The absolute fastest and easiest way to cook a sweet potato is in the microwave! From start to finish in under 10 minutes, you can use small, medium, or large sweet potatoes and still get fluffy and tender sweet potatoes every time!
What’s So Great About Microwave Sweet Potatoes
- Microwaving sweet potatoes is without a doubt the fastest, easiest way to get a beautifully cooked sweet potato with barely any effort. The texture of microwave sweet potatoes is absolutely perfect. Tender and fluffy, melts-in-your-mouth, perfect.
- You don’t need any special gadgets or attachments to microwave a sweet potato. Some people like to use a microwave rack or potato holder, but it’s really not necessary. We’ll flip the potatoes over halfway through the cook time to avoid any hard spots, so they cook evenly all the way around.
- Sweet potatoes are super versatile. This is a fantastic base to build off of, and you can have a different sweet potato every time. We kept the toppings simple here, with just a little salt, pepper, and butter. Rosemary and thyme would be great savory options, too. Sweet potatoes are also incredible with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and browned butter. For an even sweeter potato, add a little honey or maple syrup. You could also stuff the sweet potato with protein and toppings, like in our Healthy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sweet potatoes can be a snap to cook in the microwave once you know how to do it correctly! If you’ve got questions about cooking sweet potatoes, we’ve got the answers, from “how long do I cook it?” to “can I eat the skin?”
How long should I cook a sweet potato?
For a medium potato that weighs roughly 4-5 ounces, start with 6 minutes on high. For large, 7 ½. To microwave 2 medium sweet potatoes at once, start with 8 minutes. You may need to make adjustments depending on the strength and age of your microwave, so keep an eye on the potatoes.
Do I have to poke my sweet potato with a fork?
You really, really should. If you don’t, the sweet potato could explode in the microwave. While I haven’t personally had a potato explode on me, it can happen! Poking holes in your sweet potato allows the steam to escape, instead of letting it build up inside.
How do I know when my sweet potato is ready?
You’ll see the sweet potato’s skin start to puff and when you press on the potato with a fork, it’ll feel soft. If it still feels hard, continue cooking it in 30-second increments.
You can also grab the potato with a towel – if it’s really soft when you squeeze it then it’s done! Just be really careful not to burn yourself when you’re checking.
Can I eat the skin on a sweet potato?
The skin of the sweet potato is totally edible. While most of the nutrients are in the orange flesh of the potato, the skin does have fiber. So if you like it, go for it!
Should I wrap my sweet potato in aluminum foil?
Please don’t! Putting aluminum foil in the microwave is a serious fire hazard. You can, however, wrap your sweet potato in a damp paper towel before you put it in the microwave. The paper towel can help retain some of the heat and moisture.
How many sweet potatoes can I cook in the microwave at once?
I recommend cooking no more than 2 medium sweet potatoes at the same time. Microwaving multiple sweet potatoes can take way too long. You’ll also likely end up with some undercooked sweet potatoes and some overcooked sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato Recipes You’ll Love
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Whole30, Paleo, Instant Pot)
- BBQ Chicken Bowls with Sweet Potatoes and Coleslaw (Whole30)
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potato Hash Browns
- 27 Sweet Potato Recipes
- Sweet Potato Rice
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How to Microwave a Sweet Potato
- Microwave-safe plate
- 1 medium sweet potato weighs roughly 4-5 ounces
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- butter optional
- Thoroughly wash sweet potato and pat dry. Pierce skin all over with fork to create vents and place sweet potato on microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave 1 medium sweet potato for 6 minutes on high, turning sweet potato over halfway through cook time. Note: if your potato isn't tender after 6 minutes, continue microwaving in 30-second increments, checking potato after each session.
- Cut sweet potatoes open down center, like a hot dog bun. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with butter, if desired. See Notes for additional topping ideas.
- Cook Times: Cook times will vary depending on your specific microwave and the size of sweet potatoes you’re cooking. This recipe is written for 1 medium sweet potato. If you’re cooking 1 large sweet potato, start with a 7 ½ minute cook time. If you’re cooking 2 medium sweet potatoes, start with an 8 minute cook time.
- Sweet Potato Toppings: You can’t go wrong with a little salt and pepper. Rosemary and thyme would be great savory options, too. Sweet potatoes are also incredible with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and browned butter. For an even sweeter potato, add a little honey or maple syrup. You could also stuff the sweet potato with protein and toppings, like in our Healthy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes recipe.
- This method was tested and perfected using a 1200-watt microwave. You may need a longer or shorter cook time or a lower power depending on your specific microwave.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.