Sides & Snacks/ Vegan/ Whole30

Garlic and Herb Mashed Sweet Potatoes

February, 2021

This is my favourite, fool proof way to make paleo mashed potatoes. Easy as 1..2..3 and the perfect side for chicken, fish or beef dinners! In this post, I break down just how easy it is to make vegan mashed sweet potatoes with my best tips!

This recipe has recently been republished with new photos, a more improved recipe and a video!

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Sweet potato mash paleo in a blue bowl garnished with spring of rosemary and thyme

Before I went Paleo, mashed potatoes were one of my favourite things to have with sausages. In the UK, we call this dish “bangers and mash” and it included a lot of gravy! Now, I still have bangers and mash but with sweet potatoes instead!

You’re probably wondering, “are mashed potatoes healthy?” Well, the usual white potato does not carry that many nutrients so no, they are not. Enter in, the sweet potato!

Why are sweet potatoes paleo?

Sweet potatoes are healthy and packed full of nutrients, they are actually somewhat classified as a “superfood”. The thing about sweet potatoes is they are complex carbs – yes, they are still carbs but they are the better kind. 

Complex carbs are high in fiber and take their sweet time to digest meaning they are more filling and actually aid weight control. The time it takes actually aids the management of blood sugar spikes. More info here

I love sweet potatoes because they are naturally gluten free, vegan, versatile, as you can see in many of my sweet potato paleo recipes and the perfect carb for the Paleo diet. As they are still high in carbs, sweet potatoes are not keto friendly. Sweet potatoes can be baked, fried, mashed, juiced, boiled – possibilities are really endless.

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Types of sweet potatoes

There are actually a wide variety of sweet potatoes available, depending on your location. However, let me clarify something now: SWEET POTATOES ARE NOT YAMS. Sweet potatoes are sometimes called “yams” but they are actually two different types of tubers. 

Yams look much longer, with hairier, rough brown skin and have a white flesh on the inside. Sweet potatoes depending on the kind, may either have an orange, white or even purple flesh inside but are almost always smaller in size than yams. 

Sweet potatoes are mostly available in your grocery stores or supermarkets in UK but yams may be much harder to find.

The people over at Paleo Flourish have done a great job in detailing the different types of sweet potatoes out there. 

However, the one that is most available are the GARNET or JEWEL variety (orange flesh). Japanese sweet potatoes or Boniato variety have a white flesh and are much sweeter than the orange kind.

Ingredients for sweet potato mash

Sweet potatoes when boiled can end up quite soft and have a delicious creamy texture. However, the addition of some more ingredients can enhance the flavour and texture of the dish. In my recipe for healthy mashed sweet potatoes, my main ingredients are:

  • Garlic (obviously)
  • Herbs: Rosemary and thyme
  • Coconut or almond milk (helps the creaminess)
  • Nutritional yeast (this gives it a delicious “cheesy” flavour)
  • Coconut oil

Just for more information, if you’re looking for some of the best spices for mashed sweet potatoes, based on if you want a sweet or savoury sweet potato mash:

  • Cinnamon (sweet)
  • Nutmeg (sweet)
  • Onion powder (savoury)
  • Garlic powder (savoury)

Best tips for how to make mashed sweet potato

Picture collage of 6 steps to make sweet potato mash

Honestly, mashed garlic sweet potatoes are one of the easiest dishes to make. You really cannot go wrong and they are very forgiving! I have a few tips but honestly, they are the one dish you can make your own way and it will be the best way. This is how you can make dairy free mashed sweet potatoes and still have it creamy and smooth.

Time needed: 25 minutes.

  1. Peel and dice your sweet potatoes.

    Make sure you add a teaspoon of salt or so in this step

  2. Add water and boil the sweet potatoes for 10-15 minutes.

    It is possible to over boil the sweet potatoes but actually it does not affect the creaminess of the final dish. It depends on your preference for texture, some like a thick sweet potato mash that is still smooth and the thinner the consistency will be.

  3. Mash your potatoes.

    With anything, a fork or a potato masher or even your hands if you please!

  4. Add your seasonings.

    This step is so crucial because it makes or breaks the taste and texture of the final dish. Here is also where you can decide the flavour of your mash. You can have it sweet or savoury but based on my recipe, I’m going for the savoury taste.

  5. Mix it all together well so everything is incorporated.

  6. Serve and enjoy

I need a video for this!

Should I peel a sweet potato or leave the skin on?

For a creamy sweet potato mash, I tend to peel the skin of the sweet potatoes. This is because the skin can have a grainy texture and is actually quite hard to mash, even when cooked. However, the skin still carries a lot of nutrients so it is up to you whether you want to keep them on. Another tip: Cut your sweet potatoes in small pieces about 1 inch. 

Should I roast the sweet potato or boil the sweet potato?

Any method works – however, roasting the sweet potato will take much longer. You can roast it whole, this eliminates peeling the sweet potato as you can easily scoop the sweet potato out and then mash. Boiling the sweet potato is the quickest (and my most preferred) method: you will need to peel the sweet potato but I think the added water enhances the creaminess of the sweet potato when mashed. When boiling, always add a dash of salt – it helps to enhance the flavour at the end!

What makes the sweet potato mash creamy?

Normally, you can add butter to your sweet potato which helps make it much creamier. However, as we are going for a dairy free sweet potato mash, your next best options are coconut milk or almond milk and coconut oil. You can also use some olive oil which gives an even richer flavour.

Freezing mashed sweet potatoes – How to store mashed sweet potatoes (make ahead)

Freeze mashed sweet potatoes for up to 6 months but they will only last for about 4 days in the fridge (too long to sit in your fridge if you ask me!).

Orange sweet potato mashed in blue bowl and garnished with rosemary and thyme

So to summarise, my best tips for making a healthy sweet potato mash are:

  • Peel the skin always!
  • Boil in salty water
  • Boil sweet potatoes for 15 minutes (any longer and the starch will break down too much)
  • Use coconut or almond milk
  • Add coconut oil or olive oil
  • Decide whether you want a sweet or savory mashed sweet potatoes recipe then use any of my favourite mashed sweet potatoes seasoning listed above!

Other ways to eat sweet potato mash (Paleo and dairy free options)

  • Sweet option: add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg then top with candied walnuts or pecans or top with cooked apples or apple butter
  • Savoury option: top with some chopped bacon or pancetta, spice with dried chilli pepper or chilli oil

I hope you’ve found this post useful – comment below and let me know your favourite way to have mashed sweet potatoes. If you have any difficulties making the recipe, please feel free to contact me and we’ll work through it together!

5 from 1 vote
Orange sweet potato mashed in blue bowl and garnished with rosemary and thyme
Garlic and Herb Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

This is a creamy mashed sweet potato recipe with a mix of garlic and herbs such as rosemary and thyme

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Paleo
Keyword: paleo
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Calories: 131 kcal
Author: WhittyPaleo
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of almond milk
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  1. Boil sweet potatoes in a medium cooking pot for 10-15 mins*

  2. Grab a good-sized bowl and while potatoes are still warm, begin to mash using a fork or a masher.
  3. Mix in your butter and milk, adjusting as necessary, till you reach a much creamier consistency.

  4. Lastly, mix in your herbs, garlic and seasoning until combined. Do your taste tests people!
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

1. Check for doneness at 10mins by inserting a fork in one of the sweet potatoes. If it pierces easily or falls apart then it’s done. 

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  • Reply
    April, 2020 at 4:32 PM

    Can’t wait to try this x

    • Reply
      April, 2020 at 4:59 PM

      It’s really delicious, I hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    November, 2019 at 1:28 PM

    Great mashed potato recipe thank you

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