Fall Produce Guide: Sweet Potatoes

Tips for buying, storing, and cooking sweet potatoes, plus our favorite sweet potato recipes

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on March 27, 2021

Related to neither the potato nor the yam, with which it's often confused, the sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable native to the Americas. The orange-fleshed variety popular in the United States is relatively rare in other parts of the world; in Asia, where the great majority of sweet potatoes are now grown, you are more likely to find slightly less sweet, white-fleshed types. The tubers can vary widely in texture, color, and sugar content, from creamy to fluffy, deep orange to nearly white, with flavor profiles that bring to mind pumpkin, vanilla, and sometimes toasted nuts. Their natural sweetness makes them an obvious choice for desserts, such as sweet potato pie, but they're equally good in savory preparations, whether simply roasted with a bit of salt, puréed into soup, or baked into a gratin.


Choose small to medium sweet potatoes that feel heavy for their size, and buy them shortly before you plan to use them. Avoid sprouted tubers and those that have been stored in refrigeration.


Store whole sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place for up to a week. Don't refrigerate them; cold temperatures will negatively affect their flavor and cause them to toughen.


Scrub them well under running water; you can peel them or leave the skin on, depending on your preference and cooking method. Keeping raw, cut pieces in water will help prevent discoloration.

Sweet Potatoes Recipes

Want More Saveur?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.