Sweet Potatoes and Yams in the Instant Pot

uncooked sweet potatoes in Instant Pot

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I eat sweet potatoes and yams pretty much every day that I’m home. When I travel on road trips, I often take my Instant Pot with me and use it to cook sweet potatoes and yams at my new destination. Basically, they are the main starch I eat

You can cook the potatoes sliced, which takes less time, or you can cook them whole, which can be less predictable time wise.  It is a matter of which you prefer depending on how you are going to use them and how much time you have. Below are instructions for both. Quite honestly they do turn out better looking if you cook them whole. And if you are using them in whole or half form for your recipe (eg topped with something) then that is the best way to cook them. You do run into the problem of them not all being done at the same time due to thickness so you may have to cook some a bit longer than the others.  But you would have to do that if you were cooking them in an oven, so it really isn’t a big deal. If you plan on cooking them whole, it helps to try to get the potatoes a similar thickness in size. The length doesn’t matter. Of course the thinner they are in thickness, the less time they will need to cook.

If you are going to mash them up anyway and you have less time, then slice them before cooking and it will take less time. And it really helps to slice them if you have some really thick potatoes and some skinny ones, because there is no way that fat and skinny potatoes will cook in the same amount of time if you leave them whole.

I especially like making sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot  in the summer months as you aren’t turning on the oven and heating up the house.  Oven baked sweet potatoes have a nice caramelized flavor (if you bake them long enough) which the Instant Pot potatoes don’t have.  But the Instant Pot potatoes are very moist, and it is the only way (well, aside from boiling but who wants to do that) that I would cook the purple sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potatoes don’t work well in the oven for me (they dry out too much).

And if you don’t have an Instant Pot and think maybe you want to buy one, check out this link on Amazon!

Happy Sweet Potato-ing!  🙂


Sweet Potatoes and Yams in the Instant Pot

Course Side Dish, Vegetable
Appliances Instant Pot
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • sweet potatoes


  1. Choose how many and what kind of sweet potatoes and yams you want to eat.
  2. Using a stiff vegetable brush, scrub the sweet potatoes with water.
  3. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot. Add water so it comes up to just under the trivet.
  4. Place the whole sweet potatoes on the trivet....the smaller ones on top. There is no need to poke holes in the sweet potatoes.
  5. Secure the lid. Choose the Manual function and set your time. I cook whole sweet potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes depending on the size. I live at 7000 feet so it takes me longer than it will you. I suggest starting with 14 minutes and see if that cooks them through. If not, cook a few minutes longer.
  6. When the timer beeps, you can either do a quick release or a slow release....or somewhere in between. It really doesn't matter....just whatever works for you at the time. However, make a note in your mind of what you did so you know how long to cook the potatoes the next time you cook them! Poke the potatoes with a sharp knife to see if cooked. If some are cooked and some aren't, take out the ones that are done and cook the others a few minutes longer. The pressure cooker will come up to pressure much faster the second time.
  7. Here are the cooked sweet potatoes. From left to right is a Japanese sweet potato, purple sweet potato, jersey sweet potato and jewel yam.
  8. If you want to cook the sweet potatoes sliced, put the trivet in the IP and add water to just under the trivet.
  9. Slice the potatoes so they are about the same thickness and put into the IP. I slice mine about an inch thick.
  10. Use the Manual function and set your time. I cook mine for 22 minutes. You won't need this much time unless you live at a high elevation. I suggest trying 10 minutes and see how done they are.
  11. When the timer has beeped, do a quick release and check to see if the potatoes are done. If not, cook a bit longer.
  12. I often use the cooked potatoes as a base layer and I top them with cooked vegetables and beans. Here's some potatoes, along with some brown rice which was previously cooked in the IP.
  13. And here is the dish topped with vegetables, beans and a heaping spoonful of love! YUM!

6 thoughts on “Sweet Potatoes and Yams in the Instant Pot

  1. I’m a new IP owner and sweet potatoes are one of my favorites. Your directions were the most direct and informative I’ve found – thank you! Looking forward to checking out more of your website.

  2. Hi Anne~ Glad you found my suggestions helpful! Thanks so much for letting me know!! May you have many successful IP meals! 🙂

  3. Worked like a champ. Thanks for taking time to post. I started at 20 mins, probably 5 too long but still yummy. The peels fell right off. Because of your picture I sampled several varieties myself. Decided pink with orange inside are my favorite. I’ve learned most store signs have very inconsistent names so I will verify what they are by looking at them rather than by the signage.

    1. Yay! Glad my post could be of help to you!! 🙂 Come fall you might find some of Stoke purple sweet potatoes in stores. Often those are available in stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. Happy cooking in the Instant Pot!

  4. Holy moly! Did two medium yams for 22 mins (I live in Denver–5280ft). Skins slipped right off. Mashed them with a teensy bit of butter and they taste so rich and delicious! I am sold! Thanks for these great directions.

    1. Hi Gwen~ Aren’t yams wonderful in the Instant Pot! So easy and so moist! And they don’t heat up the kitchen because the oven is on (a real plus as the weather gets warmer)!

      Glad my post was helpful to you!

      Today I cooked some sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot. All came out delicious! Try other varieties too! You won’t be disappointed!

      Thanks for writing and happy cooking in the Instant Pot! 🙂

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