Grown Up Mashed Sweet Potatoes

When thinking of sweet potatoes, do you think of those gooey Thanksgiving dishes drowning in marshmallows and brown sugar? While plenty of kids loved that dish, I was not one of them; I preferred the mashed white potatoes. But now, I can say I've seen the light — that's a vitamin A joke … sorry, food geek humor!

While many sweet potato recipes call for added sugar, this recipe does not. That's because a sweet potato has about 10 more grams of sugar than a russet potato. I prefer to let the sweet potato's natural sweetness shine on its own.

Sweet Potatoes and Beta-Carotene

We can't talk about sweet potatoes without mentioning their enormous punch of beta-carotene. One large sweet potato provides significantly well over the daily recommended quantity. (By the way, russet potatoes are not even competitors in this contest.)

Beta-carotene is important for maintaining good eyesight, protecting cells from damage and reducing the risk of night blindness. This protective nutrient also aids the body in fighting infection and keeps skin glowing and healthy, and also benefits the function of many organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Baked Sweet Potato Mash

Recipe by Recipe by Kristen Robinson, RD, LD


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium russet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ cup plain fat-free yogurt, optional
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoky paprika


  1. Place potatoes and garlic in pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain potatoes and garlic. Pour into a large bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an oven-safe baking dish.
  4. Using a fork, mash potatoes and garlic to desired consistency. Add yogurt, butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  5. Scoop potato mixture into baking dish. Smooth mixture and sprinkle with smoky paprika.
  6. Bake uncovered in oven for 25 to 30 minutes until edges begin to lightly brown.

Cooking Note

  • If you do not have smoky paprika, get some! It adds an indescribable smoky undertone to any dish. However, regular paprika will do just fine in the recipe.
  • Make this recipe vegan-friendly by simply omitting yogurt and butter or using plant-based varieties.
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Kristen Robinson, RD, LD
Kristen Robinson, RD, LD, is a consultant dietitian, providing nutrition education and counseling for children and the elderly. She is the co-creator of the Lettuce Have Lettuce food and nutrition blog. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.