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Candied Sweet Potatoes

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Time for my absolute favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish recipe – the Candied Sweet Potatoes! Tossed in a spicy butter sauce, these sweet potatoes can pass for a dinner side OR a dessert.

My favorite part about the holidays, besides family time, is the combo of sweet and savory on my dinner plate. Who doesn’t love a bite of juicy and tender turkey followed by a sweet, soft, sugar-cinnamon bite of Candied Sweet Potatoes? I always make this recipe or Sweet Potato Casserole for a bit of sweet indulgence before dessert.

I only made this recipe with sweet potatoes, but if you only have yams, it is a good root vegetable replacement.

candied sweet potatoes

For another Thanksgiving side idea, try a Pumpkin Cheeseball or Loaded Deviled Eggs.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

What do I need to get started?

  • Brown sugar.
  • Salted butter.
  • Bourbon. The bourbon pairs perfectly with sweet potatoes, sugar, and spices, but if you’d prefer to leave it out, replace it with apple juice or maple syrup. The alcohol will cook out before the dish is finished.
  • Cinnamon, cloves, and apple pie spice.
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. If you do not have freshly cracked, you can use normal ground pepper.
  • Sprigs fresh thyme.
  • Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut.

How to make Candied Sweet Potatoes

This Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe starts with making a spicy, sticky, buttery sauce to toss the potatoes in.

Add butter, brown sugar, spices, bourbon, and pepper to a skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted completely and the sugar is dissolved, stirring the entire time. Once the butter has melted, let it cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a baking dish or casserole dish, place the potatoes and toss them in the sauce. The sauce will be very hot from the melted sugar, so be sure to not touch it with your hands. Sprinkle on fresh thyme leaves.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. After that, remove the aluminum foil, take the potatoes out of the oven and stir again. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender and golden brown.

Allow cooling for 10-15 minutes before serving. The sweet potatoes are too hot to eat straight out of the oven. Top with some more pepper and thyme before serving.

candied sweet potatoes

Storage

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

To make ahead, make the sauce first and store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Toss with the cut potatoes when you’re ready to bake.

Should I boil the sweet potatoes before baking?

You do not need to boil the potatoes before baking. The oven will cook the potatoes completely.

Are candied yams and sweet potatoes the same thing?

Yams and sweet potatoes are different, but you can use this recipe with yams.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Tips and Tricks

  • To add marshmallows as a topping, sprinkle on mini marshmallows when the potatoes are done baking. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until marshmallows are the desired color.
  • I used thyme in my recipe, but rosemary is another great complement to sweet potatoes.
Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Time for my absolute favorite holiday side dish recipe - the Candied Sweet Potatoes! Tossed in a spicy butter sauce, these sweet potatoes can pass for a dinner side OR a dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp apple pie spice
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4-5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  2. Add butter, brown sugar, bourbon, spices, and black pepper to a skillet and place over medium heat. 
  3. Cook the butter and sugar mixture until the butter has melted, stirring all the time. Once the butter has melted, allow to cook for 1-2 minutes without stirring, then remove from the heat.
  4. Place sliced potatoes in a large bowl, then toss together with the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Transfer potatoes to a baking dish along or cast iron skillet and sprinkle on fresh thyme leaves. Cover with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove foil and stir the potatoes again, then bake for another 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  6. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve warm with more fresh thyme and black pepper.

Notes

If you want marshmallows on your sweet potatoes, sprinkle on mini marshmallows when potatoes are done baking. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until marshmallows are the desired color.

For a version with no alcohol, replace bourbon with apple juice or cider.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 249mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 5gSugar: 54gProtein: 3g

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