I am either on the cusp of a great discovery or the last to know, because Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes are officially the best, most convenient way to steam a sweet potato I’ve encountered.
You cool Instant Pot kids—have you been cooking your sweet potatoes this way all along?
Is there a secret underground club where people wink at each other knowingly, all while enjoying their perfectly tender, lightly fluffy, yet also creamy, sweet potatoes?
As of this day, you and I are IN the sweet potato club, my friends. Maybe we can have a secret handshake or better yet, a secret stash of butter.
Making sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot is cool and convenient.
- The sweet potatoes cook in a fraction of the time they’d take to bake.
- You don’t need to fuss with peeling them.
- The Instant Pot frees up your oven, meaning you can either use your oven for something else OR keep it turned off to avoid heating up your kitchen.
- The sweet potatoes steam perfectly. We’re talking creamy and fluffy, not overbaked or gummy. (They’re perfect to use in these Whole30 Breakfast Bowls!)
The below Instant Pot sweet potatoes recipe is for cooking whole sweet potatoes. If you’re looking for Instant Pot cubed sweet potatoes, check out this post for Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes, which uses them. (This Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe also uses chopped sweet potatoes.)
I’ve included cooking times, key information, and suggestions for storage and reheating so that you can steam a whole batch, then reheat them for quick and easy sides throughout the week.
How to Cook Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
Use this guide to find cooking times, tools, and a few other key tips to make perfect sweet potatoes in your Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooker.
This method is easy, hands-free, and has become my new preferred way for steaming sweet potatoes.
Equipment You Will Need
- Instant Pot or Similar Electric Pressure Cooker or Multicooker. This is the Instant Pot I own and love—it’s a basic 6-quart model. You can use this method for any size Instant Pot (3, 6, or 8 quart). Simply ensure you adjust the number of sweet potatoes and amount of water accordingly. (See “Scaling This Recipe Up or Down” below for more.)
- Trivet. To keep the sweet potatoes from burning on the bottom, you will need to insert the handled trivet that came with it, which also functions as a steamer basket. If you cannot find your trivet, I’d suggest finding an inexpensive replacement, such as this one.
You only need two ingredients to make perfect Instant Pot sweet potatoes.
- Water. Make sure to use COOL WATER so that your sweet potatoes don’t start cooking early after the Instant Pot is sealed. You’ll need 1 cup for the 3-quart and 6-quart Instant Pot models or 1 ½ cups for the 8 quart.
- Sweet Potatoes. Pick sweet potatoes that are about the same weight so that they cook evenly. In addition to being delicious, sweet potatoes are also incredibly healthy. They’re packed with Vitamin-A, calcium, and iron (read more health benefits here).
Of course, don’t forget your TOPPINGS. Butter, salt, and black pepper are the classic, but certainly not only, options. See below for more ideas.
How long it takes to cook sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot varies by sweet potato size, the amount of time your Instant Pot needs to come to pressure, plus 10 additional minutes for the pressure to release.
Sweet Potato Cooking Times by Size
Set your Instant Pot to the below number of minutes, based upon the size of your potatoes. Remember to choose sweet potatoes that are roughly the same size so that they all finish cooking in the same amount of time.
- Small Sweet Potatoes (6 to 8 ounces). 12 minutes.
- Medium Sweet Potatoes (8 to 12 ounces). 17 minutes
- Large Sweet Potatoes (12 ounces or more). 25 minutes.
Calculating the Total Time to Steam Sweet Potatoes in the Instant Pot
Please note that each of the above times is the number of minutes the sweet potatoes cook once the Instant Pot has come to pressure.
- The timer on your Instant Pot will not start counting down until the pressure builds.
- Then, once the timer is up, the pressure still needs to release for 10 additional minutes.
That means that the total amount of time it takes to steam the sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot equals:
- Time to come to pressure (for four medium sweet potatoes in my 6-quart Instant Pot, I need roughly 10 minutes), PLUS
- Pressure cook time (based on the size of potato; for this example, let’s say 17 minutes for medium), PLUS
- Pressure release time (10 minutes)
That means my total cook time for medium sweet potatoes in a 6-quart Instant Pot is 37 minutes (10 minutes coming to pressure + 17 minutes pressure cook time + 10 minutes pressure release time).
While 37 minutes might sound like a lot, those same sweet potatoes would need 50 minutes or longer in the oven; plus the oven would be running the entire time.
