20 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Sweet Potatoes

It's the time of year when many thoughts and weekly menus turn toward root vegetables to warm up, fuel up, and welcome autumn's change of season. Orange now reigns supreme with foods like pumpkins, squash, and sweet potatoes in abundance. This sudden enthusiasm can partially be attributed as a welcome change from summertime's tomatoes, summer squashes, and corn. It also reflects growing anticipation for all the cozy and exciting things fall offers, including Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Many Thanksgiving tables will see their fair share of sweet potatoes, with dishes like sweet potato casserole with marshmallows being a tradition in some households. No matter how you mash, boil, roast, or fry them, expect to find plenty of sweet potatoes in your fridge whenever autumn comes around. These high-fiber bronzed babies are also rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, and other goodies, making them a welcome addition to any meal. Their creamy, sweet, decadent taste makes them incredibly versatile, too. Here are some great ways to help use this season's sweet potato leftovers.

Fry up crispy sweet potato latkes

Latkes aren't just for Hanukkah; they're for life. Made to be enjoyed year-round, there are many varieties of latkes and just as many ways to help change up your latke or fritter game and keep taste buds interested. Try zucchini-based latkes in the warmer months when the garden has left you with a glut, or sage-and-apple sweet potato latkes the moment the cool winds of autumn air begin to blow. It will taste like fall on a plate, and your house will smell better than what any scented candle could ever deliver.

When using leftover sweet potatoes (raw or already cooked, both can be adapted), make sure you wring out any excess moisture to keep your latkes crispy. Nobody wants a soggy latke, no matter what seasonal ingredients you use.

Pop them into a casserole

Casseroles are a fantastic way to use up all kinds of leftovers. They can transform almost anything — like leftover bits of meat, veggies, and sweet potatoes — into a cozy, comforting meal guaranteed to help take the edge off anything life throws at you. For those searching for a blast of orange-colored comfort, this sweet potato and carrot casserole studded with golden raisins, sweetened with brown sugar, and flavored with cinnamon could even double as a vitamin-rich dessert.

Those with a more carnivorous palate will appreciate the sweet-meets-salty combination of a cheesy sweet potato casserole with bacon. This dish could easily make for a comforting, family-friendly dinner alongside a green salad or steamed green beans on busy weeknights. It can also set the mood for a perfect slow start to a Sunday morning, served with a fried egg and a strong cup of coffee.

Bake sweet potato muffins

For anyone seeking a quick on-the-go snack or meal packed with flavor and vitamins, sweet potato muffins may be just the thing to turn your leftovers into lunch. Given their versatility, you can experiment with savory sweet-potato muffin flavors by adding parmesan or cottage cheese with spinach, scallions, or chilies to impart a variety of quiche- or frittata-like tastes. Packed with protein and vegetables, these muffins make a great sandwich substitute or late-morning bite.

Alternatively, these muffins can satisfy a sweet craving with add-ins like dried cranberries or a dessert-worthy brown sugar streusel topping. They can also be kept simple and kid-friendly with a drizzle of maple syrup and a good sprinkle of cinnamon. However you choose to make them, the only wrong choice is to skip making sweet potato muffins altogether.

Add sweet potato to cornbread

While cornbread can be satisfying in its pure form, it is also a delicious blank canvas, open to ingredient mix-ins with additions ranging from cheese to chilies to autumn-season stars like pumpkin and sweet potato. Adding moisture-rich ingredients like sweet potato can also help to keep cornbread from drying out.

Adding sweet potatoes (or pumpkin) to cornbread almost screams out for adding additional warming spices of fall like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ground ginger. Even a classic spice blend like ras el hanout — which includes turmeric, anise cloves, and black pepper — would be welcome here.

However you make it, top a warm chunk of sweet potato cornbread with butter and a drizzle of honey, and what you'll have is a comforting, homey dish, perfect for serving with a bowl of chili or stew for a wholesome winter warmer.

