How Many Sweet Potatoes Per Person Do You Need? Here's An Easy Way to Calculate

And what to do if you don't have enough.

It’s hard enough to eyeball a serving size of sweet potatoes let alone estimate how many sweet potatoes you need per person—remind me how many potatoes you need for a heaping spoonful...and seconds?

“One serving of sweet potatoes is generally about 4 to 5 ounces,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer atCheerful Choices. Forgot your food scale? That’s about 1 cup of roasted potatoes or 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes, which has a smaller serving size because it’s denser than roasted slices or chunks.

How to estimate how many sweet potatoes you need per person

“A general guideline to estimating how many sweet potatoes you need when hosting friends or family for a meal is one medium sweet potato per person,” Burgess says, as if she’s done this many times before. “If a sweet potato is about the size of your fist (roughly 5 inches x 2 inches) then it will be suitable for one person. If it’s the size of two fists, then it can serve two people.”

That said, the rest of the menu matters since each guest will only be able to squeeze so much sweet potato on their plate alongside other mains and sides. “The protein and fiber in these dishes will help guests feel full and satisfied,” Burgress says—so you won’t have to worry about if you find yourself short a sweet potato or two.

Related: 50 of the Best Sweet Potato Recipes for Delicious Holiday Side Dishes 

How many sweet potatoes do you need for sweet potato recipes?

This all sounds simple enough—until you’re in charge of the grocery list. How many sweet potatoes do you need per person for sweet potato casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, or sweet potato pie? A good rule of thumb is to trust the recipe. A sweet potato casserole recipe might call for three pounds, or about 48 ounces, of sweet potatoes. By Burgess’s estimation, that should equate to 9 to 12 servings. However, the recipe serves 8. The bottom line is that people don’t always eat a standard portion size of potatoes (or many other foods). So estimating by the ounce could be all for naught.

Related: 21 Sweet Potato Casserole Recipes That Outperform All Other Sides 

What to do if you buy too many sweet potatoes

If you find yourself losing sleep over sweet potato servings, throw a few extra sweet potatoes into your shopping cart. If you end up with way too much, rest assured that these spuds are incredibly versatile. You can always dice, roast, and freeze your extras to use in recipes later on—think breakfast hash, roasted sweet potato salad, or a straight-up side. Or, make sweet potato “toasts” by cutting sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/2 inch-wide slices. You can pop them in the fridge or freezer, then put them right into the toaster and top with mashed avocado or peanut butter and banana slices (a combo Burgress likes) for a light breakfast or snack. You could also bake your extra sweet potatoes whole, cool them overnight, then add the pulp to your morning smoothie to bulk it up and boost the fiber content.

Related: 25 Ways to Transform Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving Breakfast, Dinner & Dessert 

What to do if you don’t buy enough sweet potatoes 

But what should you do if you accidentally buy too few sweet potatoes? Bulk them up by roasting them alongside other veggies like Brussel’s sprouts, butternut squash, or sweet onions. “Adding extra veggies won’t just make each serving look larger, it’ll add fiber that makes guests feel more full,” says Burgess, who serves her roasted veggies with aioli sauce. See? Problem solved!

Next, the best shortening substitutes.

View the original article to see embedded media.