Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

5 from 4 votes

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These healthy mashed sweet potatoes give you everything you want from this classic side dish, but with an exciting twist. When the potatoes are mashed, you stir in honey, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. They add so much to a standard mash that you won’t feel like you have to add butter.

Mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl with fresh herbs.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

It’s lighter comfort food. Nothing gets better than a cozy kind of side dish like mashed potatoes. When you make a mash just right, it turns out smooth, creamy and somehow fluffy, which is asking a lot from potatoes.

They don’t rely on butter for flavor. Using sweet potatoes, honey and balsamic vinegar is what makes this mashed sweet potato recipe healthier while still being the versatile, tasty side you want for Thanksgiving or a weeknight fall-winter dinner.

Sweet potatoes are easier to make into smooth mashed potatoes than russet potatoes. You never want to end up with lumps in your mash. Sweet potatoes just lend themselves to being smooth and soft.

Why These Mashed Potatoes are Healthy

Compared to the usual mashed potatoes, this recipe is a lighter version that packs in more nutrition.

  • Sweet potatoes have more vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber than russet potatoes, which are used in traditional mash.
  • You can make this recipe dairy free. Use a plant-based milk like oat milk or almond milk.
  • Balsamic vinegar and honey give the potatoes a flavor boost. As much as I love decadent buttery mash, these are a much healthier way to give them a more unique personality.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including sweet potatoes, honey, balsamic vinegar, milk, herbs and spices.

This is what you need:

  • Sweet potatoes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Since you have to peel and cube the potatoes as part of the prep, it doesn’t matter if the potatoes are different sizes. Just make sure the potatoes don’t have any soft spots.
  • Milk is important to any mash no matter the kind of potatoes you are using.  To make this recipe dairy-free or vegan, use plant-based milk.
  • Balsamic vinegar is a little bit tart and balances out the sweetness of the potatoes and honey while adding a nice acidity to cut through that creaminess.
  • Honey sweetens the potatoes. Substitute with maple syrup to keep your sweet potato mash vegan.
  • Red pepper flakes add subtle heat. If you want the potatoes to be spicier stir more in.
  • Salt & pepper: Don’t be shy about seasoning the potatoes with kosher salt and black pepper. Potatoes can be pretty bland. Salt brings out their flavor.
  • Fresh herbs: Once you spoon the mash into a serving bowl, generously sprinkle on chopped parsley and minced chives.

Optional Additions

With honey and balsamic, I think these potatoes are pretty fantastic as is, but you can include these additions:

  • A pat of butter (if you insist) or a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream gives the potatoes a touch of added richness and tang.
  • You can garnish the potatoes with finely grated Parmesan cheese.

How To Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1. Put the cubed sweet potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer the potatoes until they are fork tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and run them through a food mill to mash them. This tool is the best way to keep the texture light and fluffy. If you don’t have a food mill, you can use a potato masher or even a fork. You can also push them through a fine mesh strainer to puree them and turn them into mash.

Cubed sweet potatoes simmering in pot of water. Sweet potatoes purred through food mill.

3. With the potatoes in a pot over low heat, stir in the milk, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

4. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving bowl and top with chopped herbs.

Milk, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper stirred into mashed potatoes. Serving bowl of mashed potatoes topped with herbs.


This sweet potato mash recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving, but don’t only save them for a holiday meal. Besides turkey, they go with chicken and pretty much any protein that you cook that has classic herby flavors.  I do love them with my Dry Rubbed Turkey Breast recipe.

Storage & Leftovers

You can store leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Warm them in a pot over low heat. Stir them while you reheat them. It’s best to warm them gradually.

You can freeze mashed potatoes if you want to save them longer, up to 1 month. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature before putting them in a freezer-safe container. Use a bag if you can and press them flat to remove any air bubbles. Let the mash thaw before warming. Reheat in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Recipe Tips

  • Be careful not to overcook the potatoes. They will absorb too much water and result in mushy and dense mashed potatoes.
  • Salt the water the potatoes simmer in. Just like what you would do with pasta, season the cooking water.
  • Warm the milk before stirring it into the mashed potatoes. This will reduce any reheat time and the potatoes will better absorb the milk.
  • Do not use a food processor, electric mixer or immersion blender to mash the potatoes. Potatoes end up gluey if you overwork them.

Recipe FAQs

What’s the best way to mash potatoes?

Of course, you can use a potato masher, but a food mill or ricer will give you more fluffy and light mashed potatoes.

How do you make these mashed potatoes vegan?

You can use maple syrup instead of honey. The sweet potatoes will end up with a more maple flavor, so you can reduce the amount if you want that taste to be more mild.

Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

Yes. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature before you store them. Spoon them into an airtight container. A bag is great because you can press the mashed potatoes pretty flat and remove any air bubbles. Let them thaw before reheating in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. You can freeze them up to 1 month.

I hope you enjoy these mashed potatoes. Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!

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Honey Balsamic Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
These fluffy and light honey balsamic mashed sweet potatoes have a touch of sweetness with a little acid and heat. They are a healthier version of this classic side.


  • 3-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup milk warmed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Chopped parsley and minced chives for serving


  • Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot. Fill with water, covering the potatoes by 1-inch. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. They should be able to be easily pierced with a paring knife.
  • Drain the potatoes. Use a food mill, potato masher or fork to puree the potatoes to your desired consistency. You can also press them through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Put the mashed potatoes in a large pot over low heat. Slowly stir in the milk, honey, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Spoon the potatoes into a serving dish and top with fresh parsley and chives.


You can warm the milk by microwaving it for 20 seconds.
To make the recipe vegan, use maple syrup instead of honey. The potatoes will end up with some maple flavor, which is more distinct than the sweetness from honey. You came reduce the amount to 1 tablespoon, so the maple isn’t as strong.
You can store leftover potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Warm them gradually in pot on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently.
If you want to keep the potatoes up to 1 month, freeze them. Let them cool to room temperature before putting them in a freezer safe-container like a bag where you can press the potatoes flat, getting rid of any air. Thaw the mash before reheating in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Optional garnishes: you can top the potatoes with finely grated Parmesan or a spoonful of Greek yogurt.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1315mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 37580IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @lastingredient on Instagram and tag it #lastingredient!

Originally published November 16, 2020. Updated: November 17, 2022.

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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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  1. I plan to make it b2it read the ingredients in a box of oat milk. It has oil in it…definitely not vegan.