A Savory Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe

Instant Pot Recipes, Paleo, Perfect Side Dishes, Recipes

If you love the sweet potato casserole that makes its appearance on Thanksgiving and is topped with bubbling marshmallows and an almost equal sugar to sweet potato ratio, then you may be surprised at the sweet potato’s versatility.

This is a SAVORY side dish. It still has a sweet taste (due to the sweetness of sweet potatoes) but by and by it is savory. No maple syrup. No sugar. No marshmallows.

Jeremy and I have been tweaking this recipe since I can remember. But we finally found it. And we make it at least once a week.

Also, bonus! A sweet potato is loaded with Vitamin C. It is also high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene which is like super food to your skin. Beta-carotene has been linked to fighting the free radicals in our skin which result in aging. The sweet potato is very VERY good to us.

Let’s mash!

Savory Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grab a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with tinfoil (for easy clean-up). (UPDATE: instructions for how to cook these in an Instant Pot are in the recipe card below!)

Grab two sweet potatoes and scrub them. Then lay them on the baking sheet.

Bake them for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes check them to see if they are oozing juice onto the baking sheet. If they are, they’re done! If not, keep them in there for about 10-15 more minutes.

When they come out let them cool for a little bit.

While they are cooling add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a small sauté pan. Sauté the garlic on medium-low heat until it starts to slightly brown and you can smell it! This will take about 3-5 minutes.

We call this liquid gold in our house. Because, I mean…

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, remove the skin from the potato. It should peel right off, like so:

There are a variety of ways you can mash these. You can add them to your mixer  or use a handheld mixer to whip them up. You can add them to a bowl and use a masher. Or, one of our favorites (which gets them really creamy and smooth), is to use a food mill (and to all you who asked, this is our FAVORITE food mill —> here. We’ve been using it for years!)

Mash or mix until you reach your level of consistency.

Now it is time to add THE SECRET INGREDIENT!!!

1 tablespoon of FRESH thyme. The thyme is really what brings in a complexity of flavor and adds that savory taste to these mashers. It is so yummy.

Then add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 3 tablespoons of butter and the garlic and oil from the sauté pan.

Give it a good mix. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Or, if you want a bit of heat add 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Serve warm.

We like to serve these with just about anything. Chicken, steak, the best pot roast recipe (all of which we made this past weekend!).

Your body will thank you because you got some nutrition in AND these are paleo 🙂


A Savory Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe

  • Author: Our Savory Life
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (For Instant Pot Instructions, see below!)
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes (or until juice from the potatoes are oozing).
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, saute minced garlic cloves in the olive oil over medium heart until fragrant and turning light brown. About 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and mash (in mixer, with a masher or a food meal) to desired consistency.
  7. Add salt, pepper, butter, thyme and the garlic and oil mixture to the sweet potatoes.
  8. Mix until well combined.
  9. Serve warm.

For Instant Pot

  1. Add steam basket to Instant Pot.
  2. Pour in one cup of water.
  3. Place sweet potatoes in steamer.
  4. Close and lock the lid on the Instant Pot.
  5. Move the vent to “Sealing” position.
  6. Set on Steam setting and program for 15 minutes.
  7. When complete allow IP to depressurize for about 15 minutes.
  8. Move vent to “Venting.”
  9. Remove lid and go back up to step number 5.


  • Serving Size: 1

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  1. maura says:

    Made this for Easter, used it as a layer in my vegan vegetable lasagne. Used vegan margerine. I needed a savory sweet potato mash and this fir the bill perfectly. mLove the recipe.

  2. Jennifer says:

    What do you do with the skin? I usually mash regular potatoes with the skin. Do you add it in the mash as well? Just started Paleo, (converting, slowly) Im getting mixed answers on the butter, some say yes to butter most say no, I’m confused. Help!

    • Bri McKoy says:

      Hi Jenny! How exciting that you are starting Paleo-I remember having so many questions when I started (about what was ok and what wasn’t). As for butter, everything I’ve read and the challenges I’ve been involved in said grass fed butter is paleo! Kerigold is the type of grass fed butter we use, but you can always ask someone who works in your local grocery store which brand of grass fed butter they carry! As for the skin, for the mashed potatoes we don’t use the skin because we like them very smooth. But you can always use it if you don’t mind the consistency 🙂 we usually use the skin every other time we eat sweet potatoes 🙂

  3. Rinah says:

    These are amazing!!!! I needed a side dish for a barbeque (making brisket on the bbq) and I was going to make baked sweet potato fries, but was worried they wouldnt turn out. These mashed sweet potatoes are delicious!!! I also used vegan margerine, earths balance, since we keep kosher, no dairy and meat together, and they still turned out great. Thank you!!!

  4. Anne says:

    Was looking for a non-typical recipe for sweet potatoes, as we were having BBQ and didn’t want to feel like we were having holiday leftovers. This recipe is fantastic! I altered it a touch, using alderwood smoked sea salt which gave it a little more full bodied flavor and also took less than regular salt to get the right flavor balance. Definitely will use this one again! Thanks for posting it!

