Sautéed Sweet Potatoes – Easy One Pan Recipe

These sautéed sweet potatoes are not only a delicious and versatile addition to any meal but also a brilliant diabetes-friendly option. With just a handful of simple ingredients and minimal prep time, In under 25 minutes, you can enjoy a flavourful side dish that will liven up your weeknight meals.

sauteed sweet potato cubes in a frying pan

Juggling a busy life between after-school clubs, homework battles, and for some of us, managing type 1 diabetes, finding time for healthy meals can feel like an impossible task. But as with lots of my tasty and quick side dishes, this one pan easy sauteed sweet potatoes is a particularly family favourite. 

This vibrant orange potato is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. But the best part? It cooks quickly, making it the perfect addition to your weeknight dinners. These easy sautéed sweet potatoes are a one-pan wonder that requires minimal prep, uses just a handful of ingredients, and delivers perfectly cooked sweet potatoes in under 25 minutes. Plus, with their lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes, they’re a fantastic choice for supporting healthy blood sugar levels – a crucial factor for anyone managing type 1 diabetes.

But if you have a little extra time then make sure to check out my Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Wedges, which are oven roasted to perfection!

Before we get into the health benefits of the humble sweet potato and this simple recipe, I want to answer a question that seems to pop up online a lot if you are living with Type 1.

closeup of cubed sauteed sweet potatoes in a salad bowl

Can people with type 1 diabetes enjoy sweet potatoes?


Absolutely! People living with diabetes can enjoy sweet potatoes as part of a balanced diet. Sweet potatoes are high in fibre and have a low glycemic index (GI) which will vary depending on how they are cooked. Opting for healthier cooking methods like roasting, baking, or sautéing with minimal added fat are the better methods to choose. 

Foods with a low GI are digested more slowly, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, which can help prevent spikes and crashes. Additionally, the fibre found in sweet potatoes can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve overall blood glucose control.

Sweet Potatoes –  The Benefits 

sweet potato in various stages to get to cubed sweet potato on a chopping board

Sweet potatoes are a staple in our household, and for good reason. They aren’t just tasty, they’re jam-packed with goodness:

  • Fibre: Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. This not only good for blood sugars but can also help you feel fuller for longer and keep those gut microbes happy.
  • Nutrients: Sweet potatoes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and several B vitamins. These nutrients are important for overall health, immune function, and energy metabolism.
  • Antioxidants: They are also rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange colour. Antioxidants help protect the body like our own little superheroes!

This easy recipe is your basic foundation, ready to be flavoured and adapted to your and your family’s preferences. Whether you’re serving them as a great side dish with salmon or chicken, tossing them into a breakfast burrito, or using them to create a colourful breakfast hash, the possibilities are endless!

Ingredients for Easy Sautéed Sweet Potatoes

ingredients for sauteed sweet potato

Extra virgin olive oil

  • Rich in monounsaturated fats and high in antioxidants
  • However, feel free to use any oil you prefer. Avocado oil and count oil are other good oils for sauteeing

Sweet potato

  • High in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Quicker to cook than a white potato so a great option when you’re in a hurry

Cumin

  • Has an earthy flavour which adds depth and complexity to the sweet potatoes.
  • Switch in any herbs and spices you like. See teh suggestions below for more ideas

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment

Large Frying pan, cast iron skillet (non-stick preferred)

Spatula

Sharp Knife

Chopping board

How to Prepare Sweet Potato cubes?

Preparing the sweet potatoes is simple and can be done in a variety of ways. Here’s a basic guide on how to prepare sweet potatoes for this recipe:

  1. Washing: Start by thoroughly washing the sweet potatoes to remove any dirt or debris from the skin. Use a vegetable brush to scrub the skin gently if needed.
  2. Peeling (Optional): Depending on your preference you can choose to peel the sweet potatoes or leave the skin on. I hate waste and in fact like with regular potatoes the skin of sweet potatoes contains additional nutrients and fiber compared to the flesh, so leaving the skin on when preparing sweet potatoes can provide extra nutritional benefits.
  3. Cutting: Once washed (and peeled if desired), cut the sweet potatoes into cubes:
    • Use a sharp knife to trim off both ends of the sweet potatoes and cut lengthwise planks, about 2cm thick.
    • Stack a few planks together and slice them lengthwise again to create strips of sweet potato, also about 2 cm thick.
    • Then take a stack of sweet potato strips and cut them crosswise into cubes, approximately 2cm wide. Repeat this process with the remaining planks and strips until all the sweet potatoes are cubed.
sweet potato in various stages to get to cubed sweet potato on a chopping board

Tip:  As you’re cutting the sweet potatoes into cubes, try to make the pieces as uniform in size as possible. This will ensure more even cooking.

How to Sauté Sweet Potatoes

This sweet potato couldn’t be easier. Just follow the steps above to prepare your sweet potato, then follow the simple steps below:

uncooked diced sweet potato in a frying pan with cumin sprinkled over it

Place your pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and let it heat for a minute.

Toss your diced sweet potatoes into the hot pan, ensuring they get a good coating of oil. Season generously with cumin, salt and pepper and mix well.

