Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato ♥

Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato ♥ A Veggie Venture, how to microwave a whole sweet potato.
How to cook a sweet potato in the microwave. It's quick-quick and easy, whether for a fast at-home or office-kitchen lunch or a vegetable for supper.

Real Food, Fresh and Fast, a Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Weeknight Easy. Weight Watchers Friendly (purple plan). Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

The Short Answer.

Microwave one washed, whole sweet potato (pricked a few times) in a microwave for five minutes, flip and microwave for another five minutes or until done. For easy clean-up, put a paper towel under and over the sweet potato. For two sweet potatoes at once, microwave for 13-15 minutes or until done. Microwave vary in power, so exact timing may vary.

Do You Need Some Special Sweet Potato to Microwave It?

No! I didn't mean to mislead. So many readers have clicked on "microwave sweet potato" – but wait! don't waste a click, that link leads only to a review of a store-bought plastic-wrapped "microwave" sweet potato that costs twice as much and just isn't necessary.

It's Easier & Cheaper to Microwave a Regular Sweet Potato

It is so easy to cook a regular sweet potato in the microwave. It's my new go-to lunch! Plus since so many offices have microwaves, this could be a great lunch for work, too – though beware, it takes 10 minutes (or more) to cook a sweet potato in a microwave so might violate office etiquette during prime "leftover reheat" times.

The source of this microwave technique for cooking sweet potatoes is the always reliable Vegetable Love (affiliate link) by Barbara Kafka. Her vegetable cookbook is just so completely thorough! Barbara writes that microwaving a whole sweet potato is suitable for purées and pies, which intimates, doesn't it, that the texture is unpalatable for eating straight from the jacket? Not true!

Are Microwaved Sweet Potatoes Any Good?

Just slice open a sweet potato cooked in the microwave, add a bit of butter and seasoning and voila, call it lunch! The texture is lovely, the taste is great!

Price Check

About those so-called "microwave" sweet potatoes, the ones wrapped in not-so-magic plastic? When I checked recently, a plastic-wrapped sweet potato costs $1.39 for a 2/3 pound sweet potato. A regular sweet potato about the same weight would sell for only $.66. Now that's a bargain!

More Basic Ways to Cook Whole Sweet Potatoes

Baked Sweet Potatoes, best method for roasting many sweet potatoes at once or taking advantage of a hot oven while something else is cooking
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in a Slow Cooker, best method for unattended all-day cooking

Excuse Me, Please.

It's almost noon. Guess what I'm making for lunch ...

Delicious Microwave Sweet Made the List
Best Vegetable Recipes 2007
Plus Pinterest Loves it!

Just updated, first published way back in 2007.


Hands-on time: 1 minute
Time to table: 10 minutes for an 850 watt microwave
Makes 1 sweet potato

1 sweet potato

Wash the sweet potato well but don't peel it. Prick the skin with the tip of a knife in two or three places. Place the sweet potato on a paper towel in microwave. (I also put a paper towel loosely over top, just in case. But no explosions so far!) Cook on high for 5 minutes. Turn the sweet potato, placing what HAD been on the bottom on top. Cook another 5 minutes or until done. (Microwave strengths vary, experiment with yours until you know.)

To cook two one-pound sweet potatoes at the same time, Vegetable Love says to allow 13 - 15 minutes.

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

Still Hungry?

More Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

~ Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle ~
~ Savory Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes ~
~ Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ My Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Chicken Cider Stew ~
~ Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots ~
~ Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

Big News Today

HealthCentral has selected A Veggie Venture as one of its best sites dedicated to diet and exercise! I'm so pleased that my collection of vegetable recipes shares the list with personal idol Hungry Girl, the Diet Blog and others. Many thanks to Health Central and especially, a big big big thank you to all of you who visit here so faithfully; it truly inspires me to seek out new ways of cooking, eating and completely enjoying vegetables!

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2007, 2010 & 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Congrats on that mention, Alanna! And a sweet potato sounds good. We only use the microwave to warm up milk for K's hot chocolate in our house, and I'm happy with that. But you have just reminded me that I should pick up a sweet potato every now and then. Any tips for steaming/baking it??

  2. Congratulations, Alanna! Yours is one of my go-to sites for ideas for what to do with my garden and farmers' market veggies. And I do love sweet potatoes!

