Can you make perfect sweet potatoes with fluffy centers in the microwave? Yes, and in this post, I show you exactly how to cook a sweet potato in the microwave, so the insides stay soft and ready to be loaded with your favorite toppings.
Whenever you need a quick side dish to go with dinner or add to meal prep, sweet potatoes, and the microwave are your best friends. It’s the fastest way to cook them and saves you 45 minutes.
Microwave Sweet Potatoes
Microwaved sweet potatoes are just as delicious as oven-baked potatoes, and if you use my method to cook them, the centers will be pillowy soft, and practically melt in your mouth with butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
When choosing sweet potatoes, opt for ones that are firm, smooth, and without bruises. If you plan to cook several sweet potatoes at once, try to select ones that are the same size so they cook evenly.
Wet Paper Towel Method
Most recipes for microwave sweet potatoes cook them directly on a plate. However, I’ve found that wrapping the potatoes in a damp paper towel keeps the centers moist and prevents the edges nearest the skin from drying out.
If you’re a sucker for crispy sweet potato skin with caramelized edges, then you might want to bake them instead.
While the microwave and the paper towel method works fast, it steams the potato to keep it from shriveling up due to the high wattage.
How to Cook a Sweet Potato in the Microwave
Make sure to use oven mitts when removing the potatoes from the microwave, the extra steam is HOT, and you don’t want to burn your hands.
Gently give the sweet potatoes a good scrub with warm water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Using a fork, prick the skin of each potato and wrap with a damp paper towel.
Place the wrapped sweet potatoes onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 5 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until the potato is tender and easily pierced through a fork or knife.
Using oven mitts, remove the potato from the microwave. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
How Long to Cook a Sweet Potato in the Microwave
How long it takes a sweet potato to cook in the microwave depends on the thickness. Generally, for microwaves at 100% power, it takes 5 minutes per medium potato, but for a more accurate time, reference the chart below:
|2 inches||4 minutes|
|3 inches||5 minutes|
|4 inches||5 minutes|
|5 inches||7 minutes +|
Keep in mind, the chart above is based on the microwave at 100% power. If you’re potato(es) still aren’t fork tender after the estimated time, continue to microwave in one-minute increments until it’s done.
Can You Microwave 2 Sweet Potatoes?
You can microwave multiple sweet potatoes at once, starting with 5 minutes for the first potato and adding 2 minutes for every additional potato.
Recipes to Serve Microwave Sweet Potatoes
Serve these sweet potatoes with pan-fried chicken to make a satisfying meal or turn it into a savory-sweet breakfast, topped with almond butter and berries.
Below are a few more healthy ideas with baked sweet potatoes:
- Shredded buffalo chicken + Blue cheese + Ranch dressing
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Baked Sausage & Peppers
- Topped with a fried egg + sliced avocado
- More sweet potato topping ideas here
How to Microwave a Sweet Potato
How to cook a sweet potato in the microwave, so the insides are pillowy soft, and ready to be loaded with your favorite toppings.
- Cook Time: 11 minutes
- Total Time: 11 minutes
- Yield: 4 sweet potatoes 1x
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- Using your hands or a scrub brush, gently wash the sweet potatoes with warm water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Using a fork, prick the skin of each potato and wrap it with a damp paper towel.
- Place the wrapped sweet potatoes onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 11 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced through with a fork or knife.
- Using oven mitts, remove the potatoes from the microwave and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.