One simple secret makes these Mashed Sweet Potatoes the best ever! You simmer the potatoes with the cream and butter rather than boiling them. And this easy technique makes for the creamiest mashed sweet potatoes you’ve ever made. These are naturally gluten free and there’s a dairy free option too. Try pairing these mashed sweet potatoes with something simple like my Roast Chicken and a side of Garlic Roasted Broccoli. Or included them in your next holiday menu!
These mashed sweet potatoes are perfect for any family dinner because they’re easy to make. They’re also great for any holiday meal as well from Thanksgiving to Christmas. And they’re mostly hands off with just a few minutes of prep time!
I was never a huge fan of mashed sweet potatoes until I discovered a technique from Cook’s Illustrated. They simmer the potatoes right in the cream rather than boiling them in water. This is a complete game changer to say the least!
Instead of a watery mash, you end up with an ultra creamy texture guaranteed to please. It’s just a bonus that these are incredibly easy to make as well. So you may well find yourself making these every single week.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Sweet Potatoes – any color of sweet potatoes work here, I’m using the orange colored variety because they’re easily available here.
- Butter – ghee, vegan butter, or olive oil all work here. Each one has its own flavor, but use what works best for you. If you’ve never tried olive oil in mashed potatoes you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good it is.
- Cream – coconut milk from the can or broth all work here. You can also use your favorite dairy free milk, but it will be slightly less rich.
- Sea salt & pepper – are essential to bringing out the best flavor in these sweet potatoes.
How to make this recipe step by step
Step 1: Start by trimming the bad spot and cutting off the ends. Then peel the sweet potatoes.
Step 2: Next cut them up into 1″ – ish pieces. Just do your best to keep them as evenly sized as possible so they cook at the same rate.
Step 3: Then melt the butter in a medium sized pot and add the cream. You can add the sea salt and pepper at this point or choose to season to your taste at the end.
Step 4: Add the sweet potatoes, toss with the butter mixture, cover and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. When the sweet potatoes are tender, mash them as desired. You can mash these by hand, or use an electric mixer.
I love using my food processor for these because it makes the smoothest mashed sweet potatoes. (Just don’t try using the food processor with regular mashed potatoes or you’ll end up with very gluey potatoes. This only works for mashed sweet potatoes!)
Ways to serve this
- As part of your Thanksgiving or Christmas Menu.
- With my Roast Chicken with Roasted Broccoli, Asparagus, or Sautéed Spinach.
- Serve these as an unconventional side dish to my Almond Flour Chicken Parmesan or my Ground Beef Stroganoff.
- These are also perfect with my Creamy Garlic Chicken or Creamy Tuscan Chicken.
They’re both very nutritious, they just contain a different set of nutrients. So there’s no need to choose between sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, both are delicious and full of nutrients. For instance regular potatoes are higher in potassium, but sweet potatoes are higher in vitamin A!
While baking condenses the flavor and moisture, the best method overall is to simmer sweet potatoes in butter and cream until tender. This produces an incredibly creamy mash like you’ve never had before! I don’t recommend boiling sweet potatoes for a mash because they will be watery. Baking them does eliminate the water issue but it’s way fussier, simply follow the technique in the recipe and be prepared to be wowed by the super easy creamy results.
In this case yes! Once the sweet potato chunks are simmered in butter and cream you want to mash them, so peeling them first is the easiest.
- To store – place any leftovers into an airtight sealed container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Make ahead – these mashed sweet potatoes can be made ahead and reheated as directed below, add a touch more cream or liquid or your choice if necessary.
- Reheat – add the portion you want to reheat to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat stirring constantly until heated through. Or you can also reheat these in the microwave.
- Freeze – place your leftovers into a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as directed above.
Tips & Tricks
- Try adding some fresh herbs to the butter cream mixture before adding the sweet potatoes. 1 tablespoon of chopped thyme, rosemary, or sage are all great flavor pairings with sweet potatoes. You can also add 1 teaspoon dried herbs like Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence.
- Try browning the butter before adding the cream – so good! You can also add 1 clove minced garlic to the butter to cook briefly before adding the cream. A sprinkle of parmesan into the finished mash is great too – endless possibilities!
- You don’t need to stir more than once during the cooking time to make sure everything is cooking evenly. However be sure to check your liquid levels. It’s very important to simmer these over very low heat but every stove it different. If you’re running out of liquid add a bit more so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- By the time the sweet potato chunks are tender, you’ll be pretty much all out of liquid in the pan with just some butter left at the bottom. This is perfect for the creamiest mash!
- Paleo – use ghee or olive oil along with broth or dairy free milk of choice.
- Dairy free – use vegan butter or olive oil along with broth or dairy free milk or choice. Sometimes ghee is tolerated for dairy free, so be sure to check first and use whatever is appropriate for the dietary restriction.
I really hope you enjoy these Mashed Sweet Potatoes! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes - washed and peeled
- 8 tbsp salted butter - 1 stick, or ghee, vegan butter, or olive oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt - or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 6 tbsp heavy cream - broth or dairy free milk of choice
- Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks about 1″x1″ trying to keep them as even as possible so that they cook evenly.
- Melt the butter in a medium sized pot and add the cream. You can add the sea salt and pepper or season to taste at the end of the cooking time.
- Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to low heat to maintain a light simmer. Stir the sweet potatoes to coat them in the butter mixture.
- Simmer covered until the sweet potatoes are completely tender, 40-45 minutes. Stir 1-2 times during the cooking time to help the sweet potatoes cook evenly.
- When the potatoes are tender, mash them until they're smooth in an electric mixer, food processor, or by hand.
- Serve immediately.
- If you have leftovers, they reheat perfectly in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
This recipe was originally published in 2015 but has been updated with more information, tips, nutrition fact, and new photos in 2022.