Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes are so easy to make in just under 30 minutes! These silky smooth sweet potatoes are combined with warming spices for a simple yet flavorful fall side.
If you've never made sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot, you'll be amazed by how easy it is! It only takes 3 minutes on high pressure to cook a diced sweet potato. It's like magic!
If you're short on time for dinner or on Thanksgiving day (who isn't?), Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes are a great time saver. They just require a cutting board, Instant Pot, and potato mashing tool to make.
Why this recipe works
- Minimal tools required: All you need is an Instant Pot, potato mashing tool, and a strainer to make mashed sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot.
- Time-saving: Cooking diced sweet potatoes on high-pressure results in silky smooth mashed potatoes that are ready in under 30 minutes.
- Cozy flavors: Warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg pair with butter, vanilla extract, and light brown sugar for ultra-cozy and warming flavors.
- Versatile: This recipe can easily be doubled in a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot. It also freezes well and can even be made ahead of time.
- Sweet potatoes: Jewel or Garnet sweet potatoes are best for mashed sweet potato. These are the most common orange/red-fleshed sweet potatoes at the grocery store. I don't recommend Japanese sweet potatoes or white sweet potatoes for this method.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg are the main spices. They add warmth and depth and take the dish to another level.
- Light brown sugar is my favorite fall sweetener, but a touch of maple syrup would also be tasty. Dark brown sugar also works.
- Milk: I recommend 2% milk but any kind will work. Feel free to use half-and-half or cream for an ultra-rich option.
Step by step instructions
All of my Instant Pot recipes are made in a 6 qt DUO60 Instant Pot.
Step 1. Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice sweet potatoes into one-inch cubes. If you're looking for a mashed potato recipe that includes the skins, I recommend trying my recipe for mashed potatoes with red skins.
Step 2. Add sweet potatoes and 1 cup water directly to the Instant Pot OR place sweet potatoes in a steamer basket. I prefer using a steamer basket because it cooks the potatoes more evenly. Lock the lid in place and set the vent to "sealing".
Step 3. Select "high pressure" and adjust the timer to 3 minutes. When the 3-minute timer is up, do a quick pressure release to remove all steam at once. Careful, a lot of hot steam will come out! Drain water from the Instant Pot.
Note: If the potatoes aren't fork-tender and easily mashable, cook on high pressure for 1 more minute. Do a quick pressure release, repeating as needed.
Step 4. Add butter to the hot pot. It should melt quickly over "keep warm", but you can adjust to "sauté" if needed. Once melted, add the milk. Mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Step 5. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Enjoy!
- I recommend using a steamer basket for this recipe to make clean-up easier. If you don't have a steamer basket, you can place the sweet potatoes directly into the Instant Pot.
- For ultra-creamy sweet potatoes, you can puree the cooked sweet potatoes with an immersion blender directly in the Instant Pot. This will remove any stringy sweet potato bits. However, be careful not to overblend the potatoes as this can make them gummy!
- Garnish: I love to garnish sweet potatoes with toasted pecans. To toast raw pecans, set your clean Instant Pot to "sauté" on "normal". Once hot, add ¼ cup pecans. Toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- To make dairy-free: Swap out butter for vegan butter or coconut oil and use your favorite unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk for dairy-free mashed sweet potatoes.
Yes, you can double the recipe if you have a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot. All ingredients should be doubled but cook time will remain the same. It will take longer for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
Yes, you can cook the sweet potatoes with their skin on. The mashed potatoes won't be as silky smooth and will have more of a rustic feel to them.
I don't recommend using milk because it is at risk of scalding while pressure cooking. Instead, drain off the excess water after cooking and add in milk to taste.
I haven't tested it out myself but butternut squash should take about the same amount of time to cook as sweet potato and it is delicious when mashed with sweet ingredients. You might also like this roasted butternut squash recipe.
Yes! Add the diced and peeled sweet potato to a medium stockpot or Dutch oven. Cover with 1 inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, uncovered, until fork-tender, about 15-18 minutes. Drain off the water when tender. Stir in the milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and brown sugar and mash until smooth.
Mashed sweet potato variations
- Plain mashed sweet potatoes: Simply add salt, pepper, butter and milk to taste for simple mashed sweet potatoes.
- Herbed sweet potatoes: Heat 1-2 tablespoons butter in the Instant Pot using the "sauté" mode. Add 2-3 cloves minced garlic and 1 tablespoon each of fresh chopped rosemary, thyme and sage. Cook for 30 seconds to bloom, then add the sweet potatoes, milk and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spicy chipotle sweet potatoes: Add in one to two diced chipotle peppers with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce for spicy potatoes Add ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika for extra depth.
- Cheesy sweet potatoes: Salt, pepper, and ¼ cup of fresh grated Parmesan is SO good and savory. Asiago also goes well with sweet potatoes.
Storage and make-ahead tips
- How to freeze: Mashed sweet potatoes freeze well. Let the mashed potatoes cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, let thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 3-4 days in a closed container.
- Reheat the entire batch of Instant Pot mashed sweet potatoes on the stovetop over medium-low or in the microwave or reheat in the Instant Pot over saute. Add a splash of milk to loosen the sweet potatoes and keep them from drying out while reheating.
- Make in advance: Simply make the mashed potatoes 2 to 3 days in advance, then refrigerate in a closed container until ready to use. Reheat in the Instant Pot using the "saute" function. Add additional milk and stir frequently to reheat evenly.
- Keep warm: If serving to a crowd at Thanksgiving or Christmas, simply serve the mashed sweet potatoes directly from the Instant Pot. Just select "keep warm" on the Instant Pot and add additional milk as needed to keep the potatoes from drying out.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
I also have a recipe for traditional garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes that you might like.
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Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and diced in 1" cubes
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup whole milk 2% also works
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- If using a steamer basket, add water to the Instant Pot and place sweet potatoes in the steamer basket. Place the steamer basket in the Instant Pot. If not using a steamer basket, add sweet potatoes and 1 cup water directly into the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place and set the pressure valve to "sealing".
- Select "high pressure" and set the timer to 3 minutes. When the 3-minute timer is up, do a quick pressure release to remove all steam at once. Careful, a lot of hot steam will come out!
- Drain water from the potatoes. Set the potatoes aside. Add butter to the warm pot. It should melt over "keep warm" but select "sauté" if needed. Once melted, add the cooked sweet potato and milk. Mash with a potato masher until smooth.
- Add the light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Enjoy hot, garnished with pecans and an extra sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.
- If the potatoes aren't fork-tender and easily mashable after pressure cooking, cook on high pressure for 1 more minute. Do a quick pressure release, repeating as needed.
- Cooking equipment: I recommend using a steamer basket for this recipe to make clean-up easier. If you don't have a steamer basket, you can place the sweet potatoes directly into the Instant Pot.
- For ultra-creamy sweet potatoes, you can puree the hot sweet potatoes with an immersion blender. This will remove any stringy sweet potato bits. Be careful not to overblend the potatoes, as this can give them a gummy texture.
- To toast pecans, set your Instant Pot to "sauté". Once it reads "hot", add ¼ cup pecans. Toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- To make dairy-free: Swap out butter for vegan butter or coconut oil and use your favorite unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk.
- Leftovers and reheating: Keep leftovers refrigerated for 3-4 days in a closed container. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or on the stove over medium-low heat with an extra splash of milk.
- Freezing: Let the mashed potatoes cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, let thaw overnight in the fridge.