How Long To Microwave a Sweet Potato?

As we all know, microwaves have become a staple in our kitchens for their convenience and speed.

And when it comes to cooking vegetables, using a microwave is often the go-to option for many people. 

Are you craving a nutritious and tasty sweet potato?

Have you ever wondered how long you should microwave your sweet potato to achieve that perfect softness and texture? 

In this blog post, we will share with you all the tips and tricks on how long to microwave a sweet potato perfectly.

So put on your chef’s hat, and let’s get started!

What Kind Of Sweet Potato Is Best? 

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of microwave cooking, it’s essential to understand the different types of sweet potatoes available in the market. 

In general, there are two main varieties: 

1. Orange or copper-skinned 

2. White or cream-skinned

The orange variety is often labeled as “yam” in grocery stores, but they are just a type of sweet potato. 

On the other hand, the white variety is often referred to as “sweet potato” in supermarkets. 

When it comes to microwaving a sweet potato, both varieties work well and have similar cooking times.

However, orange sweet potatoes tend to be sweeter and more flavorful than their white counterparts. 

So, choose your sweet potato based on your preference for taste!

How Long To Microwave a Sweet Potato?

Now, on to the main question: How long to microwave a sweet potato? 

The cooking time for a sweet potato in the microwave depends on several factors, such as its size, type, and power of your microwave.

But as a general rule of thumb, it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to cook a medium-sized sweet potato in the microwave.

To ensure your sweet potato cooks evenly, make sure to pierce it several times with a fork before cooking.

This will allow steam to escape and prevent any explosions in the microwave.

Also, consider wrapping your sweet potato in a damp paper towel or placing it on a microwave-safe plate to retain moisture while cooking.

How To Microwave a Sweet Potato?

Now that you know the basics of microwaving a sweet potato, let’s put it into practice with an easy and delicious recipe.

Ingredients Used In This Recipe

With some common kitchen ingredients, you can make a mouth-watering sweet potato in no time.

All you need:

1. Sweet Potatoes: The star of our recipe, sweet potatoes are not just delicious; they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Their natural sweetness and creamy texture enhance the dish’s overall taste and richness.

2. Olive Oil: Used for coating the sweet potato, olive oil adds a subtle flavor and helps in achieving a crispy exterior when microwaved.

3. Kosher Salt: A pinch of kosher salt will enhance the natural flavors of the sweet potato without overpowering it.

4. Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Adding freshly ground black pepper introduces a mild heat and complexity to the sweet potato, balancing its natural sweetness. 

5. Butter: A dollop of butter added post-microwaving melds beautifully with the warm sweet potato, offering a creamy, rich finish.

Recommended Tools For This Recipe

Moreover, you will need some basic kitchen tools to put this recipe together.

Recommended Tools:

1. Clean sponge or vegetable brush: Essential for scrubbing the skin of the sweet potatoes clean of any dirt or debris before microwaving. Sweet potatoes are root vegetables, so they can be quite dirty straight from the store or garden.

2. Clean kitchen towel: Used for drying the sweet potatoes after washing them and for wrapping them in a damp towel before microwaving if you choose this method to help maintain moisture.

3. Paring knife or fork: Necessary for piercing the sweet potatoes multiple times. This process allows steam to escape while microwaving, preventing the sweet potato from bursting.

4. Tongs (optional): Offer a safe way to remove the hot sweet potatoes from the microwave, safeguarding your hands from burns.

5. Microwave-safe plate: Serves as a container for the sweet potato while it cooks in the microwave, capturing any moisture or juices that are released and helping to evenly distribute heat.

6. Oven mitts: Protect your hands when handling the hot plate or sweet potato immediately after microwaving.

Step-by-Step Guide

After gathering all the ingredients and tools needed for this recipe, follow these simple steps to enjoy a perfectly cooked sweet potato in no time.

Step 1: Scrub and Prep

Thoroughly scrub 1 to 2 sweet potatoes under running water using a clean sponge or vegetable brush. 

Dry completely with a clean kitchen towel.

This ensures that all the dirt and debris are removed from the skin, which is especially important if you plan to eat the skin.

Step 2: Pierce The Sweet Potatoes

Use a paring knife or fork to prick each sweet potato four or five times all over.

Piercing the potatoes helps steam to escape during the cooking process, preventing them from bursting in the microwave.

Step 3: Season (Optional)

Lightly rub each sweet potato with olive oil, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

The oil helps to create a slightly crispier skin in the microwave, while the seasoning enhances the sweet potato’s natural flavors.

Step 4: Microwave On High

Place the prepared sweet potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high power for 5 minutes. 

If your microwave lacks a rotating turntable, flip each sweet potato halfway through cooking.

This initial high-power blast starts the cooking process, softening the potato’s interior.

Step 5: Check For Doneness

After the initial cooking time, probe the sweet potatoes with a fork or paring knife. 

If resistance is met, continue to microwave in 1-minute increments until tender.

Sweet potatoes vary greatly in size and density; this step ensures each potato is cooked perfectly.

