Pressure cooker, Side dish
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Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Puree

Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Puree

Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Puree

Roasted sweet potato puree in a half an hour, with most of that being hands off time. Sounds like a miracle? It’s not a miracle, it’s science!

This is one of the neatest tricks I learned from Modernist Cuisine at Home. Browning occurs at much lower temperatures in an alkaline environment. The Maillard reaction normally occurs at temperatures above 350°F. According to MC@H, browning occurs at 230°F in an alkaline environment. We can easily reach that temperature in a pressure cooker, and the result is sweet potatoes that are browned all the way through.

I’m using this technique with sweet potatoes, but it works with almost any vegetable. I’ve used it with carrots (via and winter squash (via and Seattle Food Geek). In the book (MC@H) they make a range of vegetables – from leek and potato onion soup to roasted red pepper puree.

Now, one question I had – Modernist Cuisine pressure cooks the vegetables for 20 min. Everyone else (for example, my Cuisinart Electric PC) recommends 6 minutes, max. Why the extra time? To give the vegetables time to brown all the way through. Yes, that’s right, the interior of the vegetables will brown as well as the exterior.

If you own a Pressure Cooker, you need to try this technique out.


Recipe: Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Puree

Adapted From: Modernist Cuisine at Home


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Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Puree

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Pressure cooker sweet potatoes with a spicy kick from pureed chipotle en adobo.


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 pounds (3 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and rough chopped 1/2″ thick
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle en adobo puree or dried chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Cook the sweet potatoes: Melt the butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with the salt and baking soda, add the chipotle and brown sugar, then stir in the water. Lock the lid and bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain high pressure, cook at high pressure for 16 minutes (20 minutes in an electric PC), then quick release the pressure.
  2. Puree the sweet potatoes: Mash the potatoes in the pot using the potato masher – they should be very soft, and puree easily. (Or, dump everything from the pot into a food processor and run for 30 seconds.) Taste and add more salt or sugar if needed.


Video of this recipe: Pressure Cooker Sweet Potatoes

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Amercian


  • No pressure cooker? You won’t get the roasted flavor that the pressure cooker offers, but you can do a regular sweet potato puree. Skip the baking soda, and using a regular pot, follow the instructions to “lock the lid of the pressure cooker.” Then, cover the pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a paring knife. Continue with “puree the sweet potatoes”.
  • This recipe scales up easily; use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda per 2 pounds of vegetables. That’s the right proportion to get the alkaline environment for pressure browning.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Book Review: Modernist Cuisine at Home
Grilled Version: Grilled Mashed Sweet PotatoesClick here for my other pressure cooker recipes.

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Lynn_M says

    I normally don’t get excited about sweet potatoes, but I thought this recipe was phenomenal. The roasted flavor no doubt contributed a lot, but the chipotle was an inspired touch. I happened to have chipotle powder on hand because it was an ingredient in the red lentil chili recipe that was in the recipe book that came with my 6 qt. Instant Pot Duo. I used much less sweetener – only 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar – because I minimize sweets in my diet. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and cooked it on manual for 20 minutes. I blended it in the pot using Bamix stick mixer – another wonderful tool and one I like because it is very easy to clean up.

    I found this recipe because it was linked to in DadCooksDinner recipe for pressure cooker kale with garlic and lemon, which is also a great recipe. I look forward to exploring more of Mike’s recipes.

  2. Kate says

    REALLY good, although I think next time I’ll either ditch the brown sugar all together or cut it to 2 Tbsp…. I haven’t acquired the same sweet tooth as a lot of people have.

    Just wondering, because I found it a little wetter than I would have liked, do you think that cooking it bain-marie (another pot in the pressure cooker) would sort this out? Or, should I just go with draining some of the liquid off after opening the PC? You are my “go to” PC expert, so I’d like to know your thoughts on that

  3. pnalley says

    I made these per the instructions in the instant pot. Very happy with the results, I will try as a base for soup as mentioned above. I would like to try to have them turn out a bit sweeter. I did add additional maple syrup. That didn’t do what I was hoping for. Could the water be changed to apple or orange juice? Would the baking soda amount need to be changed (I would think so), or would it be better to use brown sugar as a sweetener after cooking? BTW my stick blender had no trouble turning the potato’s from chunks to silken texture. Thanks for the recipe. I am new to pressure cooking, really enjoying recipes like this!

  4. Like the recipe and the sweet potatoes did brown well, but I thought it a little too salty despite cutting back the salt slightly. Maybe it was because I used salted butter and should have cut the extra salt back even more? I’ll certainly try it again.

  5. Kami Lee says

    Hi! I tried this recipe, using sweet potatoes and carrots. It turned out a little bit soupy, but it did have that nice savory quality and it was super easy to make. I have an Instant Pot and cooked it for 24 minutes.

  6. ePressureCooker says

    Mike, I read that same information you did in Modernist Cuisine at Home (great read) and was equally struck with using a small amount of baking soda to change the pH and thereby enable the Maillard reaction as you seem to have been. I’ve been experimenting with it as well. (Haven’t done pumpkin and sweet potato like you have, however.) I’ve been using it to caramelize my mirepoix for soups, to do caramelized onions for pot roast and French onion soup, I’ve done roasted garlic entirely in the pressure cooker, and I’ve even been experimenting with using it on meat and broth (you have to use a little more baking soda, since both meat and broth are more acidic than most vegetables, apparently). I read a 2 part article on Cooking Issues re making stock in the pressure cooker, and they mentioned pressure cooking stock that had already been made conventionally, so I tried pressure cooking regular canned chicken broth. I add the commercial broth, some baking soda, and a few tablespoons of vermouth, pressure cook it for a couple of minutes, and it comes out this rich brown color, as if I had made a brown chicken stock with browned bones. Its been really interesting to see how you can play with the results by changing the pH.

  7. Michael Rushlow says

    Mike, I tried this method over the weekend to caramelize some sweet potatoes, but instead of making a puree, I used them to make a sweet potato-leek soup and doing the potatoes this way added a lot of flavor. Thanks!

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