sesame sweet potatoes on white plate

Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions

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Sesame sweet potatoes are an easy side dish with an Asian flair. Choose a different flavor profile with this vegan, gluten-free recipe than the typical brown sugar/cinnamon/butter/marshmallow type Thanksgiving side dish you may be used to. These are a tasty side dish at any time of the year. Plus, they are made on the stovetop, so there is no need to heat up the house with an oven in the summer. And since we’re speaking of Thanksgiving, check out my tips for planning the Best Plant-Based Thanksgiving with 16 Recipes.

Nutrition in Sweet Potatoes

Besides being delicious, sweet potatoes are a great source of nutrition. They are a great source of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. That means it transforms into an active form of vitamin A in the body. There are almost 4 grams of fiber and 542 milligrams of potassium in a medium sweet potato. I was surprised to see there is also some calcium with 43 milligrams. each (according to USDA FoodData Central. Learn more from this article about sweet potatoes from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Sweet potatoes are also inexpensive, usually costing less than a dollar a pound. These sesame sweet potatoes are a healthy option with less saturated fat in the oil as opposed to a buttery recipe.


Sweet Potatoes – suggest medium-sized ones for this recipe. You could substitute red, purple, or white potatoes.

Green Onions – aka scallions. If you are out of these, just substitute chopped yellow, red, or white onion.

Sesame Oil – this provides important flavor to the dish. Look for it in the Asian section of a grocery store or an Asian market.

Sesame Seeds – white or black ones can be used.

As sweet potatoes are already naturally sweet, I don’t think they need anything more. But if you wanted, you can always glaze them with a drizzle of maple syrup.

How to Make Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions

First, scrub and slice your sweet potatoes. Cut them in rounds a half-inch thick or slightly less than that. You could also cut them in wedges if you prefer. Next, clean the green onions and chop them. Separate the white parts from the green parts.

sweet potato slices, green onions, spices, sesame oil

Then, heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet for about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the sweet potato slices and stir to coat with oil. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, pepper, salt, and ginger powder. Continue stirring occasionally to prevent any burning. Add the white parts of the green onions after about 10 minutes.

Cook for another 10-20 minutes with an occasional stir as needed until the potatoes are soft. Add the green parts of the green onions right before the potatoes are done so they stay bright and fresh. Then, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

sesame sweet potatoes on white plate

If you want, you can cut down on the active time needed for the stove by partially cooking the sweet potatoes before you slice them. They can be boiled for about 10-15 minutes or baked (pierce them first so they don’t burst!) for about 20-30 minutes first. This will vary based on the size of the sweet potatoes. You want them to still be able to hold their shape and not be mushy before sauteing them. be sure to let them cook down enough to handle before slicing them.


These will keep in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days, or they can be frozen for 2 – 3 months. Heat them up in the microwave or oven to enjoy later!

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sesame sweet potatoes on white plate

Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions

Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN
Sesame sweet potatoes are an easy side dish with an Asian flair. A different flavor profile than the typical Thanksgiving ones: vegan and gluten-free.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Japanese
Servings 6
Calories 99 kcal


  • Large non-stick pan or wok
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife


  • 3 (600 gm.) sweet potatoes, cut into 1/3 – 1/2" rounds
  • teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  • Heat the sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat for 30-60 seconds.
  • Add the sweet potato slices and stir and coat with oil. Combine the garlic, pepper, ginger, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the spices evenly over the sweet potatoes and stir.
  • Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the white parts of green onions to pan.
  • Watch and stir occasionally for another 10 minutes. Add the green parts of the green onions and sesame seeds to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.


The nutrition estimate is from Spoonacular, which is based mainly on USDA data.


Calories: 99kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 153mgPotassium: 353mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 14227IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Sesame, Sweet potato
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3 thoughts on “Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions”

  1. 5 stars
    I love this sesame sweet potato idea. This will go well with a green thai curry. I cannot wait to try it. Thanks for sharing this recipe at #cookblogshare

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