Mashed Sweet Potatoes are an easy, healthy, vegan, and Paleo side dish recipe for a weeknight dinner or Thanksgiving gathering. Learn how to make this dish with brown sugar, savory bacon, or garlic and herbs.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
There is one vegetable in our house that is consumed on the regular – sweet potatoes!
Roast sweet potato cubes…
But even with all of those variations, I realized that we do not make them mashed nearly enough!
A Healthy Side Dish
Not only is this recipe quick and easy to make, but there are a TON of flavor variations you can try.
You can choose to make them completely Whole30, Paleo, and even vegan.
Or you can naughty them up a bit with some crumbled bacon or brown sugar.
And bonus – they make a wonderful side dish recipe that can be meal prepped ahead for your Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering!
Let’s first take a look at the four ingredients you will need. <– Yes, only 4 ingredients!
They are should be extremely easy to find in your local grocery store.
- Sweet Potatoes – You will need about 2 ½ pounds, or 4-5 medium to large-sized potatoes.
- Read more below about the best type of sweet potato to use.
- Milk – You can either use regular milk or make this recipe vegan and dairy-free with almond or cashew milk.
- Feel free to adjust between 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup in order to get your desired consistency.
- Butter – Regular butter definitely gives this recipe an incredible flavor. However, if you are dairy-free or vegan you can substitute with vegan buttery sticks.
- Salt – Add as much or as little as you prefer.
Best Type of To Use
There are quite a few types of sweet potatoes that will work well in this recipe. My favorite sweet potato varieties to use include:
- Garnet – These have a red-purple skin and are commonly used in sweet potato pies and mashes.
- Jewel – Another common variety that mashes well and tastes great in mashed potatoes and casseroles.
- Beauregard – If you do not see a name on your sweet potatoes at the grocery store, it is probably this variety. These are the most common, found in grocery stores and are great for boiling, mashing and baking.
Cook’s Tip: Depending on where you live, some people refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”. If you are having trouble locating them in your grocery store, you might want to ask for yams instead.
How to Make
The process of making this side dish is relatively simple and consists of 3 steps:
- Cook by boiling sweet potatoes, baking sweet potatoes, or making Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes.
- Mash either in the food processor, stand mixer, or by hand with milk and butter.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, or other flavor combinations listed below.
When making mashed sweet potatoes there are 3 different ways you can cook the potatoes before mashing:
- Boiling Sweet Potatoes – When cut into cubes, this is the quickest and easiest method.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are tender.
- Baking Sweet Potatoes – This process takes quite a bit longer but will give you a wonderful, toasted flavor.
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes – Cooking in your pressure cooker will give you tender potatoes in a short amount of time.
Please note that when boiling, you will PEEL the potatoes before boiling.
When baking in the oven and cooking in the Instant Pot you will cook them WHOLE. Once done cooking, remove the flesh and use it in the sweet potato mash recipe.
Now that your sweet potatoes are boiled, baked, or cooked, it’s time to start mashing.
There are 3 different ways you can mash sweet potatoes, much like with regular potatoes. Each will give you a slightly different level of creaminess.
- Food Processor – This is my preferred method since it will give you super creamy and tender texture. A large, 10-12 cup food processor is recommended.
- Electric Mixer (Or Stand Mixer) – Another great method that does not require much arm work. If you like clumps in your mashed potatoes then this will be the best method for you.
- Potato Masher – By far the more labor intensive method, but also the most traditional. Much like if you mixed it in a stand mixer, you will get a slightly clumpier finished product.
Three Different Flavors
Now that you have your potatoes cooked and mashed, it’s time to get a little creative!
The sweet potato mash recipe does taste great with just milk, butter, and salt. But you can add in a few more ingredients to really up-level your flavor game.
The combination of cooked bacon with pure maple syrup will give you a perfectly sweet and savory flavor profile.
Cinnamon, Brown Sugar & Pecans
If you prefer your sweet potatoes to be sweet, then adding cinnamon and brown sugar will be your way to go!
Garlic & Herb
Swapping out the regular butter for homemade garlic butter is another great savory option.
FAQs: Storing, Freezing, Vegan, Paleo & Whole30
How long will this dish last?
Mashed sweet potatoes will last when stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Can I freeze mashed sweet potatoes?
This recipe does freeze well in a freezer safe container for up to 4-6 months.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Make them vegan by using vegan buttery sticks and a dairy-free milk alternative.
Can I make this recipe Paleo and Whole30?
Make Paleo and Whole 30 by using clarified butter, or ghee, and a dairy-free milk alternative.
Other Healthy Side Dish Recipes
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan
- Easy Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- More healthy side dish recipes
Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Mashed Sweet Potatoes are an easy, healthy, vegan, and Paleo side dish recipe for a weeknight dinner or Thanksgiving gathering. Learn How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes that can be served with brown sugar, savory bacon, or garlic and herbs.
- 2 ½ lbs. sweet potatoes peeled and cooked
- ⅓ cup milk or almond or cashew milk
- 4 Tbsp. butter or vegan buttery sticks, softened
- ¾ - 1 tsp. salt to taste
- Parsley finely chopped, optional
- ¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped
Garlic & Herb
- 4 Tbsp. Homemade Garlic Herb Butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 4 oz. cooked bacon crumbled
Peel sweet potatoes with a potato peeler and cut into 1” cubes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add sweet potatoes, and cook for 12-15 minutes. Drain sweet potatoes in a colander.
Add sweet potatoes to the bowl of a large food processor with milk, butter, and salt.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon to the bowl of the food processor before pureeing.
Serve with toasted pecans.
Garlic & Herb:
Replace the 4 tablespoons of butter with the same amount of garlic herb butter.
Add maple syrup to the bowl of the food processor before pureeing.
Serve with cooked bacon crumbles.