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These mashed purple sweet potatoes are real eye candy on the table! The vibrant color comes from using the less common purple sweet potato; they make for a healthy, tasty, and pretty side dish for any meal!
Also try this purple sweet potato pie, for a dessert take on the purple sweet potato.
Mashed purple sweet potatoes will probably spark a lot of intrigue at your next dinner party or holiday meal. Good thing is, they're just as delicious as they are attractive, so they're bound to be a hit!
It would a total miss not to mention how nutritious these purple sweet potatoes are. They're packed full of anthocyanin (a natural anti-inflammatory), are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, and are high in fiber, low in fat, and carbs. Go on, eat 'em up!
What are purple sweet potatoes
Before we go any further, if you've passed by the dark purple potatoes in the grocery store and finally brought them home to cook with but just aren't sure what you're dealing with — here's the scoop:
There are 3 varieties of purple sweet potatoes that will give you the incredible, flashy colour:
- Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato
- Stokes Purple Sweet Potato
- Molokai Purple Sweet Potato
Any of these types will be perfect for this purple sweet potato mash.
Be aware that there are purple-looking potatoes that have white flesh, which won't yield the same colorful results (these are actually called red sweet potatoes).
Do purple sweet potatoes taste different?
They taste very similar to the more common orange variety. Purple sweet potatoes are sweet and starchy. You can eat both the potato skin as well as the inside.
Ingredients to make mashed purple sweet potatoes
- Purple sweet potatoes: You will need 1 ½ lb of these show stopping veggies. These aren't as common as the orange kind, but you should be able to find them in larger grocery stores, organic markets, farmers markets, or Asian markets.
- Butter: You'll brown the butter in a frying pan to give a hint of toasty, caramel.
- Sesame oil: Once you brown the butter you'll add sesame oil to it to create a yummy, earthy sauce to mix into your potatoes.
- Cream (or milk): Add a ¼ cup of cream or milk to help cut some of the density of the sweet potatoes.
- Sea salt: Add some sea salt to enhance the flavor of the sweet potatoes and balance the sweetness.
- Garnish: Add some toasted sesame seeds and cilantro on the top of your mashed potatoes.
How to make mashed purple sweet potatoes
In just 20 minutes you will have the perfect purple mashers on your table. Here's the rundown of how to make them:
- Prep and boil the potatoes: Cut the potatoes into cubes and boil them until soft.
- Make the brown butter: Melt the butter and swirl in a frying pan until it's nice and toasty brown. Then add the sesame oil.
- Mash the potatoes: Once the potatoes are cooked, save some of the water before you drain them. Add the milk, salt, and brown butter. Then, mash away! You can use a potato masher or use an electric hand mixer. Use a little of the water you saved to make the potatoes super creamy.
- Garnish & serve: Add the toasted sesame seeds and cilantro before serving up your mashed purple sweet potatoes.
Variations to try
In this purple sweet potato mash, we tested a flavor combo of brown butter, sesame, and cilantro, however, there are so many direction you can take this dish! Here are some other variations to try:
- Butter and herbs: Try combining 2-4 tablespoons of melted butter with fresh, minced herbs like chives and thyme. This will give your sweet potatoes a savory, herbaceous flavor.
- Maple: If you're digging the natural sweetness of the purple sweet potatoes, try adding equal parts butter and maple syrup to the mashers.
- Spicy: Add some spices to your mashed potatoes, like a little cajun seasoning, or some chili powder and cayenne pepper.
- Honey & Cinnamon: Add some honey and cinnamon for a warm and festive take on mashed purple sweet potatoes.
- Non-dairy: You can substitute non-dairy milk and vegan butter to make vegan mashed purple sweet potatoes.
Can I use orange sweet potatoes instead of purple sweet potatoes?
You definitely can! Just expect your mashers to be orange instead of purple!
How to store mashed purple sweet potatoes
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge and they will last 3-4 days.
Can I freeze mashed purple sweet potatoes?
Mashed potatoes freeze very well! Simply store them in a freezer-proof container and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1 ½ lb purple sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup cream (or milk)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
- Toasted sesame seeds and cilantro (to serve)
- Peel the purple sweet potatoes and cut them into large cubes. Place the purple sweet potatoes into a medium-sized pot and cover them with 1-inch of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until they are very tender.1 ½ lb purple sweet potatoes
- Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan a few times while the butter browns. When the foam subsides, remove the pan from the heat and add the sesame oil.2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Reserve a scoop of the potato cooking water then drain the pot. Pour most of the brown butter into the pot – save a little to garnish. Add the milk and salt and mash the purple sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Stir in the reserved cooking water, a little at a time, until the potatoes are super creamy.½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ cup cream
- Serve the mashed purple sweet potatoes with the reserved brown butter drizzled over the top and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.Toasted sesame seeds and cilantro
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.