These savory mashed sweet potatoes are ready in under 30 minutes, which is perfect for weeknights or a quick holiday side dish. Naturally sweet, this recipe does not include marshmallows or brown sugar. Herbs and butter give these mashed sweet potatoes a savory twist that pairs well with any main entrée!

white bowl of mashed sweet potatoes with blue towel in background

If you are looking for a quick side dish that doesn’t require a lot of measuring and precision, then this recipe is for you. This flavorful take on mashed sweet potatoes is delicious and a fan favorite in our home.

This would be the perfect way to incorporate a new side dish into the holiday dinner rotation or something different with a weeknight dinner. The supplies and ingredients are probably already in your cabinets!

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Balanced: The blend of dried rosemary, garlic, sage, and onion offers a rich and aromatic taste that complements the natural sweetness of the potatoes.
  • Creamy: With the addition of butter, these savory mashed sweet potatoes boast a smooth and velvety texture that literally melts in your mouth.
  • Nutritious: Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making this dish not only delicious but also good for your health.
  • Versatile: Sweet potatoes have a lot more versatility than we give them credit for! This savory version complements a wide range of dishes, from grilled meats to hearty stews.
  • Simple: With just 7 ingredients and straightforward steps, even beginners can easily whip up this low-fuss side dish.
white bowl of mashed sweet potatoes

The Best Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These savory mashed sweet potatoes are very reminiscent of my twice baked sweet potatoes, utilizing the same herbs and seasonings. They’re a refreshing addition to any holiday table!

It seems like every sweet potato dish is loaded with all the sweet stuff: marshmallows, brown sugar, and candied pecans. While those versions all have their place, this recipe shows you how to incorporate savory flavors in a mouthwatering way.

Potatoes are a universal side dish! You can mash them, bake them, or put them in a casserole. Any way you prepare them, they are a delicious side to all kinds of main courses.

Ingredients For Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

See the full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.

  • Dried herbs: I use a combination of dried rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, and sage. If you have fresh on hand, feel free to use that instead. Remember, you will need 4x the measurement of fresh herbs compared to dried ones. For example, 1 teaspoon of rosemary = 4 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, chopped.
  • Sweet potatoes: Although their names are used interchangeably, sweet potatoes are different from yams. Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable with a creamy interior and yams are starchy with a dark brown skin. You will need orange-fleshed sweet potatoes for this recipe.

How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Step 1: Wash and Peel Potatoes

While it’s not 100% necessary, it’s good to wash off any grit or dirt from the potato. Then, use a potato peeler to peel the potatoes. Don’t forget: do not put your peelings down the disposal! Add them to your compost pile instead.

sweet potatoes on baking sheet

Step 2: Cut the Potatoes

The cooking time on this recipe is for larger hunks of potatoes, so keep that in mind as you are preparing this dish.

I cut the potatoes so that each potato ends up as 4 pieces respectively:

  1. First, cut across the width of the potato.
  2. Then, cut each half in half again.

For larger potatoes, reduce cooking time by cutting them in half again.

Step 3: Cook the Potatoes

As you cut the potatoes, add them to a large pot or dutch oven with plenty of room for water. After the potatoes have been added, fill the pot to cover the potatoes by about 1 inch. 

You want to give the potatoes plenty of room to cook with plenty of water to remain covered.

Sweet potatoes and white potatoes take about the same amount of time to cook. The potatoes are done when a fork is easily pierced through the potato. 

Then, drain the water off the potatoes into a colander and add them back to the pot or a large mixing bowl.

Step 4: Mash and Season the Potatoes

With a potato ricer or masher, mash the potatoes until they reach the desired consistency. 

  • If you like a creamier texture, mash until there are no lumps left.
  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, mash slightly as they will become creamier as the seasonings are added.
mashed sweet potatoes

Add the rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, sage, salt, and butter. Stir the mixture until the seasonings are incorporated. Now, you are ready to serve these savory mashed sweet potatoes hot with a delicious entrée! Now, you are ready to serve these hot with a delicious main entree.

