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Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange-Chili Butter

These mashed sweet potatoes are easily made in your Instant Pot and have a unique orange-chili butter mixed in! This flavor combination is STELLAR and more delicious than you’d think!

A large white bowl of mashed sweet potatoes with a wooden serving spoon. The bowl is next to a smaller wooden bowl with crushed red pepper flakes and an orange that has been cut in half.

If I’m being honest, I’ve never particularly liked mashed sweet potatoes.

They seemed too sweet and sorta… blah.

Until I made these mashed sweet potatoes.

This is actually a recipe from my Instant Pot cookbook — The Big Book of Paleo Pressure Cooking.
It’s one of the recipes that doesn’t have a photo, so it exists quietly in the book and is likely overlooked by people who prefer recipes with photos.

I added it to my blog because it’s a perfect alternative to white mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and it’s naturally gluten free.

And the combination of sweet potatoes + orange + chili is rather unique. It has me sold on mashed sweet potatoes from here on out.

View looking into an Instant Pot. The pot is filled with large, uncooked pieces of sweet potato. The sweet potatoes are sitting on a silicone steam basket on top of the wire rack.

Why use a pressure cooker to cook sweet potatoes?

The biggest reason is that you don’t have to fill a big pot of water, babysit it on the stovetop, and then drain the dang thing (the worst part). Mashed potatoes (of all kinds) was a rare thing for me to make because it’s a pain!

Now? Much more often!

Even if you aren’t making a mashed potato side dish, you can use this method to cook sweet potatoes for other things like sweet potato casserole, sweet potato mash for baking, or making baby food, even.

Tip for making Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes (or regular mashed potatoes)

  • If you need to drain the potatoes, use a silicone steamer basket. It makes it MUCH easier to separate the potatoes from the liquid. My basket needs the wire rack underneath, but the one I linked to is specifically made for Instant Pot and provides enough structure so you don’t need the wire rack.
  • Don’t cut them too small. Because of all of the hot steam in your electric pressure cooker, sweet potatoes cook pretty quickly, so you don’t need to cut the potatoes into small pieces. 2-3 inch pieces are all you need. I mash mine right into the serving bowl, too.
Cooked sweet potatoes are being mashed in a white serving bowl with a small potato masher.

Orange-Chili Butter? Really?

Let’s talk about this orange-chili butter for a second. Did you know sweet potatoes and orange are a REALLY good flavor combination?

I love this flavored butter on the mashed sweet potatoes because the butter gives it richness, the orange zest compliments the sweet potatoes really well, the apple cider vinegar offsets some of the overall sweetness and the pinch of red pepper flakes gives it a subtle pop of heat.

It’s so easy, too. Just melt the butter and mix it with the other ingredients, then pour it over the freshly cooked sweet potatoes. I mash them with a potato masher right in the serving dish.

Can I make this dairy-free?

I’d recommend using a dairy-free butter replacement so you still have that rich, buttery flavor.

Sometimes people who have a sensitivity to dairy can use ghee instead of butter and do alright since ghee is butter with the milk solids removed. Using ghee would also make this recipe Whole30 compliant.

It’s easy to make your own ghee (or clarified butter as its often called). Here’s my tutorial! How to Make Ghee

Orange-chili butter is being poured into a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes.

Can I leave out the red pepper flakes?

Yes. If you’re not into heat, just leave out the red pepper flakes and they’ll still be really tasty.

Alternative Seasoning for Mashed Sweet Potatoes

If the orange-chili combo is freaking you out, here are a couple of suggestions for seasoning sweet potato mash. 

Garlic Herb: Use the same amount of butter & salt and add 1-2 cloves of minced or Microplaned garlic and 2-3 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary or thyme. A little cream would make these creamy mashed sweets super tasty.

Sweet Cinnamon: Use the same amount of butter, a pinch of salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a splash of cream for a yummy sweet version. Heck, throw some marshmallows on top if you must. The natural sugar from the sweet potatoes should be enough to sweeten this, but if you’d like it sweeter, drizzle in some maple syrup, honey, or a bit of brown sugar.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Sure! Just store them in an airtight container for up to a week and then reheat in the microwave, stirring between 30-40 second intervals. You might have to adjust the seasonings, so taste them before serving.

