Magically healthy panko-baked sweet potato puffs

Are you sick of kugels but aren’t sure what else you can make to serve on the side of a Shabbos or Yom Tov meal?  Here’s something that’s just as EASY as a kugel, only in tasty, crunchy, bite-sized morsels.
Last week, I wanted something like the Alexa brand sweet potato “tater tots,” which by all accounts are absolutely delicious.  We can’t buy them here, so I knew I had to make something from scratch.  My puffs came out totally different, but utterly delightful in their own right.  They’re a great way to sneak even more of that sweet potato goodness onto your family’s menu.
Plus, they’re terrifically simple:
Bake or boil the sweepoes (I boiled mine), puree them with egg yolks, cornstarch and seasoning, and then coat the mixture with panko before baking.  I added a little melted coconut oil to the sweet potatoes; you could probably leave it out OR substitute canola if you wanted something subtler (there wasn’t a strong coconut taste, however).
Everybody loved the taste and texture of these!
Here, I’m pureeing the sweet potato.  I added everything in here:  egg yolks, cornstarch, coconut oil, salt and pepper, plus a little cinnamon.  You can leave the cinnamon out if you don’t like it.
I let the mixture sit in the fridge for a while in the food processor bowl to firm up a bit before scooping it out.  I think this really helped, though it was still rather mushy.
Happily, we had panko (Japanese bread crumbs) in the house.  I mixed in a little melted coconut oil, plus salt and pepper.  Then, I just dropped in the sweet potato mixture by tablespoons-full.  Because they were so mushy, I tossed crumbs over them lightly with a fork to make sure they were completely coated before transferring to the baking pan.

Here they are, all lined, up, waiting to go in the oven.

I flipped them about halfway through baking to make sure both sides were brown and crispy.  Et voila!

Magically Healthy Panko-Baked Sweet Potato Puffs

(Inspired by and adapted from Minimalist Baker and Sweet and Bake)



  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed + washed
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or margarine (can probably omit)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (omit if you prefer)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (omit if you prefer)


  • 1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs (might need a bit more)
  • 1 Tbsp margarine or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (omit if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  1. Bake or boil sweet potatoes as you prefer.  (If boiling, I find it easier to peel them first.)
  2. While sweet potato are cooking, prepare coating. Stir together all ingredients except margarine/oil.  Then, add oil and mix in thoroughly so all crumbs are coated.
  3. Once sweet potatoes have cooled, peel (if necessary), and add to food processor.  Add remaining ingredients and puree until mixture is uniform.
  4. Set in fridge to chill and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  6. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of sweet potato mixture and drop into crumb mixture.
  7. Use a spoon to gently toss crumbs to coat.
  8. Transfer to baking sheet.
  9. Before baking, gently spritz the top with olive or canola oil to help them crisp up (optional).
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip. Bake for 20 minutes more then serve immediately. For firmer puffs, bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
  11. To freeze and bake later, form into puffs, coat, then transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. Once thoroughly frozen, place in freezer-safe bag or container to store for later. When ready to bake, place on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flip, then bake for 25-30 minutes more or until they reach the desired doneness.

If you try these, let me know how they come out!

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


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