Did you know you can cook a sweet potato in the microwave and save 50+ minutes of cooking time (compared to baking in the oven)?!
Yep, it’s true! It only takes a few minutes. And it comes out just as deliciously roasted as if it was cooked in the oven. It’s one of my favorite quick kitchen hacks.
Microwaving a sweet potato is really easy, too!
Here’s a quick how-to guide for the next time you want to enjoy a sweet potato but don’t want to wait nearly an hour for it to bake in the oven.
How to Microwave a Sweet Potato
1. Wash Your Sweet Potatoes
To cook sweet potatoes in the microwave, start by washing them, of course!
Since sweet potatoes grow in the ground, it’s best to wash them to remove any excess dirt. This also saves you the hassle of peeling them.
To wash, hold the sweet potatoes under running water and scrub with a vegetable brush (or just thoroughly using your hands). Then, pat dry.
2. Pierce Your Sweet Potatoes
Next, pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork 4-6 times. This allows the steam to escape while they’re being cooked. Make sure you do this, because otherwise you might have an explosion in your microwave. 🙂
3. Microwave for 6+ Minutes
Wrap each sweet potato in a damp paper towel. This helps keep them moist as they cook.
Then, on a microwave-safe plate, microwave the sweet potatoes at high power for 6 minutes, turning halfway through.
After the 6 minutes is up, check to see if they’re tender. If they are, you’re done! And if not, keep microwaving in increments of 1 minute each until they feel done.
(To know when they’re done: push a fork or small knife against each potato’s skin. If it’s soft and there’s no resistance, you’re good to go!).
I recommend leaving the skin on, too. Cooking a sweet potato with the skin on preserves more of its nutritional value. And yes, it’s perfectly safe (and tasty) to eat it – and again much easier than dealing with peeling it!
(Looking for another great cooking hack? Check out my method for how to seed a pomegranate the easy way!)
Other Ways to Cook a Sweet Potato
I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes in general. Not only are they nutritious and delicious, but they’re also versatile. Besides microwaving, here are some other ways to cook a sweet potato:
- Sautéing (diced or sliced thinly into rounds)
And when it comes to recipes you can make with sweet potatoes, the options are endless:
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (with chicken, beans, anything really!) – try my Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans recipe!
- Sweet Potato Pancakes – try using sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes in my Leftover Mashed Potato Pancake recipe – great for brunch with eggs!
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes – try my Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes (No Sugar Added) – these are great for holidays or as a simple dinner side dish
- Baked Sweet Potato Chips or Fries (I don’t recommend doing these in the microwave, so if you’re feeling the oven, try my Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe: Mexican-Style)
- Sweet Potato Avocado “Toast” – like my Mediterranean Sweet Potato Hummus Bites – these make a great appetizer
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Egg & Sweet Potato Breakfast Burrito – my Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Burritos use sweet potatoes, and you can simply microwave + mash them instead of slicing and roasting them to save time!
- Sweet Potato Casserole, like my Savory Sweet Potato Casserole – another great holiday dish or dinner side dish
- Sweet Potato Soup
To give you even more recipe inspiration, I’ve included links to some of my other favorite sweet potato recipes below. Enjoy!
More Sweet Potato Recipe Ideas
Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs – one of my favorite brunches!
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas – to get that Mexican food fix!
Sweet Potato Lentil Chili – another cozy meal that makes a ton and freezes well for later
Healthy Seafood Chowder with Sweet Potato – a lighter, less heavy take on your usual chowder (but still creamy and delicious!)
What’s your favorite sweet potato recipe? How do you usually cook them?
Here’s the official recipe card with details on how to microwave a sweet potato so you guys can print out these instructions for later if you want!
- 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1. Wash sweet potatoes. Pat dry.
2. Pierce sweet potatoes 4-6 times all over with a fork. This allows steam to escape while cooking.
3. Wrap each sweet potato in a damp paper towel. This helps keep them moist as they cook.
4. Arrange the wrapped sweet potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave at high power for 6 minutes.
5. Check the tenderness by squeezing gently. Small sweet potatoes may be fully tender, but if your sweet potatoes don't have any give after 6 minutes, keep microwaving in 1-2 minute increments until fully tender. (The sweet potatoes are done when they feel soft when pressed, and a fork can be inserted and removed very easily.)