How long do raw sweet potatoes last once cut?

Sweet potatoes are a popular root vegetable that have a sweet, nutty flavor and vibrant orange flesh. They are nutritious and versatile, making them a staple in many households. However, once cut open, how long do raw sweet potatoes last before they go bad?

Quick Answers

Once cut, raw sweet potatoes will generally last 3-5 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. The exact shelf life depends on a few factors:

  • Freshness when purchased – fresher sweet potatoes last longer
  • Storage conditions – cool refrigerator temperatures prolong shelf life
  • Preparation – leave skin on and limit surface area exposed to air

For best quality, try to use cut raw sweet potatoes within 3 days. Watch out for signs of spoilage like mold, slimy texture, or unpleasant odors. Discard any sweet potatoes that show decay.

How Long Can Raw Sweet Potatoes Be Kept After Cutting?

The shelf life of raw sweet potatoes depends on both the storage conditions and how they are prepared after cutting. Here is a more detailed overview of how long cut sweet potatoes last:

Purchased and eaten immediately

If you plan to use raw sweet potatoes right after purchasing them, they will last:

  • 1-2 days at room temperature
  • 3-5 days in the refrigerator

Eating raw sweet potatoes soon after buying ensures they are as fresh as possible. Just store in the fridge until ready to eat or cook.

Cut and properly stored in the refrigerator

Once cut open, raw sweet potatoes have a slightly shorter shelf life. If stored properly in the refrigerator, cut sweet potatoes will generally last:

  • 3-5 days in the crisper drawer.

Make sure cut surfaces are dry before refrigerating. Keep sweet potatoes in an airtight container or zipped plastic bag in the crisper. The cool temperatures will slow down spoilage.

Cut and left at room temperature

Don’t leave raw sweet potatoes out at room temperature once cut open. This will significantly shorten their shelf life to just:

  • 1-2 days on the counter.

Leaving cut sweet potatoes unrefrigerated allows mold, bacteria, and other microbes to grow rapidly. Cook or refrigerate cut sweet potatoes within a couple hours for best quality and food safety.

7 Tips to Extend How Long Cut Sweet Potatoes Last

Follow these tips to help cut raw sweet potatoes last as long as possible:

1. Buy firm, unbruised sweet potatoes

Select sweet potatoes that are firm and free of bruises, cracks, or soft spots. Damaged or old produce has a shorter shelf life. Avoid sweet potatoes that look wrinkled or have sprouted.

2. Store whole sweet potatoes properly

Keep whole, uncut sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place. A root cellar, pantry, or cupboard works well. Proper storage makes them last longer after cutting.

3. Prep sweet potatoes just before cooking

Wait to peel and cut raw sweet potatoes right before you plan to cook them. This limits their exposure to air and bacteria.

4. Leave the skin on

Leaving the skin on cut sweet potatoes helps preserve freshness. The skin protects the flesh underneath.

5. Seal in an airtight container

After cutting, place sweet potato pieces in an airtight container or plastic bag. This prevents oxygen from speeding up spoilage.

6. Refrigerate promptly

Once cut, refrigerate raw sweet potato pieces right away. The cool temperatures keep them fresher longer.

7. Freeze for longer storage

If you won’t use cut sweet potatoes within 3-5 days, freeze them for longer storage. Freeze slices on a baking sheet before transferring to freezer bags.

How to Tell if Cut Sweet Potatoes Are Bad

Watch for these signs that indicate raw sweet potatoes have spoiled and should be thrown out:

  • Moldy spots – White, fuzzy mold growing on cut surfaces.
  • Slimy texture – Surface feels abnormally soft or slimy.
  • Shriveled appearance – Sweet potato pieces look wrinkled or dried out.
  • Unpleasant smell – Raw sweet potatoes give off a sour, foul odor.
  • Off colors – Gray, brown, or black discoloration spreads.

Trust your senses! Discard cut sweet potatoes that look, smell or feel bad. Don’t taste them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you maximize the shelf life of cut sweet potatoes?

To get the longest shelf life from cut sweet potatoes, store them properly in the refrigerator. Place cut pieces in an airtight container or plastic bag. Keep temperatures at 40°F or below. Prep and refrigerate sweet potatoes right away to avoid leaving them at room temperature.

Can you freeze cut raw sweet potatoes?

Yes, cut raw sweet potato pieces can be frozen for long-term storage. Blanch slices for 1-2 minutes in boiling water first to inactivate enzymes that cause browning. Cool blanched sweet potatoes, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to freezer bags. Frozen, they’ll last 10-12 months.

What are the best ways to use up cut sweet potatoes quickly?

If you have cut sweet potatoes you need to use up within a few days, consider these fast cooking ideas:

  • Roast sweet potato wedges
  • Saute chunks in a pan with spices
  • Make quick baked sweet potato fries
  • Puree into a soup
  • Bake into a sweet potato pie

Cooking cut sweet potatoes stops any additional spoilage in the fridge. Prioritize using up any lingering prepped sweet potatoes within 3-5 days.

Can you eat sweet potatoes that have mold on them?

No, you should discard any sweet potatoes with mold growing on them. Mold suggests spoilage and can make you sick if eaten. Even if you cut away the moldy parts, the roots may still contain mold that has spread. Don’t risk it – when in doubt, throw it out.


With proper refrigerated storage, cut raw sweet potatoes will generally last around 3-5 days before spoiling. Prepare them just before cooking, leave the skin on, seal in airtight containers, and refrigerate promptly to extend their shelf life. Freeze cut sweet potatoes for months of storage. Keep an eye out for mold development, unpleasant odors, or other signs of spoilage. Use your properly stored cut sweet potatoes within a few days for the best quality and flavor.

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