How many pounds of sweet potatoes make 2 cups?

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be used in many dishes. When cooking or baking with sweet potatoes, it is often necessary to know how much fresh sweet potatoes are needed to yield a certain amount after peeling, cutting and cooking. One common measurement used in recipes is cups. So how many pounds of sweet potatoes does it take to make 2 cups?

Determining Servings Per Pound of Sweet Potatoes

To determine how many pounds of sweet potatoes make 2 cups, it is first helpful to know approximately how many servings or cups you get per pound of sweet potatoes. According to the USDA, one medium baked sweet potato (without skin) weighs about 5-6 ounces or approx. 1/3 to 1/2 pound.[1] That medium baked sweet potato provides about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked sweet potato flesh.[2]

Taking the average serving size, we can estimate:

– 1 medium baked sweet potato (approx. 1/2 pound) = approx. 2/3 cup cooked sweet potato

– So 1 pound of sweet potatoes = approx. 4 (1/2 pound) medium sweet potatoes

– And 1 pound of sweet potatoes = approx. 4 (2/3 cup) servings or approx. 2 2/3 cups cooked sweet potato flesh

This means per 1 pound of sweet potatoes, you can expect around 2 2/3 cups cooked and peeled.

Pounds of Raw Sweet Potatoes Needed for 2 Cups

Now that we know there are approximately 2 2/3 cups per pound of cooked and peeled sweet potato flesh, we can calculate how many pounds are needed to equal 2 cups:

– 2 cups desired / 2 2/3 cups per pound = 0.75 pounds

**So to make 2 cups of cooked and peeled sweet potato flesh, you will need 0.75 pounds or around 3/4 pound of raw sweet potatoes.**

Of course this yield depends on the size and variety of the sweet potatoes. Larger, less dense sweet potatoes may yield more per pound while smaller, denser varieties may yield less per pound.

Example Calculation

To give a numerical example:

– Let’s say you purchase 2 medium-large raw sweet potatoes at the store which weigh a total of 1.25 pounds

– After peeling and cutting these potatoes, you end up with approx. 3 1/3 cups cooked sweet potato flesh (based on approx. 2 2/3 cups per pound)

– If your recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked sweet potato, you would have the right amount from 1.25 pounds sweet potatoes

So for this example, **1.25 pounds of raw sweet potatoes yielded 2 cups cooked sweet potato flesh**, which matches our estimate of needing around 0.75 pounds per 2 cups.

Accounting for Peels and Scraps

When calculating the pounds of sweet potatoes needed, you also need to account for peels and any scraps that are removed before cooking.

– Peels may account for approx. 15-20% of the raw weight[3]

– Trimming off ends and cutting out bruised spots may account for another 5-10% waste

This means you may lose 25-30% of the raw sweet potato weight in peels and scraps.

To adjust for this peel/scrap loss:

– For 2 cups cooked sweet potato, you need 0.75 pounds

– But deducting 30% for peel/waste, you’d need:
– 0.75 pounds / 0.70 = 1.07 pounds raw sweet potatoes

So buying **1.07 pounds of raw sweet potatoes should yield 2 cups finished product** after peeling and trimming.

Tips for Maximizing Yield

Here are some tips to help maximize the cup yield when cooking with sweet potatoes:

– Choose larger, less dense sweet potatoes which will have a higher ratio of flesh versus peels and scraps.

– Peel thinly to reduce peel waste – use a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife.

– Cut off peel and scrape away any bruised/damaged parts rather than cutting away large chunks.

– Chop neatly and carefully to minimize scraps.

– Roast, steam or boil over baking or microwaving to reduce moisture loss.

– Mash or puree cooked sweet potatoes for a smoother texture with no lost bits.

– Consider leaving the skins on for roasted or fried sweet potato recipes to eliminate peel loss.

Following these tips will help ensure you get the highest cup yield from the pounds of sweet potatoes you purchase.

Cooking Times for Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Once you’ve determined how many pounds to purchase, the next important factor is proper cooking time. Here are some guidelines for roasting sweet potatoes:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes (1 inch chunks)

Pounds Cook Time at 400°F
1 pound 18-22 minutes
1.5 pounds 22-28 minutes
2 pounds 28-35 minutes
3 pounds 35-45 minutes

– Roast chunks on a sheet pan with oil and seasonings
– Flip once during cooking for even browning
– Roast until fork tender

Roasted Whole Sweet Potatoes

Potato Size Cook Time at 425°F
Small (6-8 oz) 45-60 minutes
Medium (8-10 oz) 60-75 minutes
Large (12 oz+) 75-90 minutes

– Prick skins with fork 3-4 times to vent
– Roast directly on oven rack or on sheet pan
– Cook until easily pierced through the center with a knife

Serving Size Comparisons

To give context for how much cooked sweet potato 2 cups provides, here are some common serving size comparisons:

– 2 cups cooked sweet potato flesh = Approximately 2 sweet potato side dish servings

– 2 cups mashed = About 4 (1/2 cup) servings

– 2 cups diced or chopped = Around 3 to 4 side dish servings

So 2 cups gives you enough sweet potato flesh for around 3 medium-sized side dish servings or 4 smaller side servings when mashed or chopped. This makes 2 cups a good amount for 4 people when served as one component of a meal.

Nutrition Info Per Cup

Understanding the nutrition information per cup can also be helpful for meal planning:

1 cup of cooked cubed sweet potato (with skin) provides:[4]

– 115 calories
– 0g fat
– 27g carbs
– 4g protein
– 3g fiber
– 45% DV vitamin A
– 10% DV vitamin C
– 12% DV potassium

For mashed sweet potatoes without skin, there are slightly fewer calories and nutrients per cup. Still an excellent source of vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium and carbohydrates.

Typical Recipie Yields Using 2 Cups Sweet Potato

Here are some examples of recipes that would use around 2 cups cooked sweet potato flesh:

– 2 cups diced sweet potato for sheet pan breakfast hash (4 servings)

– 2 cups mashed sweet potato for mini sweet potato casseroles (4 servings)

– 2 cups roasted sweet potato chunks in a salad or bowl (2 entree salad servings)

– 1 3/4 to 2 cups mashed sweet potato used to make 12-15 mini sweet potato muffins or 6 large muffins

– 2 cups mashed sweet potato to make one 9×5 inch loaf of sweet potato bread or 4 mini loaves

As you can see, 2 cups of sweet potato is a versatile amount that can make several nice recipe yields for meals and baked goods.

Cost Comparison to Buy Fresh vs. Canned

To decide between using fresh sweet potatoes versus canned, it can be helpful to compare costs.

On average:

– Fresh sweet potatoes cost about $0.50 to $1.00 per pound[5]

– One 15 oz can of sweet potatoes costs $1.00 to $2.00

For 2 cups mashed sweet potato:

– Fresh: You would need ~1.25 pounds at $0.75/pound = $0.94

– Canned: You would need two 15 oz cans at $1.50 each = $3.00

So to get 2 cups cooked, fresh sweet potatoes are clearly the better deal at under $1 total versus $3 for canned. The only benefit of canned is convenience if you don’t have time to roast and peel fresh sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Substitutions

In some cases, you may need to substitute sweet potatoes if they are unavailable or you want to modify a recipe:

– Butternut squash or pumpkin puree – similar texture when mashed or pureed; sweeter flavor

– Potatoes – closest texture match for cubed/diced sweet potatoes; less sweet

– Carrots – similar vitamin A content; can grate or mash for sweetness

– Yams – very close relatives to sweet potatoes; nearly identical taste and texture

– Plantains -share tropical origins; different taste but can work in some recipes

Sweet potatoes have a unique taste and texture, but in a pinch these alternatives can work particularly when mashed or pureed. Adjust any seasonings to account for differences in flavor.

Popular Sweet Potato Dishes

Looking for recipe ideas? Here are some popular sweet potato dishes:

– Sweet potato fries or chips – sliced or julienned, baked or fried

– Mashed sweet potatoes – pureed with butter, cream, spices

– Roasted sweet potatoes – cubed, seasoned, roasted

– Sweet potato casserole – mashed and baked with crumb topping

– Sweet potato pie – mashed flesh used as filling for dessert pie

– Sweet potato soup – pureed or diced sweet potato as the base

– Sweet potato gratin – sliced potatoes baked in creamy cheese sauce

– Sweet potato tacos – diced sweet potato fried with taco seasoning

– Sweet potato gnocchi – finely mashed potatoes shaped into dumplings

– Sweet potato biscuits or rolls – mashed sweet potatoes used in flour biscuit dough

– Sweet potato pancakes – grated raw sweet potato blended into pancake batter

Whatever your tastes, there are endless savory and sweet ways to enjoy sweet potatoes!

Storing Leftover Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Have leftover cooked sweet potatoes? Here are some storage tips:

– Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge up to one week.

– To freeze: Place cooled, cooked sweet potatoes in freezer bags or airtight containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Freeze up to 10-12 months.

– To reheat leftovers: microwave until warmed through, roast at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or sauté over the stove with butter or oil.

– Use leftover mashed sweet potatoes within 3-4 days for best texture and flavor.

– Leftover roasted or baked wedges or fries can be reheated in the oven at 375°F for 10-15 minutes.

With proper storage, you can enjoy leftover sweet potatoes in new ways without waste!


Whether you are meal prepping, cooking for a holiday, or trying a new recipe, knowing how many pounds of sweet potatoes yields 2 cups can be extremely useful for planning purposes. On average, 3/4 pound of raw sweet potatoes will produce 2 cups cooked and peeled, but adjust this amount based on the actual size and density of the potatoes. Bake, roast or steam for maximum yield. Look for large, unbruised potatoes and peel thinly. Compare fresh and canned costs before purchasing. 2 cups of sweet potato provides enough flesh for 3-4 servings of a side dish or main component of several baked goods or desserts. Store leftovers properly to enjoy again later. With this knowledge of sweet potato yields and serving sizes, you can confidently shop for and cook the perfect amount for your recipes.

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