Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes are a delicious and crowd-pleasing side dish. Once you try these sweet and caramelized delights, you'll be hooked! Whether you're hosting a holiday gathering or simply want to elevate your weeknight dinner, these candied sweet potatoes are sure to impress.
What makes this stovetop candied sweet potatoes recipe so enticing is how incredibly easy it is to make. No need to heat up your oven or spend hours preparing. You can use your oven space for other dishes. All you need is a stovetop, a few simple ingredients from your grocery store, and a little bit of time. Let the sweet potatoes simmer on the stovetop, flipping them occasionally until they become tender and coated in a delectable glaze made with sugar and warm spices.
Candied sweet potatoes are perfect for any occasion from weeknight dinners to family gatherings and holiday meals like Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas. Imagine a plate filled with tender sweet potatoes coated in a sticky glaze, perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. The vibrant orange flesh of the potatoes adds a pop of color to your table, and the aroma that fills your kitchen will have everyone eagerly awaiting their first bite. This sweet potato recipe is a big favorite at a holiday meal.
So, if you're searching for a perfect side dish that will impress your guests and make your taste buds dance with joy, give this Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe a try. It's quick, it's easy, and it's one delicious recipe.
- Fresh Sweet Potatoes – Look for firm sweet potatoes with smooth skin. If you can't find sweet potatoes, you can use yams as a substitute.
- Sugar – A combination of brown and white sugar brings sweetness and rich, molasses-flavor that adds depth to the dish. You could use all brown sugar if preferred or use a combination of white sugar and molasses.
- Butter – Butter adds richness and helps create a luscious glaze. Use unsalted butter to better control the flavor of the dish.
- Ground Cinnamon – This warm and aromatic spice adds a touch of sweetness and a cozy flavor. You can replace it with ground allspice or pumpkin spice for a slightly different flavor profile.
- Ground Nutmeg – Nutmeg lends a warm and slightly nutty flavor to the dish. If you don't have nutmeg, you can substitute it with an equal amount of ground cloves or ginger.
- Orange – The orange juice and zest add a citrusy brightness to balance the sweetness. You can use lemon juice and zest as a substitute but the flavor will be slightly different.
- Salt – Salt enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness of the dish. You can reduce the amount or omit it entirely.
- Optional Garnishes – Fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley or thyme, can add a touch of freshness and visual appeal to the finished dish. Top sweet potatoes with chopped nuts, like crunchy pecans or walnuts, to provide a delightful crunch and added flavor. Feel free to use your favorite herbs or nuts, or omit them if desired.
See recipe card below for full recipe including exact quantities and more detailed step-by-step instructions.
How to Make Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Peel and cube the sweet potatoes into even sized pieces.
2. Add butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, orange juice and zest to a large skillet. Cook on low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the sweet potatoes to the sugar and butter mixture. Toss to coat. Cover with a lid and bring heat to medium. Cook for 15 -20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
4. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh rosemary, a pinch of sea salt, or some chopped pecan nuts on top.
Hint: Cooking them with the lid on will create a liquid caramel that coats the potatoes. If you prefer a thicker caramel, you can cook them uncovered for an additional 5 minutes to reduce the liquid.
The beauty of this recipe lies not only in its simplicity but also in its versatility. You can customize the flavors to suit your taste preferences. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg or a dash of vanilla extract to enhance the sweetness. If you're feeling adventurous, toss in some chopped pecans or marshmallows for an extra indulgent twist. The possibilities are endless!
- Swap the Sugar - Replace the sugars with 1 cup of pure maple syrup or honey. Watch closely as you simmer and stir frequently so the syrup or honey doesn't burn.
- Swap the Spices - While the recipe calls for ground cinnamon and nutmeg, feel free to experiment with other spices. Try adding a pinch of ground cloves, ginger, or allspice for a unique and aromatic twist.cYou can also substitute pumpkin pie spices for the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Swap the Citrus - Instead of using orange juice and zest, you can use lemon, lime, or grapefruit juice and zest. Each citrus fruit will bring its own distinct tang and aroma to the dish.
- Make Savor Sweet Potatoes – If you prefer a less sweet version, you can omit or reduce the amount of sugar and spices. Add savory elements like garlic powder, paprika, or chili flakes for a flavorful contrast.
- Cut the sweet potatoes evenly into similar-sized pieces. This will help them cook at the same rate.
- Choose a wide and shallow skillet or pan that can accommodate all the sweet potato cubes in a single layer. This allows for better heat distribution and helps the potatoes cook more evenly.
- Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning. Start with medium heat to melt the butter and dissolve the sugars, then reduce the heat to low or medium-low once the potatoes are added.
- Occasionally stir and flip the sweet potato slices during cooking.
- Check for doneness by inserting a fork or a knife into the sweet potatoes. They should be tender but still hold their shape.
- After cooking, allow the sweet potatoes to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a casserole dish and serving. This helps the glaze to thicken slightly.
- Consider adding optional garnishes like fresh herbs or chopped nuts just before serving. They not only add visual appeal but also bring additional flavors and textures to the dish.
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When ready to serve, reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
To freeze, cool and transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a skillet or the microwave.
If you're preparing the dish in advance, cook the sweet potatoes until they are slightly underdone. Then, when it's time to serve, reheat them gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, allowing them to finish cooking and become tender.
Yes. However, when using frozen sweet potato cubes, thaw them before beginning the recipe. Frozen sweet potatoes are typically blanched or partially cooked so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Absolutely! If you prefer a less sweet version, you can reduce the amount of sugar used. Begin by cutting the sugar measurements in half and adjust according to your taste preferences. Keep in mind that reducing the sugar may affect the texture and caramelization of the glaze.
Yams and sweet potatoes are actually different root vegetables but sometimes candied sweet potatoes are referred to as southern candied yams. A true yam is less sweet and more starchy then a sweet potato but in this recipe you can substitute fresh yams easily. They might have to cook just a bit longer as they are not as tender and have less moisture in them than sweet pottaoes do.
More Potato Side Dish Recipes
Looking for more potato side dishes? Try these:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (No Drain Method)
- Crispy Air Fryer Red Potatoes
- Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato
- Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes
Sweet potatoes cook quickly so they pair well with almost any meal from grilled chicken and pork chops to smoked sausage and turkey. We often serve this easy recipe for a special occasion dinner and they are a favorite on my holiday table. These are my favorite dishes to serve with Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes:
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Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 orange use 2 tablespoon orange juice and zest of half the orange
- ½ teaspoon salt
- optional garnishes: fresh herbs and/or chopped nuts
- Peel sweet potatoes and chop into 1 inch cubes. Set them aside.
- Place butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, orange juice and zest in a medium sized sauce pan. Cook on low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Mix in sweet potato cubes of and stir to coat. Cover with a lid and bring heat to medium. Cook for 15 -20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Cooking them with the lid on will create a liquid caramel that coats the potatoes. If you prefer a thicker caramel, you can cook them uncovered for an additional 5 minutes to reduce the liquid.
- Transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh rosemary, a pinch of sea salt, or some chopped nuts on top. Enjoy!
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