Sweet potatoes are a favorite in my house: I love them because they are incredibly good for you and my kids love them because, well, sweet potatoes. The boys have been gobbling them up ever since they were 6-months-old, when I severed them mashed with coconut oil and cinnamon. But even though I’ve been cooking them for years, I just realized that you can “roast” sweet potatoes in the slow cooker. Amazing!
Top: Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | What’s Gaby Cooking
Here’s why this is a game changer: I don’t have to be home during the long time that it takes to roast sweet potatoes in an oven.The slow cooker will safely cook the potatoes while I’m out, which means that we can have delicious, nutrient-dense sweet potatoes any night of the week, not just the ones when I’m home in time to monitor the oven for over an hour before dinner.
See? Game changer.
Here’s how to roast sweet potatoes in a slow cooker (which, by the way, works for white potatoes, too). Spoiler alert: It’s dead easy. In fact, it’s so simple that I’m throwing in some killer sweet potato recipes, as well, so that you know what to do with them all since you’ll be cooking sweet potatoes all of the time.
1. Wash the potatoes. This should be self-explanatory. Clean ‘em up, even if you’ll peel them after cooking (which is optional, by the way).
2. Fit the potatoes snugly in the slow cooker. You want them to rest in a single layer. I’ve never cut any to fit, except a little tip or edge here or there. When you do, moisture and juices will seep out over the course of cooking. Depending on how big your slow cooker is and the shape and size of the sweet potatoes, you’ll get anywhere from 2-4 full-sized sweet potatoes done at once.
3. Set slow cooker to high for 4 hours. That’s it: Just press the button—or whatever it is on your machine.
4. Cover and cook. Now your slow cooker does the rest for you. If you have the option to set a start delay, I would. To be honest, leaving these on warm for hours on end will eventually dry the potatoes out, but a delayed start will make it so that you can be out all day without that happening. If you don’t have a delayed start option, I’d save this recipe for a time when you can be home close to when the 4 hour cooking time is up.
5. Uncover and serve. That’s right: Those potatoes you see are cooked—and slow cooked at that, similar to when they are roasted in the oven, which means that they are super sweet and still packed with nutrients.
My favorite way to eat these roasted sweet potatoes is to simply cut them open, mash in a few pats of butter or coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and cinnamon, and a drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top. It’s delicious. But since you’ll be making sweet potatoes all the time, you’ll need a few additional sweet potato recipes to keep your back pocket. All of these are great.
1. I can’t get enough of these Twice-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Hot Honey at Bon Appetit. If you’ve never had the combo of sweet honey and spicy chiles, you’re honestly missing out. This is a great recipe to get in on the delicious action, since sweet potatoes are the perfect creamy backdrop for the flavor combo. And, by the way, just skip the spicy chiles (or be sure to devein and deseed them) for the kid portions.
Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Arugula and Poached Eggs | How Sweet It Is
2. One of the best ways to serve any kind of potato is stuffed to the gills, right? We love eating them this way so much that we rounded up a nine stuffed sweet potato recipes that are delicious and good for you, too, including the Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Arugula and Poached Eggs that we spied on How Sweet It Is.
3. We’re also big fans of the Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes that we found at What’s Gaby Cooking (very top). And since the slow cooker will do all the work of roasting the potatoes, these recipes are as easy as can be: remove sweet potatoes from slow cooker, top, and serve!
4. Once your sweet potatoes are cooked, you can dice them up and throw them into a salad to give it both extra heft and nutrition. This Roasted Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette at Sweet Peas and Saffron looks amazingly delicious and can even serve as a main, given how filling it is (or serve with a simple side of grilled chicken or shrimp).
Even though the recipe calls for you to roast the sweet potatoes with spices, plain from the slow cooker will work just fine given the flavorful dressing. Also, make wild rice for another dinner earlier in the week and double the recipe: Then, you’ll literally be able to throw this together in minutes.