What To Serve With Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

As mentioned earlier, savory mashed sweet potatoes make a great side dish for a weeknight meal or to accompany Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner. Here are some entrées that pair well with sweet potatoes:

You can also pair them with other holiday sides like a green bean casserole, oven roasted baby carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, Southern cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, and Southern cornbread muffins.

Recipe Variations

  • Cheesy: Stir in grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese for a richer, creamier texture.
  • Spicy: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños for a bit of heat.
  • Herbs: Swap out dried rosemary for fresh chopped herbs like parsley, chives, or cilantro.
  • Creamy: Use cream cheese or sour cream instead of butter for an ultra-creamy consistency.
  • Bacon: Mix in crispy bacon bits for a smoky, salty touch.
  • Vegan: Replace butter with vegan butter, olive oil, or flavorless coconut oil.
  • Chunky: Instead of mashing the sweet potatoes completely, leave some chunks for a rustic texture.

Tips For The Best Recipe

  • Uniform cutting: When preparing your sweet potatoes, ensure they are cut into uniform sizes. This results in even cooking and prevents some pieces from becoming too mushy while others remain undercooked.
  • Drain well: After boiling, drain the sweet potatoes thoroughly. Any excess water can make your mash too runny.
  • Mash while hot: Mash the sweet potatoes while they’re still hot. This results in a smoother, creamier texture as the starches are more malleable.
  • Butter: Use room temperature or slightly melted butter for a smooth incorporation.
  • Keep them warm: If you’re not serving your savory mashed sweet potatoes immediately, keep them warm by placing them in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. This “double boiler” method keeps them warm without drying them out.

What To Do With Leftovers

Learn how to store and reheat your savory mashed sweet potatoes with these simple yet effective storage tips:

  • Fridge: Store fully cooled leftovers in an airtight container and consume within 3-5 days for the best taste and texture.
  • Freezer: Cooked mashed sweet potatoes can be frozen for up to six months in an airtight container.
  • Reheating: You can reheat the potatoes in the microwave in one-minute increments. Make sure to use a microwave-safe dish. Alternatively, warm them on the stovetop over low-medium, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • Prep ahead: If you’re planning to use them within a few days, keep the mashed sweet potatoes in a sealed container in the fridge and simply reheat them when you’re ready to serve. If you’re prepping for a future meal, you can portion and freeze the potatoes so you can just grab the amount you need.

Additional Recipes

If you’re looking for more side dish recipes like these savory mashed sweet potatoes, check out some of my favorites:

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I soak sweet potatoes before mashing them?

No, it’s not necessary to soak sweet potatoes before mashing them.

Do you have to peel sweet potatoes?

For the best flavor and texture, peeling sweet potatoes is recommended before mashing.

Are yams the same thing as sweet potatoes?

Yams are starchy with dark brown skin and a dry interior. They do not mash as well or have the same flavor as sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable with a creamy interior.

How do you thicken sweet potatoes?

If your savory mashed sweet potatoes are watery, they can be thickened with cornstarch, flour, or tapioca. Alternatively, you can add them to a pot, turn them on medium-low heat, and allow the moisture to evaporate as they cook.

How do you make mashed sweet potatoes not watery?

Depending on the potato, there may be extra moisture. To get rid of the watery texture, put the potatoes in a pot over medium-low heat. The heat will turn the moisture into steam and will cook off the potatoes.

What flavors go well with sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are known for their naturally sweet flavor. They go well with the sugary toppings around the holidays: marshmallows, brown sugar, and candied pecans. However, sweet potatoes are also enhanced by savory herbs and butter, like sage, garlic, and rosemary.

The Best Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These savory mashed sweet potatoes are ready in under 30 minutes, which is perfect for weeknights or a quick holiday side dish. Naturally sweet, this recipe does not include marshmallows or brown sugar. Herbs and butter give these mashed sweet potatoes a savory twist that pairs well with any main entrée!
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  • Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 3 inch pieces.
  • To a large pot or dutch oven, add the potatoes and enough water to cover them by about 1 inch.
  • Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot or large mixing bowl.
  • Next, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or ricer until they reach the desired consistency.
  • Add the rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, sage, salt, and butter. Stir until well combined.
  • Serve.


Nutrition Facts
The Best Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
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