41 classic sweet potato recipes

Collection of classic sweet potato recipes

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Whether you’re looking for basic sweet potato recipes, need some ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes, or want some old-fashioned food that’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans, you’re likely to find something here!

These classic sweet potato recipes come from a span of nearly five decades, starting 100 years ago, and the dishes themselves range from main dishes to desserts!

An Early American: the sweet potato. Columbus found it here… carried it back as proof of the wonders of the New World. The first settlers in the South soon made it one of their favorite foods.

Today we know the sweet potato as a prize package of food values. A rich source of vitamin A, it also provides worthwhile quantities of vitamin C and small amounts of other vitamins and of minerals.

Tips: Sweet potatoes don’t last long when kept in the home pantry, so it’s best to buy them in small lots and use them promptly. Also sort and handle sweet potatoes with care — they are easily bruised.

Mashed sweet potatoes
Photo by bhofack2/Envato
41 sweet potato recipes from decades past
1. Quick mashed sweet potatoes recipe

Peel hot cooked sweet potatoes (6 medium-sized make 6 servings). Mash thoroughly and quickly. Add seasoning and table fat. Beat in hot milk a little at a time until sweet potatoes are fluffy and smooth.

For variety, serve in the following way: Shape seasoned, mashed sweet potatoes into mounds, make small well in center, and brown at 425 F. (hot oven) . Fill the well with cranberry sauce or jelly and serve hot.

For another tasty mashed sweet potato dish use orange juice in place of the milk, add a little grated orange rind, table fat, and a few raisins, if desired. Place in a baking dish, top with meringue, and brown lightly at 325 F (slow oven). Serve hot.

2. Sweet potatoes boiled in jackets

First of all, scrub the sweet potatoes. Then drop them into a kettle of boiling water enough to cover. Boil covered until tender. Drain at once so they won’t get waterlogged. Peel and season with table fat or meat drippings; salt and pepper to taste.

3. Baked sweet potatoes

Wash and dry sweet potatoes of uniform size. Bake until tender at 425 F. (hot oven) 35 to 60 minutes, depending on size.

You can save time by cutting large sweet potatoes in half crosswise before baking. If you want the skin to be soft, rub a little fat on before baking.

Cut crisscross gashes in the skin of the baked sweet potatoes on one side, then pinch them so that some of the soft inside pops up through the opening. Drop in meat drippings, bits of crisp-cooked salt pork, or table fat.

Save fuel by baking sweet potatoes when you oven-cook other food. If a moderate oven is called for, allow a little extra time for the sweet potatoes to bake.

Baked sweet potatoes
Photo by ipolly80/Envato
4. Sweet potato croquettes

Take 2 cupfuls of mashed, boiled, steamed, or baked sweet potatoes; add the beaten yolks of 2 eggs and season to taste; stir over the fire until the mass parts from the sides of the pan. When cold form into small croquettes, roll in egg and bread crumbs, and fry in hot lard to an amber color. Serve on napkins. The croquette mixture may be made into balls inclosing minced meat. When used in this way, serve with sauce.

5. Scalloped sweet potatoes with apples

Place alternate layers of sliced cooked sweet potatoes and sliced raw apples in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the apple layers with sugar and a little salt; dot with fat.

Add just enough hot water to cover bottom of dish; the apples and sweet potatoes do not take up liquid. Bake covered at 375 F (moderate oven) 30 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender.

If desired, uncover the dish for the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking, and top with crushed dry breakfast cereal or bread crumbs mixed with a little fat.

Sliced raw sweet potatoes may be used in this recipe, but will need to bake a little longer.

For variety, try peeled orange slices, whole cranberry sauce, or sliced fresh pears in place of the apples. With the pears, use brown sugar instead of the granulated for added flavor. Top with bread crumbs and bake 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Scalloped sweet potatoes with orange juice

Omit apples and water in recipe above. Pour over the sweet potatoes 1/3 to 1/2 cup orange juice containing a little grated orange rind. Top with breadcrumbs, and bake about 20 minutes.

7. Scalloped sweet potatoes with ham

For a main dish, use chopped cooked ham in place of the apples in the recipe above. Omit sugar and breadcrumbs. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until hot through.

8. Scalloped sweet potatoes with peanuts

For a “different” flavor, use chopped roasted peanuts instead of apples in recipe #6 above. Omit the fat and crumbs, and if nuts are salted, omit the salt. Bake 20 to 30 minutes.

