20 Tempting Ways to Cook a Sweet Potato

Sweet or savory, mashed or fried, here are our best sweet potato recipes

Sweet potatoes have the rare ability to walk the line between sweet and savory dishes. (Surprise: They're not just for Thanksgiving.) Their chameleon-like abilities make practical sense: There are 16 different types, each with its own level of sweetness, degree of starchiness, and unique personality. There's no limit on how to use sweet potatoes, whether you want to enliven an otherwise bitter winter salad or add color and flavor to fresh pasta dough or homemade pie. They work great as a carrot or white potato alternative in braises and stews to sop up the flavor of the broth while lending the dish a hearty boost in texture. Or even as a savory sweet potato casserole (with a touch of marshmallow, of course) or a sweet potato souffle.

But sometimes, the best way to cook a sweet potato is on its own, from the perfect baked sweet potato recipe (roast them whole or in cubes) to crispy sweet potato fries. You can top the slow-roasted tubers with creamy labneh, sour cream, or butter, or mash them with a touch of cream or coconut milk to your heart’s content.

Ty them in these diverse preparations until you find your favorites.

Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad

Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad
Chef Mason Hereford rarely leaves a country store without a haul of fried chicken. With the leftovers, he often makes this salad, a jumble of sweet potato, celery, and chopped pickles tossed in a lemon- and hot-sauce-spiked dressing anchored by plenty of Duke's brand mayonnaise. Get the recipe for Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad »William Hereford

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes
These sweet spiced pancakes are adapted from the recipe served at the Arcade Restaurant in historic Downtown Memphis. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes »Kat Craddock

Peruvian Street Cart Ceviche with Sweet Potato and Toasted Corn (Ceviche Carretillero)

Peruvian Street Cart Ceviche with Sweet Potato and Toasted Corn (Ceviche Carretillero)
Versions of this dish, Lima's iconic ceviche, are served around the city at beaches, parks, and markets. Chef John Evans Ravenna of Barra Lima sprinkles his with fried quinoa—long grown in Peru—and whimsical foraged garnishes such as edible flowers and seaweeds. For ease, you can leave off the glazed sweet potato, though it provides welcome relief from the spicy ají limo chile. Get the recipe for Peruvian Street Cart Ceviche with Sweet Potato and Toasted Corn (Ceviche Carretillero) »Nicholas Gill

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble

Sweet Potato Casserole Pecan Crumble
This sweet potato casserole is an especially festive, over-the-top take on the Thanksgiving classic, topped with a crisp pecan crumble and dotted with marshmallows. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble »Todd Coleman

Fermented Squash and Sesame Dip

Fermented Squash and Sesame Dip
If you have another fermented vegetable on hand, you can substitute all fresh squash and use the lacto-brine from that vegetable in place of or in addition to the lemon juice. Get the recipe for Fermented Squash and Sesame Dip »Heami Lee

Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini

Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini
Sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy come together on little toasts, which pair cubes of sweet potato with a flavorful spread featuring lemon zest, capers and sour cream. Get the recipe for Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini »Helen Rosner

Sweet Potato Collard Green Salad

Sweet Potato Collard Green Salad, Senegalese Thanksgiving
The flavor of raw collard greens combines perfectly with tender roasted sweet potatoes and tangy, rich goat cheese in this hearty starter. Get the recipe for Shredded Collard Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cashews »Ryan Liebe

Sweet Potatoes with Miso Butter and Chives

Steamed sweet potatoes
Red miso adds a savory twist to sweet potatoes. Get the recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Miso Butter and Chives »Matt Taylor-Gross
Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata

Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata

Like a lot of chefs, Jared Bennett of Metropole in Cincinnati is into charring vegetables to amplify their natural sweetness inside, and lend them a pleasantly bitter crust. The secret, he says, is precooking many of the vegetables and then just searing them in a smoking-hot cast-iron pan, so they don't go to mush before getting a char. One of his signatures: this sweet potato side dish with pomegranate, lemon juice, pistachio, and ricotta salata. Get the recipe for Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata »Farideh Sadeghin

Mashed Yams with Lime and Honey

Mashed Yams with Lime & Honey
Creamy baked yams are mashed with butter, lime juice, and honey in this easy autumn dish developed by chef Mary Sue Milliken. Get the recipe for Mashed Yams with Lime and Honey »Helen Rosner

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sage and Browned Butter

Sweet Potato
For a more flavorful, less sickly-sweet Thanksgiving side, skip the marshmallows and give simply roasted sweet potatoes a dose of nutty browned butter. Get the recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sage and Browned Butter »Matt Taylor-Gross

Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh

Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh
Slow roasting enhances the potatoes natural sweetness, making this a standout side dish or vegetarian entrée. Garlicky labneh and quick trip under the broiler add tang and smokiness. Get the recipe for Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh »Neal Santos

Lentil Stew with Coconut (Dalma)

Lentil Stew with Coconut (Dalma)
In the east Indian state of Odisha, this lentil stew, fragrant with coconut and enriched with silky, thinly sliced onions and long-simmered sweet potatoes, is an everyday staple. Get the recipe for Lentil Stew with Coconut (Dalma) »Joseph De Leo

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Rajas Salsa

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Rajas Salsa
Meaty sweet potatoes serve as the base for this vegetarian sandwich. Get the recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Rajas Salsa »Joseph De Leo

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
These vibrant, mildly sweet gnocchi were developed by stylist Judy Haubert as a gluten-free option to accompany Portland chef Jenn Louis' rich Gorgonzola cream sauce. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross

Sweet Potato Pudding with Chanterelles

Sweet Potato Pudding with Chanterelles
Inspired by his grandmother's corn pudding, chef James Wayman of Mystic, Connecticut's Oyster Club makes this autumnal side dish with Beauregard sweet potatoes, bacon fat, and plenty of cream. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Pudding with Chanterelles »Farideh Sadeghin

Spicy Sweet Potato Cakes

Spicy Sweet Potato Cakes
Form these sweet and spicy pancakes before you leave; then, simply pan-fry and top with an egg for a hearty breakfast, or serve them alongside marinated steak. Get the recipe for Spicy Sweet Potato Cakes »Ingalls Photography

Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce

Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce
An aromatic combination of spices elevate the humble sweet potato oven fry to something truly special. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce »Maxime Iattoni

Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Maple syrup enhances the sweetness of this simple sweet potato mash. Get the recipe for Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes »Maxime Iattoni

Brigtsen's Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade

Brigtsen's Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade
Sweet potato puree and onion marmalade enhance the natural sweetness of scallops in this dish. Get the recipe for Brigtsen's Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade »Todd Coleman