ingredients
  • Dark Brown Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Orange juice 1/2 cup
  • salted butter, plus extra 3 tbsp
  • cinnamon stick 1
  • Bourbon 2 tbsp
  • Nutmeg a pinch
  • Kosher Salt a pinch
  • sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds 3 pounds

With a rich, buttery, perfectly sweet flavor seasoned beautifully with warming baking spices, there's nothing like tasty tender candied yams with your Thanksgiving dinner. This classic dish is a staple recipe for Southern Thanksgiving dinners, and it's super easy to make.

Yams might look the same as sweet potatoes, but they are slightly different. Yams have a rough, brown skin with a pale, starchy flesh. On the contrary, sweet potatoes are characterized by the reddish skin, orange flesh and sweet flavor.

Candied yams are made from sweet potatoes or yams, and combined with plenty of butter, brown sugar, and spices like cinnamon, and nutmeg, to make a tasty sweet-savory dish that's hard to resist. If you're looking for an easy but phenomenal tasting side dish to serve at Thanksgiving, look no further than candied yams!

What Are Candied Yams?

Candied yams are made by cooking sweet potatoes or yams with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and baking spices until they caramelize and become mouthwateringly sweet with just the right amount of savoriness. They're an essential part of any Southern Thanksgiving dinner!

How to Serve Candied Yams

Candied yams are enjoyed as a side dish at Thanksgiving dinner, especially in the American South. Serve them with roasted turkey, green bean casserole, cornbread, roasted ham, mashed potatoes, or any of your other favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Tips for the Best Homemade Candied Yams

Take your candied yams to the next level by adding mini marshmallows as a topping.

If you prefer, you can parboil the sweet potatoes for a few minutes before baking them. It'll help soften the skin and make the outside of the yams ultra-crispy. Alternatively, peel them, and you can skip parboiling them.

Add other spices like allspice, ginger, or cardamom to your candied yams for extra flavor.

If the syrup is runny, cook it down for a few extra minutes before pouring it over the yams.

Use fresh, frozen, or canned yams for your candied yams. The results will all be equally delicious!

To make Instant Pot candied yams, simply put all of the ingredients into your pressure cooker, secure the lid, and cook for 15 minutes on the normal setting. Take off the lid, stir, and enjoy!

To make candied yams on the stovetop, place all of the ingredients into a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 50 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Brown sugar will give you the best flavor, but you can use white sugar or even sweetener if you prefer.

How to Store Candied Yams

Transfer cooled candied yams to an airtight container and refrigerate them for between 3 and 5 days.

How to Make Candied Yams

Preheat your oven to 400F. Grease a casserole dish with butter.

Bring orange juice, sugar, butter, cinnamon, bourbon, nutmeg, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Take out the cinnamon stick.

Layer the sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Pour the orange juice mixture over the sweet potatoes. Wrap the baking dish in foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 50 minutes, making sure to baste the sweet potatoes every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.