Step 6: Optional Crisping

For a crispier skin, preheat the broiler to high and place microwaved sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack 4 inches from the heating element. 

Broil for about 6 minutes or until the skin is crispy.

This optional step provides a crispy texture to the skin, similar to oven-baked sweet potatoes.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Carefully split each sweet potato lengthwise with a knife and fluff the interior with a fork. 

Serve with a pat of butter or your favorite toppings.

Fluffing the inside of the sweet potato makes it more visually appealing and easier to eat while also mixing in any added butter or toppings for flavor. 

Tips For The Best Microwave Sweet Potato

If you want your microwave sweet potato to turn out perfectly every time, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

For an extra burst of flavor, try seasoning your sweet potato with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of cayenne pepper before cooking.

This blend complements the natural sweetness of the potato, adding warmth and a subtle kick. 

If you’re looking for a more savory option, a sprinkle of garlic powder and smoked paprika can transform your sweet potato into a hearty, flavor-packed meal. 

Additionally, experimenting with toppings can greatly enhance your dish.

A scoop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of chives, or even a drizzle of maple syrup can add new dimensions of flavor. 

Remember, sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile, so don’t be afraid to get creative with both your seasonings and toppings.

How To Enjoy a Microwave Sweet Potato?

The classic way to enjoy a microwave sweet potato is topped with butter, but there are many other delicious options. 

Here are some ideas for how to serve and enjoy your perfectly cooked sweet potato: 

1. Stuffed sweet potato: Cut open your cooked sweet potato and stuff it with your favorite protein, like grilled chicken or black beans, along with some veggies and a sprinkle of cheese. This makes for a hearty and nutritious meal.

2. Sweet potato toast: Slice the cooked sweet potato lengthwise into thin slices and use them as a base for avocado toast or almond butter and banana toast. This is a great gluten-free alternative to traditional toast.

3. Sweet potato fries: Cut the cooked sweet potato into thin strips, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of your choice, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve as a healthier alternative to traditional french fries.

4. Sweet potato hash: Chop the cooked sweet potato into small cubes and sauté with onions, peppers, and any other veggies you desire. This makes for a tasty and filling breakfast or side dish.

Get creative and have fun experimenting with different flavors and preparations.

Ways To Store and Reheat a Microwave Sweet Potato

Storing and reheating your microwaved sweet potatoes correctly can maintain their texture and flavor for later enjoyment. Here’s how to do it:

Storing Leftover Sweet Potatoes

1. Cool Down: Allow the sweet potatoes to cool to room temperature before storing. Do not leave them out for more than 2 hours to avoid bacterial growth. 

2. Refrigerate: Place the cooled sweet potatoes in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Stored this way, they can last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

3. Freeze for Longer Storage: For longer storage, sweet potatoes can be frozen. First, cut the cooled sweet potatoes into smaller portions or mash them. Then, pack the pieces or mash them into freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving some space for expansion. Frozen sweet potatoes can last for up to 12 months. 

Reheating Microwaved Sweet Potatoes

1. In the Microwave: For a quick option, reheat sweet potatoes in the microwave. Place the sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel to keep it moist. Heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. 

2. In the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and warm for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. This method helps to revive the sweet potato’s texture, especially if you’re reheating frozen sweet potatoes. 

3. On the Stove: If you’re dealing with mashed sweet potatoes, reheating them in a pot on the stove over medium heat is a viable option. Add a splash of water or milk to prevent them from drying out, stirring occasionally until they’re warmed through.


In summary, knowing how long to microwave a sweet potato is a simple yet rewarding culinary adventure.

Whether seeking a quick, nutritious meal or experimenting with various flavors and toppings, this guide ensures a deliciously fluffy sweet potato every time. 

Remember, the real joy comes from tailoring each potato to your unique taste preferences.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to enjoy the versatility, convenience, and wholesome goodness of sweet potatoes any day of the week. 

How Long To Microwave a Sweet Potato?

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1


  • Sweet Potatoes: 1 medium-sized sweet potato (approximately 200 grams or 7 ounces)
  • Olive Oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Kosher Salt: ¼ teaspoon
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper: ⅛ teaspoon (or to taste)
  • Butter: 1 tablespoon (optional for serving)


  • Prep: Clean and thoroughly dry the sweet potatoes, then pierce them multiple times with a fork or knife to allow steam to escape during microwaving.
  • Seasoning (Optional): Lightly coat the sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to enhance flavor and achieve a slightly crispy skin.
  • Microwave Cooking: Start by microwaving the sweet potatoes on high for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through if necessary. Adjust the cooking time based on the size and number of potatoes.
  • Check Doneness: Use a fork or knife to check if the sweet potatoes are tender. If not, continue microwaving in 1-minute increments until done.
  • Optional Crisping: For crisper skin, broil the microwaved sweet potatoes in the oven for about 6 minutes or until the skin is crispy.
  • Serve: Split the sweet potatoes open, fluff the insides, and add butter or your preferred toppings before serving.
Keyword how long to microwave a sweet potato, microwave sweet potato

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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