Roll sweet potato gnocchi

Gnocchi feels like a celebration of two carbohydrates we hold most dear — potatoes and pasta. It's also one of the most delicious ways to use up extra mashed potatoes, whether you're using the starchy white, buttery Yukon gold, or rich sweet potato variety.

To make gnocchi, cooked potato is mixed with flour. To make the most of your next bowl of homemade sweet potato gnocchi, don't forget to add tangy ricotta and zesty lemon until it forms a solid-yet-tender dough that can be rolled out into logs before being sliced into ½-inch pieces and boiled until they rise to the top of the water.

There's nothing like fresh gnocchi, so boil it just a few minutes before you want to serve. Then, sauté the gnocchi in brown butter with garlic and sage before transferring it immediately to a bowl or plate, and top the whole dish with lemony ricotta cream for the ultimate cozy meal.

Bake an autumn-spiced sweet potato loaf

There is something to be said for the versatility of sweet potatoes. Packed with nutrients, sweet potatoes are also blessed with a creamy, caramelized sweet taste. This unique combination makes this root vegetable perfectly acceptable to eat at any time of day, from breakfast straight through to dessert — and that's precisely why you should consider adding any leftover sweet potatoes to an autumn-spiced bread, which is perfectly reasonable to consume anytime.

Sweet potatoes paired with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, or cardamom are a match made in heaven, balancing the depth of flavor from the whole spices with a rich sweetness from the root veg. Have a slice topped with cream cheese at breakfast and one later alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Add sweet potato to your waffles

If pulling out the old waffle iron is part of your weekend-morning or breakfast-for-dinner routine, you might be itching for a new recipe or inspiration to add to your waffle arsenal. Why not add a cup of leftover mashed sweet potatoes to your next round of waffles? 

Perfect for a crisp autumn morning or bracing winter evening, the combination of the crispy waffle and the rich taste of sweet potato blended with warming spices creates comfort on a plate. Top with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or peanut butter for a protein-rich meal that feels like a treat. Or, lean into the sweet flavors with butter, maple syrup, fruit, or honey. Waffles infused with sweet potatoes also pair very well with crispy, salty bacon.

Add sweet potato to your next smoothie

Move over, pumpkin spice — sweet potato is moving in. To make the ultimate fall-in-a-glass breakfast smoothie, we recommend harnessing the powers of sweet potatoes. Not only is this fiber-rich root vegetable perfect for filling you up, but its deep caramelized flavors also balance other smoothie classics like tangy Greek yogurt, earthy peanut butter, and cinnamon.

Add your precooked sweet potato leftovers to a blender along with a banana, your milk of choice, peanut butter or another nut butter, Greek yogurt, and perhaps a few dates, topped with whatever warming spices you fancy. Then, hit the blend button and prepare to pour. This healthy breakfast or liquid snack can be ready in minutes, and tastes so good you'll liken it to something much more indulgent, like a dessert. Pass us a straw, will you?

Stuff sweet potato into ravioli

While homemade ravioli might sound ambitious, it can be simpler than you think. You can also help cut down on some of the workload with simple tricks like repurposing leftover mashed sweet potatoes into a delicious pasta filling mixed with ricotta, parmesan, egg yolk, and sage.

Depending on the recipe, pasta dough is generally made using a combination of flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt. Once you make the dough, it will benefit from resting, allowing the gluten to relax and the flour to hydrate. Then, when it comes to filling your ravioli, less is more. Though it seems counterintuitive, an overfilled pasta can lead to a loose seal and splitting while boiling, and all the glorious sweet potato filling to leak out into the pot. You can go the extra mile with a sage and brown butter sauce to create the ideal bowl of fall comfort.

Make fish pie or shepherd's pie with sweet potato

This tip takes inspiration from British cuisine, known for its warm, comforting dishes. A traditional fish pie is made with chunks of meaty fish like cod, smoked haddock, or salmon. This casserole-meets-pie can also feature shrimp, potatoes, and peas, all bathed in a creamy sauce and topped with a layer of potatoes; truly a thing of beauty. To change it up, substitute the mashed potato topping for mashed sweet potatoes, or blend the two to create ribbons of orange running through a sea of white mash.

