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How To Boil Sweet Potatoes

Sweet, Tender, Tasty and EASY to do (not to mention affordable)! Plus, shhhhhh, good for you! When you know how to boil sweet potatoes, you’ll have a great intro for MANY terrific recipes starring this perfect, healthy, tasty treat!

Sweet potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces

Why This Recipe Works

  • You probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry already
  • It is very fast and easy to make
  • Good way to introduce kids to more veggies

Here’s How To Boil Sweet Potatoes 

STEP 1. Wash your sweet potatoes and assemble your ingredients

Sweet potatoes and ingredients on cutting board

STEP 3. Peel the potatoes and cut into bite size pieces.

Cubed sweet potato on a cutting board  

STEP 5. Put your potatoes in the chicken stock to boil. Let them come to a full rolling boil 

boiling chicken stock with sweet potato cubes

STEP 6. Start adding all the other ingredients.

measuring spoon of brown sugar over pot of sweet potatoes

STEP 7. Once they are fully cooked they are ready to serve! 

fork piercing sweet potato over large pot of cooked sweet potatoes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Are Yams and Sweet Potatoes the Same Thing? 

Yams and sweet potatoes are different. Yams have a skin that looks more like tree bark and are less sweet and more starchy in flavor

Do I Have to Peel the Sweet Potato First? 

You do not have to peel the sweet potato first. The peel is edible and has lots of good nutrition like fibre and potassium. However if you do not want to eat the peel it will be important to peel the potato before you cut it because it will be less labor intensive that way.

How Long To Boil Sweet Potatoes? 

Just until you can easily stick a fork through the potato. About 10-30 minutes depending on how much you are boiling and how hot your water is.  

How To Boil Sweet Potatoes? 

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes 
  2. Cut into bite size pieces 
  3. Put in boiling chicken stock or water 
  4. Boil until “fork tender” or for 10-30 minutes depending on amount. 

How Long To Boil a Whole Sweet Potato? 

15-35 minutes depending on the size of the sweet potato.  

How To Boil Sweet Potatoes to Mash? 

Just until you can easily stick a fork through the potato. About 10-30 minutes depending on how much you are boiling and how hot your water is.  

How To Cube a Sweet Potato? 

After peeling the sweet potato, cut it into slices. Once you have your slices you can make two cuts in an “x” shape across each slice. 

Can I Freeze Boiled Sweet Potatoes? 

Yes! You can! Once the sweet potatoes are boiled and have cooled, place into a freezer safe container. Squeeze out as much air as possible and place into the freezer. Will keep for up to 3 months. 

How Long Are Boiled Sweet Potatoes Good For? 

  • Once boiled, keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. 
  • Do not allow to sit out for more than 2 hours. 

How To Reheat Boiled Sweet Potatoes? 

Saucepan:  Heat over medium heat until heated through. You might need to add some water to help with heating. 

What Goes With Boiled Sweet Potatoes? 

Generally people like to have some kind of meat, and another green vegetable with sweet potatoes. 

Pot roast 

Cha Cha chicken 


Crockpot green beans 

A photo from the side of a bowl of How to Cook Canned Yams on the Stove

How to Cook Canned Yams on the Stove

Tips and Tricks for Boiling Sweet Potatoes (make a bulleted list)

  • If you don’t have a vegetable peeler you can use a paring knife or larger knife to peel the potatoes. Just make sure that you cut a flat surface on the potato so that it is steady. Also make sure that you follow the contours of the potato with your knife. This way you get more peel and less of the actual potato part.
  • Make sure that your knives are sharp! This is very important. You are more likely to accidentally cut yourself with a dull knife vs. a sharp on.
  • If you would like to make this recipe totally vegan, you can use an alternative butter, water or vegetable stock rather than chicken stock, and you could use agave nectar rather than honey. Agave nectar also has a lower glycemic index which makes it a healthier alternative if you or someone who might be eating this happens to be diabetic.  
  • Get a vegetable peeler that you like. It doesn’t have to be expensive and in fact most peelers are not but it should be sharp and easy to use. Vegetable peelers are a handy gadget to have around and they are small so it doesn’t take up a lot of valuable cabinet space like some kitchen tools. 
  • For more information about Yams vs sweet potatoes, check out this article by UC Davis

PRO TIP:  If you want to use the same tablespoon to measure the honey and butter. Use it for the butter first. That way when you go to measure the honey it won’t stick to the tablespoon and will slide right out. You will get the full tablespoon of honey in the pot and it will be easier to clean up. 

Try These Other Sweet Potato Dishes at Loaves and Dishes Today! 

How to Microwave a Sweet Potato

Canned Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

How to Cook Frozen Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Cobbler

Hey, Can you Help Me Out? 

Please share this recipe with friends by leaving a 5 STAR rating in the comment section below! That helps others to find the great recipes at Loaves and Dishes! 

A sweet potato cut up in 1 inch pieces for southern sweet potato casserole

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

Sweet, Tender, Tasty and EASY to do (not to mention affordable)! Plus, shhhhhh, good for you! When you know how to boil sweet potatoes, you’ll have a great intro for MANY terrific recipes staring this perfect, healthy, tasty treat!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to boil sweet potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 305kcal


  • 4 Sweet Potatoes fist sized
  • ¼ Cup chicken stock.
  • 4 Tbs Butter whole butter, OK to substitute margarine
  • Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Honey
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • Pinch Black Pepper


  • Peel the sweet potatoes using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Cut the potato into cubes.
  • Place the sweet potato cubes into the sauce pan with the chicken stock and set stove to medium heat.
  • As the stock begins to boil, add the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Stir gently frequently. Add more stock if the liquid starts to cook off.
  • Continue to cook until you are able to pierce the sweet potato cubes easily with a fork.


  • Sweet potatoes are a HARD vegetable and you must be very careful cutting into cubes. It’s important to have a very sharp knife for this job.
  • Cut the sweet potato into as even cubes as possible so that they cook evenly.
  • Sweet potatoes change colors slightly as they cook.
  • You will want to be able to gently push the tines of a fork completely through a cube of sweet potato to know that it is done.
  • Sweet Potato skins do NOT taste good and they are very fibrous. Most people do not enjoy eating them.
  • OK to substitute water for the chicken stock to make vegetarian or if you do not have the chicken stock.
  • You can substitute margarine or vegan butter for butter if needed.
  • OK to substitute light brown sugar for dark or ¼ Cup Karo Syrup.
  • OK to substitute Agave nectar for honey


Nutrition Facts
How to Boil Sweet Potatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 305 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 490mg20%
Potassium 478mg14%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 18798IU376%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!


I have to admit, I’m becoming overwhelmed with the upcoming election already. I’ve seen so much finger pointing, name calling and hatefulness that I can’t even begin to tell you how deeply it has hurt me. 

Then, I ran across this quote, “Jesus never asked us to confess the sins of our enemies, He told us to confess our own”. 

Thank you to whomever wrote that. 

It’s true and I hope people hear it. I have plenty of my own sins to confess and I think I’ll go do that right now. Amen? Amen. 

1 John: 1-9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

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Saturday 23rd of May 2020

What type of knife did you use to cut the sweet potato and what brand is it?

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi Louise, Actually, a friend of mine took those photos for me back during a time when I was behind and could write the articles but needed some help getting the photography done. It is a beautiful knife, isn't it? I no longer have a way to contact this friend and therefore, I have to say, I just don't know. I wish I did though.

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 9th of February 2020

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