Another view of the large white serving bowl filled with Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange-Chili Butter.

What kind of sweet potatoes are good to mash?

I like the “garnet yams”, which are just oranged fleshed sweet potatoes. Confused about the sweet potato – yam situation?

Difference between sweet potatoes and yams

All of the orange fleshed potatoes are labeld “yams” at the grocery store and the white ones are usually labeled “sweet potatoes”.

The truth is — they’re ALL sweet potatoes!

True yams have white flesh with a thick, bark-like skin and are difficult to find in the US. 

Here’s a post I wrote about it! Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams

Try using butternut squash!

For a twist on this recipe, try using butternut squash! It’ll have a more savory taste since butternut squash isn’t quite as sweet as mashed potatoes. It would be good with any seasoning suggestion in this post.

What Can I Serve with Mashed Sweet Potatoes?

Serve it at Thanksgiving or during the holidays!

For those who don’t care for the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes traditionally served (*cough* like me) or those who are looking for an alternative to regular mashed potatoes, they’ll appreciate this recipe or my Instant Pot Cauliflower Puree. It’ll go beautifully with my Dry Brine Turkey with Orange-Rosemary Butter, too!

A simple Roasted Chicken. Or a rotisserie chicken and a salad kit you pick up at the store for an easy dinner.

Grilled chicken — like my Grilled Lemon Chicken or Easy Grilled BBQ Chicken. See this post for My Favorite Grilled Chicken Recipes!

Hearty beef dishes like steak or Mini Skillet Meatloaves.

Other BBQ recipes like Instant Pot Ribs or Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork.

If you make this recipe, be sure to post it to social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

What Can I Serve with Mashed Sweet Potatoes?

Serve it at Thanksgiving or during the holidays! For those who don’t care for the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes traditionally served (*cough* like me) or those who are looking for an alternative to regular mashed potatoes, they’ll appreciate these or my Instant Pot Cauliflower Puree. It’ll go beautifully with my Dry Brine Turkey with Orange-Rosemary Butter, too!

A simple Roasted Chicken. Or a rotisserie chicken and a salad kit you pick up at the store for an easy dinner.

Grilled chicken — like my Grilled Lemon Chicken or Easy Grilled BBQ Chicken.

Hearty beef dishes like steak or Mini Skillet Meatloaves.

Other BBQ recipes like Instant Pot Ribs or Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork.


If you make this recipe, be sure to post it to social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange-Chili Butter (Instant Pot)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange-Chili Butter (Instant Pot)

Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These mashed sweet potatoes are easily made in your Instant Pot and have a unique orange-chili butter mixed in! This flavor combination is STELLAR and more delicious than you'd think!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-2 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or ghee
  • Zest from 1/2 of an orange
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Put a cup of water in the insert pot of your Instant Pot. Add the wire rack and a silicone steam basket, if you have one (see note). Put the sweet potatoes in the steam basket.
  2. Put the lid on the cooker, locking it and moving the steam release valve to "sealing". Set the cooker for 10 minutes at high pressure. When the pressure cycle is finished, let it sit for about 5 minutes before releasing the rest of the steam manually.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan or skillet. Add the zest, vinegar, and red pepper flakes and remove it from the heat. Set aside.
  4. When the potatoes are finished, lift them out of the cooker and drain off the water. If you have a steam basket with a handle, this makes it much easier.
  5. Transfer the cooked potatoes into a large serving bowl. Mash them with a potato masher or a large fork. Pour the orange-chili butter over them and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix everything together well. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. I highly recommend using a steam basket. Mine doesn't have handles, so I use it over my wire rack. There are some that are specifically made for use in an Instant Pot that have handles and enough structure so you don't need the wire rack. Here's a link to one: Instant Pot Silicone Steam Basket.
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