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Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 from 7 votes

posted: 11/18/20

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Candied Sweet Potatoes will be the hit of your holiday table. They look incredibly fancy, but in reality are the simplest side dish recipe.

small casserole dish with candied sweet potato recipe

I am obsessed with sweet potatoes. I think they are the most delicious of the root vegetables, and I would happily take a giant plate of sweet potato fries over regular. Which, if we are being honest, makes my husband question my sanity a little.

There are so many delicious side dishes you can make with sweet potatoes for the holidays. Last year I made you this amazing Sweet Potato Casserole with both pecan and marshmallow toppings. And several years ago I gave you these Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes that were a huge hit with readers.

This year, I am giving you the most beautiful Candied Sweet Potatoes. This recipe is super simple to make and will easily be the star of the show with how beautiful and delicious it is.

close up picture of candied sweet potatoes

How to Make Candied Sweet Potatoes

Save your oven space for turkey, stuffing and rolls. This recipe can be made in under an hour on the stovetop! All the ingredient measurements are listed below in the recipe card, plus a video to show you how simple the process is! Here’s what to do:

  1. First, peel and cut six sweet potatoes into one inch rounds. (see more on prepping the sweet potatoes below)
  2. Then gently stir the slices in a hot skillet with melted butter, sugars, and spices.
  3. Next, cover the skillet and cook for abut 40 minutes, stirring a couple of times to make sure they don’t burn.
  4. Finally, add some salt and vanilla to the tender potatoes, stir and serve!

Prepping Sweet Potatoes

When you’re slicing your sweet potatoes, take extra care to make sure they’re all at least half an inch to one inch thick. Too thin and they’ll burn or take on a crispy texture. Too thick? They won’t cook evenly.

The sweet spot is just about an inch thick. They’ll cook nice and even, and will come out perfectly tender every time.

skillet with candied sweet potato recipe, surrounded by pecans

Easy Does It

Take care when stirring these candied sweet potatoes so they don’t break apart. I find using a wide spatula to gently turn the slices over works best.


You can serve this great Thanksgiving side dish recipe right from the skillet and no one will even notice because the smells and tastes of it will overwhelm them. That being said, if you want a pretty presentation, you can line them up in a casserole dish as you see pictured here.

Work with three or four potatoes at a time, angling them into a dish from one end to the other. At the end, pour the remaining sauce over the top.

Taking It Up a Notch

Want to really dress up this side dish? Make it the star of the holiday table? Try some of these additions to the candied sweet potato recipe:

  • Stir in maple syrup to the mixture
  • Add a couple shot of bourbon for a rich flavor
  • Top the sweet potatoes with pecans, walnuts or even shredded coconut.
syrupy mixture being poured over casserole dish with candied sweet potatoes

These candied sweet potatoes are probably my favorite holiday side dish! I hope you love the tender, colorful potatoes, spiced with holiday aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon. They’re the perfect balance to heavier, savory foods of the season. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below and enjoy this delicious side!

small casserole dish with candied sweet potato recipe
5 from 7 votes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Serves: 6 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Candied Sweet Potatoes will be the hit of your holiday table. They look incredibly fancy, but in reality are the simplest side dish recipe.


  • 6 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat.
  • Stir in the sweet potatoes, then stir in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cover.
  • Cook, covered, for 40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. Stir 2 or 3 times while they are cooking, being very gentle as you stir so as to not break up the potatoes as they cook.
  • When the potatoes are tender, add in the salt and vanilla. Gently stir one more time to combine. Serve and enjoy.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Candied Sweet Potatoes
small casserole dish with candied sweet potato recipe

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Candied Sweet Potatoes

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Kris Marie says

    I make sweet potatoes every Holiday and the way I do it is ridiculously tiresome. Definitely making these your way. Could I sprinkle over some mini marshmallows and stick under the broiler for a minute? Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope this works for you, Kris! So delicious!

  2. John in Lancaster PA. says

    Candied sweet potatoes were a popular dish at Thanksgiving. A recipe my Mother used included Orange Marmalade and orange juice. I cannot find that recipe, never see it mentioned. Am I dreaming or is it not popular today?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t heard of it, but that doesn’t mean that you are dreaming it.

  3. Beverly McCune says

    I like this recipe. It is easy to cook.

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad to hear it, Beverly!

  4. Judy says

    I plan on making these for Christmas dinner. Could they be made the day before and reheated.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You could, but I would be worried that reheating them would break them down further and make them a little mushy.

  5. Heidi Sunshine Taylor says

    We love candied yams. Yours looks delicious. Ours is made like this but we mash them and bake them instead of the rounds. Always a hit at my house 💕

  6. D golubo says

    I’m kind of confused it says melt butter in the Pan then it says says Put butter and Brown sugar in the Pan

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks for catching that error! It’s fixed now!

  7. Michelle K Drozdibob says

    5 stars
    I make these and LOVE them reheated/made in advance. I personally LOVE when they get mushy!!

  8. Janette says

    5 stars
    I raise my own sweet potatoes I would like to know if you have a sweet potato fry recipe. thanks

  9. Maria says

    Can I parboil first for 20 minutes,and than peal and cut them and put in all the engridients and bake them for the remainder of time or until they are tender.Thanks for your reply

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Maria, I haven’t tried making them that way. I would want to try it before advising you.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners