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How to Make a Baked Sweet Potato in the Microwave

in Desserts, Sides, Snacks

A tutorial on how to “bake” a sweet potato in the microwave in under seven minutes.

If you have not already figured it out, I am a big-time sweet potato lover.  I love sweet potato fries.  I love sweet potato in soups.  I love baked stuffed sweet potatoes for dinner and baked sweet potatoes topped with almond butter for dessert.  Clearly, I do not have a problem reaching my necessary vitamin A intake.

With this sweet potato obsession, you can only imagine how frequently I am needing to bake up batches of sweet potatoes.  Who am I kidding?  I never bake up batches of sweet potatoes.  In fact, I do not bake my sweet potatoes at all.  I am far too impatient to wait 45 minutes to an hour when a sweet potato craving hits.  Instead, I “bake” my sweet potatoes in the microwave.

I have had quite a few people ask me over the past year how to turn this:

sweet potato microwaveinto a baked sweet potato in under seven minutes.

Lucky for you, I have decided to feature the sweet potato in my next “How To” post.  Following is a step-by-step pictorial on how to “bake” a sweet potato in the microwave when you just do not feel like actually baking it.

sweet potato microwave 2How to “Bake” a Sweet Potato in the Microwave

Step 1

sweet potato microwave 3Begin by cleaning the sweet potato under running water using a produce scrubbing brush.  This is especially important if you also eat the skin of the potato like I do.

sweet potato microwave 4Your potato will look like this post-washing.

Step 2

sweet potato microwave 5Pierce the potato with a fork about six to eight times.  This will prevent the potato from exploding in the microwave.  Trust me, you do not want to skip this step!

Step 3

sweet potato microwave 6Wet a full-sized sheet of a paper towel with cold water.  Gently ring out any excess water.  Carefully unfold the paper towel and place it onto a microwave-safe plate.  Place the sweet potato onto the paper towel.

Step 4

sweet potato microwave 7Loosely fold over both sides of the paper towel to cover the sweet potato.  Covering the sweet potato with the damp paper towel will provide a “steaming” effect when microwaving the potato.

Step 5

sweet potato microwave 8Microwave the potato for approximately six minutes, flipping once halfway through.  For a medium potato, I normally microwave it for three minutes, flip, and microwave an additional two and a half to three minutes.  Smaller potatoes will take less time.  Larger potatoes will take more time.  Once you experiment a bit, you will find the “right” amount of time for your potatoes.

Step 6

sweet potato microwave 9After cooking, unwrap the potato and let it cool for several minutes.

Step 7

sweet potato microwave 11Use a knife to cut the potato in half.

Step 8

sweet potato microwave 12Admire how pretty your potato looks and then top it with desired toppings.  Some of my favorites include: maple or vanilla almond butter, Melt butter, yellow mustard, salsa, avocado, and dippy eggs- don’t worry, not all at once.  The topping choices are pretty much endless.

Easy peasy, right?

Whether you are making dinner with sweet potatoes, baking with sweet potatoes, eating sweet potatoes as a side, or eating sweet potatoes for dessert, save yourself a whole ‘lotta time and nuke them in the microwave.  This is the lazy girl’s way of cooking!

Side note: This same method works just as well with regular russet potatoes, too!

Other Food How To’s:


What is your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?

{ 77 comments… add one }
  • Rachel October 15, 2014, 11:28 pm

    VERY COOL TIP! I never knew (or even thought to) wrap the potato with a damp cloth/paper towel! This is genius! 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Getting To Know Me in 50 QuestionsMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 16, 2014, 8:59 pm

      It really helps to “steam” the potatoes a bit so they don’t dry out too much!

      • Irene November 23, 2015, 1:50 pm

        Nice..I will try this as soon as I get home from work! I used the “45 minute” method yesterday…

        • ClnEatingVegGrl November 23, 2015, 2:33 pm

          I hope it works out well for you. It is great in a pinch!

  • Debbie @ Live from La Quinta October 15, 2014, 11:31 pm

    I cook russet potatoes all the time in the microwave (though I never wrap them in a damp paper towel..thanks for the tip). I too want my food when I want it.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted…5 Reasons You Need to Go to BlogFest 2015My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 2:49 pm

      Yes… when you are craving something you need it then, not 45 minutes later!! 😉

  • Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate October 16, 2014, 6:32 am

    This is so helpful, thank you! And it’s perfect timing because the only two things in my house to eat right now are avocados and sweet potatoes 😉
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Wedding Recap: Our First LookMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 2:49 pm

      Haha, toooo funny! I happen to like combining the two!

  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies October 16, 2014, 7:56 am

    Great tip for a yummy potato! Shared with my dorm-living sister 😀
    Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted…Homemade Manwich (Sloppy Joe Sauce)My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 2:53 pm

      Oh I bet she will love that! I wish I had known to do this back when I was in college… of course I wasn’t eating so healthy back then 😉

  • Joanna @Makingmine October 16, 2014, 9:05 am

    I would be doomed without being able to microwave sweet potatoes. Eleanor and I have them for lunch almost every day! Great photo how-to!
    Joanna @Makingmine recently posted…stroller talk: finding the right ride for babyMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:28 pm

      I am so glad to hear that Eleanor is a sweet potato-loving girl! She is a smart cookie 🙂

  • Katie @ running4cupcakes October 16, 2014, 12:32 pm

    It seems so simple but I had NO idea you could do that!! Mind blown. 🙂

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:32 pm

      Awesome, right? Don’t feel bad. I didn’t start making mine this way until about 2 years ago. Before then I had NO idea either!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul October 16, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Now I’m craving a sweet potato! Great post!
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted…Life in Omaha LatelyMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:34 pm

      That sure is a great craving to have!

  • Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious October 16, 2014, 2:18 pm

    I love this. What a great tip!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…How to Break Through a Weight Loss PlateauMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:35 pm

      Thanks Megan! I hope you give it a try so that you can have sweet potatoes FAST! 🙂

  • Angela October 16, 2014, 9:00 pm

    Does it taste the same as baked?

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:37 pm

      Honestly, it has been SO long since I have eaten a sweet potato that was actually baked that I don’t really remember! 😉 I think the microwaved ones might not be quite as soft in the inside and the skin of the potato doesn’t get as crispy.

  • Linz @ Itz Linz October 16, 2014, 9:27 pm

    i do this for my dog for her treats!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted…30 Recipes for Overnight OatsMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:38 pm

      Aww, that is so cute!! Next time I am home at my parents’ house I will have to make some for my puppies!

  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles October 17, 2014, 5:53 am

    I live on sweet potatoes. Like every night with dinner. I usually cheat the baked potato method by microwaving on the potato setting and not letting it run the entire time and then switch it into the oven at 450 degrees to finish it up quick so the skin gets a little crisp. I also use this cheat method to soften the potato in order to slice it up into wedges to then cook in the oven fast. It works every time and saves so much time!
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Meet And Tweet Recap & Off To Runner’s World Half & FestivalMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:41 pm

      Those are both awesome ideas! Thanks Meredith 🙂

    • Carolyn March 24, 2016, 11:24 am

      Never thought of papertowel wrap. I usually do a baked potato putting it in microwave bowl filled with some water on bottom and cut some slits in it then just lay a dry paper towel over it. Then drain water out of bottom of my bowl and it’s moist and taste just like it was baked in oven. Even better.

      • ClnEatingVegGrl March 25, 2016, 7:12 am

        Very cool! I’ll have to try out that method too!

  • Liz @ I Heart Vegetables October 17, 2014, 6:40 am

    I went through a sweet potato + almond butter phase for a long time! I almost always made them in the microwave because it was super hot out and I didn’t want to turn on the oven! It’s such a great short cut!! 🙂 Happy Friday!
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables recently posted…Frugal Friday- Vegetarian Crockpot LasagnaMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:43 pm

      That is definitely another huge plus to microwaving over using the oven. When it is warm out I have zero desire to turn on my oven! :/

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt October 17, 2014, 8:03 am

    yum! I love sweet potatoes. My mom always made them in the microwave too.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…What to Wear for Fall Running & Pearl iZumi GiveawayMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 17, 2014, 5:46 pm

      You and your mom are smart women! 😉

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 17, 2014, 6:46 pm

    Totally agree — 45 minutes is WAY too long. But the sad thing is I do it anyways because I grew up without a microwave and now it just feels strange to use one. I use mine to store my extra pots and pans 😆
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. vegan pumpkin hot chocolate .My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 19, 2014, 10:39 am

      That is so funny! I have heard of people storing pots and pans in their ovens, but not microwaves 😉 I have a feeling if I tried the oven method I would burn my apartment down when I went to preheat my oven 😉

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl October 17, 2014, 10:38 pm

    Great how to, thank you! Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite parts of Fall!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 19, 2014, 10:40 am

      Aren’t they the best?? My Vitamin A consumption is out of control right now 😉

  • Graham Ansell June 18, 2015, 5:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, brilliant very useful

    • ClnEatingVegGrl June 18, 2015, 8:10 pm

      I’m so glad you think so. I hope you give it a try!

  • Darrelyn June 24, 2015, 7:55 pm

    Have you tried cooking 2 potatoes at once? How much longer do you need to cook them?

    • ClnEatingVegGrl June 26, 2015, 9:56 am

      I have not, so I’m not sure. Let me know if you try!

