa we use Sweet Potatoes and Yams as Sweet Potatoes as there is no basic difference in them except the colour.

Not Enough Sweet Potatoes?

If you are going to serve mashed sweet potatoes, but you do not have enough, you can add a few potatoes and you will be surprised that you can hardly taste the difference.

In any dish where you are going to make layers of sweet potato, some of the layers can very successfully be alternated with a layer of potatoes.


  1. Parboil the sweet potatoes and slice in rounds
  2. Slice sour apples
  3. Ina baking dish, pack a layer of sweet potatoes and a layer of apples on top
  4. Sprinkle with a little salt and sugar
  5. Place small pieces of butter on the layer
  6. Repeat layers until all the sweet potatoes and apples have been used
  7. Bake for 1 hour in a oven of 350 degrees

Sweet Potatoes with Apples

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Apples
  • Salt
  • Butter

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: Depends on quantities used
4 stars from 1 rating of the sweet potato and apple recipe

Apples For Your Sweet Potatoes And Apple Recipe

Sweet Potatoes By SOMMAI
Sweet Potatoes By SOMMAI | Source

Boiled Sweet Potatoes

Many of the recipes make use of boiled Sweet Potatoes. The basic method is to wash them and then cook them in salted water until soft and tender. You can also peel the sweet potatoes before boiling them to save you the trouble of peeling them when cooked. When peeling sweet potatoes you have to work fast as they blacken very easily. I make sure the peeled Sweet Potatoes are covered with water with a little lemon juice in it until I use them.

Yams By Maggie Smith
Yams By Maggie Smith | Source
Sweet Potatoes Adamophoto
Sweet Potatoes Adamophoto | Source

Browned Sweet Potatoes


  • Boiled sweet potatoes
  • Melted butter
  • Sugar


  1. Cut hot boiled sweet potatoes in slices lengthwise
  2. Put in a baking pan
  3. Baste with melted butter
  4. Dust thickly with sugar
  5. Brown in a quick oven

You can also make a syrup with 1/2 a cup of sugar and brush the sweet potatoes with the syrup

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Peel and parboil sweet potatoes, then cut into slices lengthwise. Put into a baking dish spread thickly with butter (REAL BUTTER!) Sprinkle with sugar and ground cinnamon, then add 1/4 cup of hot water and bake in a hot oven 3590 F until tender and brown.

Bakes Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes can be baked in the same way as you make baked potatoes. I wrap them in foil and bake them in the coals of my "braai" (barbeque) It is also possible to bake them in the oven at 3500 F until soft. The time will depend on the size of your Sweet Potatoes. Bake sweet potatoes can be a little dry, but served with dollops of butter or cream they are very tasty and sweet.

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

There are two methods of make caramelized Sweet Potatoes. The method I prefer is to make a caramel with butter and sugar, dissolve this in hot water and cook your potatoes in this caramel "water'

Making a caramel from butter is very easy. You simply melt some butter in a pot, add some sugar (all depends on how many Sweet Potatoes you plan on cooking) and stir over moderate heat until it is nice and brown. When your caramel starts browning you must be ready with the hot water as the caramel goes from brown to burned very quickly. Pout the hot water on top of the caramel (be careful - it may splatter - it is very hot and can give you a serious burn)

Alternative Method:

Peel your sweet potatoes and cut in slices. Parboil them for about 10 minutes. Caramelize 1 cup of sugar and add 1/2 cup of water and stir until melted. Place the sweet potatoes in a buttered baking layered with the syrup you made and sprinkle a little salt on top. Bake in a moderate oven until soft.

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Once again you start with your parboiled sweet potatoes. Then you slice them lengthwise and place into an oven proof baking dish. Cook syrup from 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup water. cook this for 5 minutes and then pour it over your sweet potatoes. (Obviously if you are going to make a huge quantity of sweet potatoes you will need to make more syrup) Bake at 3750 F for about 20 minutes or until completely soft.

Sweet Potatoes In Casserole

Cute your parboiled sweet potatoes in slices. Place a layer of these slices in a baking dish of at least half-inch and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Repeat the layers until you have used all your sweet potatoes. Stip with butter and add a few sticks of cinnamon. Cover the dish and bake in a hot oven for about half an hour. Instead of the cinnamon you can aslo use naartjie peel, orange peel, lime peel or lemon peel.

Sweet Potato Croquettes

Mash boiled or baked sweet potatoes while still warm. Season with salt and pepper and add enough butter to get a consistency suitable to form the croquettes. Form croquettes. Dip the croquettes in egg, then cover with bread crumbs. Fry in deep oil until nice and brown. It is also possible to use less butter and add an egg to the sweet potato mixture.

While we are on the deep oil frying, always remember that you can make sweet potato chips in exactly the way you would make potato chips. They are a nice change as a treat with any dish that you would normally serve with potato chips.

Stewed Sweet Potatoes

Peel four medium sizes sweet potatoes and cut into slices. ad a little water to a saucepan and place the sweet potatoes in the saucepan with one teaspoon of salt. Cook until the sweet potatoes are soft and all the water has been absorbed. Add two tablespoons of golden syrup and two tablespoons of butter. let it simmer very gently, shaking the saucepan occasionally to prevent burning, until nice and brown.

What is your favourite sweet potato recipe?

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    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      Some very tasty looking dishes. What do you think about using brown sugar rather than white sugar?

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great article especially since we must do our monthly shopping next Monday! I will add sweet potatoes is my shopping list.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I made a lazy version of this last night that was a hit with the whole falmiy. I peeled and sliced the sweet potatoes and tossed them in a bowl with the melted butter and olive oil. Then I dipped the tops into a smaller bowl with the blend spices. I had to brush some of the mixture off to it wasn't too thick, but then I placed them spice-up on the cookie sheet and baked them until they were done. Not as pretty as yours, but DELICIOUS! It was a trial-run for our mini-Thanksgiving tomorrow, with just my immediate falmiy, when we're doing a lot of the traditional Thanksgiving foods but with a twist. I know everybody will love them. Thanks for the great recipe!(PS: Doing it my lazy way did mean that the parchment stayed very clean and we had no issues with smoking or burning sugars. In fact we did have a little spiced candy drips on the paper that was fun to eat before I got started washing dishes.)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love sweet potatoes. Thanks for sharing the ideas for preparing them. They all sound delicious!

    • vespawoolf profile image


      4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I like that you´ve explored simple sweet potato recipes with basic ingredients, varying the method and thus varying the flavor. I think caramelized sweet potatoes are delicious, but this Hub has opened my mind to many different methods. Thank you!


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