Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes

Brown Sugar Cadied Sweet Potatoes
The Spruce
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
284 Calories
6g Fat
57g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 284
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 412mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 22mg 112%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 589mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sweet potatoes always make an appearance on holiday tables as a flavorful side dish to turkey, pork, or cooked ham. But there's no reason to wait for cooler weather to give our recipe a try. Tender, sweet, buttery, and simply delicious, these potatoes are easy to cook and make a great side to multiple mains, not just the holiday classics.

Our recipe works with the natural flavor of the potatoes, but other ingredients can be added as sweet potatoes pair delightfully with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or bolder flavors like turmeric, coconut, and chile flakes. The sweet potatoes need to be cooked beforehand to firm doneness so they can tenderize in the skillet while they caramelize with the brown sugar and butter. There's no long wait for the potatoes to cook in the oven or overly complicated casseroles. With just a few ingredients you'll have the warmth and sweetness of sweet potatoes without the extra work.


Click Play to See This Candied Sweet Potato Recipe With Brown Sugar and Butter Recipe Come Together


"If you are looking for a family-friendly side dish, you are going to love this. Although I love sweet potatoes as is, adding brown sugar and cooking until tender really makes this a perfect side dish. The brown sugar will become syrupy and makes the potatoes rich and tender." —Tracy Wilk

Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked just until tender

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Peel the cooled sweet potatoes. Cube them and sprinkle with salt.

    Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. In a large skillet over high heat, mix the water, butter, and sugar. Bring to a full boil.

    Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Place the potato cubes in the syrup and reduce the heat to low.

    Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Cook the sweet potatoes over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are well glazed and candied.

    Brown Sugar Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

If you are pressed for time, use your microwave to cook the potatoes:

  • Scrub the sweet potatoes and pierce them in several places. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave at 100 percent power for about 5 minutes per potato. If you're cooking all of them together, you need more time. For 4 medium potatoes and depending on the power of your microwave, you might want to start with 10 to 12 minutes, check for firmness, and add a minute or two if needed. Once cooked, place them in cold water and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel and cube.

If you want to use your stovetop:

  • Place the washed sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Boil gently until the sweet potatoes are slightly tender but still firm, or about 20 minutes. Once cooked, place them in cold water and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel and cube.

Flavorful Substitutions

To add a different flavor to your potatoes, use one of the following suggestions:

  • Replace the water with apple juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, or apple cider.
  • Add 1 cup of toasted pecan halves, roasted cashews, roasted pinenuts, or walnut halves to the syrup before adding the sweet potatoes.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a few cinnamon sticks to the boiling syrup. Alternatively add the same amount of nutmeg, ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. Star anise, cloves, and cinnamon is also a great combination of warm spices to add to the syrup and flavor your potatoes.
  • Add a pinch or two of chili flakes to the finished original recipe for a mild kick of heat.

Are Sweet Potatoes and Yams the Same?

No. Sweet potatoes and yams are two different root vegetables. Although many think of these two vegetables as one, they belong to different families and have different nutritional compositions. In short, the sweet potatoes have smoother skin, whereas yams have a bumpy exterior and are darker in appearance; sweet potatoes have a silkier texture, while yams are starchier and less sweet.

Because yams have a milder flavor they're famously used in African and Caribbean cuisines as accompaniment to heavily seasoned dishes, and because they are native to Africa and Asia that's where they are most often consumed. Finding yams in the United States is more difficult than finding sweet potatoes, as the latter is native to the tropical areas of the Americas.