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How to Microwave a Sweet Potato

by Mark Dylan


It only takes 8 minutes to cook a sweet potato in the microwave. You will have a sweet potato ready to top, smash, or serve for lunch or dinner in no time.

A cooked sweet potato on a plate with butter and pepper.

It’s Easy to Microwave a Sweet Potato

We love a good baked sweet potato, but sometimes you just don’t have the time. Keep meal time easy and microwave sweet potatoes for dinner or if you need to soften a sweet potato for sweet potato pancakes or sweet potato burgers.

Why you’ll love it!

Reasons why you’ll love it.

These sweet potatoes are ready in 8 minutes.

You can rub these sweet potatoes with any dry rub you would like.

It’s an easy way to prepare sweet potatoes for other recipes.

A great way to prep food for the family.

Sweet potatoes on a plate.

All the

Sweet Potato Recipes

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FAQ

How long do you microwave sweet potatoes for?

We microwave a medium sweet potato for 8 minutes. The time may vary based on the size of the sweet potato.

Is it better to bake or microwave sweet potatoes?

It all depends on how much time you have. Sweet potatoes taste almost the same whether they are baked or cooked in the microwave.

What do I top sweet potatoes with?

We like to top our sweet potatoes with butter, salt and pepper to keep things simple. However, you can check out this stuffed sweet potatoes post with more topping ideas.

A sweet potato, salt, pepper, and oil on a plate.

Featured Ingredients

You only need 4 ingredients to make these sweet potatoes in the microwave.

  • Sweet Potatoes- you can use sweet potatoes or yams for this recipe. Be sure to leave the skin on.
  • Olive oil– olive oil keeps the sweet potato moist and aids in cooking the sweet potato in the microwave. We like the taste of olive oil but if you’d like to use a different oil, go ahead.
  • Salt + pepper- we kept things simple for this sweet potato recipe. If you would like to add more flavor to these sweet potatoes you can use any flavorful dry rub like fajita seasoning or taco seasoning.

How to Cook a Sweet Potato in the Microwave

  1. Prepare the sweet potato. Use a sharp fork or knife to carefully poke holes all over the sweet potato. Drizzle the potato with olive oil and use your hands to massage the oil into the potato. Season the potato with salt and pepper and massage the spices into the potato. 
  2. Cook the potato. Place the potato on a microwave safe plate and cook the potato on high for 4 minutes. 
  3. Flip the potato. Feel the potato to make sure it isn’t mushy* and then flip the potato and cook on high for another 2 minutes. If after 2 minutes, the potato is fork tender, remove the potato from the microwave. If it isn’t quite ready, cook the potato for an additional 2 minutes. 
  4. Enjoy the potato. Remove the potato from the microwave and cut the potato in half. Place the tablespoon of butter in the middle of the potato, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.
A sweet potato cut in half on a plate.

Top Tips

Make sure you poke holes deep enough into the potato. It helps cook the potato a bit quicker as well as any accidental potato eruptions in them microwave. 😉

Remember that the size of your sweet potato will dictate how long it has to be in the microwave. If your sweet potato is smaller, 6 minutes may be enough. If your sweet potato is large you may need to add a few extra minutes to the cook time.

Microwave Recipes

If you like to prepare food in the microwave, here are a few more microwave recipes to try!

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A sweet potato cut in half on a plate.

Back-to-Basics Sweet Potato Tutorials

Sweet potatoes are an excellent, versatile veggie to roast, puree, bake with, add to bowls, the list goes on! Check out some of our back-to-basics sweet potato tutorials.

Storage

Let sweet potatoes cool completely. Then, transfer them into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Can I freeze baked sweet potatoes?

To freeze baked sweet potato, let it cool completely. Then, tightly wrap it in tin foil and place it in a freezer-safe gallon-size bag for up to 3 months.

A fork scooping out the middle of a sweet potato.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large sweet potato washed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt + more for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper + more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions 

  • Use a sharp fork or knife to carefully poke holes all over the sweet potato.

    A sweet potato with holes on a plate.
  • Drizzle the potato with olive oil and use your hands to massage the oil into the potato.

  • Season the potato with salt and pepper and massage the spices into the potato.

  • Place the potato on a microwave safe plate and cook the potato on high for 4 minutes.

  • Feel the potato to make sure it isn’t mushy* and then flip the potato and cook on high for another 2 minutes. If after 2 minutes, the potato is fork tender, remove the potato from the microwave. If it isn’t quite ready, cook the potato for an additional 2 minutes.

    A cooked sweet potato on a plate.
  • Remove the potato from the microwave and cut the potato in half. Place the tablespoon of butter in the middle of the potato, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

    A sweet potato cut in half on a plate.

Tips & Notes

  • We tested this recipe with a medium and large sweet potato and the cook times were similar.
  • Every microwave is different so the cook time may vary based on the sweet potato.

Nutrition facts

Calories: 331kcal Carbohydrates: 46g Protein: 4g Fat: 15g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 9g

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.





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