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Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 from 11 votes
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posted: 10/28/22

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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. Several years ago I gave you these Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes that were a huge hit with readers. Two years ago I made you this amazing Sweet Potato Casserole with both pecan and marshmallow toppings. And last year I gave you the best Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

This year, you should make 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.

overhead photo of salt, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and six 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!

  1. Prep the sweet potatoes. Peel and cut six sweet potatoes into one inch rounds. (See more on prepping the sweet potatoes below.)
  2. Melt the butter. With the melted butter, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and spices.
  3. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Do this very gently.
  4. Cook for 40 minutes. They will need to be covered, and you will want to stir them a few times, very carefully.
  5. Finish them off. Finally, add some salt and vanilla to the tender potatoes, stir and serve!
close up picture of candied sweet potatoes

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.

Serving

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.

Variations on Candied Sweet Potatoes

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:

  • Add in maple syrup. Stir in a tablespoon or two of maple syrup when you add the sugar for an added layer of flavor.
  • Bring some bourbon to the party. Add a shot of bourbon (or two!) for a rich flavor.
  • Think about toppings. Top the sweet potatoes with pecans, walnuts or even shredded coconut.

Storing and Freezing

Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Warm them up in the oven in a covered baking dish for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Please keep in mind that they will be softer as this is the second time they are being cooked.

You can also freeze the leftovers. Place them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to three months. When you are ready to eat them, place them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw and warm them in the oven.

As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.

FAQ

Can candied sweet potatoes be frozen?

Yes. Candied sweet potatoes can be frozen after being made and stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Can candied sweet potatoes be made ahead of time?

I do not recommend making this recipe the day before. They are pretty hands off, and they will taste best fresh.

syrupy mixture being poured over casserole dish with candied sweet potatoes

These candied sweet potatoes are probably my favorite holiday side dish! They’re the perfect balance to heavier, savory foods of the season. If you make these or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment below.

small casserole dish with candied sweet potato recipe
5 from 11 votes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Serves: 12 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.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 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.
    6 large sweet potatoes, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 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.
    pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon vanilla
Calories: 305kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 58g (19%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 8g (12%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 20mg (7%) Sodium: 73mg (3%) Potassium: 410mg (12%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 40g (44%) Vitamin A: 16268IU (325%) Vitamin C: 3mg (4%) Calcium: 53mg (5%) Iron: 1mg (6%)
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.

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  1. Maryann gomez says

    I am having a large crowd for thanksgiving. 22 people! I try to make as many dishes as possible in advance. By doing this, I can then sit down and enjoy dinner with my guests. I would love to make these candied sweet potatoes. They look delicious. Do you think making them 4-5 hours earlier in the day and letting them sit in the pan until serving would work? I would be doubling the recipe. Or maybe you have a different easy candied sweet potato recipe?
    Thank you for your time and attention.
    Maryann Gomez
    [email protected] Gmail.com

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Maryann! Unfortunately, this is one of my only Thanksgiving dishes that I don’t recommend making in advance. If you want something you can make in advance, I would suggest my Sweet Potato Casserole. You could double it and have one topped one way and one topped the other. There are instructions in the post for making it ahead.

  2. Mary says

    Can this recipe be made in the oven?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Mary! I’ve only tested these on this stove top.

  3. Jan says

    I am planning to make this for Thanksgiving. Can I peel and cut the sweet potatoes the day before?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I wouldn’t recommend that. The potatoes will brown and will look rather unappetizing.

  4. Bernadette says

    Can you add orange juice to this recipe if so how would you incorporate it? If I want to bake it instead of stove top please give that version. Thank you!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m sorry, Bernadette, I’ve only tested this recipe as written. You could add a little orange zest at the end for that burst of flavor.

  5. Eizabeth says

    This is a new recipe for me to try for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, It looked so easy and yummy I couldn’t pass it up.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you enjoy it!

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