9. Sweet potato pork pie

1 pound pork, cubed
1 tablespoon fat
3 cups cubed (about 1-inch cubes) sweet potatoes
1-1/2 cups fresh or canned peas
4 small onions, halved
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Biscuit dough

Cook the pork in the fat until lightly browned. Add water to cover. Put on a lid and simmer meat until almost tender (about 1 hour).

Add the sweet potatoes, peas (if fresh), onions, and water to cover vegetables. (If canned peas are used, don’t add until the last 5 minutes of cooking.) Cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Make a paste of the flour and the 2 tablespoons of water. Add a little hot liquid from the stew. Then add paste to stew, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour hot mixture into a greased baking dish. Top with biscuit rounds. Bake at 425 F (hot oven) 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are browned.

For variety, omit the sweet potatoes, and use more peas in the pie. Make a border of mashed, seasoned sweet potatoes on top instead of topping with biscuits. Bake at 375 F. (moderate oven) about 20 minutes. Make six servings.

10. Glazed sweet potatoes recipe

Pare sweet potatoes and cut in half; drop into enough boiling water (containing 1/2 teaspoon salt) to just cover. For each sweet potato, add 1 to 2 tablespoons honey (corn or maple syrup, or molasses), and 1 teaspoon table fat.

Cover and boil until sweet potatoes are tender. If liquid has not cooked down enough by the time they are tender, remove cover and boil rapidly until a syrup is formed. Baste sweet potatoes occasionally with the syrup.

To make this recipe with orange syrup: Place alternate layers of cooked sweet potatoes and sliced, peeled oranges in a greased baking dish. You will need about 2 oranges to 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes. Make a syrup by combining —

3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons melted table fat

Pour syrup over sweet potatoes. Bake at 300 F (slow oven) about 1 hour. Baste with the syrup several times during baking. Six servings.

11. Roast sweet potatoes

Place peeled raw sweet potatoes around meat in roasting pan during the last hour or hour and a half of cooking the meat. Time will depend on size of sweet potatoes and whether you cover them with a lid. Turn them and baste occasionally with meat drippings.

12. Sweet potatoes fried with apples

Pare and slice (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) about 3 medium-sized raw sweet potatoes and 3 raw apples. (Leave skins on red apples to add color.) Then place in a hot frying pan with about 3 tablespoons melted table fat.

Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar and a little salt. Cover; cook over low heat until tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes; turn occasionally. Six servings.

Or if you have some leftover cooked sweet potatoes, first cook the sliced apples in a little fat until almost tender. Then add sliced cooked sweet potatoes, sugar, and salt, and brown with the apples.

13. Sweet potato fries, old-style

Pare and slice (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) enough raw sweet potatoes to make 1 quart. Put in a hot frying pan with 2 tablespoons of melted fat. Cover closely. Cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Turn and brown on the other side.

If desired, brown a little bit of chopped onion in the fat before adding the sweet potatoes. Six servings.

Sweet potato fries, old-style
Photo by bhofack2/Deposit Photos
14. Sweet potato and sausage stuffing

1/2 pound sausage meat
1/3 cup minced onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups soft, dry breadcrumbs
2 cups hot mashed sweet potatoes

Cook sausage meat about half done, breaking it into small pieces. Add onion, celery, and seasonings and continue to cook until the meat is tender. Drain off surplus fat.

Combine sausage mixture with crumbs and sweet potatoes. Mix thoroughly. This stuffing is especially good in fowl, in a stuffed roast shoulder of pork, or in pockets cut in thick pork chops.

15. Sweet potato patties

Shape cold mashed sweet potatoes into small patties; roll in bread crumbs or crushed dry breakfast cereal. Brown on both sides in a little fat. For variety, add to the sweet potatoes chopped cooked leftover meat, or finely-chopped apple.

16. Sweet potato hash

Add chopped cooked sweet potatoes and chopped cooked meat to a little fat in a frying pan. Season with salt and pepper. Moisten with about 1/4 cup hot water or gravy to 4 cups of combined sweet potatoes and meat. Brown on both sides over moderate heat.

17. Sweet potato crust

Line a baking dish with mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and a little fat. Fill center with vegetables and leftover bits of cooked meat moistened with gravy, or with firm cooked dried fruit or drained canned fruit. Cover with more mashed sweet potato.

Bake at 425 F (hot oven) until hot through. If you have just a little sweet potato, make only the upper crust.

