Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes - For a Simply Delicious Side Dish fit for Anything

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Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes - For a Simply Delicious Side Dish fit for Anything

Sweet potatoes are a year-round staple in my house. Sometimes I top them, mix them with cumin, and serve them with a taco salad.

Sometimes We cut sweet potatoes into French fries and serve them with a sauce to go with grilled chicken.

As soon as the weather starts to cool and the calendar hits November, We crave the comforting combination of sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar.

Instead of boiling it on the stove, we  use my favorite cookware: the Instant Pot.

The result is a bright orange bowl of lightly sweetened, richly textured mashed potatoes that will feed a hungry crowd.

What kind of sweet potato should we use?

There are many different varieties of sweet potato.

I use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in this recipe because they have more moisture than white sweet potatoes, making them good for pressure cooking and mashing.

Jewel, garnet, and Beauregard sweet potato varieties can all be used interchangeably in this recipe, but the silky texture of garnet is my favorite.

Why use Instant Pot?

Mashing sweet potato in the Instant Pot solves several problems at once: it's easier (no floating required, just set it and forget it), faster, and doesn't take up valuable stovetop or oven space.

An Instant Pot also uses less water than boiling.

Tips and tricks

  • Chop potatoes evenly into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. This will ensure that the sweet potatoes cook at the same time.
  • Add the water to the Instant Pot before adding the sweet potatoes to ensure you don't get the dreaded "burnt" error.
  • When the cooking program is complete, use a quick release and check that the sweet potatoes are cooked through. They should be soft enough to shred with a fork.
  • Mash the sweet potato while it is still hot. The butter will melt quickly to make them ultra creamy.

Instant Pot Mashed Potato Troubleshooting

If the sweet potatoes cook past fork point, resulting in potatoes that do not need to be mashed but can be stirred.

The extra water can be cooked by using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot to cook the extra liquid, stirring all the while

If, on the other hand, the sweet potato is undercooked, cover and pressure cook for another minute.

Use a quick release and double check that it's ready.

Easy Recipe Variations

We like to keep mashed sweet potatoes simple with butter and brown sugar, but you can make this recipe your way! Here are some ideas:

  • Skip the brown sugar and add 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • For a savory vegan option, replace the butter and sugar with extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each dried rosemary and thyme.
  • Skip the brown sugar and add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1 teaspoon All Purpose Dry Marinade
  • Seasoning
  • Add a hint of citrus with the zest of 1/2 navel orange


  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1/4 lemon)
  • 4 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Special equipment

  • Metal trivet (that comes with the Instant Pot)


Add the liquid to the pan:

Add the cold water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and lemon juice to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.

Add tripod and potatoes:

Set the metal tripod (or a metal steamer basket) on the bottom with the handles unfolded and resting against the sides. Add diced sweet potato on top.

Pressure cooker:

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Make sure the valve is in the sealed position.

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time begins.

Use a quick release:

Once the cooking time is over, carefully vent using a quick release. It may take up to 1 minute for the pressure to release.

Open the lid and use a fork to prick the potatoes and check if they are cooked.

Check at least 2 potatoes on top and 2 potatoes in the center of the pot to confirm that all potatoes are cooked enough.

They will be bright orange in color and soft enough to mash with a fork.

If the potatoes are not fully cooked, close the lid, close the vent, and pressure cook for 1 minute before retesting.

Drain the sweet potato:

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, use oven mitts to remove the inner pot. Remove the tripod and drain the potatoes. Discard the water from the pan.

Mash the sweet potatoes:

Return the drained potatoes to the empty Instant Pot inner pot and add unsalted butter, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste), and brown sugar.

Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Serve it hot.

The sweet potato puree can be made 2 days in advance.

After mashing the potatoes, let them cool and refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat over medium heat on the stove or in the microwave.

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