How to Boil Sweet Potatoes (And Why You ShouldnÍt Bother)


When boiling sweet potatoes is best

Most people think of roasting sweet potatoes when they go to cook this vegetable. But do you need the fastest way to cook sweet potatoes? It’s boiling all the way. Here are some pros and cons to this method:

  • Boiling sweet potatoes is great for when you want to make a filling for enchiladas or tacos or a topping for pizza and don’t want to fire up your oven. It’s also great for mashed sweet potatoes, or as a quick side dish.
  • The potatoes come out perfectly tender and moist. You’ll need to season with a little olive oil or butter and salt and pepper for the best flavor.
  • Boiling does not caramelize like roasting, and the flavor is not as as sweet. You won’t get those lovely browned edges like roasted potatoes. Keep that in mind!


Is it better to boil or bake sweet potatoes?

Boiling may actually retain most of the antioxidant power of sweet potatoes, compared to roasting and steaming. … Baking can also cause an 80% drop in vitamin A levels, twice as much as boiling. Therefore, from a nutritional standpoint, boiling rather than baking should be recommended for cooking sweet potato.

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Boiling whole sweet potatoes

  • If you have a big pot, then don’t cut your sweet potatoes, this way you’ll minimize the loss of minerals and vitamins.
  • However, it would be better to choose medium sweet potatoes for boiling recipes so that you don’t have to cut them.

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Lets Make Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Learn how to make perfect Roast potatoes with this foolproof recipe for roast potatoes that come out perfect every time!

4.99 from 71 votes

Prep15 minutes Cook50 minutes

Total 1 hour 5 minutes

Boiling sweet potatoes as a side dish

You can use this boiled sweet potatoes recipe as a template for a fast and easy side dish. A tip? Make sure to add a little fat to bring richness and season with salt and pepper. Here’s what to know:

  • Toss with butter or olive oil, and kosher salt. You’ll need to add back some of the richness that’s inherent in roasting with olive oil. Make sure to season with enough salt and pepper to make the flavors sing.
  • Add other add-ins like spices and fresh herbs. Toss with cumin, garlic powder and a little chili powder for a zingy seasoning blend. Or add chopped fresh chives or thyme for an herby punch.

2. Place in water

Place the potato pieces in a stockpot and cover the potatoes with water by a few inches. Add a generous pinch of salt.

How To Parboil Potatoes For Roasting

Most recipes will tell you to start with cold water.  This is because boiling potatoes in hot water will cook the outside of the potato faster than the inside resulting in an uneven cook.

That logic is great for boiled potatoes, but for roast potatoes, starting with potatoes that are cooked on the outside, and undercooked inside is perfect for achieving a crispy exterior.

Once drained and dry, gently shake them in the strainer to rough up the cooked exterior.  This will result in a perfectly crisp roast potato.

Sweet Potato Chaat


2 sweet potatoes boiled and peeled

1 cup chickpeas – soaked overnight

Little oil or ghee

½ cup curd

Salt and pepper

1 tsp Sugar

Tamarind chutney

Chat masala

Roasted cumin powder


Boil chickpeas in a pressure cooker, till they are cooked but not mashed.

Cut sweet potatoes into cubes.

Heat a little oil or ghee in a frying pan.

Lightly toss the sweet potato cubes in ghee or oil.

Add a teaspoon of sugar to cup of yogurt, and mix well to sweeten it lightly.

Assembling the chaat

In a big bowl, mix sweet potatoes and boiled chickpeas.

Add a little salt and pepper and chat masala according to taste.

Add tamarind chutney. Mix well.

Finally put in the serving bowl and top with sweetened curd.

Sprinkle a little roasted cumin powder and a little sev.

Note: You are free to change the seasonings as per your child’s preference. You can add chopped coriander leaves too if your kid likes it. 


How long should u boil potatoes?

The cooking time is going to come down to size — whether your potatoes are large or small, cubed or whole. In general cubed or small potatoes will take about 10 to 15 minutes to boil, while larger, whole potatoes will take between 20 to 25 minutes. To check potatoes for doneness, insert a knife into one.

How do you make sweet potato fries from scratch?

All you need to make sweet potato fries from scratch is sweet potatoes, cornstarch, water, and oil for frying. It’s as simple as that, but if you want to get extra crispy potatoes, follow my techniques below.

Sweet Potato Pancake


2-3 sweet potatoes

1 cup wholewheat flour (atta)

Salt and pepper

Ghee/Oil – 1 tbsp

1/2 cup water


Cut sweet potatoes into pieces and cook in a pressure cooker till soft.

Peel the boiled sweet potatoes and mash them well.

Add salt and pepper to taste

Add flour(atta) to sweet potatoes and add water.

Make a thick batter and let it sit for half an hour.

In a flat frying pan, heat a little ghee or oil.

Spread the batter on pan using a ladle to make small panackes.

Cook on both sides with oil or ghee.

Serve it with a yogurt dip or chutney.

How to Parboil Potatoes

Parboiling is pretty much as easy as it sounds. You simply boil your raw potato with a little kosher salt until they are partially cooked through. You can decide whether or not you prefer to parboil your potatoes whole, or peeled and diced–either will have a similar effect, but if you start with them diced, you do not need to boil them as long.

  • Start by placing your potatoes in your pot and then covering them with  clean, cold water.
  • Throw in a pinch of kosher salt, cover the pot with a lid, and then turn the stove on high heat.
  • Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat slightly to keep it from boiling over (or just remove the lid), and continue boiling for about 5-10 minutes–shorter if you are using diced or sliced potatoes and longer if you left them whole.
  • Test your potatoes with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife–if it goes in with only slight resistance, you’re done.
  • Remove the boiled potatoes from the heat, drain your pot of the excess water, and let them cool a little before moving to your next step, no matter what that next step is. And voila, your potatoes are now parboiled!
  • Your parboiled potatoes can then either be cooked in the oven or in a fryer up to two days after you parboil them.

How long to boil sweet potatoes

  • It will really depend on the size, and also the heat source.
  • Medium sweet potatoes, when well covered and on a medium-high heat will roughly cook after 25-30 mins.
  • Don’t boil your sweet potatoes till they are tender (you can check the cooking by inserting a thin sharp knife or a toothpick in the sweet potatoes) leave them in the cooking water for about 10 mins after you’ve cut off the heat. The sweet potatoes will continue cooking in the boiled cooking water.

3. Boil to Par-cook

I boil to par-cook sweet potato fries for 1/2″ fries only because they are much larger and would not have enough time to cook all the way through the center when you’re frying. 1/4″ fries don’t need par-cooking.

Without par-cooking, the outside of the fry burns before the center is fully cooked. I like to boil them because it’s faster than baking, and more importantly, the sweet potatoes retain their rich color.

1. Add water and potatoes to a pot and bring to a boil.2. When it hits a boil, reduce to 50% heat and check for doneness every few minutes. It’s done when pliable and slightly fork tender, but not mushy.

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