You can also sub out the same to top shepherd's pie, another classic pie-meets-casserole dish that uses minced mutton (or beef if preferred), carrots, and peas in a rich tomato sauce. Now you have two comforting British dishes to add to your cold-weather repertoire.

Create a mix of mashed potatoes

Across the U.S., we've entered the time of year when an extra boost of comfort and a burst of color will be necessary to endure a long winter ahead. Why not make mashed potatoes to match the color of the falling autumn leaves, then carry the trend forward through the colder months?

If you've got enough leftover roasted sweet potatoes, you could turn them into their very own garlic-mashed sweet potato dish without any additional ingredients (save a good pat of butter and a few herbs or spices). However, sweet potatoes don't have to go it alone. They're equally excellent when paired with mashed white potatoes, carrots, parsnips, or celery root, leaving you free to mix and match based on what's in the fridge.

Add sweet potatoes to chocolate chip cookies

If you're looking for a healthy swap for your next batch of chocolate chip cookies, but don't want to compromise your favorite cookie's soft, chewy texture, sweet potatoes provide a fantastic alternative. The naturally sweet and caramelized flavor of sweet potatoes — combined with their soft, rich texture — provide a premier moisture and flavor enhancement to various baked goods, ranging from cornbread to cookies.

Depending on color preference, you can play around a bit, from the more commonly found orange-hued potato to the subtle white sweet-potato variety with a purple peel. Adding roasted sweet potato can also help to veganize your next batch of chocolate chip cookies by acting as a substitute for eggs and adding moisture and brown-sugary sweetness while still keeping the cookies decadently soft. 

Try a sweet potato breakfast parfait

Though it might be slightly unexpected at breakfast, sweet potatoes are a fantastic way to set you up for the day. Rich with fiber to help you last until lunchtime, sweet potatoes can be paired with healthy fats and protein to become a real game changer in your breakfast routine. A breakfast parfait is a low-effort way to use up whatever amount of sweet potatoes you have left — you can even add other leftovers, like cooked carrots, into the mix.

Create a smooth puree (or keep it chunky if you prefer), then put it into a parfait glass and top with yogurt, fruits like bananas or berries, and other ingredients like nuts and granola. Top with a touch of maple syrup and dig in. The taste will make you look at leftover sweet potatoes in a whole new way.

Toss them into a salad of grains and greens

Whether you're batch cooking, meal prepping for a week of make-ahead lunches, or just trying to use up leftovers, precooked sweet potatoes are a great ingredient to have on hand. Add a big bowl of hearty grains like farro, freekeh, brown rice, or bulgur wheat to your meal-prep arsenal, and you're already halfway toward a deliciously filling meal.

Add hearty leafy greens like kale, chard, cavolo nero, or spicy arugula, depending on what's in season. Then, toss in autumn roasted vegetables, fresh summer tomatoes, or grilled spring asparagus to pack in flavor and vitamins. Finish with crumbled feta or blue cheese, a handful of toasted nuts and dried fruits, and a zingy, herbaceous dressing, and you've got a formula for delicious grain salad you can serve on repeat at any time of year.

Add some sweetness to your next frittata

We love a frittata. These crustless, quiche-like Italian dishes are egg-based, often made with dairy products like cheese, cream, or both. It's a dish only made better by adding whatever leftovers you can throw at it. Whether it's sweet potatoes, handfuls of cooked meats, half a pepper, or the dregs of a bag of spinach, a frittata helps make various random leftovers seem composed and intentional.

Frittatas are generally cooked slowly in a pan on the stove, then finished in the oven for optimal texture and perfectly melted cheese. Add chunks of sweet potato to a panful of caramelized onions, then add beaten eggs and a generous crumble of feta cheese for a well-balanced, if not slightly indulgent, frittata you can serve anytime from Sunday brunch to Thursday night's dinner. Frittatas come together with creativity, making them a perfect day-before-grocery-shopping dish when pickings are slim.