  3. The sweet potato would be a perfect lunch for me, sounds delicious. Congratulations on being chosen one of the best diet sites, great job!

  4. Congratulations, Alanna! What great news. Way to go!

    I adore sweet potatoes and a couple of times a year (usually in autumn when they're abundant and on sale) I go on binges and devour pounds and pounds of them. They're so tasty just sprinkled with salt that I can never figure out why so many people drown them under oodles of sugar and (gasp) marshmallows! Of course I've never had one of those marshmallow casseroles, so I probably shouldn't say anything. : )

    Again, congratulations!

    P.S. Your personalized message under "Leave your comment" is great. I need to figure out how to do that.

  5. I think the award is well-suited for this site as my family now eats many more veggies because I know I can always find a tasty recipe for whatever I find at the grocery store. My five year old now loves roasted cauliflower and my soon to be two year old adores the stir-fried broccoli. Carrots are the favorite of my four year old. Why? All because I found the recipes here. Thank you.

  6. i love this site - and will be checking in on it regularly - i also loved the links provided. thanks

  7. I love sweet potatoes! They're such an awesome diet cheat food because they're sweet and starchy, so you feel like you're eating something really decadent.

  8. I love sweet potatoes. Try a microwaved sweet potato with houmous (whatever flavour) and some balsamic vinegar dressed leaves or even with a tart, Puy lentil dressing. The possibilities are endless. BTW, one great way to eat sweet potatoes is to steam or boil till just done then stir in a hot pan with olive oil, minced ginger (1/2" per potato), black pepper and a pinch of salt. When hot through, mash to a puree and use as an accompaniment to griddled salmon rubbed with coriander, cumin and a little paprika. A great combination. Serve garlicky mange-tout or french beans on the side for a very satisfying but healthy meal.

  9. You've hit on one of my favorite healthy no-brainers. Try it with pasta sauce, melted cheese, tahini many flavors match up. Great for breakfast. Years ago Bob Rodale published a target with healthy foods spread around according to food value, and sweet potatoes was the bullseye. Good for something so tasty and cheap!
    Well deserved honor -- you give us so much!

  10. Congratulations, Alanna! You totally deserve it. Veggies are so important to a healthy diet, and most people just don't know how to prepare them. I'm guilty of that, too, so when I need info about an unfamiliar vegetable, I always look through your archives for help.

    I went through a phase when I was microwaving a sweet potato for lunch almost every day. They really are an inexpensive and filling meal.

  11. Congrats Alanna! This is very deserving.

  12. Alanna,
    I'm finally back from vacation and I've been catching up on my blogging. I just wanted to say that it was great meeting you last week. You are such a warm and friendly person! Thank you again for getting things set up and making sure everyone was taken care of. I had a great time getting to know some other bloggers.

  13. yay, congratulations! :)

    The sweet potato is my most favorite vegetable and I have it very often. While I do prepare it mostly like you do, I have never cooked it in the microwave but I can see how that would save so much time and energy. I love mine with a bit of butter and a sprinkling of sugar, or maybe just butter alone, or as a stew. There's so much you can do with it. :)

  14. Pille ~ Thank you! You can always check the sweet potato recipes for basic techniques. But here's the technique for steaming sweet potatoes and roasting/baking sweet potatoes.

    Lydia ~ Thanks! It pleases me much that this is a go-to for you, another food writer.

    Kalyn ~ Thanks! Yes, what an easy lunch.

    Farmgirl ~ Thanks! I've never 'gotten' that sugary business either. PS The message is a new setting on Blogger.


    Shelia ~ Thanks!

    Kelly ~ Then you'll love this new technique, too.

    Evaga ~ That's a great way to do mashed sweet potatoes, sounds delicious.

    Susan ~ Thanks! Psst. Maybe we shouldn't tell people that sweet potatoes are good for them, just that they taste good! :-)

    Susan V ~ Thanks! Food stages, yes. I'm that way too.

    Cynthia ~ Thanks~

    Katie ~ Agreed!! Our food blogger supper was just amazing, it was so terrific to meet you too. I thank you for coming all the way into the city to meet all these 'strangers' (for about 10 seconds, right?!)

    Christine ~ Thanks! Your favorite? Good choice! A bit of butter and a sprinkle of sugar, decadent!!

