How to Parboil Sweet Potatoes

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

Parboiling, or parcooking, sweet potatoes is a simple process that helps make them perfect for roasting, frying, or even freezing. They cook up easily, and are a great addition to all sorts of dishes.

We're going to talk about how to parboil sweet potatoes today. Sweet potatoes are one of this editor’s favorite root vegetables.

My favorite way to eat them? Roasted with basil and oregano, topped by a fried egg. But in order to roast them quickly, you've got to parboil them first.

Believe it or not, this sweet tuber is more versatile than the Thanksgiving casserole would have you believe. Not that I don’t love a good Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole; I certainly do.

But just a quick look at the archives here on Food Fanatic will prove to you just how versatile the sweet potato is – everything from tacos to curries are featured in between these virtual walls.

What is parboiling (also known as parcooking)?

So, what is parboiling? It’s quite simple, really. Parboiling is the act of partially boiling, or precooking, some type of food.

You can parboil most any vegetable or grain, be it rice, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, or even mixed vegetables. I also like parboiling Brussels sproutsgreen beans or even peppers.

More common than you may think, many people also opt to parboil meats such as chickenchicken wingsribsbrats or sausage.

You can then cook to taste by grilling, roasting or frying the meat without losing any of the juiciness.

Parboiled Sweet Potatoes Image

Why do I need to parboil my sweet potatoes?

We parboil for a few simple reasons:

  • Some starches may take too long to cook if only cooked using another method, such as roasting.
  • We’re planning ahead, for meal prep purposes.
  • We want to freeze a large portion of produce, but make it easy to cook from frozen.

How is parboiling different from blanching?

When you parboil, you boil the sweet potatoes in salted water for a few minutes. Blanching is different in that you’d then submerge the potatoes in ice water to immediately stop the cooking process.

Parboiled Sweet Potatoes Picture

How to Parboil Sweet Potatoes:

  1. Peel (if desired) and chop sweet potatoes into 1” chunks.
  2. Bring a saucepan 3/4 of the way full of clean, cold water to a boil.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to the water.
  4. Add sweet potatoes to the water and boil for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Drain and cool.

How do I use my parboiled sweet potatoes?

You can do lots of things with parboiled sweet potatoes, which makes this fantastic for meal planning. Days, weeks, or even months ahead of time you can plan out a week’s worth of meals involving this delicious, starchy root vegetable, and it takes only a few minutes to prep.

Parboiled Sweet Potatoes Photo

How to Freeze Parboiled Sweet Potatoes:

  1. Pat drained sweet potatoes dry.
  2. Line a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
  3. Spread the chunks of sweet potato out on the pan, making sure they are evenly spread and not touching.
  4. Freeze for 2-4 hours.
  5. Remove from the freezer and place in ziptop bags. Make sure to label and use within 2-3 months.
Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Tacos Picture

How to Cook with Parboiled Sweet Potatoes:

  • Season, then roast with other vegetables or meats at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.
  • Fry, for a different kind of hash or breakfast potato!
  • Stir-fry with soy sauce, oyster sauce, or white wine sauce and other vegetables.
  • Sauté with chunks of chicken and green beans for an easy one-pan supper

Parboil Recipes

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Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".