How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in Slow Cooker ♥

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in a Slow Cooker, so simple ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free. WW Friendly. Budget Friendly.
Ever wonder how to cook sweet potatoes in the crockpot? Just throw them into the slow cooker in the morning, they'll be ready when you get home from work.

Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Just 1 Ingredient! Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

Make Room for a Slow Cooker

I swear, my crockpot and I are getting close to BFF status. And all it took was a new electrical outlet! You see, my kitchen is decent size. But all the cooking is done in one corner, albeit one ever-so-efficient corner. What my kitchen lacks is outlets – until last fall, there were only two, one in my work corner and one other commandeered by the coffee maker and an under-cupboard radio. But last fall, an electrician put an outlet in above another counter. What a difference! Now the crockpot (or the yogurt maker or ...) can work-work-work away over in its own corner while I work in mine.

So I've taken to using my crockpot like an energy-efficient oven, cooking stuff I'd never before even considered making in a slow cooker. Like sweet potatoes – yes, really, you can cook sweet potatoes in a crockpot!

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in a Slow Cooker, so simple ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free. WW Friendly. Budget Friendly.

Three Basic Ways to Cook Plain Sweet Potatoes

All three methods work well in their own particular ways, either for just eating plain sweet potatoes or meal prepping sweet potatoes for other dishes.

Microwave There's no beating a Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato for cooking speed. But it really only works for one or two sweet potatoes at a time. The inner texture turns out "well" but not "great" – especially larger sweet potatoes can cook unevenly. Still, the microwave belongs on the sweet potato go-to cooking list.
Oven I prefer the oven for Baked Sweet Potatoes, whole sweet potatoes cooked right in their jackets (skins) just like a baked potato. It works especially well for cooking a lot of sweet potatoes at one time, for a party, say. The sweet potatoes cook evenly, the flesh (some times called the "meat") turns out moist and soft and perfect.
Slow Cooker In between the microwave and oven fits the crockpot. Just scrub the skins of the sweet potatoes really well and throw them into the slow cooker. Five or six hours later (and even ten hours later, I checked, since that's a typical work-day timeline) hours later, the sweet potatoes are soft and sweet and perfectly cooked.

"They were wonderful ..." ~ Adele

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in a Slow Cooker, so simple ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free. WW Friendly. Budget Friendly.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 to 10 hours
Serves as many as needed

Several medium-size sweet potatoes

Scrub the sweet potatoes well, put into the slow cooker still dripping wet. If possible, arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer but a double layer works too. It's okay to really pack as many sweet potatoes as you want so long as the lid closes securely. Cook on LOW for at least 5 hours and as many as 10 hours. Check for doneness every so often after about 4 hours by inserting a thin knife or even a cake tester into the center of the largest sweet potato, if it inserts easily, check another sweet potato too, just to be safe.

SWEET POTATO SIZE Size consistency is more important than actual size: that is, all roughly medium-size sweet potatoes cook more evenly than some medium-size and some large.
WHERE TO FIND MEDIUM-SIZE SWEET POTATOES Medium-size sweet potatoes can be hard to find but can be had by picking through the bin. Check out bags of sweet potatoes too, they're often more inexpensive and the sizes are usually smaller and more consistent in size.
PRICK FIRST? The inspiring recipe called for pricking the skins with the tip of a knife but I tested with and without pricking, no problems either way. But pricking didn't seem to hurt, either ...
MIND THE HEAT SOURCE If you do have some smaller and some larger, put the large ones closer to the heat source, that means on the bottom layer for a slow cooker whose heat comes from the bottom, around the outer edge for those with heat from the sides.
TIME VARIANCE Arrgh, slow cookers are so inconsistent, one model to the next but even the same blinkin' slow cooker one day to the next. And of course, the sweet potatoes themselves are going to vary not only in size but in freshness and in variety and in moisture. And of course, more sweet potatoes will take longer to cook in a slow cooker than fewer. All this means that while the sweet potatoes cook entirely hands-off, do start checking for doneness after five hours. If time predictability is important, using the oven for Baked Sweet Potatoes is the way to go.
SOME EXAMPLES Once batch, a medium-size sweet potato was ready to eat in five hours, the larger ones were "done" after five hours but not quite as creamy as I like them and needed six hours. Another time, I cooked more than three pounds of sweet potatoes at once, six large-ish (not giant) sweet potatoes. The three on the bottom layer were done in six hours; after removing the three that had been on the bottom, the remaining three needed another two hours.
APPEARANCE Out of the crockpot, the skins of the sweet potatoes will win no beauty contests. The flesh is perfect, however, for mashing or casseroles or any way you might use them pre-cooked. If you want to serve sweet potatoes on a plate, and appearance is important, again choose Baked Sweet Potatoes.

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from Kitchen Parade, my food column

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.

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2012 & 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. Thanks for the great idea! During the winter, we eat sweet and regular baked potatoes often, as using the oven helps heat the kitchen and front room. But during the summer, I avoid turning the oven on - since we live up in the mountains, we don't have air conditioning. Now I can have baked potatoes in the summer! In addition, we put a small crockpot in our trailer - for those times when we go off to explore or fish. I can put sweet potatoes in there, and Don can cook something on the grill when we return.

  2. Adele in MinnesotaJanuary 17, 2012

    I have cooked sweet potatoes in my crockpot for a crowd. I deliberatley chose a bunch of single serving size, cooked them dry, no water added. I had a 4 quart crockpot packed full. They were wonderful and looked fine to me and my company. When I do it again I will use a rack, as the potatoes will remain above the juices they gave off. I often cook bigger amounts then needed as I love to have planned-overs and things to make quick meals from.

    I really enjoy your writing, and have gleaned many good ideas, thanks!

  3. Alana I am so honored you would use a recipe from my slow cooker book. I just got so delighted at the bottom of the recipe. I adore your site since I am a veggie freak. your WW vegetable soup is my weekly soup. THE BEST. I gave the recipe to my friend who had that terrible head cold a few weeks ago, and she put your column on the internet since everyone wanted to make the soup. Good one. see you in virtual space.

  4. Really interesting idea. I wouldn't have thought of using a slow cooker for basic sweet potato prep. Thanks for expanding my horizons!

  5. The inventor of the crockpot should be enshrined in the hall of fame for cooking! Thanks for the idea.

  6. I'll have to try this. I love using my crockpot for just about everything!

  7. AnonymousJune 15, 2012

    Thanks for sharing the results of your experimenting! I wanted to try exactly this, but thought I would see if I could find someone else who had done it first, just to be safe.:) So nice to find it!


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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