Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes are a total game changer. Ready in half the time as a baked sweet potato, they are tender and creamy in the center and come out perfectly cooked each and every time.

The oven has its place, but I love the convenience and reliability of cooking delicious sweet potatoes in my Instant Pot. Just like cooking eggs in an Instant Pot or making Instant Pot corn on the cob, I know that they will come out perfectly every time, and they take so much less time to cook.

I also love using the Instant Pot for cooking potatoes because they steam instead of bake, so they come out soft and creamy, with a little bit of moisture in the flesh. Almost like the texture of canned yams – but without the funny can taste.

A hand holding a cooked sweet potato over a brown bowl.

There are so many recipes with “Perfect Instant Pot Sweet Potato” instructions, but – there are so many different shapes and sizes of sweet potatoes – cooking time actually does vary by size. So here’s everything you need to know about making fluffy sweet potatoes using an Instant Pot.

My husband and I love sweet potatoes because there are so many amazing ways to cook them and so many ways to use them – having a quick way to make mashed sweet potatoes to mix into Sweet Potato Casserole, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Sweet Potato Pie, and for the pups – Sweet Potato and Cranberry Dog Treats!

🥘 Ingredients Needed

The ingredients in Instant Pot sweet potatoes, laid out and labeled.
  • Whole Sweet Potatoes
  • Water (Use cool water or tap cold water – not boiling water.)

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • An Instant Pot or other Electric Pressure Cooker
  • A Steamer Basket, Trivet, or Sling
  • A Fork
  • A Strainer or Metal Sieve

🥣 How to Make Them

It could not be easier to make perfectly soft sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot. It is my favorite way to prepare “baked sweet potatoes” for my favorite sweet potato recipes.

  • First, you’ll want to estimate the width of your sweet potatoes to come up with an approximate cooking time. If you have a lot of potatoes, use the cooking time for the largest potato.
  • Wash the potatoes, then prick them with a fork a few times.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot. (Use 1 cup for a 3 or 6-quart Instant Pot or 1 1/2 cups for an 8-quart Instant Pot.) Then, place a trivet, steamer basket, or sling on top of the water. If you don’t have a trivet, you can use mason jar rings, biscuit cutters, or make little logs out of aluminum foil – you just want to keep the potatoes out of the water.
  • Next, arrange the sweet potatoes on top of the trivet, stacking them on top of each other if needed. You can load the Instant Pot all the way to the top, as long as the lid can close.
  • Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set the valve to the “Sealing” position. Pressure Cook the sweet potatoes at High Pressure for the time indicated below based on the size of your sweet potatoes using the chart below. (It can take 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.)
A collage of images showing how to cook sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot, steps 1 - 5.
  • When the cooking cycle completes, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully “quick release” the remaining pressure.
A brown bowl of cooked Instant Pot sweet potatoes.
  • Carefully open the lid and allow the potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them from the Instant Pot.
  • Once the potatoes have cooled, remove the sweet potato flesh from the skins and use it in your favorite sweet potato recipes. You can also just slice open the potatoes and serve them with a little butter, a sprinkle of brown sugar, or nut butter on top.
Three images of sweet potatoes showing the stages of just cooked, slightly mashed, and fully mashed.

For the best results when using Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes for baking, I like to mash the cooked sweet potatoes, then place the bright orange flesh in a metal sieve or strainer over a bowl. Let the potatoes sit for about 10 minutes, and any excess water should drip out.

Instant Pot sweet potatoes draining in a strainer.

Measure the Size of Your Sweet Potatoes to Determine the Cooking Time

After lots of practice and following recipes that didn’t work out, I’ve narrowed it down to different cooking times based on the size of the potatoes. The Instant Pot will always take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking cycle begins. All require at least a 10 minute Natural Release. (To be honest, sometimes I just let them sit for 15-20 minutes while I do other things.)

You don’t have to be exact, you can definitely eyeball the measurements.

  • Small Sweet Potatoes (about 2 inches or less in width): 15 minutes at High Pressure (Smaller sweet potatoes, like the bags of little sweet potatoes that you can get at Aldi, may take less than 15 minutes to cook, but it won’t hurt them to cook for 15 minutes.)
  • Medium Sweet Potatoes (about 3 inches in width): 30 minutes at High Pressure
  • Large Sweet Potatoes (about 3 1/2 – 4 inches in width): 45 minutes at High Pressure
  • Giant Sweet Potatoes – If you are able to get some giant Farmer’s Market sweet potatoes where one potato could feed three people, I would recommend either cutting the potatoes into quarters before cooking or cut them into sweet potato cubes. (Otherwise, if you want to cook it whole, it will take about 60 minutes at High Pressure.)
A graphic of sweet potatoes labeled with times, showing how long to cook them in an Instant Pot.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I stack sweet potatoes, or do they need to be in a single layer?

Potatoes can be stacked. You can stack as many potatoes as you can fit in your Instant Pot as long as the lid can close.

Do these cooking times work for regular potatoes?

No. Regular potatoes require a different cooking time in the Instant Pot – and it depends on the kind of potato that you use.