The Instant Pot is more efficient, keeps your oven free, and steams the sweet potatoes perfectly.
For a fast, hands-free side, start the sweet potatoes cooking at the beginning of your dinner prep, and they’ll be ready before you know it.
Here’s how we put the above ingredients and cook times together.
You can also check out the Instant Pot sweet potato video I have added to this post to see the recipe in action.
- Clean the sweet potatoes, and use a fork to pierce the outsides.
- Place the potatoes on the Instant Pot trivet. Add the water.
- Cook on HIGH (manual pressure) according to the size of your potatoes (see above for details).
- Perform a natural release for 10 minutes.
- Remove, then when cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes open. Add desired toppings, and ENJOY!
While you do not have to poke holes in the sweet potatoes to cook them in the Instant Pot, personally I prefer to do so (mostly out of habit). If you forget, it’s not an issue. Your sweet potatoes will still cook evenly.
Scaling the Recipe Up or Down
You can follow this recipe for any size of Instant Pot.
The number of sweet potatoes you can cook in your Instant Pot at once will vary based on the size of your sweet potatoes and the size of the Instant Pot model you own.
- I estimate 3 sweet potatoes will fit in the 3-quart and up to 8 could fit in the 8-quart, though I’ve only tested this recipe in my 6-quart (I cook 4 potatoes at once).
- I advise placing no more than 2 layers of sweet potatoes into the pot to ensure they cook evenly.
- The pressure cook time you set (12 minutes for small sweet potatoes, 17 for medium, 25 for large) will stay the same regardless of how many sweet potatoes you cook.
- I haven’t tested this recipe with only one sweet potato, but I see no reason why that wouldn’t work (again no need to change the cook time).
This recipe can also be cut in half for any size Instant Pot. No adjustments to the recipe are needed.
Storing and Reheating Steamed Sweet Potatoes (Meal Prep)
Cooking a big batch of sweet potatoes at once is a great way to get ahead on meal prep for the week.
- To Store. Leftover sweet potatoes can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat them gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Individually wrap leftover potatoes, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with Steamed Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken. Instant Pot sweet potatoes and chicken would be a delicious meal.
- Fish. This simple Blackened Salmon would be tasty paired with sweet potatoes.
- Veggies. Serve these Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with sweet potatoes for a vegetarian meal.
In addition to being an easy and healthy side dish, you can turn sweet potatoes into a main event!
- Add Crockpot BBQ Chicken on top for a simple and satisfying main dish.
- Take a note from these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes, and top your potatoes with shredded buffalo chicken.
- Pile scrumptious beans, veggies, and quinoa into your sweet potatoes like in this Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans and Quinoa recipe.
I also have five fresh ways to top baked sweet potatoes in my upcoming cookbook! Don’t miss it.
More Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potato Hash Browns
- Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Ham Sweet Potato Frittata
- Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon
You also might love these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.
Who’s ready to join the Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes Club? We believe in good times, easy sides, and butter.
As always, if you try this recipe, I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments section below.
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- 4 sweet potatoes that are all roughly the same size
- 1 cup cool water increase to 1 1/2 cups if using the 8-quart Instant Pot
- For serving: a sprinkle of salt and pepper butter, and any other toppings of choice
- Scrub the sweet potatoes (no need to peel) and pierce a few times with a fork.
- Place the stainless steel trivet that came with your Instant Pot into the Instant Pot with the handles up. Arrange the sweet potatoes on top, and pour in the water.
- Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH (manual) pressure for 12 minutes (for small, 6 to 8 ounce sweet potatoes), 17 minutes for medium sweet potatoes (8 to 12 ounces), or 25 minutes (for large sweet potatoes that are 12 ounces or more).
- Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully vent to release any remaining pressure, then open the lid.
- Carefully remove the sweet potatoes with tongs. Make a slit across the top to open (fluff up the insides with a fork) or cut in half. Serve immediately with toppings of choice.
- TO STORE: Leftover sweet potatoes can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat them in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Individually wrap leftover potatoes, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- The number of sweet potatoes you can cook at once will vary based on the size of your sweet potatoes and the size of the Instant Pot model you own. I estimate 3 for the 3-quart and up to 8 for the 8-quart, though I’ve only tested this recipe in my 6-quart. I advise to do no more than 2 layers. The cook time will stay the same regardless of how many sweet potatoes you cook. I haven’t tested this with only one sweet potato, but I see no reason why that wouldn’t work (again no need to change the cook time).
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