Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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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!

Pat of butter melting into a bowl of 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.

Pat of butter melting into a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes.

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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!

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 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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  • Thanks for great recipes, this is favorite!!

    • — Nicole on April 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • I did make the recipe and the only thing different is that I did boil them, I didn’t have time to bake them, I mashed the potatoes after adding all the ingredients plus I also added a little cinnamon for extra flavor and then I put them through my potato ricer and they came out nice and fluffy and everyone enjoyed them and so did I. Great recipe!

    • — Janice on March 31, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is our family’s favorite sweet potato recipe. The chipotle sweet potato recipe comes in at a close second. Thank you, Jenn.

    • — Kathy Trimbach on March 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi! Jenn,
    I made these for my husband and I. I was a bit worried he may not like as he isn’t a big fan of sweet vegetables. He absolutely loved these and I did too. Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to making these again soon. And as other’s have said, you really need to use 100% pure maple syrup. Excellent!

    • — Mary Ushiyama on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • Wow, this was so simple yet so good! On a whim I put the sweet potatoes in the air fryer for 30 minutes at 400 degrees and they were perfect. Didn’t want to heat up the house in Arizona!

    • — Theresa A on December 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Far too sweet with 6 tablespoons of maple syrup. Also too much butter. Both amounts of which are totally unnecessary because using less of each gives a beautiful subtle flavor when the natural sweetness of the potatoes comes out.
    I’ve always wondered why Americans use so much sugar, cream and butter in their recipes, because it takes away the taste of the main ingredient. It’s unhealthy and why so many people are overweight.
    This is a very nice recipe when less sugar and fat are added. I will be making it again.

    • — Shelley on November 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • IMO, no need for any sweetener with mashed potatoes. Let their natural sweetness shine. I only add butter, no need for milk either.

      • — Cindy on December 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • I was asked at the last minute to bring sweet potatoes for our family and friends thanksgiving. I was already making several other dishes and wanted something simple. Oh my did these deliver in flavor and simplicity! These will be the only ones I make.

    • — Barbara G on November 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Anxious to try this recipe. Would topping it with chopped toasted pecans work?

    • — Carolyn D on December 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes, definitely!

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • These were spectacular and easy to make – made exactly as directed. I made them with my dad’s homemade syrup from Maine. Heavenly!!! Thanks for another great recipe.

    • — Lori Rozmus on December 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • These mashed sweet potatoes are incredible. Another home run for Jenn.
    I did them in the Instant Pot.
    Peeled the sweet potatoes, cut them into quarters legthwise (so they will not fall through the trivet)
    Pressure cooked them for 10 minutes. Quick released and removed them from the Instant Pot
    Set the Instant Pot to saute medium and melted the butter, the reduced it to saute low and whisked in the rest of the ingredients.
    Set the instant pot to Keep Warm, added the sweet potatoes and mashed them.
    Put the lid back on and they sat until ready to eat.

  • I liked how easy it was to make, didn’t dirty a lot of dishes. Mom loved it, Mom is hard to please. Thank you for recipe.

  • Such an easy way to make mashed sweet potatoes. I love this recipe. It’s so so good!

  • Can I use dried Thyme in place of the fresh in your mashed sweet potato recipe, and if so, how much?
    Thanks – I’m serving them with your mustard glazed pork tenderloin.

    • Hi Kathleen, the time is just used as a garnish and if you’d like to use some dried thyme in place of the fresh, that’s fine; I would just sprinkle a bit on until you like the way it looks. 🙂 Hope you enjoy both the potatoes and the pork!

      • I’m getting ready to make these for my second Thanksgiving. Just reread the recipe and have some comments. Last year I boiled the potatoes because they were large. I’m going to try baking them this year. Other than that, I follow the recipe exactly, laid it out in a 9×13 pan, and topped with the topping from your other sweet potato casserole recipe. Then I wrapped it. Well I’m stuck them in the freezer, for less than a week, just so I cut down on last minute preparation. To say that they were good is an absolute understatement. They were fabulous, and one of the only things that was finished. I don’t take offense. Thanks for these recipes, and all the rest of them I use from your site. You are always my go-to blogger and have never had a problem with anything that you’ve posted. It’s all been delicious

        • — Mona on November 16, 2023
        • Reply
  • Very nice.

  • Fabulous! So easy-so delicious. I had some smoked maple syrup which really made the dish even more special. A real key is baking the potatoes rather than boiling them. Five stars!!!