Add sweet potato to your grilled cheese

Grilled cheese has to be one of our very favorite comfort foods. Nothing else quite like it satisfies that craving for gooey cheese on slices of slightly crunchy bread. But bread-cheese-bread can get a bit tiresome if eaten with some regularity, which is why changing it up with greens, pesto, caramelized onions, tomatoes, or even sweet potatoes can take your grilled cheese from excellent to exceptional with minimal effort.

Depending on what kind of sweet potato leftovers you have, you can either spread a thin layer of puree or mash onto the inside of your bread before toasting, or tuck a few thin sweet potato slices into the sandwich. There is something so good about the combination of salty, melted cheese when it hits the sweet, rich flavor of sweet potato — you just might need to make a second sandwich.

Add sweet potato to your quesadilla

Whatever type of quesadilla is your favorite, chances are it could only be made more delicious with an extra bit of sweet potato. Smoky chicken, spicy black beans, or salty cheese all pair beautifully with the sweet flavor and creamy texture that sweet potato brings.

When it comes to quesadillas, a little goes a long way. The goal is to keep the tortilla crisp rather than making it soggy from an overload of stuffing, though this may require some serious restraint. However, you can continue building the flavor by adding cumin, garlic, or chili powder to your sweet potato mash before thinly spreading it onto the tortilla. Add whatever other toppings are desired, cover with a second tortilla, and fry until golden on each side. For an extra indulgent taste, you can thinly spread the outside of each tortilla with mayonnaise before cooking, just like on a grilled cheese.

Add sweet potatoes into a batch of brownies

Looking for a stealthy way to get rid of those leftover roasted sweet potatoes? A brownie-shaped Trojan horse might be the answer you're searching for. Thanks to their naturally sweet, buttery taste, sweet potatoes can also work to enhance the soft, gooey textures we all look for in a good brownie, making them an excellent add-in for texture, as well as for providing health benefits. For those looking to indulge with a little bit less fat or sugar, swap some of the sugar and butter for roasted sweet potato in your next batch of brownies, and no one will be the wiser.

The trick with this swap or add-in is the roasting process, which helps to bring out the sweet potatoes' natural sugars and buttery texture before turning them into a velvety smooth mash. So, make sure not to skip that step if your goal is to turn leftovers into a decedent-tasting brownie.

Make a curry or soup

One of the most straightforward solutions to using leftover sweet potatoes might be to throw them into your next curry, soup, or stew. Sweet potatoes and other potato varieties also make an excellent thickener, and they also add fiber, vitamins, and flavor to whatever's on the stovetop.

Sweet potatoes also absorb strong flavors well, so they're fantastic when paired with spicier dishes like Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry. The punch of the Scotch bonnet chili is balanced by the sweet potato, especially when blended with coconut oil. After adding warming allspice and acidic lime, you have a palate-pleasing dish that will hug you from the inside.

Alternatively, preparing something a bit more straightforward that still brings the heat, like a spicy sweet potato soup, results in a fantastic bowlful, made even better when served with a loaf of crusty bread on a cold autumn night.

Add miso for an umami-rich treat

Want to know a secret umami powerhouse of an ingredient that makes just about everything taste better? Two words: miso butter. Mix 2 tablespoons of miso paste with 4 tablespoons of room-temperature unsalted butter until smooth and evenly blended, then slather it onto everything you can think of. You can also add some maple syrup for added richness. 

This combination makes an exceptionally delicious glaze, and it's especially enjoyable when brushed onto roasted and reheated sweet potato chunks or poured on top of a big bowlful of mashed sweet potatoes. The glaze can also be added to roasted chicken for finger-licking results, or lightly drizzled over steamed green beans, broccoli, or carrots. We suggest taking any leftovers you have, sweet potatoes and all, and finishing them with a glaze of miso butter.