Candied Yams

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Candied yams are warmly spiced and smothered in a brown sugar butter sauce, this side dish will definitely be a hit alongside a roast turkey with all the fixin’s.

We’ve always enjoy this veggie like a Sweet Potato Casserole, but I have to admit that I love warm buttery sauce in this version.

Candied yams in a bowl with a spoon

What Are Candied Yams?

Candied yams can be made with either yams or “sweet potato yams,” just make sure you get the copper skinned variety, which is the most common form, anyway. True yams are very difficult to find in North America so the veggie I generally use in this recipe is a sweet potato. Read more about the difference between a sweet potato vs. yam here.

Candied yams are traditional southern dish that turns this sweet tuber into a dessert-like side that can be served with almost anything. It’s perfect in the fall, at Thanksgiving, or at Christmas!

Left image is yams being cut into slices on a board, right image is slices of yam in a pot

To Make Candied Yams

  1. Cut the yams/sweet potatoes into 1/3″ slices. If they’re cut too thin, they may break apart while cooking.
  2. Melt butter (according to the recipe below) and add sliced sweet potatoes, tossing to coat with sugar and spices.
  3. Cook low and slow, but make sure the sauce is gently bubbling before covering.
  4. When the tubers are cooked and the sauce is thick, add the last three ingredients. Simple and scrumptious!

*Tip: If you want the tubers to have a candied crispy look around the edges, just skim off some of the sauce while cooking, so that the potatoes don’t actually get too soft and boiled. You can always save the extra sauce to pour over leftovers, or add back in if the sauce reduces too much!

Yams with brown sugar in a pot and candied yams in a pot

Serving Candied Yams

You can serve these as a treat year round, and they are truly delicious served against any kind of pork dish, especially Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin. But candied yams really shine at holiday feasts, and Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without some kind of sweet potato dish. This one is a total landslide year after year, its sure to become a family tradition.

Got Leftovers?

This is definitely one of those dishes that is completely amazing when eaten the next day, so just hope there will be leftovers! And if you like sweet breakfasts, there is nothing like leftover candied yams for a delicious lunch the next day.

These reheat well in the microwave, oven or in a non-stick pan.

More Yummy Yams

Both yams and sweet potatoes can be mashed, baked or roasted too!

These are easy to make on the stove top. If your stove top is full, create a make ahead sweet potato casserole (or crock pot sweet potato casserole)! We love to combine sweet potatoes and apples for a delicious twist.

Candied yams in a bowl
5 from 5 votes
Review Recipe

Candied Yams

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Warm, spicy, and smothered in brown sugar butter sauce, Southern style candied yam recipes like this one just can’t be beat!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 yams peeled and sliced ⅓" thick (approx 3 ½ pounds)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Kosher salt to taste

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  • In a large high sided skillet, add butter and set over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted add the sweet potatoes and toss to combine.
  • Add the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  • When the sugar is melted, lower the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • As the potatoes cook they will start to soften so be careful when stirring that you don’t break up the potatoes.
  • When the potatoes are fully cooked and the sauce is thick, taste the potatoes and add kosher salt to taste.
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 6g, Calories: 388, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 84mg, Potassium: 487mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 18916IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Candied Yams in a bowl with a title
Candied Yams with a spoon and writing
Raw yams on a cutting board and Candied Yams in a bowl with a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I will be making this for Thanksgiving. I love the fact that the potatoes are not precooked. What a time saver. Also, thank you for including the weight of the potatoes. I hate when a recipe says, 6 potatoes, a head of cabbage or a head of cauliflower. These amounts are so arbitrary since the sizes are all over the place. I will review the recipe after the holidays.

  2. Hi, I have been doing my candied yams like this for years.My mother-in-law showed me how years ago. The only difference that I do is that I par boil the potatoes first when done set them aside make sauce in my cast iron fry pan then add potatoes. Doesn’t take as long to cook. Great recipe.