Difference Wiki

White Sweet Potato vs. Orange Sweet Potato: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 8, 2023
White sweet potatoes have a lighter skin and flesh, while orange sweet potatoes have a darker, orange-colored skin and flesh; the former typically has a slightly milder flavor, while the latter is sweeter and has a creamier texture.

Key Differences

White sweet potatoes stand out with their pale, almost beige skin and similarly light flesh. They have a somewhat milder flavor, which can sometimes even hint towards being slightly nutty. The texture tends to be firmer and a bit denser, providing a slightly different culinary experience compared to their orange counterparts. The subtleness in the taste of white sweet potatoes allows them to blend well with various dishes without overpowering them with sweetness.
The orange sweet potato, on the other hand, is known for its vibrant orange skin and rich, similarly colored flesh. It is generally sweeter and possesses a creamier, smoother texture when cooked, making it a favorite for dishes like sweet potato casserole or mashed sweet potatoes. The distinct sweetness of orange sweet potatoes often positions them as a favored base in dessert recipes or sweet-based dishes. Their bright color also adds visual appeal to a plate, enhancing the aesthetic of a meal.
From a nutritional perspective, orange sweet potatoes have a notable amount of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to Vitamin A, providing more of this nutrient compared to white sweet potatoes. This beta-carotene not only imparts the orange hue to the potatoes but also adds to the health benefits, supporting eye health and immune function. Meanwhile, white sweet potatoes, while not as rich in beta-carotene, also carry their own set of nutritional values, offering vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, albeit in different proportions.
Culinary uses of both types of sweet potatoes can also be a point of distinction. Given their firmer texture, white sweet potatoes hold their shape well during cooking, making them suitable for stews, stir-fries, and grilling. In contrast, the creamier and smoother consistency of cooked orange sweet potatoes makes them a preferred choice for purees, pies, and any recipe requiring a mashed consistency.
In various cultures and locales, you might find a preference for one type of sweet potato over the other. White sweet potatoes are prevalent and preferred in certain Asian cuisines, where they are utilized in both savory and sweet dishes. Orange sweet potatoes, widely recognized and utilized in the United States, often find their place in traditional American holiday meals and are synonymous with comfort food in this context.

Comparison Chart


Light skin and flesh
Dark, orange-colored skin and flesh


Milder, sometimes slightly nutty
Sweeter, more robust sweetness

Texture When Cooked

Firmer, denser
Creamier, smoother

Nutritional Content

Lower in beta-carotene
Higher in beta-carotene

Common Culinary Uses

Often used in stews, stir-fries
Commonly used in purees, pies

White Sweet Potato and Orange Sweet Potato Definitions

White Sweet Potato

A type of sweet potato that has a relatively firm, dense texture when cooked.
The white sweet potato held its shape well in the hearty stew.

Orange Sweet Potato

A root vegetable identified by its vibrant orange skin and flesh, known for its sweetness.
The orange sweet potato pie was a hit at the Thanksgiving dinner.

White Sweet Potato

A root vegetable with pale, light-colored skin and flesh, often used in cooking.
She sliced the white sweet potato into thin rounds before baking them.

Orange Sweet Potato

A type of sweet potato with a creamy, smooth texture when cooked, often used in purees and pies.
She mashed the boiled orange sweet potato until it was silky and smooth.

White Sweet Potato

A tuber that is less sweet and can be used interchangeably with regular potatoes in various recipes.
He substituted white sweet potato for russet potatoes in the gratin.

Orange Sweet Potato

A nutritional powerhouse, notable for its high beta-carotene content, beneficial for eye health.
Consuming orange sweet potato can be an effective way to enhance Vitamin A intake.

White Sweet Potato

A versatile root vegetable that can be baked, boiled, fried, or grilled.
She enjoyed the crispy white sweet potato fries alongside her burger.

Orange Sweet Potato

A commonly utilized vegetable in traditional American holiday dishes, such as casseroles and pies.
The candied orange sweet potato casserole was adorned with a generous sprinkle of brown sugar and marshmallows.

White Sweet Potato

A variety of sweet potato with a typically milder, sometimes nuttier flavor compared to other types.
The mild flavor of the white sweet potato complemented the spicy curry.

Orange Sweet Potato

A versatile ingredient in culinary applications, suitable for both savory and sweet dishes.
He made a savory orange sweet potato soup spiced with fresh herbs.


Which is sweeter: white sweet potato or orange sweet potato?

Orange sweet potatoes are generally sweeter than white sweet potatoes.

Can I use white and orange sweet potatoes interchangeably in recipes?

Yes, but note that they have different textures and sweetness levels which might slightly alter the dish.

Can both white and orange sweet potatoes be baked?

Yes, both can be baked, but they may present different textures upon cooking.

What distinguishes a white sweet potato from an orange sweet potato visually?

White sweet potatoes have pale skin and flesh, while orange sweet potatoes have vibrant orange skin and flesh.

Which variety is commonly used in sweet potato pie?

Orange sweet potato is commonly used due to its sweeter flavor and smoother texture.

Which sweet potato variety is more common in Asian cuisines?

White sweet potatoes are more commonly used in Asian cuisines.

Which variety of sweet potato tends to have a firmer texture when cooked?

White sweet potatoes generally have a firmer texture when cooked compared to orange sweet potatoes.

Can I make sweet potato toast with both varieties?

Yes, you can make sweet potato toast with both, noting the difference in sweetness and color.

Are white sweet potatoes available throughout the year?

Yes, white sweet potatoes are generally available year-round, but availability may vary by location.

Which type of sweet potato is typically used in Thanksgiving dishes in the USA?

Orange sweet potatoes are commonly used in traditional American Thanksgiving dishes.

Can sweet potatoes be eaten with the skin on?

Yes, the skin of both white and orange sweet potatoes is edible and nutritious.

Is there a significant difference in calorie content between the two?

Both varieties are comparable in calorie content, though exact values can slightly vary.

Are the nutritional benefits of white and orange sweet potatoes similar?

They both offer nutritional benefits but differ in certain nutrient levels, like beta-carotene.

Can both types of sweet potatoes be used in making fries?

Yes, both can be used to make fries, offering different flavors and textures.

Which type of sweet potato is usually used in salads?

Both can be used in salads, with white sweet potatoes offering a firmer texture.

Which sweet potato variety contains more beta-carotene?

Orange sweet potatoes contain more beta-carotene compared to white sweet potatoes.

Are both varieties of sweet potatoes rich in fiber?

Yes, both white and orange sweet potatoes are good sources of dietary fiber.

Are there purple sweet potatoes?

Yes, purple sweet potatoes are another variety, known for their vibrant purple flesh.

Which sweet potato variety is often used in desserts?

Orange sweet potatoes, being sweeter and creamier, are often used in desserts.

Can I grow both white and orange sweet potatoes in my garden?

Yes, both white and orange sweet potatoes can be cultivated in a home garden with the right conditions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons