These candied sweet potatoes are tossed in a mixture of butter, brown sugar and spices, then are roasted until caramelized. A simple yet satisfying side dish that’s the perfect accompaniment to chicken, pork, turkey and beef.
Sweet potatoes are a staple on holiday menus, and this candied version is one of my favorite ways to enjoy this vegetable. Serve your potatoes alongside roast turkey and corn casserole for a memorable and delicious meal.
Candied sweet potatoes are a must-have during the fall and winter months. These potatoes are quick enough to put together on a busy weeknight, yet elegant enough for company. You can even customize your sweet potatoes by adding a variety of flavors and toppings.
How do you make candied sweet potatoes?
Candied sweet potatoes are very easy to make. First, cut up some sweet potatoes into slices or chunks and put them in a baking dish. Make a sauce by mixing together brown sugar, butter and spices. Pour that delicious sauce over the sweet potatoes and toss them until coated. Bake the sweet potatoes until the sugar is caramelized and golden and the sweet potatoes are tender, then serve and enjoy!
Tips for candied sweet potatoes
- As the sweet potatoes bake, be sure to stir them every 15 minutes so that they cook evenly.
- Don’t use the tips of the sweet potatoes, those small pieces tend to get overdone or burn in the oven.
- For this recipe, look for long thin sweet potatoes. They will be easier to cut.
- Cut your sweet potatoes into similar sized pieces so they cook at the same rate.
- Don’t use pre-cooked canned sweet potatoes. Fresh sweet potatoes work best for this recipe.
- You can toss the sweet potatoes with the sauce in a bowl and transfer everything to a baking dish.
The difference between sweet potatoes and yams
Sweet potatoes and the yams in the grocery store are all really sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are sold in many sizes, shapes and colors. In many grocery stores the orange fleshed sweet potatoes are labeled as “yams.” However, these orange sweet potatoes are not true yams. True yams are root vegetables with rough brown exteriors that are grown in parts of Africa and Asia. These yams can be found in some specialty grocery store but are not common. True yams would not be good for candied sweet potatoes.
For this recipe you want to use any orange or red fleshed sweet potatoes like jewel or garnet sweet potatoes.
Candied sweet potato variations
Candied sweet potatoes are a fantastic side dish that can really bring a dinner together. However, you can change up this recipe to include some other great flavors.
- Feel free to use maple syrup instead of brown sugar in the sauce.
- You can add toppings such as marshmallows, chopped pecans or streusel. To make your own streusel topping, simply mix together 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of flour, 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in a bowl. As you mix the streusel, it will form crumbles. Put those streusel crumbles on the sweet potatoes and the topping will bake up golden brown.
- For a brighter colored dish with some citrus notes you can add 1/3 cup orange juice and 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the butter mixture.
These sweet potatoes pair well with so many different dishes and are always a huge hit with family and friends. Whether it’s a holiday or a simple every day dinner, you just can’t go wrong with sweet potatoes!
More side dish recipes you’ll enjoy
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Green Beans with Bacon
- Roasted Green Beans
- Sautéed Asparagus
- Sautéed Mushrooms
Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes peeled, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" pan or 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place the sweet potatoes in an even layer in the dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
- Pour the brown sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes. Toss to coat them evenly in the sauce.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Serve immediately.