Smooth and creamy, these easy mashed sweet potatoes are fast and perfect for with dinner. This delicious side is light enough that it makes a great weeknight side, but is also creamy enough to hold a place on any holiday table at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. This recipe has just the right amount of sweetness!
I usually start thinking about mashed sweet potatoes around the holidays when the weather is a little more chilly and keep thinking about them through Easter. This recipe is a great alternative to the typical sweet potato casserole and is a crowd-pleaser.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes Ingredients
You only need a few ingredients you’ll need to make the best mashed sweet potatoes.
- 3 Pounds sweet potatoes– this works out to about 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes. A medium sweet potato is usually around 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. If you have giant sweet potatoes some may count double! This will be somewhere around 7-8 cups of diced sweet potato, but it doesn’t have to be exact.
- Melted butter– plus more at the table if you choose!
- Milk– The more fat in your milk, the more luxurious the potatoes will be- especially for the holidays. You can also use cream as I mention later in the article. But for a regular weeknight dinner I often just use 2% milk.
- Maple syrup– Get real maple syrup if you can. While “imitation” maple syrup works, the flavor won’t be as tasty.
- Parsley– minced for a garnish, it’s optional but pretty
Kitchen Equipment Needed
Here’s the kitchen equipment you’ll need, it’s always handy to have everything in one place!
- Vegetable peeler
- Large pot with lid – I used a 3 ½ quart pot
- Steamer basket- A steamer basket is really useful for this recipe. If you don’t have one, see my tips below.
- Large mixing bowl
- Electric mixer– Stand mixer (Like a Kitchenaide), a hand mixer, an immersion blender, a food processor or a potato masher all work for this recipe!
How To Make Sweet Potato Mash
- Rinse and peel sweet potatoes. Cut into 1-2 inch cubes and then steam on the stove, and put back in your bowl.
- Remove the sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add butter, milk, salt, and maple syrup.
- Whip with the beaters of an electric mixer until smooth or mash with a potato masher.
- Check the smoothness, and add more salt to taste. Then serve and enjoy!
Looking for other amazing potato recipes? Try my favorite crispy baked potato wedges they are so good! My Creamy Ham and Potato soup also is delicious for holiday ham leftovers or just on a cold day to warm you up!
I Don’t Have A Steamer Basket, What Can I Do Instead?
Steamer baskets are usually pretty easy to find, and adjust to fit multiple sized pots. This oxo steamer is my favorite. I’ve also used my silicone instant pot steamer basket in a pinch.
Here are a couple other ideas to easily steam vegetables without a steamer basket.
Can I Just Boil The Sweet Potatoes?
You could also try boiling the sweet potatoes. I find they are a little more flavorful and they tend to stay a little brighter orange in color when steamed, but boiling them still tastes delicious.
Fill a pot with water, add salt and heat the water to a rolling bowl. Add the sweet potatoes and boil until tender when poked with a fork. (about 20-30 minutes) Then remove the potatoes from the water, add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
My Mashed Sweet Potatoes Have Lumps Or Aren’t Smooth Enough, How Can I Make Them Smoother?
If your sweet potatoes aren’t smooth enough, add up to another ¼ cup of milk and keep blending until they are your desired texture.
An electric hand mixer also whips the potatoes more than you can by hand. This can help the sweet potatoes have a little more creamy texture to them. You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, food processor, or with slightly more milk, an immersion blender.
How Can You Make These Sweet Potatoes Taste Creamier?
If you want to make these sweet potatoes a little richer and luxurious tasting, you can double the amount of butter you add. Also swapping cream for milk will make these sweet potatoes taste richer.
My family typically adds more butter at the table. This allows each of us to add to our own tastes.
What’s the Difference Between A Sweet Potato And A Yam?
The skin of a yam looks bumpy and more like tree bark and is actually an entirely different type of root vegetable.
A sweet potato has smooth skin. You can buy sweet potatoes that are orange, red, white and even purple. All sweet potatoes can be interchanged in this recipe easily.
It can be confusing because often vegetables labeled “yams” in the grocery store in the US are actually sweet potatoes. In general, you can use any of the different types that have smooth skin for this recipe. This article has great info about the differences between different types of sweet potatoes and yams for more details.
Is Sweet Potato Mash Healthier Than Regular Mashed Potatoes?
Both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes can be highly nutritious. The two potatoes are comparable with carbs, protein and calories but sweet potatoes do have more vitamin A. Typically adding tons of extra milk, cream and butter is what can drive up the calorie count for any mashed potato dish.
In our house we sometimes will add a little more butter or cream at the holidays, but for a weeknight meal keep the recipe as written.
Need another great side dish? Try these roasted honey glazed baby carrots or my cheesy cheddar broccoli twice stuffed potatoes. OR for a more decadent holiday side dish try my creamy fresh green bean casserole with bacon or my tender baked candied yams.
Can I Make This Sweet Potato Mash Dairy-Free Or Vegan?
You can make this recipe dairy-free and vegan by using dairy-free butter (my favorite is Earth Balance) and swapping coconut milk for the milk. Coconut milk is one of the creamiest alternative milk and will make your potatoes feel richer than most other dairy-free substitutes.
Looking for great main recipes to serve your mashed sweet potatoes with? Try these ideas!
Easy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Vegetable peeler
- Large pot with lid (I used a 3 ½ quart pot)
- Steamer basket
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Potato masher or electric mixer
- 3 Pounds sweet potatoes about 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- ½ Cup milk
- ¼ Teaspoon salt + a pinch
- ¼ Cup maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon minced parsley optional garnish
- Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes well. Peel all of the potatoes and cut into roughly 1-2 inch cubes. The exact number of pieces isn’t important, just try to keep all of the potato pieces about the same size so they steam evenly.
- Place a steamer basket inside a large pot. Add water to the bottom of the pot until it comes up just to the bottom of the steamer basket, but not over the sweet potatoes. Add a good pinch of salt to the water. Add the sweet potato cubes to the top of the basket.
- Cover the pot with a lid. Heat the water on medium-high until it starts bubbling. Then steam the sweet potatoes for 20-30 minutes. To check if they are done, pierce one of the pieces of sweet potato with a fork to make sure it’s tender all the way through.
- Remove the sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add butter, milk, ¼ teaspoon of salt and maple syrup. Whip with the beaters of an electric mixer until smooth or mash with a potato masher. Then serve and enjoy!
- To make these sweet potatoes taste a little richer, you can double the amount of butter you add. Also swapping cream for milk will make these sweet potatoes taste richer.
- If your sweet potatoes aren’t smooth enough, add up to another ¼ cup of milk and keep blending until they are your desired texture.
- You can make this recipe dairy-free and vegan by using dairy-free butter (my favorite is Earth Balance) and swapping coconut milk for the milk. Coconut milk is one of the creamiest alternative milk and will make your potatoes feel richer than most other dairy-free substitutes.
- An electric hand mixer also whips the potatoes a little more and makes them a little more creamy in texture than a potato masher does.
- If you have an immersion blender, you drain the water and continue mixing these sweet potatoes upright in the pot with the other ingredients.
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