These Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes are filled with perfectly cooked sweet potatoes, tender butternut squash, butter, and a hint of sweet maple syrup. Healthier than regular mashed potatoes and low in carbs, enjoy these silky smooth mashed sweet potatoes with lunch, dinner, or as an easy vegetarian and gluten-free holiday side dish.
The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
This is without a doubt the BEST mashed sweet potato recipe that I have EVER made.
Now, before you get too sidetracked by the fact that I added butternut squash to this recipe, don’t worry. You can totally double the sweet potatoes and skip the squash if you want to. With that said, you won’t even know there’s butternut squash in there.
Mashed sweet potatoes are perfect for just about everything: holiday gatherings, Sunday dinner, weekday meal prep, and potlucks. You can even make them ahead of time and reheat them later.
This easy recipe calls for simple additions like milk, butter, maple syrup, and fresh thyme. Feel free to make yours sweeter or more savory to suit your own personal tastes and preferences.
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash (or extra sweet potato)
- Maple syrup
- Fresh thyme
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes for Mashing
There are several ways to cook sweet potatoes for mashing:
- You can bake sweet potatoes (as I did for this recipe)
- Or you can cook sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot
- Finally, you can boil your sweet potatoes until tender
As for the butternut squash? I steamed the butternut squash. Why? Because it’s easy. Plus, healthy. Cooking butternut squash in the Instant Pot will yield similar results to steaming. Roasting butternut squash is a delicious alternative but it would require additional olive oil.
How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Preparing mashed sweet potatoes is just as easy as making your favorite regular mashed potatoes.
1. Peel and chop:
Decide how you want to prepare your sweet potatoes for your mash. In this case, I’m baking mine. Wash and scrub each sweet potato and dry thoroughly. Poke holes in each sweet potato.
If you’re adding butternut squash, peel, seed, and chop your butternut squash into large cubes for steaming.
Note – If you prefer not to use butternut squash, simply double the number of sweet potatoes and omit the butternut squash.
2. Preheat and Boil:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the sweet potatoes to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, add a steamer basket to a large pot filled with approximately 1-2 inches of water. Transfer the chopped butternut squash to the steamer basket, cover, and bring to a boil.
3. Roast and Steam:
Roast the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees to ensure even cooking, and bake for an additional 15-30 minutes. You know your potatoes are ready when the natural sugars start to caramelize and a fork or knife is easily inserted into the thickest part of the potato.
Meanwhile, steam the butternut squash for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until fork-tender.
For faster cooking chop the sweet potatoes into large, 1-inch cubes. This will reduce cooking time to approximately 20-25 minutes (when roasting).
4. Mash or Puree.
Once the butternut squash has finished steaming, transfer to a large blender. Remove the cooked sweet potatoes from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before handling.
Slice the potatoes in half and carefully peel the skin away from the soft inside. Transfer the sweet potato flesh to the blender with the cooked butternut squash. Add the milk and puree until smooth and creamy.
Alternatively, for a more rustic, less smooth mash, use a large fork or potato masher to mash the sweet potato and butternut squash until the desired consistency is reached.
5. Season and Serve.
Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Melt in the butter and stir in the maple syrup, if adding. Season with salt, to taste, and garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.
How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes Creamy?
You can mash sweet potatoes using a potato masher, electric hand mixer, blender, or food processor. How creamy versus chunky will determine which method is best for you.
In general, if you prefer a more rustic, chunky mash, a simple potato masher or hand mixer work great. If you like super smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes, you’ll probably want to use a blender or food processor – especially if you’re adding butternut squash. Butternut squash is stringier and requires a bit more blending.
My other bit of advice for super creamy mashed potatoes?
- Thoroughly drain the water. If you boil your potatoes (or butternut squash) remove as much water as possible. Water will not make fluffy mashed sweet potatoes.
- Add some milk or cream. You don’t need a lot, but a splash or two adds great flavor and creaminess.
Do you need to peel sweet potatoes for mashing?
This is entirely based on personal preference. The skin of sweet potatoes is yummy and healthy and packed full of vitamins and minerals.
To make ahead of time, prepare the mash as outlined, waiting to add the butter and maple syrup. Store the prepared mashed sweet potatoes in a large microwave-safe container (glass is best) and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to serve, reheat until warm in the microwave, and add butter and maple syrup, to taste.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
In the microwave in a glass container that is covered (not sealed) with a lid. Heat at 30-second intervals, stirring after each. I have read recommendations that you can place the mashed sweet potatoes in a ziplock bag and submerge them in a pot of boiling water to reheat. I do not recommend this. It is never a good idea to reheat food in plastic.
Have you tried making these Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
- ½ cup milk - plus more as needed
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- fresh thyme - to garnish
- Prepare the vegetables. Prepare the sweet potatoes. Wash and scrub each sweet potato and dry thoroughly. Transfer to the baking sheet and, using a knife or a fork, stab each sweet potato at least 6-7 times (this will vary depending on the size of your potato). Peel, seed, and chop your butternut squash into large cubes.
- Preheat and boil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer sweet potatoes to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Meanwhile, add a steamer basket to a medium pot filled with approximately 1-2 inches of water. Transfer the chopped butternut squash to the steamer basket, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Bake and Steam. Transfer potatoes to the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees to ensure even cooking and bake for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until you see some of the natural sugars have started to caramelize and a fork or knife is easily inserted into the thickest part of the potato. Meanwhile, steam the butternut squash for approximately 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Puree. Once the butternut squash has finished steaming, transfer to a large blender. Remove the sweet potato from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before handling. Slice the potatoes in half and carefully peel the skin away from the soft inside. Transfer the inside of sweet potato to the blender with the cooked butternut squash.* Add the milk and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Season and serve. Transfer the creamy mashed sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Melt in the butter and stir in the maple syrup. Season with salt, to taste, and garnish with fresh thyme, if desired. Enjoy!
- Easily replace the butternut squash with an additional 2 pounds of sweet potatoes for a total of 4 pounds of sweet potatoes.
- If you love the skin of baked sweet potatoes, feel free to puree the skin with the rest of the sweet potato and butternut squash. Otherwise, save the skin and enjoy topped with your favorite meat and a dollop of sour cream for an easy, healthy lunch!
- Make your sweet potato mash sweet or savory. Favorite toppings include:
- Fresh herbs
- Melted butter
- Parmesan cheese
- Brown sugar
- Bacon (not vegetarian)
- Fried Apples
- This recipe, as written above is vegetarian and gluten-free. To make this recipe vegan and dairy-free, omit the butter and milk and use a plant-based butter and milk as an alternative.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
Di-Di | The Foxy Flexitarian says
Oh my, sweet potato + maple syrup + thyme is a match-made-in-heaven. Thank you so much, Jessica. This is such a great recipe, not to mention all the cooking tips, that I’ve included it in a mini recipe roundup for flexitarians.