18. Sweet potato biscuits

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fat
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
About 3 tablespoons milk

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in fat with two knives or a pastry blender. Add sweet potatoes and enough milk to make a soft dough. Knead lightly, if desired.

Roll to 1/2-inch thickness, cut in rounds, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 F (hot oven) 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 12 medium or 15 small biscuits.

19. Ham smothered in sweet potatoes

1 slice of smoked ham cut into sizes for serving
3 cups of raw sliced sweet potatoes
2 tablespoonfuls of sugar
1 tablespoonful of butter or ham fryings
1 cupful of hot water

Broil the pieces of ham lightly on both sides and arrange them to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the slices of sweet potato over them, sprinkle with sugar.

Add the hot water and extra fat. Cover the dish and bake slowly until the ham is tender, basting the potatoes occasionally with the gravy. Brown the top well.

20. Sweet potatoes with roast pork

Parboil the desired number of potatoes with the skin on until nearly done; remove and skin; put in the baking dish with the nearly done roast; cook until done, and serve with the pork.

21. Sweet potatoes and peanuts

1 quart of mashed sweet potatoes
1 teaspoonful of cinnamon
2 tablespoonfuls of butter or other fat
1 teaspoonful of salt
1 cupful of roasted peanuts, chopped fine

Mix the ingredients well; form into a mound upon a shallow baking dish; press a tablespoonful of butter into the top. Heat in a moderate oven until brown.

22. Sweet potato nuts

To 1 pint of boiled and mashed potatoes, add 1 pint of toasted bread crumbs rolled fine, 1 pint mixed nut meats chopped fine (peanuts are excellent); season with salt, a little pepper, also sage and mace, if desired.

To the yolks of 2 eggs add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and whip until light; pour the egg mixture into the first-mentioned mixture and stir well. Form into small cakes; dip each into the whites of the eggs, then into shredded coconut, and brown in a frying pan containing a little pork fat (not deep fat); turn; brown on both sides.

23. Sweet potato chips

Cut in thin slices, steam until nearly done, allow the surplus water to drain off, or dry between napkins, then fry in deep fat to a light brown. A little salt adds to its flavor.

Crispy Orange Sweet Potato Chips
Photo by bhofack2/Envato
24. Sweet potatoes baked with apples

Wash, pare, and cut 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes into slices about 1/4 inch thick, pare and slice 4 apples in the same way; put in baking dish in alternate layers.

Sprinkle 1-1/2 cups of sugar over the top, scatter 1/2 cup of butter in lumps over the top; add 3/4 pint of hot water; bake slowly for 1 hour; serve steaming hot.

25. Sweet potato puffers

Whip 2 eggs until quite light; 2 cupfuls of cold mashed potatoes; 1 cupful of flour into which 1 teaspoonful of baking powder has been sifted. The potatoes and eggs should be worked together, then the flour and baking powder; roll lightly; cut quickly, and fry in deep fat like doughnuts. Some think a little spice improves the flavor.

26. Sweet potato pie

Boil in skins; when tender remove skins, mash and beat until light; to each pint add a pint of milk and 4 eggs. Season and bake as pumpkin pie.

27. Glazed sweet potatoes

Cut in slices 1/2 inch thick, wash, and place in deep saucepan spread with butter, season with a little grated nutmeg and salt; moisten with broth or water, cover and let simmer over slow fire for 3/4 hour, turning the slices so that they may glaze on both sides. Serve with drawn butter or other sauce.

28. Stuffed sweet potatoes

If the skins are not too thin and the inside not too moist, baked sweet potatoes are delicious stuffed.

Cut large baked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the inside, leaving a little of the sweet potato as a lining for the skins. Mash as for plain mashed sweet potatoes, adding seasoning and hot milk. Stuff back into the shells, brush the top with melted fat, and reheat at 425 F (hot oven).

For variety, add chopped leftover cooked meat or chopped peanuts. Or add a tablespoon of peanut butter for each sweet potato in place of the fat, or a little grated orange rind and orange juice in place of the milk.

Stuffed sweet potatoes
Photo by innershadows/Deposit Photos
29. Sweet potato puree

Mash boiled, steamed, or baked sweet potatoes, season, and add enough hot milk to moisten; serve like mashed white potato; or put in a pudding dish, dress the top with egg, and brown in the oven. Serve with sauce.

30. Baked sweet potatoes

Bake like potatoes, without breaking the skin. When done, break the skin in one place in the form of a cross, forcing the meat partly out, cap with butter, and serve.

