A simple coating of panko and a few minutes in a hot pan transforms these sweet potato patties into a marvelous side dish or vegetarian main. It’s also a great way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes.–Angie Zoobkoff

Sweet Potato Patties FAQ

Can you make these patties gluten-free?

Absolutely! Simply swap in gluten-free panko and gluten-free flour in the recipe.

How should you reheat sweet potato patties?

Any leftover patties can be reheated on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes. If reheating from frozen, add 5 to 7 extra minutes to the baking time.

Five sweet potato patties stacked on a plate with a dollop of crème fraîche on top and a fork on the side.

Sweet Potato Patties

4.60 / 5 votes
A simple coating of panko and a few minutes in a hot pan transforms these sweet potato patties into a marvelous side dish or vegetarian main. It's also a great way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes.
David Leite
Servings6 patties
Calories232 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • 1 large (about 1 1/4 pounds) sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) finely diced red or yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream, for serving
  • Finely sliced fresh chives, for garnish


  • Pierce the sweet potato multiple times on all sides with a fork, then place on a microwave-safe plate and lightly tent with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 4 minutes, rotate, and continue to cook in 2-minute increments until it is soft, 8 to 10 minutes total. The exact cooking time will depend on your microwave’s wattage. Let cool, then peel the sweet potato, place the flesh in a bowl, and use a fork to mash it.
  • In a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Add the onion mixture to the bowl with the mashed sweet potato and mix in 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and the cheese. Season with the salt and pepper, mix to combine.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a ball of the mixture, then use your hands to press it into a patty, about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 6 patties.
  • Set up a breading station, putting the flour, egg, and remaining 3/4 cup of bread crumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Lightly dredge the patties in the flour, dip into the egg, and then into the bread crumbs.
  • Heat 1/4 inch (6 mm) of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Fry the sweet potato patties until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.
Meat to the Side

Adapted From

Meat to the Side

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Serving: 1 pattyCalories: 232 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 6 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 41 mgSodium: 604 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Liren Baker. Photo © 2021 Liren Baker. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These sweet potato patties were both a treat to make and a treat to devour. The recipe layout made it easy to execute and the ingredients are common pantry staples. My sweet potato needed 10 minutes to cook in the microwave. This was actually my first time using a microwave to cook potatoes and I’ll definitely be repeating the experience. Speaking of repeat experiences, this recipe is on the bring-back list. I couldn’t believe how crunchy these were on the outside and with a creamy onion studded interior with bursts of herby flavour.

Three sweet potato patties on a platter with a bowl of creme fraiche on the side.

I think that for my next batch, I will leave the sweet potato chunkier for a bit more texture. The Italian seasoning coupled with the Parmesan and salt and pepper provided enough interest and flavour for the six patties. I used sour cream as I was out of crème fraîche. I also sprinkled some hot pepper flakes or “pepperoncini” flakes to keep it Italian and add a little extra bite.

Yum. These made a really tasty lunch served with a side salad. I thought at first that there would be too much Italian seasoning but it was the perfect amount. I used a 3 tablespoon scoop and formed them into 2 1/2-inch patties. I could have used a larger sweet potato as my mixture was quite soft. Keeping the patties slightly smaller made it easier to dredge and fry them. The crunch of the panko with the silky soft interior is so good. I highly recommend serving these with the cream (sour or fraîche) as it lifts the flavours.

Several sweet potato patties, one broken in half next to a bed of romaine and a dollop of sour cream.

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite root veggies and turning them into sweet potato patties allows them to shine. The patties are a great combination of sweet, soft, and oniony on the inside, and crispy, crunchy on the outside. What’s more, they’re easy to put together, don’t take very long from start to finish, and would be a great vegetarian main or a protein side dish. They go especially well with sour cream.

Using a microwave softens the potatoes in minutes versus how long it would take in the oven. I used gluten-free panko for the bread crumbs and gluten-free all-purpose flour for the dredge to produce a nice crispy, crunchy exterior. This is the type of recipe that’s easy to add to the dinner rotation when you have sweet potatoes in your pantry and want something other than roasted wedges or fries. I’ll be adding them to mine.

