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Mashed White and Sweet Potato Swirl Recipe

This recipe for Mashed White and Sweet Potato Swirl is a mixture of half white potatoes and half sweet potatoes. They come together to make a beautiful and tasty side dish. Cook the potatoes together but mash them separately. A quick swirl makes this recipe special.

Updated January 2020.

Mashed Sweet and White Potatoes garnished with parsley

Nothing beats a bowl of hot and buttery mashed potatoes, especially with good gravy. But what if your menu doesn’t include gravy?

Why is mixing these potatoes a good idea?

In this situation, I will often choose sweet potatoes. But so often, a dish of 100% sweet potatoes can be cloying. Have you noticed how they seem to end up mixed with lots of butter, sugar, and spices?

Adding white potatoes seems to mellow out the sweet potatoes. They also complement each other texture and taste-wise.

raw sweet potatoes beside raw white potatoes

If you have a lonely potato or two sitting on your kitchen counter, add it to potatoes of the other color. For example, if you only have one or two sweet potatoes, make up the difference with more white potatoes. It doesn’t matter.

Mashed Sweet and White Potatoes in a dish garnished with thyme

FAQ about the potatoes


Can I substitute yams for sweet potatoes?

I don’t recommend it. Real yams are entirely different root vegetables that are more like yucca in texture and flavor. They are not even in the same family as sweet potatoes. In the United States, yams are not seen very often in grocery stores unless you go to a specialty market.


Can I use white sweet potatoes or purple sweet potatoes for the orange ones?

White sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes (if you can find them) are generally interchangeable. Both varieties tend to be denser and starchier.

The novelty of the orange and white colors will be for naught if you use the white sweet potatoes. The purple potatoes may bleed into the white potatoes when you make the swirl since they are boiled first.

How do you prevent the colors from bleeding if you use purple potatoes? Mary-Frances Heck, author of Sweet Potatoes suggests roasting, sautéeing, or frying. As you can imagine, purple bleeding would blur the swirl effect in a bad way.


What variety of white potatoes are best?

Yukon Gold or russets are best, in that order. The variety and age of your potatoes affect how much milk you need to add. Start with less and add more milk only as need it to get the best texture.


Do I have to peel the potatoes?

No, you can leave them unpeeled if you prefer. Scrub them well and cut into chunks. Leaving the skins on will give some texture and extra fiber.

Suit yourself on this one. You can peel both types of potatoes (specified in the recipe), or just the sweet potatoes, or don’t peel (but do scrub) at all.

What do I serve with this side dish?

Whenever you would serve mashed potatoes is a good time to serve this casserole. Try a little gravy over the top.

If you’re trying to cut back on gravy, this recipe is also a good way to go. The sweet potatoes add flavor.

Don’t save this dish for the fall and winter holidays alone.  It’s perfect with grilled meats–especially something spicy like sausage.

How to make Mashed White and Sweet Potato Swirl

cooking potatoes on the stove
Place peeled and cut white potatoes in the bottom of the pan, then the peeled and cut sweet potatoes on top. Barely cover with water. Add salt. Boil until fork-tender.
separating sweet potatoes from white potatoes
Pour potatoes into a colander to drain. Separate sweet potatoes into a separate bowl.
using a ricer for sweet potatoes
Use a potato ricer or masher to “mash” the potatoes. (A ricer leaves fewer lumps. I love the potato ricer pictured.)
adding butter and warm milk to potatoes
Add butter and warmed milk to each bowl. Mix until smooth.
Adjusting seasonings to mashed potatoes
Adjust seasonings.
how to swirl sweet potatoes and white potatoes
Add one dish to the other and give it a quick swirl. Pour into a serving dish and serve immediately.
Bowl of Mashed Sweet and White Potaotes with serving spoon
Optional: Garnish with chopped parsley.

More recipes for potato lovers

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Sweet and White Potato Swirl

Mashed Sweet and White Potatoes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

White potatoes and sweet potatoes are cooked together, mashed separately, then swirled together to make an interesting and tasty side dish.


  • 1 1/2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and diced into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 2/3 cup warmed milk (divided)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Place white potatoes into the bottom of a saucepan, then sweet potatoes on top. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Barely cover potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until potatoes are fork-tender but not falling apart.
  2. Drain potatoes. Remove sweet potatoes from the pan and place them into another bowl. Place white potatoes back into your original pan and let them dry while you mash the sweet potatoes. For this step, I put on exam gloves (which I always have in my kitchen) to remove the hot sweet potatoes.
  3. Mash the sweet potatoes your favorite way. (I use a ricer, but a potato masher or portable mixer is also good.)
  4. Start with about 2 tablespoons of warm milk. Add more, if needed, to make potatoes creamy and smooth but not runny. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the white potatoes. Again, start with about 2 tablespoons of milk. Add more milk, as needed, until the consistency matches your sweet potatoes.
  6. Plop mashed sweet potatoes back into the pan with mashed white potatoes. Make a couple of folds with a spoon to barely mix. Move to a serving dish being careful not to mix too much.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 11th of April 2016

I had the same idea. Somebody gave me a couple cans of sweet potatoes/yams (I know they aren't the same thing but people want to MASH the two, heh, so let's let them) and I had before just ate them by themselves and didn't like them. I was going to either regift the cans to a foodbank or someone else, or use them in a recipe. Mixing them in with mashed regular potatoes, which I love, was my easier idea, since I am NOT a cook/chef. I figured it would be a nice color addition and would get rid of them easiest, lol! Will try!


Tuesday 12th of April 2016

Hi Nan, Another delicious thing to do with sweet potatoes is to use them in breadmaking. See this recipe.


Sunday 21st of November 2010

I had this same idea. So I searched it to see who else had the same idea. I'm not alone! Thank you!


Tuesday 20th of July 2010

I mixchunks together but I have never mixed mashed. I must try this. I bet it is terrific.


Wednesday 21st of July 2010

Chunks would be good too--and one less step.


Sunday 18th of July 2010

What a great idea. And also a great way to sneak in some great vitamins!


Thursday 15th of July 2010

Fantastic! I really like the idea of mixing the two. I love sweet potatoes but the rest of the family not so much. I think this would be a great option for us all and just maybe they will love the two mixed together. Your pictures are beautiful.