  • Hi Jenn, I have made so many of your recipes and love them! My guy bought the light yellow sweet potatoes which are not my favorite as the taste isn’t as deep as the orange/red ones. However, I would like to try them in this recipe if you think it will work. Thank you! I look forward to your recipes every Thursday and it’s the first thing in my email that I read 🙂

    • So glad you like the recipes, Nancy! And, yes, I think the lighter sweet potatoes will work. Please LMK how it turns out!

  • Can this dish be frozen?

    • — Marie Gawalt-Nunes
    • Reply
    • Hi Marie, Generally potatoes don’t freeze very well (freezing affects the texture), so I wouldn’t recommend it

  • Do you think this could be made with butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes?

    • Hi Vicky, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

  • Dear Jen, is it possible to make this ahead? Are there reheating suggestions? Is it possible to substitute the maple syrup with honey or brown sugar instead?

    • — Gayathiri Pathmanathan
    • Reply
    • Hi Gayathyiri, You can reheat them in the microwave or on the stove (and add a little milk if they need thinning out). And it would be fine to replace the maple syrup with honey. Enjoy!

  • I had all these sweet potatoes that i needed to use, so hopped on your website and searched on sweet potatoes. This recipe was easy and delicious!! I loved that you instruct us to roast the potatoes first, rather than peeling and boiling like so many other recipes. That one step made it much easier for prep time and clean up, and i think the potatoes taste better too. What a treat!!!

  • Simple and delicious! My children had three servings each and they are not potato/sweet potato lovers.

  • I just made these this morning, for Thansgiving with just me and my daughter. They were truly the best sweet potatoes I remember in over fifty years of good eating. The only change I made was adding chopped pecans, which honestly did not add anything to the dish. In fact, I ate for breakfast what wouldn’t fit in the container I’m taking there! This is a keeper.

  • This is probably one of the most delicious versions of sweet potatoes I have ever eaten. Made a half batch, since there were just two of us, and served with roast beef tenderloin and sauteed swiss chard (garlic, red onion, lemon juice and grated parmesan). I made the potatoes about 90 minutes before the rest of the meal, and kept warm in a pyrex bowl over simmering water in a dutch oven. They stayed perfectly moist and flavorful until the rest of the meal was ready. I was a little concerned the maple syrup might make them overly sweet, but they were perfect. Thyme is one of my favorite herbs, and always seems to go well with root vegetables.

  • I made these two days before Thanksgiving and they were the most popular dish on the table. Since I decided to use the light yellow sweet potatoes instead of the darker orange ones, I was a little concerned that they may discolor. So after cooling I put them in airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the potatoes. They did not discolor and were just as good two days later!
    -Mary Johnson

  • What is the best alternative to make this dairy free?


    • Hi Paula, You could use a dairy-free milk or broth.

    • Used oatmilk and dairy free butter both times I have made this, and came out amazing each time!

      • — Christine on November 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • I have a daughter who REALLY wants marshmallows on her thanksgiving sweet potatoes. Is it possible to add marshmallows to this and, if so, how/when do you suggest adding? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Suzanne, I suppose you could fully prepare these, put them in a baking dish, top them with marshmallows, and stick under the broiler for a few minutes. Hope that helps and happy Thanksgiving!

      • Perfect. Thank you. Can I make them today for tomorrow’s holiday? So appreciate your responsiveness.

        • Sure! You can reheat them in the microwave or on the stove (and add a little milk if they need thinning out). Enjoy! 🙂

  • I made this recipe last night for the first time, so fantastic! I did tweak the recipe a little bit—I made it with half of the butter (3 tablespoons) and omitted the maple syrup—as I was making this dish for a family member who has had a gastrectomy.

    I so love your recipes Jenn! I drop your name everywhere, and have introduced several people to your site!

  • What a delicious combination of flavors! Many sweet potato recipes are too sugary, masking their natural flavor. This one is perfect. I love the fresh thyme, maple syrup and butter combination. The ratio is just right, none overpowered the potato. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • These potatoes are delicious. I love the maple syrup in this recipe. They are so much better than the traditional mashed sweet potatoes that I am accustomed to. ☺️

  • My plan was to bring this dish to a pot luck. Since I had a number of sweet potatoes I tried the recipe using one large sweet potato. I was disappointed in the texture of the sweet potato after it was mashed. There were fine threads of potato amid the mashed . Could the potatoes be boiled instead? Any reason for those fine, yet coarse threads? Curious. Thank you.

