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The Best Easy Sweet Potato Recipes

Updated on November 5, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Generally one of the must have dishes on the Thanksgiving table is sweet potatoes. Whether they are boiled, broiled, baked, or fried, sweet potatoes have been an American autumn favorite for decades.

Up until the past five years or so sweet potatoes and yams were a part of the Thanksgiving menu, often served again at Christmas and then the recipe was placed back in the family recipe box until the next year. Luckily that has started to change and sweet potatoes are becoming known for the healthy, vitamin filled side dish that they are. With so many recipes available there is no reason not to have this super antioxidant weekly.

And, with the sweet potato being available fresh all year there is no reason to use the commercially canned version, full of chemical preservatives and sugar.


The Nutrition of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing, although both are power houses of nutrition. The flesh of the sweet potato can be creamy ivory, yellow, orange, or even purple while the yam tends to be a deep orange color.

Interestingly the yam is not a true yam (of African origin) but is a type of sweet potato that was introduced to the United States in the mid 1900s.

Call it what you will these tubers are rich in vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Fiber
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Iron

Without additional ingredients the sweet potato is also low in calories and yet naturally sweet. They can be eaten during certain stages of some low carb diets due to the higher fiber content and lower glycemic index that a regular white potato.

Nutrition Information

Serving size:1/2 cup

Equals one serving of vegetables

Equals one starchy vegetable on the diabetic exchange list

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat 0
  • Cholesterol 0
  • Sodium 10mg
  • Carb:24g
  • Dietary Fiber 3
  • Protein 2g
  • Vitamin A 440%
  • Vitamin C 41%
  • Calcium 3%
  • Iron 2 %



Cooking Sweet Potatoes

  • For maximum flavor bake the sweet potatoes and then scoop the flesh out rather than peeling and boiling them. The difference is amazing and once you do it that way you will never be happy with canned yams or boiled sweet potatoes again.
  • To bake a sweet potato clean it, pierce with a fork, and place it in a 400F oven for fifty minutes to an hour.
  • Unless the potato is organic do not eat the peel. The peels of conventionally grown potatoes (sweet and white) carry a number of chemicals and toxins from pesticide use as well as chemical fertilizers.
  • The darker the flesh of the potato the more vitamin A it has in it.
  • Use a stainless steel knife to cut sweet potatoes. Carbon will make it turn dark.
  • Choose sweet potatoes that are plump, smooth, and clean.
  • Do not refrigerate raw sweet potatoes.


Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

The alcohol cooks out leaving just an incredible flavor.

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Korintje cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bake the sweet potatoes until they are soft, about an hour. Cool and scoop out the flesh.

In a mixer beat the sweet potato, 1/4 cup of butter, cinnamon, and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until smooth. Beat in the bourbon.

Spoon into a buttered casserole dish.

Mix the pecans, butter, brown sugar, and flour until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 8

Homemade Candied Yams

  • 6 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them.

Melt the butter in a heavy pan and add the potatoes.

Mix in the remaining ingredients except vanilla. Cover and simmer on low for one hour or until potatoes are tender and candied. Stir often to keep them from sticking and burning.

Stir in the vanilla.

Serves 8 to 10

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows

Bake the potatoes, scoop out the flesh and mash.

Beat the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients except marshmallows until smooth.

Spoon into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Add the marshmallows and bake until the marshmallows melt and turn golden, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully.

Serves 8

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Raisins

  • 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and then spread them in a single layer on a 9 by 13 inch pan. Mix in the raisins and chopped nuts.

Mix the water, syrup, and butter int a bowl until butter is melted. Pour over the sweet potato mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 50 minutes to an hour. Let cool slightly before serving.

Serves 8

Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Sweet and spicy, a nice change from standard sweet potato dishes.

  • 6 sweet potatoes baked
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced chipotle chiles (Archer Farms has a good one in the spice section)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Scoop out the flesh and mash the sweet potatoes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Serves 8 


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    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 5 years ago

      Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to add to casserole meals. It is nice to be able to discover how many vitamins they contain.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      I love sweet potato and this one is a gem.

      A vote up and bookmark again.


    • profile image

      Sherry Simmons 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for the Bouron Sweet Potatoe recipe! This is my second time to make ANYTHING from scratch. My office had a Thanksgiving luncheon and no one signed up for sweet potatoes so naturally I did. It took a long time to make as I adjusted the recipe for 20 or so people. I used Crown Royal and actually I modified the topper to marshmellows and added a little more sugar since I like them sweeter. Everyone loved it!

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Great hub. Thanks for sharing the different recipes. I love knowing the health aspects of the sweet potato.

    • profile image

      Sammy 6 years ago

      try slices a sweet potatoe - wash, place in a deep plate, add 100 ml milk, 1 tanlespoon of water, 1 tablespoon of butter, and cook in microwave for 15 - minutes. Drizzle with cinnamon. Serve with some whipped cream or ice cream or custard or crushed nuts. Divine.

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      WOW these seem to be great!! would definately try some

    • rickydean2010 profile image

      rickydean2010 7 years ago

      Wow, what great recipes for sweet potatoes :)

    • profile image

      Sophiya 7 years ago

      I love this recipe of sweet potatoes they taste lovely thanks for the recipe

    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      I took your Bourbon Sweet Potatoes to Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday and they were a big hit!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 8 years ago from West By God

      I love Sweet Potatoes too! I just found that Butternut Squash tastes just like Sweet potatoes and cooks like them too. I wonder if they have the same nutrients in them and the Sweet Potatoes. I am going to try the bourbon Sweet Potatoes.

    • elisabethkcmo profile image

      elisabethkcmo 8 years ago from Just East of Oz

      I love sweet potatoes, I have a sweet tooth and the sweet potoato is one way to satisfy it, thanks for the recipes

    • profile image

      Martha McKinnon 9 years ago

      Your sweet potato recipes sound delicious. Another great alternative is to mash your baked sweet potatoes with a little butter and lime juice. I had them at a cooking retreat I attended last spring.

    • tourmaline2777 profile image

      tourmaline2777 9 years ago from Chicago

      Recipes sound yummy! I love making homemade sweet pototo fries!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 9 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I like sweet potatoes too.. I normally boil or bake it.. Never knew there are more options to try.

    • BizzyMuse profile image

      BizzyMuse 9 years ago from Southern California

      This is a great hub - so glad I found it today! Sweet potatoes are one of my comfort foods (thanks to my mom who made nutrition taste so good) and I was drooling reading the recipes you shared. I'm sending mom the link - thanks for sharing!

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I am fortunate to have a friend who gives me sweet pptatoes in the fall after they harvest the fields on her farm. last year she gave me this tip: bake a bunch of them, then after they cool wrap them in foil individually and freeze them. Then I can take out one and heat it up in my microwave for supper, or thaw several for recipes.