How many pounds is 1 sweet potato?

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious root vegetable that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When evaluating sweet potatoes, most recipes call for a certain number or weight, usually in pounds. So how much does one sweet potato weigh?

Quick answer

On average, one medium-sized sweet potato weighs approximately 5-6 ounces or 0.3-0.4 pounds. However, there is some natural variation in sizing. Small sweet potatoes may be closer to 4 ounces while larger ones could be 8 ounces or more. For simplicity in recipes, it’s generally fine to estimate one medium sweet potato in the 5-6 ounce range.

Determining sweet potato size and weight

There are a few key factors that affect the weight of an individual sweet potato:

Sweet potato variety

There are many different varieties of sweet potatoes grown worldwide. Some common ones include:

– Orange-fleshed – These have orange flesh and are soft and moist when cooked. They are the most common variety. An average medium orange-fleshed sweet potato weighs 6 ounces.

– White-fleshed – These have white flesh and are drier and starchier than orange varieties. They tend to be smaller and weigh around 4-5 ounces on average.

– Garnet – These have reddish-purple skin and orange flesh. They are often smaller as well at 4-5 ounces.

– Japanese – These have purple-tinged skin and drier, sweet flesh. They are smaller on average at 4 ounces.

Sweet potato size

Sweet potatoes come in different sizes described as small, medium, and large:

– Small – 4 ounces
– Medium – 5-6 ounces
– Large – 7-8 ounces

When a recipe simply calls for 1 sweet potato, it is usually referring to a medium-sized sweet potato in the 5-6 ounce range.

Individual sweet potato variability

Even sweet potatoes of the same variety and labeled size will naturally show some differences in weight. Growth conditions like soil quality, rainfall, and temperature can affect the size and weight of the vegetable. Storage conditions after harvesting affect weight loss over time as well. Expect anywhere from a 10-20% weight range even for similar sized sweet potatoes.

Converting sweet potato weight to volume

Many recipes call for sweet potato by volume in cups instead of weight in pounds. Here are some general conversions:

1 pound sweet potatoes = approx 3 cups mashed or 2 cups diced

So if you have a medium sweet potato weighing 5-6 ounces:

– 5 ounces = approx 1.5 cups mashed or 1 cup diced
– 6 ounces = approx 1.75-2 cups mashed or 1.25 cups diced

This accounts for the weight change after peeling and cooking the sweet potatoes.

Typical uses and serving sizes for sweet potatoes

Knowing typical serving sizes for sweet potato dishes can also help estimate how many you need to purchase.

Baked sweet potatoes

– Serving size: 1 medium (5-6 oz) baked sweet potato
– Servings per pound: 2-3

Mashed sweet potatoes

– Serving size: approx 1/2 cup
– Servings per pound: 6-8

Diced for roasting

– Serving size: approx 1 cup
– Servings per pound: 2-3

Sweet potato fries

– Serving size: approx 1 cup of fries
– Servings per pound: 3-4

So if a recipe calls for 4 servings of mashed sweet potatoes, you would need approximately 1/2 to 3/4 pound.

Calculating quantities for sweet potato recipes

When planning meals, you can use the average sweet potato weight to calculate the quantity needed for recipes.

Example 1

For 4 servings of mashed sweet potatoes, using approx 1/2 cup per serving:

– 1/2 cup x 4 servings = 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes needed
– Since 1 pound = approx 3 cups mashed, you would need 2/3 to 1 pound sweet potatoes.

Example 2

For a sweet potato casserole serving 8 people with approx 1 cup diced sweet potato per serving:

– 1 cup x 8 servings = 8 cups diced sweet potato needed
– Since 1 pound = approx 2 cups diced, you would need 4 pounds sweet potatoes.

Buying the right sweet potato quantity

When shopping for sweet potatoes, keep these tips in mind:

– Choose similar sized sweet potatoes for even cooking. Aim for medium or large.
– Allow extra since some loss occurs when peeling.
– Plan for left over mashed sweet potatoes – they keep well refrigerated for 4-5 days.
– Purchase extra sweet potatoes if having a crowd. Extras can always be used in other dishes.
– Check your recipe for exact sweet potato amount needed.
– Estimate 1 medium (5-6 ounce) sweet potato per average serving.
– Assume 2-3 servings per pound for most dishes.

With practice estimating sweet potato weights, you’ll get better at buying just the right quantity for recipes. Keep the general guideline of 5-6 ounces per medium sweet potato in mind for simplified meal planning.


On average, one medium sweet potato weighs approximately 5-6 ounces, or 0.3 to 0.4 pounds. However, size can vary depending on the specific variety, labeled size, and natural growing conditions impacting an individual vegetable. In general when a recipe calls for 1 sweet potato, it means one medium-sized sweet potato in the 5-6 ounce range. You can use this weight to calculate the quantity needed for serving sizes or do simple conversions to volume measurements like cups. With the handy guidelines provided, you can determine pounds to buy at the store and easily substitute sweet potato amounts in all your favorite recipes.

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