Different Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes

different ways to cook sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an integral part of Thanksgiving dinner, but other than the usual sweet potato with marshmallow dish there are different ways to cook sweet potatoes. Let's explore the the options.

I Yam What I Yam

Although here in America, yams and sweet potatoes are the same thing, a true yam is only found in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. Generally, in U.S. stores what is referred to as yams are just orange sweet potatoes. So whether you find a yam or a sweet potato at your grocer's, they will be usable in these recipes.

Different Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes

There are as many ways to cook sweet potatoes as there are to cook regular potatoes. In fact, with its smooth texture and natural sweetness, hence it name, there may actually be more ways to utilize the sweet potato. Here I offer three different ways to cook sweet potatoes: a nice casserole from Virginia, a fun and easy to prepare soufflé, and a soup that can start your Thanksgiving meal in a new, fun, and tasty way.

Using your sweet potatoes differently and offering your guests an unexpected side dish is a great way to make your holiday memorable. While some traditional sweet potato recipes are heavy on the brown sugar and other candied variations, these recipes are easy to modify to make them more diet-conscious. Generally, they are light on the butter and sugar and if you like you can reduce that even more, but in my mind the holidays are a good time to indulge a bit.

Virginia Sweet Potatoes With Rum


  • 4 large sweet potatoes boiled
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Lemon sliced thin as possible
  • 1/2 cup light rum
  • Butter as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut potatoes lengthwise in 1/2 inch thick slices.
  3. Melt butter in a large frying pan.
  4. Brown both sides of the potatoes.
  5. Place the potatoes in a large casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon zest.
  7. Cover potatoes with lemon slices.
  8. Pour on the rum.
  9. Add dabs of butter.
  10. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the butter and rum have mingled.

Sweet Potato Soufflé



  • 9 medium sweet potatoes
  • Boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup hot cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 egg yolks beaten
  • 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 4 egg whites


  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
  2. Place in well salted water.
  3. Boil the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes or until done.
  4. Drain and mash the sweet potatoes.
  5. Add the butter and cream and mash until light and fluffy.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Butter and flour a seven inch soufflé dish.
  9. Cut a piece of parchment paper 2 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the soufflé dish. Tape the paper around the dish.
  10. Add the salt and lemon zest.
  11. Add the beaten egg yolks.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Fold in the drained pineapple.
  14. Whip the egg whites until stiff.
  15. Gently fold the egg whites into the potato mix.
  16. Pour into the prepared soufflé dish.
  17. Set into a pan with hot water.
  18. Bake for 40 minutes.
  19. Remove the paper and serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Soup


  • 4 pounds sweet potato (canned is okay)
  • 2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 4 tablepoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. If you are not using the canned sweet potatoes, then preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes or until done.
  3. Peel the skins and cut into like sized chunks.
  4. Put the potatoes in a pot with the stock. If you are using canned sweet potatoes, this is your first step.
  5. Add the tomato paste.
  6. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  7. Add the butter and herbs.
  8. Simmer for 1 hour and then puree either using an immersion blender or by pouring the soup in batches into a blender and pureeing.
  9. Pour back into the pot and add the cream. Once the cream has been added, do not let the soup boil again.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Contributed by Kelly Roper

Image of homemade sweet potato muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened is recommended
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and slowly stir them together. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and stir again to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the sweet potatoes, applesauce, milk, egg and vanilla together.
  4. Add the sweet potato mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Take care to scrape the bottom of the bowl so all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Line each muffin cup with a baking cup. Fill each cup 2/3 full with batter.
  6. Bake the muffins for about 18 to 20 minutes or until they spring back when tapped in the center. Let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove them from the pan and finish cooling them on a wire rack.
  7. This recipe yields approximately 2 dozen muffins.

Have Fun Mixing It Up

Sweet potaoes are anything but boring if you know what to do with them. Try any of these recipes that are new to you and see if you agree.

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Different Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes