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Classic Candied Sweet Potatoes

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  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 50 min
  • Servings 6
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Old-fashioned candied sweet potatoes are a true comfort-food classic—and a fall favorite for many families. Most of us tend to think of them as traditional holiday fare only, but they make a great weeknight side, too! This candied sweet potatoes recipe is particularly weeknight-easy: It comes together with just a few pantry staples, 15 minutes of prep and about a half hour on the stovetop.
Updated Nov 9, 2023
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Can Candied Sweet Potatoes Be Made Ahead of Time?

Candied sweet potatoes have a soft, delicate texture that can fall apart if reheated and stirred. It’s best to serve them immediately after cooking.

When Should I Peel Sweet Potatoes?

Because this candied sweet potatoes recipe uses sliced sweet potatoes, it’s best to keep them in their jackets for cooking. The skins protect the delicate flesh from breaking, so that when the skins are removed (and boy, do they come off easily when cooked like this), the sweet potato flesh will still be beautifully intact. For other recipes that use smaller pieces of sweet potatoes, it’s better in those cases to peel them first with a potato peeler or carefully with a paring knife before cooking them.

Can I Substitute Yams for Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are frequently mislabeled in grocery stores as yams. True sweet potatoes have dark orange skin and dark orange flesh that’s both sweet and flavorful. True yams have light-colored skin and light flesh. The flavor is much milder than in sweet potatoes. For the best color and flavor of this easy candied sweet potatoes dish, get the dark-orange skinned sweet potatoes—also known as red garnet sweet potatoes.


  • 3 to 4 medium red garnet sweet potatoes (2 lb)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1
    Scrub sweet potatoes, but do not peel. Place sweet potatoes in Dutch oven. Add enough water just to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Slip off skins. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.
  • 2
    In 12-inch skillet, stir remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Add sweet potatoes. Gently stir until sweet potatoes are glazed and hot.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Wondering if you can sub in a yam? Well, contrary to popular belief, yams aren’t grown in the U.S., so they actually can be hard to find. What you will find in the grocery stores are different varieties of sweet potatoes. The deep orange or nearly red-fleshed varieties are very moist and sweet—perfect for this candied sweet potatoes recipe.
  • tip 2
    Boiling the potatoes in their jackets makes removing them a cinch—no veggie peeler required.
  • tip 3
    Add a sweet flavor twist by substituting orange juice, spiced or regular apple cider or cranberry juice for the 3 tablespoons water.
  • tip 4
    Give your sweet potatoes a taste of the tropics! Omit the 3 tablespoons of water and add an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple (undrained) to the sauce ingredients instead.
  • tip 5
    Cooking sweet potatoes in their jackets makes the skins slide right off—no veggie peeler needed! Cooking them in their skins also protects the soft insides so they can retain their shape better when sliced.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make Candied Sweet Potatoes for a Crowd?

We have several yummy options for making a big batch of candied sweet potatoes. Try our Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Applesauce, Candied Sweet Potatoes or Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes.


185 Calories, 6 g Total Fat, 1 g Protein, 34 g Total Carbohydrate

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
6 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
260 mg
16 mg
Total Carbohydrate
34 g
Dietary Fiber
2 g
1 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • True sweet potatoes are the most flavorful and have the brightest color for this dish. You may be surprised at what you’ll find at the store for sweet potatoes. We’ll guide you to exactly the right choice! This is yummy comfort food at its best—sweet potatoes with a simple, sweet glaze. Great flavor and easy prep—don’t be surprised if your family requests them often.
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