    • Hi Darlene, sorry that the texture wasn’t quite right for these. My guess is the culprit is having used a really large potato. I just looked online and read that larger sweet potatoes can sometimes be stringy. Hope that helps!

  • This is so simple, and so satisfying. I love sweet potatoes cooked in any way but this is especially good for me. I don’t always have fresh thyme in the winter so I just leave it out. Make sure you use real maple syrup for the best flavor. This is great with ham, pork, chicken, really, any kind of meat. Delicious!

  • While all of Jenn’s recipes are fabulous, I continue to return to the Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup & Thyme. I brought it to last Thanksgiving’s gathering and the hostess asked for the recipe. I was glad to share. This dish is simple, but oh so good. Even the marshmallow- topping -lovers had to agree they’d give up their gooey addition for this dish. I made it as is, no substitutions. It was a perfect accompniment to the traditions turkey and all the trimming. My “trimming” took the cake, or in this case, the sweet potatoes!

    Love getting the newsletter. Thank you.

  • Have you ever prepared ahead and reheated in the oven rather than on the stove? I have them prepped for tomorrow but am hoping I can just pop them in the oven…

    • — Carey Schuster
    • Reply
    • That should be fine, Carey.

    • Hi, Jen! Is it possible to replace the male syrup with honey?

      • — Gayathiri Pathmanathan
      • Reply
      • Sure, that should work. Hope you enjoy!

  • This is an excellent recipe. However, the sweetness of the sweet potatoes doesn’t need any additional sugars in my opinion.
    Instead you can omit the maple syrup and use maple extract instead. This provides the essence without additional sugars. Depending on the size and amount of potatoes used, I would start at 1/4 tsp per large potato, tasting to adjust if necessary.

  • These mashed sweet potatoes are wonderful with roast pork or roast chicken. They make a healthy, flavorful, easy side dish.

  • I made these sweet potatoes according to the recipe and they are delicious! I microwave the sweet potatoes for 7-9 minutes versus baking them.

  • Can thes be made in a crockpot ? I’m trying to free up oven space for Thanksgiving

    • Hi Christine, I suspect this may work in a slow cooker, but I hardly ever use one, so I don’t have much guidance to provide. These tips are helpful in converting traditional recipes to slow cooked ones. Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Hi Jenn, Thank you so much for your reply and the crock pot tips.
        BTW Your website and recipes are my absolute go to for delicious, fresh and relatively easy cooking!
        Happy Thanksgiving

  • Jenn,
    Sweet Potatoes are a favorite with our family & I made your recipe the first time I saw it but am sad to say it was not a success at our table.

    The Maple Syrup did not appeal however, we did like the fresh Thyme & have since added it to our recipe.

    Following your directions, we omitted the milk entirely, adding 1/2 Cup Packed, Dark Brown Sugar to replace the Maple Syrup, 2/3 Cup Fresh Crushed Pineapple. A light sprinkle of Dark Brown Sugar & 1 T. Butter on top, baked in the oven @350 degrees for 20 minutes. The addition of the fresh Thyme made our house a tantalizing, salivating castle! Along with Balsamic Roast Chicken Breasts this is a winner for sure.

  • This is a fantastic dish. My husband was recently put on a high-fiber diet and sweet potatoes are rich in fiber. I fixed it for the two of us, but plan to have it for company soon. Thanks, Jenn, for another winner.

  • Do these mashed sweet potatoes freeze well?

    • Hi Natalie, While you can definitely make the potatoes ahead and refrigerate them, generally potatoes don’t freeze very well (freezing affects the texture).

  • This is the side dish I was missing for tonight- after a couple weeks of festivities we need some clean eating around here! Glad to have found your blog 🙂

  • These were so easy to make. I used microwave-ready sweet potatoes that were already washed and wrapped in plastic, all I had to do was pop the wrapped potatoes in the microwave and cook for 12 minutes (I halved the recipe and only used 2 potatoes), While they cooked I prepped the other ingredients. Really tasty and a nice change of pace from our usual potatoes or rice side.

  • I happened to be baking sweet potatoes when the recipe arrived in my mail. The potatoes are creamy and full of flavour. An excellent way to serve sweet potatoes.

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