  5. Christine says:

    Hi. I just tried your recipe today and put a review on my blog (http://realfoodthesis.blogspot.com/2013/09/savory-sweet-potatoes.html) I like how simple your recipe was.

  6. Susy says:

    I am here in Timmonsville SC, between Mullins and Sumter and just made these sweet potatoes! They are so good! Lucky for me, my husband doesn’t like them so it means more for me! Thanks!!

  7. Courtney Chase says:

    I’m a ‘live-alone, cooking for one person’, and I’m infinitely more likely to actually make something on any given evening if I can rely on spices that are in the pantry. I thus totally respect that fresh thyme is prob better, but anyone tried it with ground thyme? Comments on the qty for substitution?

  8. Hayley says:

    I have about 15 sweet potatoes and I need to make a dish for a preschool Thanksgiving meal, to feed 12. I can’t wait to try this! I was in search of a savory and easy meal – the fact that it’s Paleo is even better!!

  9. Robert says:

    Made these for a church Thanksgiving dinner tonight. They were amazing and several people asked me for the recipe. The only change I made was to use rosemary instead of thyme (I could not get any fresh thyme).

  10. Stephanie says:

    Yum! Whipped this up in a pinch the other night to use some leftover, cooked sweet potatoes I didn’t want to waste. Super easy and delicious and versatile and now I’m eating mash every night! Thanks!

  11. Dottie says:

    SO GREAT!! Added some onions just for a little more flavor, but the thyme did the job!

  12. Larry Johnson says:

    Easy recipe! Nice savory sweet potato dish that went very well with my blackened cod!

  13. Matthew Boettcher says:

    I recently featured this recipe on my blog where I paired with some pulled pork and South Carolina mustard barbecue sauce. You can check it out here: http://goodideacooking.blogspot.com/2014/08/inspired-by-columbus-ohio-state-fair.html

  14. I recently featured this great recipe on my blog where I paired with some pulled pork and South Carolina mustard barbecue sauce. You can check it out here: http://goodideacooking.blogspot.com/2014/08/inspired-by-columbus-ohio-state-fair.html

  15. ritu says:

    Came out very well.

  16. Jennifer Bloom Leone says:

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it got RAVE reviews. I added a splash of milk and whipped it with a hand mixer. Great recipe.

  17. Nandranie Priya Persaud says:

    so delicious

  18. Lynn says:

    These are fabulous. Have been looking for a really impressive yam recipe for ages. So many nutrients in yams and since I can’t eat regular potatoes this is now my go-to-recipe. Everyone who has tasted them wants the recipe including bachelors ! Have pretty much scalped my remaining thyme plant so have resorted to store bought fresh thyme and it (fresh) makes all the difference ! So glad I found this recipe late the night before Thanksgiving so I have something new to serve my guests, who were expecting the old standard mashed with marshmallows. This recipe got raves !

  19. Vaughn Robinson says:

    I love this recipe! This is my go-to, weekly staple, and I’ve been using it for about a year now. I’m not really a fan of sweet potatoes, but this has converveted me. Thanks!

  20. Bystro Blog says:

    Thank you! I made this today exactly as written and loved it. It is the only recipe for mashed sweet potatoes I’ve tried that did not come out too sweet.

  21. Great recipe! I’m in the middle of making them right not….for breakfast. I used to make baked sweet potatoes and pour maple syrup over them. So today I remembered and wanted sweet potato, but I am craving savory. My kids and I are so excited. Smells so good. Thanks!

  22. Danita A says:

    I steamed the sweet potatoes and it took less time and didn’t interfere with my chicken cooking in the oven.

  23. Danita A says:

    I steamed the sweet potatoes and it took less time and didn’t interfere with my chicken cooking in the oven.

  24. Ruth says:

    Can you make this recipe ahead and freeze it?

    • Bri McKoy says:

      Hi Ruth – I have never tried to freeze mashed sweet potatoes but I did some research and it seems like the best advice is to freeze them in small batches (like in an ice cube tray). Once they are frozen, pop the cubes out into a freezer safe plastic baggie to keep in the freezer for up to one month. Then when you are ready to eat them you can reheat in the microwave or the stovetop on low (maybe let them thaw a bit if you do the stovetop). Let us know if this works!! Enjoy!

  25. Louise says:

    I was wondering if adding a couple of roasted bananas with a little bit of honey would mix well with the the sweet potatoes and which herb would be better, rosemary or thyme?

    • Bri McKoy says:

      Hi Louise – I am not sure about the banana and honey. I love a very savory sweet potato mash and because the sweet potatoes already have an underlying sweetness I use most savory ingredients. But I love when people experiment with my recipes and come back to report what they found! As for the herb – my favorite is thyme (which is what the recipe calls for). I hope you enjoy!

  26. John says:

    Can it be done in the food processor?!

    • Bri McKoy says:

      I have never tried it in the food processor! But I think it might be a little too thick without enough liquid to process well in the food processor.

  27. Brigette Perry says:

    Made this as a side for our Easter dinner and they were amazing! 

  28. Donna says:

    I made this so my sweet potatoes wouldn’t go bad.  It was delicious!

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