Homemade sweet potato purée is a great way to use up sweet potatoes and to add some colorful nutrition to your meals. This tutorial will teach you how to make it, and how to use it in more than 15 different ways!
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Not surprisingly you need sweet potatoes for this recipe. We recommend seeking out sweet potatoes that are similar in size and shape—this will make the roasting step easier because the potatoes will roast at about the same rate. You can use any type of sweet potato for sweet potato purée.
If you would like to add some flavorings to the purée feel free! Depending on how you plan to use the purée you can keep it as-is or you can add some warm spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves), sweetness (maple syrup, brown sugar, honey) or savoriness (grated Parmesan, cream, garlic, rosemary).
There are three main steps in making homemade sweet potato purée: cooking (I prefer roasting), peeling and puréeing. It’s simple as can be!
The cooking and the puréeing steps can be modified to suit your kitchen, equipment, and schedule. Here are the steps, and options for each step.
Step 1: Cook
We recommend roasting sweet potatoes for sweet potato purée but you can also boil, steam or simply use canned sweet potatoes.
Not only is roasting very hands-off and requires little to no prep, but it creates a deeper, toastier flavor and does not add moisture (important for our baking recipes that use this sweet potato purée).
To roast the sweet potatoes: prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Roast in a 425ºF oven until skins are wrinkly and potatoes are very tender, 50–60 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel off skins; purée as directed.
To boil the sweet potatoes: bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Add sweet potato chunks to boiling water and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool then purée as directed.
* you can cut down on prep time by using frozen diced sweet potatoes.
To steam the sweet potatoes: peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Transfer to a steamer basket and steam until tender, 20–30 minutes. Let cool then purée as directed.
To use canned sweet potatoes: drain and rinse (optional), then purée as directed. Most canned sweet potatoes are sold in syrup, which is why it’s essential to drain them before puréeing. I also like to rinse them to remove excess syrup, but that is purely preference.
Step 2: Peel
Pretty straight-forward, but if the potatoes are still a little too hot to peel, use a paper towel to assist in peeling.
Step 3: Purée
You can purée using a variety of kitchen equipment and tools.
- Food processor—our preferred method. If you are making a small batch of sweet potato purée you can use a mini food processor. And if you are making a large batch, use a regular food processor.
- Blender—a high-powered blender is best for this job.
- Immersion blender also does the trick, but be sure to use a tall, slender container or bowl to hold the potatoes. This will help with the efficiency of blending.
- Ricer—a great overall option, creating a silky, smooth mash.
- Stand mixer or hand held mixer are both options that will make a creamy, whipped texture.
- Potato masher—this will leave a few small chunks, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most recipes.
How to Use Sweet Potato Purée
There are so many ways you can use sweet potato purée. For starters it’s a great base for a creamy vegetarian soup, use it in place of carrots in our Curried Carrot Soup or in our Butternut Squash Bisque.
Sweet potato purée is a great way to bulk up and add fiber in smoothies. Try it in place of carrots in our Carrot Cake Smoothie.
Make a savory version of the classic sweet potato casserole usually adorned with toasted marshmallows. Our Savory Sweet Potato Casserole is sure to surprise and delight.
Use this purée in place of the butternut squash in our butternut squash risotto recipe.
Pancakes or Waffles
One of our favorite ways to use this smooth sweet potato purée is to use it in baked goods, similar to how you would pumpkin purée. Use purée to make this moist and healthy Sweet Potato Quick Bread or make our tender and fluffy Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls. We’re also head over heels for our Sweet Potato Coffee Cake with Spiced Crumb Topping. We also love the idea of a sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
We haven’t tried this, but it’s on our list to—imagine a sweet potato créme brûlée! Yum.
Add a few scoops of purée into Homemade Applesauce for a tasty fruit-and-veggie snack.
We also love the idea of dolloping it in with the caramelized apple slices in this Baked Apple French Toast. A fall brunch through and through!
For some savory entrées we like the idea of adding sweet potato purée to the filling for these enchiladas (how gorgeous would that be?!). It would also be a great binding agent for our favorite Veggie Burger Recipe.
Put this purée to use in our Sweet Potato Harissa Hummus—it’s creamy, savory and slightly spicy. You can also use the purée in melty cheesy dips or queso.
How to Store
- Store cooled sweet potato purée in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Scoop cooled sweet potato purée into large rubber ice cube trays; transfer to freezer and freeze solid.
- Remove frozen cubes from tray and transfer to a reusable resealable bag.
- When ready to use, remove desired amount of frozen cubes from bag, thaw in refrigerator overnight, or on the counter for a few hours, and use as directed.
- Frozen sweet potato purée will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Can You Can Sweet Potato Purée?
For food safety reasons, we do not recommend canning this purée. However, you can freeze it for up to 6 months!
Sweet Potato Purée
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- Heat oven to 425°F; line a baking sheet with foil.
- Prick the surface of two medium sweet potatoes with a fork and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Roast sweet potatoes until skins are wrinkly and a steak knife easily slides into potatoes, 50–60 minutes.
- Let potatoes cool slightly, then peel and discard (or snack on!) skins.
- Transfer potato flesh to a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth.