Can You Freeze Yams?

Yams make the perfect diet food. They are high in energizing complex carbohydrates as well as dietary fiber. Whether baked, fried, mashed or boiled, yams are filling, delicious, and nutritious! That’s why keeping these root crops in stock is always a good idea. But can you freeze yams?

The fact is, yams are not available all year round. Freezing yams ensures that you have your favorite starchy vegs in stock when supplies are limited. Just like other starchy root crops, cooked yams keep well in the freezer.

Baked sweet potato
Image used under Creative Commons from liz west

However, the starchy flesh of a yam is quite delicate so prepping the root crop is essential to maintain its original taste and texture. As for fresh yams, we don’t recommend freezing raw yams because the texture and flavor will change no matter how careful you are with prepping.

When kept at room temperature, uncooked yams will keep fresh for 2 weeks or so. Cooked yams kept in the fridge will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. Freezing boiled yams will extend their shelf life to 10 to 12 months at 0° Fahrenheit. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze yams:

How to Freeze Yams?

Because raw yams aren’t recommended for freezing, you should boil or bake the yams first prior to freezing. Heat a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, place the yams in the pot and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until the yams are tender but not 100% cooked through.

Sweet potato halved
Image used under Creative Commons from Matt Brubeck

After boiling the yams, turn off the stove and leave them to stand at room temperature until completely cooled. Once the yams have cooled completely, dice or slice them with a sharp knife. Get several storage bags, the resealable kind, of course, and place a proper portion of the cut yams inside. Squeeze as much air as you can then seal. With a marker, write the storage date and stick in the freezer.

If you’d like to bake or mash the yams first prior to freezing, refer to the boiling instruction above. After the yams are cooled completely, cut, season, and process the yams accordingly. Then, prepare several resealable plastic bags, place ample portions of the yams inside and squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. If you have a vacuum sealer, use it to suck the air out of each bag before sealing. Finally, write the storage date before sticking in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Yams?

Peeled yams are prone to oxidation so they should never be exposed to air after freezing. This means boiled cut yams should be used as soon as they are taken from the freezer. If you’re not cooking the thawed yams immediately, try immersing the yams in salted water until you’re ready to cook. For mashed or baked yams, they won’t discolor when exposed to air but we suggest reheating the dish as soon as they are thawed for optimal flavor.

Sweet potatoes
Image used under Creative Commons from Alan Levine

To reheat baked yams, just place the yams in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Reheat in the oven for 350° Fahrenheit for about 25 to 35 minutes. As for mashed yams, you can reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Add a little milk to the mixture as you stir to loosen the consistency then serve once piping hot.


Yams may be delicate root crops but as long as you take extra steps to maintain their freshness, they can be stored in the freezer for a year or more. Now that you know how can you freeze yams, there’s no fear of ruining a batch or dealing with spoilage when you buy yams in bulk!