Mashed Boniato (White Sweet Potato)

Boniato (also called batata or tropical sweet potato) is a white, starchy, and dry version of the common sweet potato. It’s popular in Florida and the Caribbean, but well-known throughout the Americas and some of Europe (Spain in particular). It was cultivated as far back as 1,000 years ago in Central and South America. Its skin is red-to-purple in color, and has white flesh. As far as I can tell, it is nearly identical to the Japanese sweet potato in terms of appearance and taste; considering the fact that sweet potatoes were a late addition to Japan (around the 17th century), I’d guess that the differences between the two is minimal. I’ve also seen identical sweet potatoes labeled as Korean sweet potatoes here in Maryland.

Taste-wise, boniato is like a cross between a white potato and sweet potato. If you’re missing the consistency of white potatoes but react poorly to them, this is the dish for you.

Preparing boniato is easy. Because the potato is naturally creamy, you only need to add a little cream to them to get a truly decadent flavor. If you’re dairy-free, they’re still surprisingly creamy when made with only chicken broth.

Serves four

2 large white sweet potatoes (~1.75 lbs), peeled and sliced into 1″ pieces
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp each salt and white pepper, more to taste
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup each heavy cream and chicken broth (or 1/2 cup chicken broth)

Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot, then fill with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by an inch. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until fork-tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot; stir in the butter, salt, white pepper, nutmeg, and half of the cream and chicken broth. Mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth, adding more cream and chicken broth as needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

Serve as you would serve mashed potatoes: alongside Salisbury Steak, on top of Shepherd’s Pie, or with your Thanksgiving turkey.

41 thoughts on “Mashed Boniato (White Sweet Potato)

  1. This sounds perfect…if we can find the root. It reminds me of jicama…which is also like a potato but which we eat raw…have never seen it cooked.

    btw, do u recommend making reg mashed potatoes w heavy cream?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How timely! We are dealing with our sweet potato harvest of assorted varieties. No Boniato, but several Asians: Purple Passion with purple meat and a Red Japanese, with red skin and cream colored meat. Also an old standby from this country before the time when there were all the orange fleshed, moist sweet potatoes, now, incorrectly called yams. Am experimenting with various ways of cooking them. Standard baked potato method definitely sub optimal for these guys


  3. So glad that I saw this :) Will definitely be making this for my early Thanksgiving dinner for my parents- I have been looking for a great sub for mashed potatoes due to mashed cauliflower always giving me a belly ache. This looks like the answer-Thanks for sharing!


  4. Guess where I found MOUNDS of these things!? WALMART! I never dreamed I’d ever find them and I went into Walmart to pick up cheaper frozen veggies and produce and voila! HUGE boxes filled with these. I will be making a small portion tonight. Thank you so much for the info. FYI for those looking for these. I’m in Naples, FL and a pretty good mix of Hispanic and Caribbean citizens here, so that may be why we have them, but it doesn’t hurt to look at your local Walmart.


  5. I wonder if this is the same as the “camote” we had when we lived in Costa Rica — sounds like it, purple skin, white flesh, tasted more-or-less like a sweet potato. I’ll look for them here (now that we’re back in the states) and try them mashed like this. Thanks for the recipe!


  6. i found this site because I Google trying to find out if this particular sweet potato is Paleo. Is it? I am assuming it is since you posted a recipe for it on a Paleo site. Thanks!


    1. Hi Denise, I think that white sweet potatoes are definitely Paleo-friendly. I’m not particularly against regular white potatoes either. It all depends on your reaction to starchy foods and your weight loss goals. In general, potatoes are best for you when peeled, boiled, and mashed, as well as combined with fats, acids, protein, and fiber – all of these factors will drastically reduce glycemic load and improve digestibility and bioavailability (absorption) of nutrients. In other words, it’s much better to eat them as part of a whole meal.


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