Can you cook sweet potatoes in a slow cooker?

Yes. To cook sweet potatoes in your crock pot, cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours until the potatoes are tender when pieced with a fork.

A bowl of chunky mashed Instant Pot sweet potatoes.

🥫How to Store Leftovers

After cooking, sweet potatoes may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can remove them from their skins and freeze the mashed sweet potato for longer storage.

Cooked sweet potatoes in their skins in a tupperware.

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✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Try to use similarly sized potatoes. To ensure even cooking, try to start with sweet potatoes that are about the same size. It’s okay if they aren’t exactly the same, but try to use potatoes that are as close in size as possible.
  • Poke holes in the potatoes. It seems trivial, but be sure to poke a few holes in the potatoes so that steam can escape, otherwise, the potatoes can explode.
  • Make sure to keep the sweet potatoes out of the water in the Instant Pot. If the potatoes sit in the water, they will boil instead of steam and will be really soggy.
  • Strain the cooked sweet potatoes. If you forget to turn off the Instant Pot, the Instant Pot will do a “natural release,” and the sweet potatoes will just cook for a little extra time. I’ve done this more times than I like to admit. (Hello, ADHD.) The potatoes just get really soft and will absorb some extra water. You can strain them over a bowl to drain the water out, then use the sweet potatoes as you would otherwise. I like to strain the potatoes anyway before cooking them in a pie or casserole.
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

Ways to Use Them

This is one of my favorite ways to meal prep some healthy side dishes, but I also use them in a lot of other easy recipes – especially around the holidays. The Instant Pot cuts the amount of time required to cook potatoes in half – and the Instant Pot doesn’t need to be babysat, which is great.

You can also mix cooked sweet potato into your homemade dog food or use it to make homemade sweet potato dog treats!

A bowl of pureed Instant Pot sweet potatoes.

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A bowl of mashed Instant Pot sweet potatoes.

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes

5 from 1 vote
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes are a total game changer. Ready in half the time as a baked sweet potato, they are tender and creamy in the center and come out perfectly cooked each and every time.
Author: Kari
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 30 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total: 41 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 – 8 sweet potatoes as many as you need/can fit
  • 1 cup water

Instructions 

  • First, you'll want to estimate the width of your sweet potatoes to come up with an approximate cooking time. If you have a lot of potatoes, use the cooking time for the largest potato. (It will be about 20 – 45 minutes.)
    2 – 8 sweet potatoes
  • Wash the potatoes, then poke them with a fork a few times.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot. (Use 1 cup for a 3 or 6-quart Instant Pot or 1 ½ cups for an 8-quart Instant Pot.)
    1 cup water
  • Then, place a trivet, steamer basket, or sling on top of the water. If you don't have a trivet, you can use mason jar rings, biscuit cutters, or make little logs out of aluminum foil – you just want to keep the potatoes out of the water.
  • Next, arrange the sweet potatoes on top of the trivet, stacking them on top of each other if needed. You can load the Instant Pot all the way to the top, as long as the lid can close.
  • Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set the valve to the Sealing position.
  • Pressure Cook the sweet potatoes at High Pressure for the time you selected based on the size of your sweet potatoes. (Remember, it will also take 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.)
  • When the cooking cycle completes, allow pressure to Naturally Release for about 10 minutes, then carefully Quick Release the remaining pressure.
  • Carefully open the lid and allow the potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from the Instant Pot. They will be really hot.
  • Once the potatoes have cooled enough to touch, remove the sweet potato flesh from the skins and use it in your favorite sweet potato recipes. You can also just slice open the potatoes and serve them with a little butter, a sprinkle of brown sugar, or nut butter on top.

Notes

After cooking, sweet potatoes may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can remove them from their skins and freeze the mashed sweet potato for longer storage.

Measure the Size of Your Sweet Potatoes to Determine Cooking Time

After lots of practice and following recipes that didn’t work out, I’ve narrowed it down to different cooking times based on the size of the potatoes. The Instant Pot will always take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking cycle begins. All require at least a 10-minute Natural Release. (To be honest, sometimes I just let them sit for 15-20 minutes while I do other things.)
You don’t have to be exact, you can definitely eyeball the measurements.
  • Small Sweet Potatoes (about 2 inches or less in width): 15 minutes at High Pressure (Smaller sweet potatoes, like the bags of little sweet potatoes that you can get at Aldi, may take less than 15 minutes to cook, but it won’t hurt them to cook for 15 minutes.)
  • Medium Sweet Potatoes (about 3 inches in width): 30 minutes at High Pressure
  • Large Sweet Potatoes (about 3 1/2 – 4 inches in width): 45 minutes at High Pressure
  • Giant Sweet Potatoes – If you are able to get some giant Farmer’s Market sweet potatoes where one potato could feed three people, I would recommend either cutting the potatoes into quarters before cooking or cut them into sweet potato cubes. (Otherwise, if you want to cook it whole, it will take about 60 minutes at High Pressure.)

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot sweet potatoes
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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