Give the sweet potatoes a gentle toss and let them cook undisturbed for a few minutes. This allows them to brown nicely on the bottom.

diced and sauteed sweet potato in a frying pan

Once the bottoms are golden brown, use your spatula to gently flip the sweet potatoes.

Cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until tender making sure to keep regularly turning the cubes. You can test them by piercing a cube with a fork – it should slide through easily.

 Adjust the seasoning according to your preference, adding more spices if desired.

Top Tips

  • Room Temperature Sweet Potatoes – For even cooking, make sure your sweet potatoes are at room temperature before dicing them. Cold potatoes tend to steam instead of brown.
  • Less is More with Oil – Don’t drown your sweet potatoes in oil! A little goes a long way. You can always add a touch more if the pan seems dry during cooking.
  • Single Layer is Key – Don’t overcrowd the pan. This will prevent the sweet potatoes from browning properly and result in a steamed texture. If you have a lot of sweet potatoes, cook them in batches.
  • Crispy Cravings – For extra crispy sticky sweet potatoes, crank the heat up to medium-high for the last few minutes of cooking. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

Serving suggestions

This healthy side dish is the perfect base for additional flavours and makes an easy carbohydrate addition to lots of your meals. Here are some of my favourite ways to enjoy this sweet potato recipe:

Serve diced sautéed sweet potatoes as a flavorful side dish alongside your favourite main meal. They pair well with almost any main course and add a touch of sweetness and nutrition to the meal.

Why not try them with:

Oven Baked Indian Salmon

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

Vegan Chili with Lentils and Beans

Easy Base Curry Sauce

Marinated Halloumi

sauteed sweet potato cubes in a frying pan

These delicious sautéed sweet potatoes are not just for your main meals, You can also add them to:

Breakfast Bowls – Diced sweet potatoes add a delicious sweetness and fibre boost to any breakfast bowl. Serve them with your favourite eggs, lean protein like turkey bacon, roast tomatoes on a bed of spinach, watercress and rocket for a truly healthy start to your day.

In Grain Bowls: Incorporate diced sautéed sweet potatoes into grain bowls for a wholesome and satisfying lunch or dinner. Combine them with cooked grains like quinoa or brown rice, leafy greens, roasted vegetables, protein (such as tofu, chickpeas, or grilled chicken), and your favourite sauce or dressing.

In Salads: Toss diced sautéed sweet potatoes into salads to add flavour, texture, and nutrition. They are a delicious addition to my Veggie Burger Salad, simple green salads, or roasted vegetable salads like my Roasted Peppers and Aubergine Salad.

In Tacos or Wraps: Use diced sautéed sweet potatoes as a filling for tacos, wraps, or burritos. Combine them with black beans, salsa, avocado, shredded lettuce, and cheese for a tasty vegetarian option.

These Sweet potato pieces are also the ultimate in Meal prep magic. Cook a big batch on Sunday and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They’re perfect for reheating and adding to lunches or quick dinners throughout the week.

different flavour combinations for this easy side dish:

You can also switch the cumin used in this recipe for other herbs and spices:

  • Mexican and Spanish Meals – use Smoked paprika and cayenne pepper
  • Asian dishes  – Try a little soy sauce and Japanese chilli pepper
  • Mediterranean flavours – use Italian seasoning, add some garlic powder or a combination of dried oregano, rosemary or thyme
  • Indian dishes –  Try a sprinkle of your favourite curry powder
  • Looking for extra spice then add some chilli powder or dried chilli flakes

Diabetes Note

Sweet potatoes are a great choice for people with type 1 diabetes as they have a lower glycemic index (GI) compared to regular potatoes. This means they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels. However, it’s still important to factor in the carbs when calculating your insulin dosage.

Carb Counting

For a small portion of these sweet potatoes (120g) = 16g of carbs.

If you enjoyed this article then leave a star rating and comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget you can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Click below to connect with me

Sautéed Sweet Potatoes

Sautéed Sweet Potatoes

Recipe by Michelle

Easy diabetic-friendly sweet potatoes in 25 minutes! A Flavourful side dish with minimal prep, perfect for busy weeknights

Course: SidesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Very Easy
5.0 from 1 vote
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Total time

30

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 500 g 500 sweet potatoes, cubed

  • glug of glug extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tsp 2 cumin

  • salt & black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Place your pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and let it heat for a minute.
  • Toss your diced sweet potatoes into the hot pan, ensuring they get a good coating of oil. Season generously with cumin, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Give the sweet potatoes a gentle toss and let them cook undisturbed for a few minutes. This allows them to brown nicely on the bottom.
  • Once the bottoms are golden brown, use your spatula to gently flip the sweet potatoes.
  • Cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until tender making sure to keep regularly turning the cubes. You can test them by piercing a cube with a fork – it should slide through easily.
  •  Adjust the seasoning according to your preference, adding more spices if desired.

Tips and Notes

  • Use room temperature sweet potatoes for even cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan for crispy results.
  • Diabetes Note – Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index (GI) compared to white potatoes. This means they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels. However, it’s still important to factor in the carbs when calculating your insulin dosage.
Michelle Rorke avatar

AUTHOR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Profile picture of Michelle Rorke

I’m on a mission to prove that eating for health and managing diabetes can be easy & incredibly flavourful.

Search

infographic of the 4 signs of type 1