If you are wondering how to cook sweet potatoes quickly or what the easy way to make sweet potatoes is, well my friend, today we are going to learn exactly that!
This cooking method results in a fluffy, tender sweet potato, perfect for mashing up to use in other sweet potato recipes, or to eat on its own. Added bonus: I use an appliance in my house that almost always gets ignored, an appliance that hangs over my stove, usually only used for boiling water and reheating leftovers.
And y'all, I promise you'll never go back to any other way.
This is by far the fastest way to cook sweet potatoes, which is awesome ( YAY SPEED. MONEY IS TIME. All that stuff ), but also, it is THE BEST. The texture is tender and fluffy, the house doesn't heat up just for a few sweet potatoes, and it uses less electricity than cranking up my huge, old oven.
how to microwave a sweet potato
First, wash the sweet potato thoroughly by scrubbing it with your hands and fingers under running water or in a bowl filled with water. Remove any tendrils hanging off of it.
Next, stab the sweet potato 4 to 6 times with a fork. Be careful when you do this!
The best way to prevent injury is to hold the sweet potato down on a cutting board with one hand, and stab down toward the cutting board into the sweet potato with the other hand. Translation: do not hold anything in the palm of one hand, while stabbing at that thing in your palm with the other.
Post stabbing, wrap the sweet potato with a paper towel and place it in the center of the microwave on the turntable. Feel free to put it on a microwave-safe plate, but I figure it's not any harder to clean the microwave's turntable than it is to clean a plate, so why bother.
how long should you cook it?
Microwave on high power for 4 - 6 minutes. If you're not sure exactly how long it will take with your specific microwave, start with 5 minutes.
It's pretty hard to overcook them, but an undercooked one will be gross! For my microwave, it's usually 5 minutes to get perfection, but for the rare super-large potato, I usually try 5 minutes, give it a squeeze, and if it's not super soft, throw it back in for another minute at a time until it is soft.
That's it! Easy, right?!
How can you tell if sweet potato is cooked?
The skin will puff up while it cooks, then fall back down as it cools. A cooked sweet potato will have a slightly wrinkly skin ( see the photo below ) and will "give" when you gently press into it or squeeze it.
Do you have to stab a sweet potato before cooking it?
YES! Piercing the skin allows steam to release during the cooking process, which is both a safety and taste measure. If you don't let the steam release, you could have an exploding potato situation on your hands ( and on your microwave. ) No one wants that. It also helps make a fluffy sweet potato to pierce it!
What are some good sweet potato toppings?
Once the sweet potato has cooked, use a fork to stab a line lengthwise down the center. Then, use that same fork to pull open the sweet potato, and fluff the insides. Then, you can add a topping! These are my favorites:
- salted butter and/or a little cinnamon
- Peanut butter, granola, and banana slices
- Cubed chicken, crumbled bacon, diced avocado, drizzle of ranch
- Leftover fajita fillings ( grilled chicken or steak, peppers, sour cream, salsa )
Is it safe to microwave sweet potato?
Yep! But you need to make sure you do the stabbing of it before cooking so that it can release steam during the cooking process. The stabbing is probably the most dangerous part of the whole thing!
What if I want to microwave more than one sweet potato at a time?
- While you can microwave multiple sweet potatoes at a time, I recommend just cooking them individually. They stay warm for a long time after they come out of the microwave, and cooking two sweet potatoes at once takes twice the cook time as one, and sometimes longer! So I just assume do them individually.
Does this method work for "regular" non-sweet potatoes?
- Yep! You can use the same instructions and cook time and everything for this recipe to cook a baked potato in the microwave ( which is to say, a regular non-sweet non-baked baked/microwaved potato haha! )
Do you have lots of leftover sweet potatoes? Make sweet potato casserole!
How long does cooked sweet potato last?
Keep a cooked sweet potato in the fridge for 5 - 6 days, wrapped in foil or in a storage container. Caution: cooked sweet potatoes will eventually start leaking a sticky, startchy liquid that is a pain to clean up! So keep that in mind when storing them.
How to Microwave Sweet Potatoes
- 1 sweet potato
- ½ Tablespoon butter optional
- dash of cinnamon optional
- Scrub the potato clean and remove any trendils or strings handing from it.
- Pierce the potato several times, and wrap in a paper towel.
- Microwave the wrapped sweet potato 4 - 6 minutes, or until it is soft to the touch.
- Slice the sweet potato lengthwise, fluff with a fork, and add a pat of butter and/or sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.