How to Cook a Sweet Potato In the Microwave Oven

You're just about 5 minutes away from sweet, tender perfection.

January 24, 2024
baked sweet potato with yogurt sause. Top view.

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baked sweet potato with yogurt sause. Top view.

Photo by: Anna_Shepulova/Getty Images

Anna_Shepulova/Getty Images

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By Grace Elkus for Food Network Kitchen

Grace is a contributing writer at Food Network.

If you're not enjoying sweet potatoes on a regular basis, you're missing out on the veggie’s full potential. The nutrient-dense root vegetable pairs well with practically anything you throw at it: top with eggs and salsa for breakfast, stuff with chicken and cheese for lunch or give it the taco treatment for dinner. The best part? If you cook it in the microwave, you can dig in in just five minutes. Here's how to do it.

Photo taken in Utrecht, Netherlands

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Photo taken in Utrecht, Netherlands

Photo by: Luiz Anselmo / EyeEm/Getty Images

Luiz Anselmo / EyeEm/Getty Images

How to Prep a Sweet Potato for the Microwave

You’ll want to prep a sweet potato for the microwave the same way you would for roasting. Start by thoroughly scrubbing it under cool water with a stiff-bristled scrub brush to remove any caked-on dirt. Pat the sweet potato dry, then pierce the skin 3 to 4 times with a fork. Piercing the potato ensures steam can escape as it cooks, minimizing the risk of it exploding.

Close up of Baked Sweet Potato

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Close up of Baked Sweet Potato

Photo by: 4kodiak/Getty Images

4kodiak/Getty Images

How to Microwave a Sweet Potato

Step 1: Prep the Sweet Potato

Wash and scrub the sweet potato and pat it dry. Prick it 3 to 4 times with a fork.

Step 2: Cook the Sweet Potato

Place the potato on a microwave-safe plate. Cook on high, flipping halfway, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Check for Doneness

Your sweet potato is done cooking when a sharp knife slides easily into the center of the potato. If you’re met with resistance, continue cooking in 30-second increments.

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

Bake, boil, steam and microwave sweet potatoes like a pro.

How Long to Microwave a Sweet Potato

How long it takes to microwave a sweet potato depends on the size of your potato and the wattage of your microwave. On average, a medium sweet potato will take about 5 minutes to cook in a standard microwave.

How to Store a Microwaved Sweet Potato

Microwaved sweet potatoes should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes; The Neelys

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes; The Neelys

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Toppings for Microwaved Sweet Potatoes

Microwaved sweet potatoes taste great with a simple pat of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. But they're also a blank slate for all sorts of tasty toppings. Pile on seasoned beef, cheese, salsa and cabbage for a healthier twist on nachos, or stuff each half with broccoli rabe and pancetta. Craving something sweet? Fluff the flesh and mix with cream cheese, brown sugar and spices instead. Explore more ideas in the links below.

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