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What can I use instead of butter on sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be prepared in many ways. While butter is commonly used to add flavor and moisture when baking sweet potatoes, there are many healthy alternatives you can use if you are looking to cut calories, fat, or dairy.


Oils are one of the easiest substitutes for butter on baked sweet potatoes. Oils add moisture and allow sweet potatoes to caramelize when roasted in the oven. Some good options include:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Canola oil

When baking, simply brush or drizzle a small amount of your preferred oil over the sweet potato before cooking. About 1-2 tsp per medium sweet potato is plenty.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it can mimic some of the texture and mouthfeel of butter. When using coconut oil on sweet potatoes, melt it first before brushing or drizzling over the potatoes prior to baking. Coconut oil has a light tropical flavor that pairs well with sweet potatoes.

Ghee or Clarified Butter

For a dairy-free butter substitute, ghee is a great option. Ghee is clarified butter that has the milk solids removed, making it safe for those with dairy allergies. When baking sweet potatoes, melt the ghee and use it in place of regular butter. Ghee has a rich, nutty flavor.

Nut or Seed Butters

Nut and seed butters like almond butter, cashew butter and tahini (sesame seed butter) work well in place of regular butter on sweet potatoes. They add creaminess and nutty flavor. Simply spread a spoonful over the flesh of the baked sweet potato.

Plain Greek Yogurt

Plain non-fat Greek yogurt is a tasty, protein-packed butter substitute for sweet potatoes. Make sure to choose plain, unsweetened yogurt. Spread a few tablespoons over the cooked sweet potato or mix in a little yogurt when mashing the flesh.

Mashed Avocado

For a creamier texture, try mashed avocado on baked sweet potatoes. Mash a ripe avocado with a fork and season with a pinch of salt before spreading over the sweet potato flesh. Avocado adds healthy fats and complements the flavor of sweet potatoes nicely.


Unsweetened applesauce has a creamy, smooth texture that makes a nice butter replacement. It adds a hint of sweetness and moisture. Spoon applesauce over baked sweet potatoes.

Pumpkin Puree

Like applesauce, pumpkin puree can be used in place of butter. Make sure to use plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pairs very well with sweet potatoes and brings creaminess along with vitamins like vitamin A.

Broth or Stock

Using a small amount of broth or stock is an unexpected way to add moisture when baking sweet potatoes. Opt for low sodium vegetable, chicken or beef broth. Brush a small amount over potatoes before cooking.

Maple Syrup

For a hint of sweetness, maple syrup makes an excellent butter substitute and pairs wonderfully with sweet potatoes. Use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup. Drizzle a little over roasted sweet potatoes.


Like maple syrup, honey adds a lovely sweetness when used in place of butter on sweet potatoes. Raw honey is best. Drizzle on roasted or mashed sweet potatoes.

Cinnamon Sugar

Sprinkle baked sweet potatoes with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar instead of using butter. The cinnamon sugar adds sweetness and warm spice flavor.


With so many options like oils, nut butters, Greek yogurt and more, there are plenty of alternatives to use instead of regular butter when preparing sweet potatoes. Finding substitutions that provide moisture and flavor but are lower in fat and calories can allow you to enjoy this versatile veggie in healthier ways.