Learn How to Boil Sweet Potatoes that are whole or cubed, peeled or skins still on.  Boiling is an easy and healthy way to cook them before adding to your favorite recipes.

Want a few recipe ideas that use boiled sweet potatoes?  You might enjoy this Sweet Potato Casserole, Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers, these Mashed Sweet Potatoes, or this Sweet Potato Puree.

Boiling sweet potatoes and draining in a colander for a sweet potato mash recipe.

Boiling Sweet Potatoes for Recipes

Boiling sweet potatoes is an easy way to get perfectly tender potatoes that can be used in numerous recipes.

While you can Bake Sweet Potatoes in the Oven, or make Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes

Cooking them in a pot of boiling water is definitely a foolproof method for an easy side dish.

(You can also learn how to boil potatoes– either whole or cubed!)

Sweet potatoes, a potato peeler, a knife, and salt as the tools and ingredients for boiling sweet potatoes.

Ingredients and Kitchen Utensils

There are only a few ingredients and kitchen utensils that you will need.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potatoes – If you are boiling them whole, try to find similarly sized potatoes.
  • Salt – Add a little salt to the boiling water to add flavor.
  • Water – Use filtered water for the best results.

Kitchen Utensils:

  • Potato Peeler – You will need this if you are peeling before boiling.
  • Knife – A sharp knife helps to cut them into similar sized chunks.
  • Pot – A large pot is recommended.  You want to be able to fit the potatoes and enough water to cover them by 1-2 inches.
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A pot of water full of orange potatoes showing how to boil sweet potatoes.

How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

Once you have your ingredients and utensils gathered up it’s time to start the process of this recipe.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Make sure you have enough water so the sweet potatoes are covered by at least 1 inch of water. It’s best to err on the side of more water rather than not enough.
  2. Carefully add whole potatoes or chunks to the water.
  3. Reduce heat to Medium-High and keep a slow boil throughout the duration of cooking.
  4. Boil sweet potatoes until they are cooked through.
    • Boil large whole sweet potatoes for 40-50 minutes
    • Boil small to medium whole sweet potatoes for 30-40 minutes.
    • Boil 1-inch cubes for 12-15 minutes.
    • Boil 2-inch cubes for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Drain in a colander and use in your favorite recipes.
Cubed and peeled sweet potatoes.

Peeling and Cutting

You can speed up the cooking process by peeling and cutting this starchy vegetable into similarly sized chunks.

  1. Use a potato peeler to remove the skin.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into either 1-inch or 2-inch chunks.

Make sure you pick one size and try to make all of the sweet potato pieces the same size.  This ensures that it boils at a similar rate.

A hand showing how to peel sweet potatoes before boiling in water.

Do I Need to Peel Before Boiling?

You do not need to peel sweet potatoes before boiling.

If leaving the peel on, you will need to pierce the skin of the potato with a fork a few times.

Also, boiling a sweet potato with the peel will require slightly more time for it to cook through.

Whole and peeled sweet potatoes and cubed sweet potatoes to show how long to boil sweet potatoes.

How Long to Boil Sweet Potatoes?

The amount of time you will need to cook depends primarily on the size of the potatoes.

Boiling Whole Sweet Potatoes

Boil whole for 30-50 minutes.  This largely depends on the size of the potato.  Smaller ones will be done faster, larger potatoes may take a bit longer.

Boiling Cubed Sweet Potatoes

Boil sweet potatoes that are cut into 1-inch cubes for 12-15 minutes.

Boil those cut into 2-inch cubes for 20-25 minutes.

A pot of water full of orange potatoes showing how to boil sweet potatoes.

Are They Healthy?

Sweet potatoes are full of dietary fiber and antioxidants.  They are also an incredible source of Vitamin A, the B vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Iron, and Calcium.

Sweet and regular potatoes have a similar amount of carbs and calories.  White potatoes have a little less sugar while sweet potatoes are higher in Vitamins A and C.

Boiling sweet potatoes to be used in a mashed sweet potatoes recipe with bacon.

Other Sweet Potato Recipes

More Boiled Vegetables

Want a few other vegetable to boil next? Check out these boiled beets, learn how to blanch green beans, and boil carrots!

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5 from 25 votes
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How to Boil Sweet Potatoes

Learn How to Boil Sweet Potatoes that are whole or cubed, peeled or skins still on.  Boiling sweet potatoes is an easy and healthy way to cook them before adding to your favorite mashed sweet potatoes or casserole recipe.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2-4 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • Salt optional

Instructions 

  • Prepare the potatoes: Peel potatoes with a potato peeler and cut your sweet potatoes into 1" or 2" chunks. You can also leave them whole and with the skin on, if you prefer.*
  • Boil Pot of Water: Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a rolling boil. Make sure you have enough water to cover the potatoes by 1-inch.
  • How Long to Boil Sweet Potatoes: Carefully add sweet potatoes to the water. Reduce heat to Medium-High and keep a slow boil throughout the duration of cooking. Boil until they are cooked through for the following times:
    For 1" cubes: 12 to 15 minutes
    For 2" cubes: 20-25 minutes
    For large whole potatoes: 40-50 minutes
    For small-medium potatoes: 30-40 minutes
  • Remove and Drain: Drain sweet potatoes in a colander or remove using a slotted spoon and use in your favorite Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potato Pie, or Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 25 votes

Notes

  • Make sure you have enough water so the sweet potatoes are covered by at least 1 inch of water. It’s best to err on the side of more water rather than not enough.
  • If leaving the skin on whole sweet potatoes, pierce the each sweet potato with a fork 7-8 times.

Nutrition

Calories: 130.03kcal, Carbohydrates: 30.42g, Protein: 2.37g, Fat: 0.07g, Saturated Fat: 0.03g, Sodium: 83.16mg, Potassium: 509.54mg, Fiber: 4.54g, Sugar: 6.32g, Vitamin A: 21450.39IU, Vitamin C: 3.63mg, Calcium: 45.36mg, Iron: 0.92mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe as a Diabetic 2 person,,,,I added chopped kale with the stalks into the boil mix…..I added other diabetic friendly spices slurried with olive oil after the boil was finished. As a diabetic, the best way to prepare sweet potatoes with scrubbed skins on is to boil them (not to roast them, stir fry or bake them)…..a very versatile recipe,,,,,,Thank you!!!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Jonathan! That’s good to know. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Edmond! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  2. 5 stars
    So to the point, only required small bandage. Exactly everything I needed and no annoying, personal tripe, superb! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Steve! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!