  15. CONGRATS on also being named to's awards list. I was quite surprised when they chose my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog and it was an honor to be listed among blogs I respect like Hungry Girl and Diet Blog.

    I'm LOVIN' yours, too, so KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! :D

    Jimmy Moore

  16. this tastes great with salsa, sour cream and a garnish of fresh cilantro leaves

  17. I just now cooked a sweet potato in the microwave at work. I put it in for ten minutes, got involved with a task...and the whole place filled with smoke!!!!!!! How embarrassing.

    Could be this particular tater was too small for the whole 10 minute duration...I think 3-4 minutes might have been better for this one.

    Perhaps the instructions should read, "put sweet potato in, and check it after each minute or so"

  18. Can I substitute the sweet potato for a yam & put some butter on top.

  19. In most cases in the US, Victoria, yams = sweet potatoes. Real African yams are rare (check my post about real yams and they wouldn't cook well, I suspect, in a microwave. As for butter, well, do as you like, for sure.

  20. Congratulations Alanna! And I was just wondering about microwaving sweet potatoes this week! You are definitely a great source for useful veggie info.

  21. I just found your blog & I love it! One of my favorite quick & filling lunches/dinners is half of a baked sweet potato with just a touch of butter alongside mixed baby greens, grape tomatoes & 1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado--I squeeze lime juice & sprinkle some sea salt over everything & it's so delicious!

  22. If you wet the paper towel, it also helps to prevent or minimize overcooking, especially since microwaves differ.

  23. I have been microwaving both sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes for years. My "source" said to put them in a brown lunch bag and then puncture them. I do not remember why, but the texture seems to be just perfect. Of course, we do eat them with the skins on, for the best benefit. Yes!!!!!!!!!

  24. Just googled some directions to microwave a sweet potato and found your site. My potato was small, so I nuked it a little less, but it turned out great! Thanks! I had mine with some fresh pear chunks. One thing - isn't the veggie in your picture a yam and not a sweet potato? Deceptive advertising, I say! :)
    Thanks again!
    Sorry if this is a double-post :p

  25. Bigfoot ~ So glad you like the microwaved sweet potato, me too, though pear chunks are a fascinating side!

    As for the yams versus sweet potato debate, it depends where you live. Nearly all the "yams" sold in the U.S. are really sweet potatoes, even when they're labeled otherwise, especially the "Garnet" - my favorite variety of sweet potato.

    In some specialty stores, you can find real yams, the kinds that are staples in Africa. I have a source near me and so did a comparison once, see Meet the Yam Man. As you'll see, real yams are incredibly starchy, to my taste (and there's little that I don't like) mostly inedible, at least roasted.

    So you see? No deceptive advertising here, at least not intentionally. :-)

  26. I would encourage each person (as is part of common sense) to keep an eye on their potato as it microwaves. I cooked mine for 5 minutes, then flipped it over and began to cook it another 5 minutes. While the second round of time was ticking away and I sat down to continue watching a movie, my potato and microwave caught on fire! Flames were big inside my microwave as it burned up the potato and the paper plates I used to cook it with. PLEASE USE CAUTION when microwaving for this long of time with items that can burn (paper, mostly). I should have kept an eye on it myself, but I thought it would work without problems...I'll know better for next time.

  27. Yikes, Adam, glad you caught this on time. Good advice! I'm always hovering in the kitchen so it never occurred to me.

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  37. i had to write after reading Adam's comment as the same thing happened to me. fire in the microwave - burned the inside of my microwave - smoke filled my apartment - fire alarms... lol

    i didn't use any paper products - maybe 5 mins. is too long for my microwave?

    trying again and experimenting with times...

  38. I think the best idea is also to wrap in a moist paper towel

  39. wrapped in a moist paper towel and 3 mins flip and continued 3 mins. worked for me.

    no fires this time ;)

  40. AnonymousJuly 04, 2013

    It worked great. Thanks a lot for the tip.

  41. THANK YOU for this <3 I never make sweet potatoes because of the hassle... now I will make them all the time.

  42. AnonymousJune 11, 2014

    The same thing happened to me with a burnt potato after 10 minutes in the microwave. I would suggest 10 minutes only for a very weak microwave or a very big sweet potato.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna