Mashed Sweet Potatoes

November 1, 2019

The best way to make Mashed Sweet Potatoes! Whole sweet potatoes are baked in foil then skins are removed and potatoes are mashed with plenty of browned butter and a hint of maple syrup. You’ll only need 4 ingredients for this perfect fall and winter side dish!

Image of bowl full of mashed sweet potatoes with melted butter on top.

The Very Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes!

What makes the best mashed sweet potatoes? It’s all about that browned butter. I’m yet to find an ingredient that compliments sweet potatoes better than browned butter. Those nutty, caramely notes perfectly highlight the natural sweetness of the potatoes.

And If you aren’t a fan of sweet potato casserole then this is the dish for you. Nothing overly sweetened here with gobs of marshmallow on top. Just fresh sweet potatoes (nothing canned) with a hint of real maple syrup (which you could even omit if preferred).

They’re the perfect pairing to all your favorite cozy dinners and they’re so good they even deserve a spot at the Thanksgiving feast!

Turn sweet potatoes haters into sweet potatoes lovers with this simple recipe!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potato Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes – Look for those similar in size. Use varieties such as red garnet, beauregard or jewel (not white or purple varieties).
  • Salted butter – salted browned butter always tastes better than unsalted browned butter so that’s what I use here.
  • Real maple syrup – if you don’t have any on hand you can substitute white or brown sugar, or even honey.
  • Salt and pepper – add to taste in this recipe. The salt will balance out the sweet flavor.

Four sweet potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, one open, sitting on a baking sheet.

How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • Preheat oven and prepare sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes once on two sides with a fork. Wrap each sweet potato with aluminum foil.
  • Bake sweet potatoes until tender: Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 40 minutes*. Turn potatoes and continue to bake until a knife easily glides through potatoes, about 30 – 50 minutes longer.

Image on the left showing butter diced in a saucepan then second image to the right showing browned butter in a liquid measuring cup.

  • Cook butter until browned: Near the end of potatoes baking, place butter in a light colored medium skillet or saucepan. Heat over medium heat, and let cook, stirring occasionally until butter has browned. Pour into a dish so it doesn’t continue to cook and burn.
  • TIP: For a step-by-step to tutorial on how to brown butter (with video) see HERE.

Baked skinless sweet potatoes halves in a large glass mixing bowl. Showing how to make mashed sweet potatoes.

  • Scoop out flesh of potatoes: Once potatoes are cool enough to handle or using oven mitts, peel potatoes or scoop flesh from peels into a large bowl.

Mashing sweet potatoes in a glass mixing bowl with a potato masher.

  • Mash: Mash well with a potato masher. Texture will be chunky.

Adding browned butter and maple syrup to sweet potato mixture.

  • Blend in ingredients: Add browned butter and maple syrup. Blend on low until combined, season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase mixer speed and whip until smoother and creamy.

Mashed sweet potatoes shown after blending with an electric mixer.

Tips for the Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • Be sure sweet potatoes are entirely cooked through otherwise mashed potatoes won’t be tender throughout. Test for doneness by sliding a knife or skewer through the sweet potatoes, it should glide through with little resistance.
  • Try to use sweet potatoes that are similar in size so they finish baking at the same time, otherwise you may have to remove some before others.
  • Skip boiling the potatoes, roasting is the way to go! They have better flavor and don’t absorb any water.
  • Don’t just skip the step of browning butter, it really adds the most amazing flavor here when you brown it.
  • And do be careful not to burn the butter too dark or it will give this side dish a noticeably burnt taste.

Overhead image of mashed sweet potatoes in a white serving bowl set over a wooden plate.

Possible Variations:

  • Want to make them sweeter? Add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • Looking for a more savory option? Omit the maple syrup and add in a 1/3 cup of parmesan (or more to taste), 1 – 2 cloves sautéed garlic and mix in some fresh herbs (like a little thyme or rosemary).
  • Love spiced sweet potatoes? Try them with a spice blend like pumpkin pie spice or a savory spice option like curry powder or garam masala.
  • Try adding a little orange or lemon zest for a citrus boost of flavor.
  • Finish with crumbled cooked bacon or toasted nuts.
  • Make twice baked sweet potatoes. Halve baked sweet potatoes, save the skin – while also leaving about 1/4-inch thickness of sweet potato intact. Then make sweet potato mixture and stuff into skins. Top with marshmallows and pecans and broil briefly in the oven.

Side view of mashed sweet potatoes.

What to Serve with Mashed Sweet Potatoes?

More Delicious Sweet Potato Recipes to Try:

 

Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes

5 from 2 votes

The best way to make Mashed Sweet Potatoes! Whole sweet potatoes are baked in foil then skins are removed and potatoes are mashed with plenty of browned butter and a hint of maple syrup. You'll only need 4 ingredients for this perfect fall and winter side dish! Makes about 5 1/2 cups.

Servings: 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 5 large or 4 extra large)*, such as red garnet, beauregard or jewel (not white or purple varieties)
  • 8 Tbsp salted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup, then more to taste for a sweeter option
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes once on both sides with a fork. Wrap each sweet potato with a sheet of aluminum foil.

  2. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 40 minutes*. Turn to opposite side and continue to bake until a knife easily glides through potatoes, about 30 - 50 minutes longer.

  3. Near the end of potatoes baking, place butter in a light colored medium skillet or saucepan. Heat over medium heat, and let cook, stirring occasionally until butter has browned (brown flecks should just start to bubble up into foam if using a saucepan it's harder to tell). Pour into a dish so it doesn't continue to cook and burn.

  4. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle or using oven mitts, peel potatoes or scoop flesh from peels into a large bowl.

  5. Mash with a potato masher. Texture will be chunky.

  6. Add browned butter and maple syrup. Using an electric hand mixer blend on low speed until combined, season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase mixer speed and whip until smoother and creamy.

  7. Serve warm topped with more browned butter if desired.

Recipe Notes

*Small or medium sweet potatoes will work great too just reduce baking time. Small sweet potatoes only take about 40 minutes, medium about 50. While the large and extra large used here cake take upward of 70 - 90 minutes. If using small or medium no need to turn halfway through. It's just so potatoes don't get excessively brown on one side.

POSSIBLE VARIATIONS:

  • Return mashed potatoes to skins (leave 1/4-inch flesh intact with the peel) top with mini marshmallows, set on baking sheet and broil just briefly to toast and soften marshmallows.
  • Add herbs such as fresh rosemary and thyme (just 1 tsp of each).
  • Finish with cooked crumbled bacon.
  • Omit maple syrup, add finely shredded parmesan cheese (start with 1/3 cup) and 1 - 2 cloves sauteed garlic .
  • Season with a spice blend such as curry powder or graham masala.
  • Add autumn spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Mix in 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.
  • Add a citrus zest like lemon or orange.
  • Garnish with toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts for some textural contrast.
  • Flavor with honey (instead of maple), a little lime juice and zest, and add a few chipotle chiles or some cayenne pepper, for this option cut butter in half.
Nutrition Facts
Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 302 Calories from Fat 103
% Daily Value*
Fat 11.47g18%
Saturated Fat 7.23g45%
Cholesterol 30.1mg10%
Sodium 224.92mg10%
Potassium 769.93mg22%
Carbohydrates 47.33g16%
Fiber 6.8g28%
Sugar 10.99g12%
Protein 3.68g7%
Vitamin A 32525.43IU651%
Vitamin C 5.44mg7%
Calcium 74.12mg7%
Iron 1.38mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Author: Jaclyn

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8 Comments

  • Barbara Wamsley

    Wanting to replace the sweet potatoes I’ve made every Thanksgiving for more than 20+ years, I tried this recipe (how could I not – brown butter!). This is the one I’ll be making from now on. Absolutely delicious! The brown butter and maple syrup flavors shine and the sweetness level for the recipe made as written is perfect. My neighbor who isn’t really a fan of sweet potatoes told me these have changed her mind. Although not noted in the recipe itself, I noticed the sprigs of thyme with some sprinkled on top in the pic. I highly recommend you add the thyme.

  • Chiazor Igboechi

    Oh my goodness…the brown butter sauce is everything!! I’ve tried many sweet potato recipes and they are usually disappointing. This one though far exceeded my expectations!! This is officially my favorite sweet potato dish. I kept the recipe as is, I made slightly less potatoes so I decreased the amount of butter and maple syrup. It’s perfect!

  • Tracy

    Hi!
    Do you have any tips to avoid stringy sweet potatoes? Mine always have some stringy flesh when I bake them.😱