Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Once Upon a Chef

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Bake, mash, enjoy—learn my secret to fluffier, tastier mashed sweet potatoes. And you’ll love being able to make them ahead of time!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

In my view, the best mashed sweet potatoes begin with baking the potatoes instead of boiling them. This method ensures a lighter, fluffier texture, avoiding the denseness that boiling can sometimes cause. Baking does take about an hour in the oven, but it’s mostly hands-off, so you can focus on the rest of the meal or just relax. After the potatoes are baked and tender, mash them up and add a little something extra with maple syrup, butter, and a hint of fresh thyme. These simple additions complement the natural sweetness and earthiness of the potatoes beautifully. This side dish is super versatile and pairs perfectly with a range of mains—think onion-braised beef brisket, sear-roasted pork tenderloin, a classic dry-brined turkey, or even a last-minute store-bought rotisserie chicken. Plus, you can prep it in advance and quickly reheat in the microwave, making it a convenient option for any gathering.

“Truly the best sweet potatoes I remember in over fifty years of good eating…This is a keeper.”


What you’ll need to make mashed sweet potatoes

mashed sweet potatoes ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by pricking the sweet potatoes a few times each with a fork.

pricking the sweet potatoes with a fork

Set the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet.

sweet potatoes on a baking sheetBake in a 350°F oven for 60 to 75 minutes, or until they give easily when you squeeze them.

baked sweet potatoes

While the sweet potatoes bake, melt the butter in a medium saucepan.

melting butter for mashed sweet potatoes

Add the maple syrup, milk, salt and pepper.

Adding the maple syrup, milk, and seasoning to the melted butter

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop the flesh out into the butter mixture. Mash with a potato masher or fork.

mashing the sweet potatoes in the butter mixture

Keep mashing until the potatoes reach the desired consistency.

mashed sweet potatoes in pot

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, add a pad of butter if desired, and sprinkle with fresh thyme.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Bake, mash, enjoy—learn my secret to fluffier, tastier mashed sweet potatoes. And you’ll love being able to make them ahead of time!


  • 3 pounds medium-sized sweet potatoes (3 or 4)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.
  2. Prick each sweet potato 3 to 4 times with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, 60 to 75 minutes; turn the potatoes over halfway through baking.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the maple syrup, milk, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, cut them in half. Holding them in one hand with an oven mitt, scoop the warm flesh out into the pan with the butter mixture. Over low heat, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with fresh thyme (if using). Serve hot.
  5. Note: These sweet potatoes can be made entirely ahead of time. Before serving, stir in a bit of milk and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 362
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Sugar: 23g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 816mg
  • Cholesterol: 33mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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