Warm and crunchy on the outside, mildly sweet and spicy on the inside, these sweet potato patties were a big hit with my taste testers.  Served alongside a large green salad and some leftover pork loin, they made for a delicious and complete meal.

Two sweet potato patties topped with parsley and a salad on the side.

My tweaks were as follows: I created my own Italian seasoning with dried oregano, basil, and a big pinch of hot pepper flakes. Instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano, I used a pre-grated imported Parmesan and subbed in parsley for chives. 

Allow 2 to 3 per person. 

Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious so I am often looking for new recipes that include them. Here is a recipe that is delicious and nutritious! The addition of onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning are just the right flavorings to enhance the sweet potato. Add a crust of bread crumbs or panko, a dab of sour cream, a sprinkle of chives and you have a delicious main course. I served these with a big salad on the side.

Two sweet potato patties on a striped plate, topped with sour cream and chives.

We loved these flavorful sweet potato patties! Served alongside pan-seared barramundi fillets and a simple sauté of balsamic kale and radishes, they helped to round out a healthful, colorful meal. Come to think of it, with their savory flavor additions that include onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, panko, and Parmesan cheese, you could also make these with russet potatoes as well if that is what you have on hand.

Overall, we liked the crunchy outsides on these patties with the tender mashed sweet potato interior and the mix of sweet and savory was nice as well. These not only made a nice dinnertime side, but I caught my husband eating one this morning with a fried egg for breakfast. Goes to show, when something is good, it doesn’t matter how you eat it!

Crispy on the outside and flavorful and creamy on the inside describes this potato patty. It could be the star of a vegetarian meal or a side to a main meal. This recipe lends itself well to preparing a portion of the recipe in advance. I microwaved the potato and sautéed the red onions and garlic, added the cheese and seasonings; mixed it with the mashed potato, and refrigerated the mixture. The mixture was very easy to make into patties after being refrigerated. I used panko instead of bread crumbs which resulted in a nice crispy crust. Next time, I’ll use less oil to sauté the patties.  Served as a side with roast duck and broccoli au gratin, it was delicious.

These sweet potato patties are just outstanding—sweet and savory tender cakes encased in light and crispy panko. The nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and the Italian seasoning give them lovely notes, too.

On a weeknight I coasted through this recipe with easy and spot-on steps from beginning to end. The sweet potato mixture made EXACTLY six ice cream scoops’ worth, and I used the same 10-inch non-stick skillet for sautéing the onion and garlic, and cooking the patties (yes, all six fit!). Served with a green salad tossed in lemon vinaigrette, the patties made a perfect light dinner.

If you have any leftover, it is easy to refresh them in the oven for another meal. Preheat the oven to 400°F, place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake them for about 15 minutes (do not cover them). The cooked patties can be frozen and reheated using the same method. Just bake the frozen patties for about 20 to 22 minutes.

Already have some cooked sweet potatoes on hand? Just measure out scant 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.

These sweet potato patties are simple to prepare with readily available ingredients. I think they could even be prepared ahead up to the frying step, making them an even easier side dish. The breading added a really appealing texture. The only criticism I have is that I think they could use more seasoning. I did not really get much flavor of Italian seasoning or pepper so I would probably add more. The sour cream garnish really enhanced the patties. I served these with ham steaks and fried apples. These will be a regular dish for me!

These were a surprising hit – some vegetable patty recipes can feel like a misguided attempt at a vegetarian burger, but this recipe creates something entirely its own. Flavor is great, with the Parmesan giving some nice umami to the sweetness of the vegetable. Texture is also good, the panko providing excellent crunch to the outside. The patties themselves hold together well, with no issues around falling apart in the pan. The crème fraîche is a must, and I found minced scallion to be a good substitute for chives. Lastly, this recipe is relatively quick to make, if you are not opposed to the instruction to microwave the sweet potatoes. These were delicious as leftovers as well.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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    1. Diane, we didn’t test the recipe in the oven or air fryer, so we can’t say for sure. But if you try, please let us know how it turns out!