Buttery candied yams are a favorite holiday side dish, and are so simple to make using just one skillet!

Spiced butter and brown sugar simmered with yams make a delicious syrup for a side dish that is sweet, and tender.

What are Candied Yams?

Candied yams are a classic holiday side dish, made with yams or sweet potatoes, and with any combination of brown sugar and butter.

Unlike our sweet potato casserole, this southern favorite is cooked right on the stovetop until tender, and the sugar creates a syrupy glaze.

candied yams in black skillet

A Sweet Side Dish

  • This easy candied yams recipe has simple ingredients and is ready to cook in minutes.
  • It’s so quick to mix and cook in just one pan.
  • No mashing, fancy crusts, or baking is required, just slice, coat, and simmer until caramelized and tender.
  • This dish frees up oven space by using the stovetop.
sliced yams

Ingredients for Candied Yams

Yams – Yams have a sweet & savory flavor. Choose yams that are firm without blemishes on the skin. Peel and slice them before adding them to this dish.

Seasonings – Butter and brown sugar are cooked with the yams to perfectly caramelize each slice, and the pumpkin pie spice adds a warm flavor.

Variations – Change up the warm spices to your favorites; ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg are favorites. Add a splash of orange juice or vanilla extract.

How to Make Candied Yams

This simple dish comes together as easily as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet with high sides (as per recipe below).
  2. Add peeled & sliced yams and stir to coat, add brown sugar and spices.
  3. Simmer and occasionally stir until the sauce becomes thick and syrupy and the yams are tender.

Serving Candied Yams

Yams or sweet potatoes add a special touch to a holiday meal, with their bright orange color and sweet, savory flavor. Candied yams make the perfect complement to a full Thanksgiving dinner, some simple turkey breasts, or a roast ham.

They make an excellent accompaniment to chops and they’ll pair beautifully with a pork roast, too.

Leftover Yams?

Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and freeze indefinitely. Add frozen candied yams to a soup, stew, or casserole, or warm them up and use them to top a green salad.

More Holiday Side Dishes

Did you enjoy this Candied Yams Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Candied yams in a bowl
5 from 7 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Candied Yams

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



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


  • 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 spices 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.


Keep candied leftover candied yams in the refrigerator for 5 days. They will also freeze for up to a year. 
5 from 7 votes

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

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About the author

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.