      • Darrelyn June 26, 2015, 10:03 am

        I did try to make 2 potatoes & cooked for the same amt of time as 1 & it worked out fine!

  • Iris August 16, 2015, 9:37 pm

    Everyone at my house loves baked sweet potatoes. I use a very large pyrex bowl, wash my potatoes, put them in the bowl with a tablespoon of water (more or less) cover it with a lid or a plate (no plastic) and microwave it. It always comes out perfect.

    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 17, 2015, 7:33 am

      Whoa! I have never heard of that method. It sounds really easy. Thanks for sharing!

    • geraldine October 27, 2015, 6:21 pm

      Do yo still puncture the potatoes with a fork

      • ClnEatingVegGrl October 27, 2015, 6:31 pm

        I sure do!

    • PK May 5, 2016, 3:53 am

      This is exactly how I cook red potatoes. 😊

      • ClnEatingVegGrl May 5, 2016, 7:15 am

        I’ll have to try that next!

  • Danielle August 19, 2015, 11:52 am

    This is so helpful for sweet potato hummus! I want hummus in the summer but didn’t want to heat up the house. THANKS!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 19, 2015, 8:39 pm

      You are so welcome! Sweet potato hummus sounds fabulous, by the way 🙂

  • Maya Bloom August 23, 2015, 7:45 pm

    My sis-in-law makes those microwave potato bags. So I tried it. I cleaned, pierced potato (just in case) put it in the bag. Cooked on high for 3 mins turned over potato and bag. Microwaved for 4 mins. Had to add few extra minutes because potato was big. Cut open added 1T butter, cinnamon and sugar and there is supper.

    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 24, 2015, 9:08 am

      What are the microwave potato bags made out of? It sounds really cool!

  • Maya Bloom August 24, 2015, 9:29 am

    Entirely made of cotton including the thread. That is the important part.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jIarYmIioc. She does not mention cotton thread but my sis-in-law said use the mercerized cotton. This tutorial appears well organized. Hope this helps you. Enjoy.

    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 24, 2015, 11:07 am

      Huh, very cool! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nanette October 26, 2015, 4:25 pm

    Very concise, well done and it works well! Thanks

  • Tim Cook October 29, 2015, 5:09 am

    Found the process somewhat interesting.
    If you don’t mind me asking, do they taste the same as baked ones?

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 29, 2015, 12:41 pm

      They do not taste the same, but are still delicious! I think the microwave version does not get quite as soft as when you bake them. But in a pinch, they work!

  • Shannon November 5, 2015, 5:33 pm

    a coffee filter wet and wrapped around a small to medium sized one works in a pinch. 🙂

    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 5, 2015, 6:33 pm

      That’s an awesome and super clever idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dwight November 21, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Thanks Hannah!
    Just got done shoveling 8 inches of snow off the driveway and blood sugar is REALLY LOW! 🙂 Looking forward to that sweet potatoe in a few minutes! Wishing you well and keep up the great posts!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 21, 2015, 5:51 pm

      We got snow here too! I hope you enjoy the sweet potato 🙂

  • Andrew Hatecooking April 23, 2016, 7:51 am

    Someone said about not as crisp as an oven-baked one. Instead of the damp cloth or paper towel, how about glazing with egg (or similar if eggs are off your menu?).
    I bought a sweet potato for the first time today and this is a super idea. I will try tomorrow! :-). Thanks.

    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 23, 2016, 8:12 am

      Great idea! Let me know how it turns out!

  • Andrew Hatescooking April 24, 2016, 6:32 am

    Feedback on: Sweet potato with an egg coating in the microwave.
    Mine was a reddish outside with orange innards potato. My microwave (MW) is 700w.
    I scrubbed the potato and dried it. I broke an egg over it and lathered it with egg with my (clean) hands.
    In the MW 5mins. I scraped off the egg which had puddled (what else to do with the rest of the egg but leave it swimming on the plate!) and ate the egg – It was similar to fried egg.
    I turned over the potato and back into the MW.
    After 1.5mins I sliced the potato length-wise and opened it. This was to ensure the innards cooked properly.
    In the MW 3.5mins.
    I cut up the potato into bite-sized chunks and ate (including the skin).
    It was OK and I don`t think the egg coating added or detracted from the potato at all.
    Next time I may add some veggies or whatever….:-)
    Interesting eggsperiment….

    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 24, 2016, 9:23 am

      It sounds like it was an interesting experiment! Thanks for sharing 😀

  • Suzanne May 12, 2016, 2:49 pm

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou! This is the first sweet potato I’ve ever enjoyed without adding something sweet. It was perfect; and I stopped eating it to share my happiness. Now, back to the potato…

    • ClnEatingVegGrl May 12, 2016, 3:51 pm

      I am SO you are enjoying it! It is a great time-saver!

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