31. Sweet potato bread recipe

1 cup finely mashed sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 yeast cake
1 teaspoon salt
2-3/4 cups flour, or sufficient to make a soft dough.

Add the salt to the potatoes, and the yeast; pour in the water; add flour enough to make a smooth sponge (about a cupful); cover, and set in a warm place to rise.

When light, add the remainder of the flour or whatever is needed to make a smooth, elastic dough. Cover, and let rise until light; mold; shape into loaves or rolls; let rise and bake.

Many variations of the above bread can be made by adding sugar, butter, lard, nuts, spices, etc.

32. Sweet potato biscuits

1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or lard

Milk sufficient to make a soft dough. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together several times; add these to the potatoes, mixing in with a knife.

Now work the fat into the mixture lightly; add the milk; work quickly and lightly until a soft dough is formed; turn out on a floured board; pat and roll out lightly until about one-half inch thick; cut into biscuits; place on buttered or greased pans, and bake twelve or fifteen minutes in a quick oven.

33. Sweet potato biscuits recipe #2 (Extra fine)

1 cup boiled and finely mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 scant tablespoons melted butter or lard
1 tablespoon sugar (if desired)
2 cups milk

Mix together all the dry ingredients, and stir into the milk, beaten eggs and potato.

If too soft add more flour, sufficient to make a soft dough. Roll out lightly; cut with a biscuit cutter; bake in a quick oven.

34. Candied sweet potatoes with syrup or honey

With syrup or honey. Slice or cut 6 medium-sized cooked sweet potatoes in halves. Arrange in a shallow greased baking dish. Dot each layer with fat; sprinkle with salt. Pour over the top a cup of corn syrup or honey.

Bake at 350 F (moderate oven) 15 to 20 minutes, basting frequently with the syrup. Or to save heating the oven, you can candy sweet potatoes in a frying pan on top of the stove. Use low heat to keep them from scorching. Makes six servings.

MORE: Marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving (1998)

35. Candied sweet potatoes with brown sugar

Combine and bring to a boil 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons table fat.

Pour this mixture over 6 medium-sized baked, halved sweet potatoes and bake as above for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is somewhat thickened and sweet potatoes are browned. Baste frequently with syrup during cooking. Six servings.

36. Sweet potato puff

To 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes add 2 beaten egg yolks, 2 tablespoons melted fat, 2 tablespoons sugar (if desired), and about y 2 teaspoon salt. Gradually add about 2 cups milk or orange juice and beat until light and fluffy.

Add 1/2 cup raisins (soaked 5 to 10 minutes in boiling water). Beat 2 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into sweet potato mixture. Pile lightly into a greased baking dish and bake at 375 F. (moderate oven) about 30 minutes or until puffed and browned.

37. Sweet potato pie

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons table fat, melted
9-inch unbaked pastry shell

Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice, mace, and salt. Stir in sweet potatoes. Combine eggs, milk, and fat. Add to sweet potato mixture. Pour into the pastry shell. Bake at 400 F (hot oven) about 40 minutes or until the filling is set.

38. Sweet potato custard

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1-3/4 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2-1/2 cups finely-shredded raw sweet potato (shred just before using)
1 tablespoon melted table fat

Add sugar, salt, nutmeg, orange rind, and milk to the eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add sweet- potato and fat. Bake in greased custard cups in a pan of hot water at 350 F. (moderate oven) about 30 minutes or until set. Six servings.

39. Sweet potato custard pie

Pour custard (from recipe above) into 9-inch unbaked pastry shell and bake at 425 F (hot oven) for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350 F, and continue baking for 30 minutes longer.

40. Sweet potato cake

1/2 cup fat
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream fat. Add sugar gradually and cream well. Add eggs, beating well after each. Add sweet potatoes. Mix well. Sift together rest of dry ingredients; add alternately with milk to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Add nuts. Mix well. Bake in a greased 9x9x2-inch loaf pan at 350 F (moderate oven) 45 to 50 minutes. Top with caramel icing, if desired.

41. Sweet potato and molasses cookies

1/2 cup fat
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup raw sweet potato (grate just before using)
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger, if desired
1/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk

Cream together the fat and sugar. Add the egg, beat thoroughly. Add molasses, sweet potato, and orange rind. Sift together rest of dry ingredients; add alternately with the milk to sweet potato mixture.

Mix well and drop from a teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 F (moderate oven) about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 3 dozen.

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