Boiled Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Looking for a gluten-free, healthy, vegan, complex carb side dish? Then, boiled sweet potatoes are a great option to look at.

To make boiled sweet potatoes, simply peel the potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces and cook in boiling water with a little salt (if you prefer) for about 30 minutes until they are soft.

Boiled sweet potatoes on white plate

This post may contain affiliate links.

Ingredients for boiled sweet potatoes

For this recipe, I used:

  • sweet potatoes: any type of sweet potato can be used for this recipe. I believe the variety I am using here is called the chicken foot variety locally and has reddish skin and yellow flesh. Purple sweet potatoes can also be used here but I’ve found roasting them retains their color and flavor better.
  • water: for peeling, rinsing and boiling.
  • salt: this is optional but can add to the basic taste of the potatoes.
  • vegetable oil: for protecting your hands and surfaces from the sweet potato sap.

How to make boiled sweet potatoes

Step 1: Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly to remove any excess dust and dirt from the skin.

whole sweet potatoes in a bowl

Step 2: Rub your hands, knife and cutting surface with a little oil before starting to peel the sweet potatoes. Keep a large bowl of water on the side as well. Generally, white sap oozes out of the potato when it is peeled or cut. While normal and completely harmless, the sap can leave a temporary stain on your hands and surfaces. So, to avoid that, water and/or oil can help mitigate the effects of the sap.

Step 3: Peel each sweet potato, preferably under running water to prevent the sap from oozing out too much. You can also dunk the potato in water ever so often if you don’t want to peel under running water.

Step 4: Cut the sweet potato immediately into 2-inch pieces. Add the pieces to the bowl of water on the side. Repeat this for all the remaining potatoes. By the way, if the sweet potato is cut into smaller pieces, it will cook faster but may get mushy.

peeled sweet potato chunks in bowl with water

Step 5: Place a large pot on medium heat. Add the water and bring to a boil.

Step 6: Drain the potato pieces and rinse with fresh clean water.

Step 7: Add the sweet potato to the boiling water. Mix in the salt if you are using any.

sweet potato chunks in boiling water

Step 8: Leave uncovered to boil until the sweet potato pieces are completely tender. For me, it took about 30 to 35 minutes for a fork to pierce the sweet potato easily.

tender sweet potatoes in boiling water

Step 9: Drain the water and serve the sweet potatoes warm alongside other healthy sides like boiled plantain, sauteed carrots, sauteed broccoli, stir fried bok choy, and more.

boiled sweet potatoes on white plate with fork

Why are boiled sweet potatoes great?

Sweet potatoes maintain good levels of beta-carotene (Vitamin A) and Vitamin C after boiling. Moderate levels of Vitamin B6, potassium, iron and fiber can also be found in sweet potatoes when boiled, according to the University of Rochester.

Both beta-carotene and Vitamin C are antioxidant compounds and so it is likely boiled sweet potatoes may have anti-radical benefits. This was noted in this 2011 Turkish study.

Another 2011 study from Jamaica suggested eating boiled sweet potatoes could reduce blood sugar spikes and so be helpful in managing type 2 diabetes and reducing insulin resistance.

What to serve with boiled sweet potatoes

Boiled sweet potatoes recipe

Boiled sweet potatoes

Looking for a healthy, gluten-free, one ingredient side dish that pairs well with salads, veggies, and healthy meat options? Try this simple, boiled sweet potato recipe that is ready in about 40 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boiled sweet potatoes
Servings: 6
Calories: 115kcal
Author: Ros Singh


  • 900 grams sweet potatoes (1 lb)
  • liters water (about 7 cups)
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)
  • ½ tsp oil (optional)


  • Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt.
  • Massage your hands, knife, vegetable peeler and cutting surface with the oil to prevent staining from the sap.
  • Fill a large bowl with water. Keep on the side.
  • Peel one sweet potato (preferably under running water or by dipping occasionally in the water to stop the oozing sap).
  • Cut the peeled sweet potato into 2-inch pieces.
  • Add to the large bowl with water.
  • Repeat for all the other sweet potatoes.
  • Place a large pot on medium heat.
  • Add water and bring to a boil.
  • Drain the water from the sweet potato pieces.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Add the rinsed sweet potato to the pot with boiling water. Add salt if using it.
  • Leave to boil for 30 to 35 minutes or until completely tender.
  • Strain.
  • Serve warm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating