True story: I never say “no” to a side of sweet potatoes. And these crispy, buttery skillet sweet potatoes are one of my favorite ways to eat them! Really all you need are of course sweet potatoes… plus oil and salt (and maybe a little bit of traditional or vegan butter on top). The best part is that you can make this sautéed sweet potato recipe on the stove in under 30 minutes – making them THE perfect sweet & savory side dish to serve at dinner, in a breakfast hash, nourishing bowl or salad! 

skillet sweet potatoes in a cast iron pan on a white background

about this crispy skillet sweet potatoes recipe

While I love my slow cooker, on our extra hectic weeks I find myself turning to tasty last minute dinner ideas instead.

We’re talkin’ the kind that I can throw together in under 30 minutes, with minimal prep steps and short & easy-to-find ingredient lists (bonus points if there’s lots of pantry staples too).

And this simple cast iron sweet potato skillet is one of those tried & true fallback recipes that everyone in our house loves!

The best part (besides, hello, the deliciously crispy sweet potatoes!) is that they go with almost any protein, greens, cooked grains, veggies, sauce or dressing – so it’s a great recipe to lean on when you need to use up any leftovers in your fridge.

They’re cooked simply with just a little oil and salt in a hot pan.

The ingredients and method may seem very basic, but trust me – the flavor & texture you get out of cooking sweet potatoes this way is anything but simple!

PS – You’ll see the on the instructions below that I like serving mine with a little bit of butter melted in too. But if you don’t like or don’t have butter, feel free to omit it – they’ll still taste fantastic without it!

raw sweet potatoes in a black pan on a white background

sautéed sweet potato process & tips

The beauty of cooking with great, real, whole food ingredients is that you don’t really need that many things to make them shine.

It always amazes me how much flavor you can get out of produce just by cooking it with a little oil and salt.

Once you’ve peeled and chopped your sweet potatoes, you add them to a hot pan with oil and salt.

The trick with sweet potatoes is not to walk away during the sauteing stage – give them a stir every few minutes or so just to make sure they’re done the way you like them and don’t burn.

If you notice them browning too quickly, you can always turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking them that way.

Likewise, if you feel like they’re looking a little dry just add a bit more oil.

In just 15-20 minutes they’ll be cooked through and ready to eat any way you like!

close up of a breakfast hash in a black cast iron pan

fun ways to use this sweet potato hash

Personally, I could go for a side of sweet potatoes with almost any meal but here’s a few of my favorite ways to serve it to give you some inspiration!

Add as a side dish to any chicken, fish, or pork dish – I think this would be particularly delicious paired with garlic balsamic chicken or crispy crockpot pork carnitas.

Enjoy them in a grain or veggie bowl by combining with your favorite greens and any protein (like chickpeas or grilled chicken). Drizzle on some dressing or sauce on top for extra flavor.

Create a simple sweet potato hash by topping with a fried egg or two to bring the brunch vibes (love this as a last-minute breakfast-for-dinner option too).

Make a veggie-loaded burrito by wrapping it in a tortilla with black beans, salsa (or hot sauce) and this quick creamy cabbage slaw.

Meal prep tip: Make a double batch of these sweet potatoes to make quick breakfast hashes or breakfast burritos on busy mornings! 

a black cast iron pan with sweet potatoes and a striped blue napkin

skillet sweet potatoes variations to try

Maple Cinnamon: Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon along with the butter in step three, stirring until well combined and fragrant.

Italian: Add 1 teaspoon no-salt added Italian seasoning and 1 minced garlic clove along with the butter in step three, stirring until well combined and fragrant.

Rosemary Garlic: Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary and 1 minced garlic clove along with the butter in step three, stirring until well combined and fragrant.

Honey Chipotle: Add 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo along with the butter in step three, stirring until well combined and fragrant.

Buffalo: Add 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot) along with the butter in step three, stirring until well combined and fragrant.

ingredients & modifications

Sweet potatoes: I love making skillet sweet potatoes, but if you prefer, you can also use waxy or yellow potatoes instead to make this simple hash.

Avocado oil: I like using avocado oil for it’s neutral flavor and its high smoke point (which lets me use it in a variety of types of cooking from sauteing to grilling and baking & more). But you can also use any other neutral flavored oil in its place like vegetable or canola.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Butter: I like serving my sweet potatoes with a little extra butter, it just gives it a little extra velvety flavor. But it’s entirely optional for this recipe. You can use traditional butter, or for dairy-free, use a plant-based butter. For paleo, use ghee or a paleo friendly plant-based butter in its place.

cooked sweet potatoes in a clear glass bowl on a white background with striped blue and white napkin

how to store & freeze leftovers

This is one of those recipes that still tastes totally delicious the next day, and leftovers make a great, quick breakfast or lunch!

It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

It also freezes well, either in a gallon ziplock bag, or individually in mason jars.

You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.

more easy one-pan skillet recipes

Easy Italian Chicken Zucchini Skillet

Southwest Beef and Sweet Potato Skillet

Skillet Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Turkey Taco Skillet

20-Minute Ground Turkey and Green Bean Skillet

Quick & Easy Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

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skillet sweet potatoes in a cast iron pan on a white background
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Skillet Sweet Potatoes

Crispy, sweet, and totally delicious, skillet sweet potatoes can easily be made on the stovetop in under 30 minutes and make the perfect, nourishing vegetable side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tb avocado oil, or other neutral flavored oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, or vegan butter, omit for whole30

Instructions 

  • Heat the avocado oil in a large, 12-inch skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with salt, and sauté for 15-20 minutes until browned and cooked through, stirring frequently. Note: Sweet potatoes can burn easily, so don’t walk away from the pan. Be sure to stir every few minutes to avoid burning. If the potatoes start to brown too quickly, turn the heat to medium, and continue cooking until tender. If they dry out too much, add 1-2 teaspoons of additional oil.
  • Add the butter and stir to coat. Taste and add additional salt if desired.

Notes

Nutrition information calculated with butter and avocado oil.
 
For more ingredients & substitutions, see blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 213mg, Potassium: 510mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 21528IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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