Spicy Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These Spicy Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes are not your grandmother’s sweet potatoes! With the addition of ají amarillo paste and ground cumin, they have a subtle hint of Peruvian flavor. These savory sweet potatoes pair well with roast turkey, grilled or roasted chicken, and more. We loved them beneath Peruvian escabeche!

Savory mashed sweet potatoes in a black stoneware bowl with flatware, napkin, and cilantro.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Peruvian Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are ubiquitous in Peru. A staple in Peruvian cuisine, they are used in many traditional dishes. Sweet potatoes are known as “camote” in Spanish, and are featured in many soups, stews, and side dishes.

Peruvian ceviche is usually served with cancha and boiled sweet potatoes. Actually, many traditional dishes are served with boiled sweet potatoes. If you look at my Peruvian ceviche, you will not find them in the photos. Why? While I love sweet potatoes, I hate them boiled! There. I said it. Sweet potatoes have far more flavor when roasted, grilled, sautéed, etc. I especially love them roasted. The caramelized edges (maillard reaction) add so much flavor.

When I started working on my fish escabeche recipe, I looked at all of my Peruvian cookbooks, and many online sources. Almost without exception, the escabeche was served with boiled sweet potatoes. I wanted to include sweet potatoes as a side dish, but I knew they wouldn’t be boiled.😱

Playing in my kitchen led me to this savory sweet potato mash. If you have followed me for a while, you may realize I want to bring Peruvian flavors to home cooks living outside Peru. I fully acknowledge my recipes may sometimes be less-than-authentic, but the essence of Peru is there. With this in mind, I hope you will find my Peruvian-inspired spicy, savory mashed sweet potatoes make a flavorful alternative to boiled!

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Ingredients for Peruvian mashed sweet potatoes - Sweet potatoes, spices, ají amarillo paste, etc.
  • sweet potatoes – Since this is a recipe for sweet potatoes, you probably will want sweet potatoes. There are several varieties of sweet potatoes that can be used for making mashed sweet potatoes, and the best one often depends on personal preference and availability. However, some varieties are more commonly used for mashing due to their texture and flavor. Orange sweet potatoes are widely available, and result in creamy sweet potatoes. Beauregard Sweet Potatoes are known for their smooth texture and sweet flavor, making them ideal for this recipe. Garnet Sweet Potatoes have a vibrant orange flesh and a sweet flavor. They mash well and are a good choice as well. I wouldn’t choose white sweet potatoes or purple sweet potatoes as they’re starchier and less sweet.
  • garlic
  • ground cumin
  • ají amarillo paste – I realize I wax poetic about ají amarillo peppers and ají amarillo paste. They are ubiquitous in Peruvian cooking. While I prefer the peppers in many recipes, I can’t always get them. I have found the paste is a great pantry ingredient to bring a little Peruvian flavor to so many dishes. Find ají amarillo paste online, or make it with dry ají amarillo peppers.
  • plain Greek yogurt – Plain Greek yogurt is a great way to reduce fat and calories, yet provide creaminess to these mashed sweet potatoes. I use non-fat Greek yogurt, but the choice is yours.
  • milk – Again, the ingredient choice here can increase or decrease fats and calories. On photo day, I used half and half because I had some that needed to be used. I have used whole milk many times, and was pleased with the results. My preference, though, is this non-dairy creamer. At 10 calories per tablespoon, it is a great non-dairy option!
  • olive oil
  • butter – Butter is a “guilty pleasure” for me. It adds so much flavor to mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes. I opted to go with half olive oil (for roasting the sweet potatoes), and half butter (to add flavor and richness to the mash).
  • broth – Choose vegetable broth if you prefer a plant-based version, or chicken broth if you prefer.
  • lime – The hint of acidity from a squeeze of lime juice really balances out the flavors!
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425º. Prep the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic.
Sweet potatoes, onion wedges, and garlic in cast iron pan before roasting.
  • Prep the sweet potatoes for roasting – I recommend using a pan that can go oven to cooktop. Add the sweet potatoes, onion wedges, garlic in their skins, ground cumin, and salt to the pan. Toss with the olive oil. Place in the preheated oven.
Roasted vegetables for savory mashed sweet potatoes after they are roasted.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes – You DO NOT NEED completely cooked potatoes! Roast until you have some nice caramelization. The broth will bring them to tender. Using tongs, remove the garlic. Allow them to cool, then squeeze them from their skins.
Broth added to the roasted vegetables before they are mashed.
  • Finish the sweet potatoes – Add the garlic back into the pan with the broth. Cover. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender. This shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes. NOTE: A little remaining broth is fine!
Remaining ingredients are added to the spicy sweet potatoes before they are blended and mashed.
  • Add the remaining ingredients – Add the plain yogurt, the ají amarillo paste, butter, fresh lime juice, and milk/cream/creamer to the pan over low heat.
An immersion blender does a great job with these spicy mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Mash/blend the savory mashed sweet potatoes – I highly recommend an immersion blender (safer!). Blend the ingredients. Add additional liquid (broth, milk) or butter to achieve desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
  • Serve – Add the savory mashed sweet potatoes to a serving bowl. Serve from the pan if you prefer. Add a dollop of yogurt or butter, and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime if desired.
A generous serving of spicy savory mashed sweet potatoes with shrimp ceviche.
Serving suggestion: The spicy savory mashed sweet potatoes are a good side dish
with shrimp ceviche (ceviche de camarón)…

❓FAQ

Why roast the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic?

It’s all about the “maillard reaction.” That step elevates the flavor far beyond what you get when you boil them. Yes, it adds time to the recipe. You can certainly skip it, and boil the vegetables if you choose. Roasting the garlic yields a sweet, smooth garlic flavor, and I feel I can use more!

💭 Tips

I cannot overstate the importance of using an immersion blender. It improves safety, and gives a smoother, creamier result that a potato masher.

While these savory mashed sweet potatoes are splendid with Peruvian mains, don’t overlook them to pair with any grilled/roasted main dishes you enjoy. Try them with simple grilled chicken, pork chops, etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Savory mashed sweet potatoes in a black stoneware bowl with pewter spoon, and grey napkin.

Spicy Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These spicy, savory mashed sweet potatoes, with ají amarillo paste and ground cumin, have a subtle hint of Peruvian flavor. Roasting the sweet potatoes adds a layer of flavor that makes them muy delicioso!
5 from 4 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American, Asian/Eclectic, Peruvian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 238 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks - about 2.5 pounds
  • 1 red onion, cut in chunks
  • 5 fat garlic cloves - in their skins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup broth - +/-
  • 2 tablespoons ají amarillo paste - more or less to taste
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt - see Ingredients Notes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup milk, non-dairy creamer, or half and half - more or less to desired consistency
  • ½ lime - juiced
  • sea salt and ground pepper - to taste
  • garnish with lime and cilantro as desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, onion wedges, garlic in their skins, ground cumin, and salt to the cookware that can also go on the stove. Toss with the olive oil. Place in the preheated oven.
  • Roast until you have some nice caramelization. NOTE: The sweet potatoes don't need to be tender. Remove the garlic to cool, and place on the stove.
  • Add the broth to the pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the plain yogurt, the ají amarillo paste, butter, fresh lime juice, and milk/cream/creamer to the pan over low heat. Gently heat mixture.
  • Blender sweet potato mixture, adding additional cream/milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a pat of butter. Enjoy!

Notes

An immersion blender makes this recipe so much easier and safer!
General guidelines suggest 5 to 6 ounces of sweet potatoes per serving. I would say this recipe serves 6 to 8 depending on serving size.
I use 5 ounces of sweet potatoes, whole milk, and nonfat plain Greek yogurt in calculating the macronutrients.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
A white oval baker with Peruvian fish escabeche with garnishes.

Peruvian Fish Escabeche

A metal tray with roasted Peruvian Christmas turkey, herb and citrus garnish, and a print napkin.

Roasted Peruvian Turkey

A white Dutch oven with the completed Peruvian Christmas rice garnished with pomegranate arils and fresh herbs.

Peruvian Christmas Rice (Arroz Árabe)

A whole Butterflied and Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken on a bright floral platter with aji verde sauce, cilantro, and lime

Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Share this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments

  1. This recipe is great! No, it’s not the authentic traditional Peruvian way to cook camote, but it tastes really good. I would gladly eat this again.