Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes that are rich and creamy with a hint of warm cinnamon and the perfect sweetness. Make this easy mashed sweet potato recipe to go alongside any main dish!
Whether you’re serving guests or enjoy making big batches of mashed sweet potatoes for meal prepping regular meals, you’ll get a kick out of this simple Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe.
Why make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot?
For me, using the electric pressure cooker to make mashed potatoes is brilliant because it saves space on the stove top for cooking other goodies.
It also saves a little bit of time, which can be paramount when you’re feeling stressed to get everything ready under a time crunch.
In fact, Instant Pot recipes like this and my Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce with Maple and Ginger are easy recipes for big gatherings when stove top and oven space is in short supply.
While I’m all about a savory sweet potato recipe, like my Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole or my Sweet Potato Rounds with Herbed Ricotta, I’m all about keeping my sweet potato mash nice and sweet.
If you’re like me and you have a sweet tooth and will use any excuse to enjoy a side dish that tastes like dessert, this exact recipe is for you.
For this reason, I like adding a little pure maple syrup and cinnamon to add a burst of flavor, but I also discuss options for making savory mashed sweet potatoes with onion, garlic, and/or cheese if that is your preference.
This recipe makes a big batch of mashed sweet potatoes, and is the perfect side dish for serving large families, and entertaining guests. It is also ideal for those who just really love a good potato mash and enjoy leftovers!
Ingredients for Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet Potatoes: The reason we’re all here! Choose any type of sweet potato (or yams) you like. I typically make the standard orange sweet potatoes, but jewel yams, purple sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, etc. all work.
Coconut Milk: The full-fat canned coconut milk serves two purposes here. It is the liquid used to cook the sweet potatoes and it also adds fat content and richness to the potatoes. If you aren’t dairy-free, see the Recipe Adaptations section below for instructions on using milk.
Salt: Season the mashed sweet potatoes according to your personal taste with salt. If they taste remotely bland or uninteresting, it is probably because they need more salt.
Ground Cinnamon: Bringing that warm spice to the dish, ground cinnamon works wonders in leveling up the delicious flavor. If you have ground nutmeg or ground cardamom on hand, feel free to add a small amount (¼ to ½ tsp) or either or both
Honey or Pure Maple Syrup: While the sweet potatoes are already sweet, adding some pure maple syrup or honey gives them a lusciously decadent vibe. It only takes a small amount! Brown sugar or regular cane sugar also work here.
Unsalted Butter: If you love that creamy, iconic buttery flavor in your mashed potatoes, feel free to add 2 to 4 tablespoons.
Looking to change up some of the ingredients? Here are some ideas.
- Make savory mashed sweet potatoes by sauteing 2 to 3 cloves of garlic. If desired you can also add grated cheese or onion powder.
- Stir in 1 to 1 ½ cups of grated cheese such as parmesan cheese, gruyere, or gouda. If you’re using goat cheese, add about a ⅓ cup and taste the potatoes before adding more.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped thyme for a subtle herb infusion.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of orange zest for some citrusy flavor.
- If you’re pressure cooking 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, set the timer for 8 minutes instead of 12.
- For the best results, I don’t recommend substituting the full-fat coconut milk for any other non dairy milk like almond milk. Because they are lower in fat, they won’t produce the same creamy texture.
How to Make This Recipe with Regular Milk:
If you want to use cow’s milk instead of coconut milk, first steam the sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot using water, as cow’s milk will burn.
To do so, insert the steamer basket (also known as the trivet) into the bottom of your Instant Pot and place the chopped sweet potatoes on top of the steamer with 1 cup of water.
Cook on High pressure for 12 minutes. Use the quick pressure release valve to release the steam.
Drain water and remove the trivet before adding 1 cup of milk to the Instant pot and mashing the potatoes (with any additional ingredients). You can also add 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter or use half & half or heavy cream instead of milk.
Now that we’re familiar with the basics, let’s make this easy side dish!
How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
Pour the coconut milk into the Instant Pot and add the chopped sweet potatoes.
Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook on High (press the Manual/Pressure Cook button) for 12 minutes. Turn the quick release valve to ‘Sealing’ (or the closed position) if it isn’t there already. The pressure cooker will take 10 to 15 minutes to come to full pressure before it begins its 12 minute course.
Once the potatoes have finished cooking, open the valve to release the steam. Open the lid of the Instant Pot and mash the cooked sweet potatoes using a potato masher (or electric hand mixer or immersion blender) until everything is well-combined and the potatoes reach your desired consistency.
It will look like there is too much liquid at first. This is normal. The potatoes will absorb all of the coconut milk over time. Add the remaining ingredients (salt, ground cinnamon and honey/pure maple syrup) and any additional mix-ins and stir everything together until combined.
Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large serving bowl and serve with butter on top alongside your main entrée.
Store any leftover mashed sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
I like using leftover mashed potatoes for my Veggie-Packed Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.
How Long to Pressure Cook Sweet Potatoes:
The exact cooking time of sweet potatoes depends on how many pounds you use and how small (or large) the potatoes are chopped.
If you’re cooking between 2 and 3 pounds of sweet potatoes and you chop them into 1-inch pieces, pressure cook for 8 minutes on the high pressure setting. If you’re cooking 3 to 4 pounds, go for 10 minutes, and for 5 pounds, 12 minutes works great.
After the pressure cooking cycle, if the sweet potatoes aren’t very soft, you can run the Instant Pot for 2 to 4 more minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to mash easily.
You want to avoid over-cooking potatoes because they become gummy when overcooked.
And that’s it! The best way to make mashed potatoes when you’re serving a lot of people and have limited space in the oven or stove top.
This easy way of making potatoes is a great option for holiday gatherings or any weeknight dinner when the need for a massive amount of mashed potatoes strikes.
If you’re looking for regular mashed potatoes, try my Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan.
Looking for another delicious side dish to contribute to your holiday meal? Also try these out!
More Healthy Side Dishes:
- Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole
- Creamy Dairy-Free Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole
- Feta Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
- Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables
What will you put in your mashed potatoes?
Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 5 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks
- 1 15-oz can full-fat canned coconut milk*
- 1 tsp sea salt
Optional (but recommended) Additions:
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 to 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey***
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter optional
- Pour the coconut milk into the Instant Pot and add the chopped sweet potatoes.
- Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook on High (press the Manual/Pressure Cook button) for 12 minutes. Turn the quick release valve to ‘Sealing’ (or the closed position) if it isn’t there already. The pressure cooker will take 10 to 15 minutes to come to full pressure before it begins its 12 minute course.
- Once the potatoes have finished cooking, open the valve to release the steam. Open the lid of the Instant Pot and mash the cooked sweet potatoes using a potato masher (or electric hand mixer or immersion blender) until everything is well-combined and the potatoes reach your desired consistency.
- It will look like there is too much liquid at first. This is normal. The potatoes will absorb all of the coconut milk over time. Add the remaining ingredients (salt, ground cinnamon and honey/pure maple syrup) and any additional mix-ins and stir everything together until combined.
- Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large serving bowl and serve with butter on top alongside your main entrée.
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