Easy Stove Top Candied Yams with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon are the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday meal. You'll love this traditional sweet potato recipe that tastes just like Grandma used to make!
These homemade candied yams are to die for, friends! They're rich, sticky, sweet and best of all, you cook them on the stove top or in an electric skillet, which frees up oven space.
If you're looking for a delicious Thanksgiving side dish, you don't want to miss this easy recipe for candied yams! Grandma's candied yams recipe is truly one of the most delicious sweet potato recipes ever!
Sweet potato side dishes are a must at Thanksgiving dinner. Usually, we have mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for our Thanksgiving side dishes. The kids are partial to the casserole because they like to scrape the marshmallows off the top and eat them first.
So the Hubs suggested we have the candied yams, instead. He remembers his mom making them every year, and he even had the recipe memorized. It's a super simple recipe, and you only need four ingredients in addition to the yams.
And let me just say that this is definitely NOT a low calorie recipe for yams! These babies are smothered in butter and brown sugar and seasoned with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. But, since Thanksgiving only comes once a year, we're good, right? Besides, they taste absolutely incredible!
You only need a few simple ingredients for this old fashioned sweet potato side dish. Most are pantry staples you can find in your grocery store.
- Sweet potatoes ( yams ) -- fresh sweet potatoes, not canned sweet potatoes or canned yams
- Butter -- either salted butter or unsalted butter
- Brown sugar -- either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar
How to Cook Candied Yams on the Stove
First, wash and peel sweet potatoes. Then, slice sweet potatoes into ¾ inch slices.
Next, melt butter in a large skillet, and place sliced yams in a single layer into the skillet.
Let them cook for about 10 minutes per side. They will start to soften up but won't be tender at this stage.
Then, place brown sugar and spices on top of sweet potatoes. The brown sugar melts into the butter, making the most delicious sweet sauce!
Cook the yams over low to medium heat for another 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.
While the yams are cooking, keep basting them with that awesome sauce during the cooking process until they're done. Easy peasy!
Total cook time is about 50 minutes.
You can also add more butter if you want a thinner sauce or more sauce. It's totally up to you!
Grandma used to cook the yams in an electric skillet, but we made these on the stove. Either way is fine, and you can save the oven space for the turkey. Because it's not Thanksgiving without the turkey right?
Many candied sweet potato recipes call for orange juice. You can add ¼ cup orange juice for a brighter flavor.
Top sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows to really satisfy your sweet tooth!
You can substitute white sugar in place of brown sugar. Or, add maple syrup.
How to Store
Store leftover candied sweet potatoes in an airtight container in your refrigerator. They keep well for up to 4 days. You can reheat yams in your microwave or on the stove.
For longer storage, freeze this classic side dish in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months for best taste.
Sweet potato casserole is made with mashed sweet potatoes and topped with mini marshmallows, then baked. Candied yams are made with sliced sweet potatoes in a sweet brown sugar glaze. This dish can be made on the stove or baked in the oven.
In this recipe, candied sweet potatoes are the same as candied yams. A true yam is larger, with whiter flesh and dark, thick skin. Sweet potatoes have tapered ends, yellow or orange flesh and thin smoother skin. So what we typically call yams are actually sweet potatoes.
Easy Stove Top Candied Yams
- 4 large yams sweet potatoes
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Wash, peel and slice yams into ¾-inch slices
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium to medium high heat
- Place yam slices in a single layer in skillet, and cook for 10 minutes per side
- Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together, and sprinkle over yams
- Reduce heat to low or medium low heat, and let simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, basting frequently, or until yams are soft, but firm
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
If you're a regular reader, you know how much I love sharing old family recipes. I hope you enjoy this old fashioned yams recipe as much as we do. It's always a delicious addition to anyone's Thanksgiving table.
If you do try this easy recipe, please leave a star rating and/or comment.
For more Thanksgiving recipes and delicious side dish recipes, sign up for the weekly newsletter and follow on social media.
This delicious recipe was first published in 2017 and updated in 2022.