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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!

stove top candied yams on Thanksgiving table

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.

sweet potatoes, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and nutmeg

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
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

How to Cook Candied Yams on the Stove

First, wash and peel sweet potatoes. Then, slice sweet potatoes into 3/4 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.

cook sliced yams in butter and brown sugar

Then, place brown sugar and spices on top of sweet potatoes. The brown sugar melts into the butter, making the most delicious sweet sauce!

easy stove top candied yams with brown sugar

Cooking Time

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!

easy stove top candied yams with brown sugar butter sauce

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?

Recipe Variations

Many candied sweet potato recipes call for orange juice. You can add 1/4 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.

candied yams with brown sugar on serving spoon

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.


What’s the difference between candied yams and sweet potato casserole?

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.

Are candied yams and sweet potatoes the same?

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 on plate
5 from 10 votes

Easy Stove Top Candied Yams

By: Dee
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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10


  • 4 large yams sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
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  • Wash, peel and slice yams into 3/4-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


You can add more butter as the yams cook, if needed to make a thinner sauce
Yams can be sliced anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch


Calories: 331kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 174mg, Potassium: 63mg, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 565IU, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

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.

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easy stove top candied yams recipe

This delicious recipe was first published in 2017 and updated in 2022.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Joyce King says:

    Can this same recipe be used for in the oven. To make a larger batch for Thanksgiving. If so, do you cover in oven.

    1. Dee says:

      Cooking it on the stove is what caramelizes the yams. My husband said his mom tried it once in the oven, but it didn’t work well. You could probably make it on the stove and transfer the potatoes to the oven to keep warm, though.

  2. Jean | says:

    Dee, those look gorgeous. My mother made stovetop candied yams, too, but she used a lot less butter and sugar, probably half. I’m not suggesting you change your recipe, though. Just saying if anyone in the family ever needs to “cut back” you can still make the dish! 🙂 Love the photos!

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Jean. I was surprised at the amount of butter and sugar at first, but my husband swears by it since it’s his mom’s recipe. Good to know it tastes good even when cut back! 🙂

  3. Miz Helen says:

    Oh mercy how I love Candied Yams, these are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Come to next weeks Thanksgiving party on Tuesday at 8:00 am, CST, see you then!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  4. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    We love candied yams! A must for Thanksgiving dinner!

  5. Krista says:

    What a great side dish for the Holidays!

  6. Jen says:

    Personally, the smothering of these yams is what makes them so good!! Love it!!

  7. Catalina @ Peas & Peonies says:

    This sounds amazing! I think this need to be my next snack!

  8. Patricia @ Grab a Plate says:

    Not low-cal? Perfect for Thanksgiving, then! They look fab!

  9. Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says:

    Those look positively luscious!

  10. Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie says:

    Yum! They looks so delish! I love how you topped them!