Learn how to make perfect sautéed sweet potatoes with this recipe! With simple seasonings like cinnamon and cayenne pepper, these pan fried sweet potatoes make a delicious vegetarian side dish. Tips for cooking time, seasoning variations, and what type of oil and pan to use are included.
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Often, when I’m struggling to come up with a veggie side dish for dinner, I quickly settle on sweet potatoes. They’re such a versatile vegetable! You can serve them in so many ways — cubes, fries, or whole, roasted or pan cooked — and with countless flavor variations.
I served sweet potatoes with a recent meal and that got me thinking. I should make a post about my favorite sautéed sweet potatoes so that all of you can enjoy them too!
These stove top sweet potatoes are pretty much the epitome of simple but delicious. I seasoned them with a pinch of cinnamon and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper, but you can use whatever spices you want. Be sure to check out my Expert Tips section to see some of the seasoning variations I recommend.
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes on the Stove
- Dice a sweet potato into cubes.
- Warm olive, avocado, or coconut oil in a large skillet.
- Add the sweet potatoes and seasonings and stir until coated.
- Let them cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cooked through and slightly crispy.
Do you need to peel sweet potatoes?
When making sautéed sweet potatoes, I prefer to peel them before dicing into cubes. However, the skin of sweet potatoes is edible. You can certainly leave it on if you prefer. Just make sure to scrub the skin clean to remove any dirt.
How Long to Cook Diced Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook on the stove. Be sure to stir them frequently to prevent them from getting stuck or burned. You may need to add more oil halfway through cooking time so that they don’t stick to the pan.
- Pan type: Use a medium nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet to make sautéed sweet potatoes. You also want to add enough oil so that the potatoes get fully coated and to prevent them from sticking.
- Oil type: I love to use coconut oil (unrefined or refined, whatever you have on hand) since its flavor pairs well with sweet potatoes. You can also use extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil. Use about 2 tablespoons to coat the entire skillet. You may have to add a little more during cooking to prevent sticking.
- Cutting sweet potatoes: This recipe works best with cubed sweet potatoes that are of similar size. After you wash and peel the sweet potato, cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into lengthwise planks. Stack the planks on top of each other, then cut them into long strips and then cubes. For more tips, see my post on How to Cut Sweet Potatoes.
- Seasoning ideas: Cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, brown sugar, rosemary, and sage all taste great with sweet potatoes.
- Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet for a few minutes with a little oil until warmed through.
You can enjoy sautéed sweet potatoes on the side of fish, burgers (regular or veggie patties), or eggs. I like to use them as a base for a breakfast hash topped with fried eggs. They also pair well with my Black Bean Beet Burgers, Easy Broccoli Cheese Egg Bake, and Coconut Cod with Fennel and Spinach. You can swap pan cooked sweet potatoes with the roasted sweet potatoes in my Sweet Potato Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls and Arugula Sweet Potato Salad.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
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Sautéed Sweet Potatoes
- Nonstick or cast iron skillet
- To dice a sweet potato, cut it in half lengthwise then cut those halves into lengthwise planks. Stack a few planks on top of each other and cut into long strips. Cut the strips crosswise into cubes. You want the cubes to all be a similar size so that they cook evenly.
- Warm the coconut oil in a medium or large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add the sweet potato and stir well to coat the sweet potato in the oil. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir well.
- Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently until the sweet potatoes are tender on the middle and crisped on the outside to your liking. Watch them closely to see if you need to reduce the heat to prevent burning or add more oil to prevent sticking.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post).
- Other seasoning ideas: chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, rosemary, sage
- Serving ideas: as a side to a lean protein, as the base of a breakfast hash topped with fried eggs, as a side to an egg bake or other brunch dish, as a component of salads and grain or meal prep bowls
- Leftovers: can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days; reheat in a skillet with a little oil until warmed through
Enjoy this simple dish! – Lizzie