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Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes

Stovetop candied sweet potatoes are cooked in a sweet caramel sauce with orange juice and topped with fresh pecans and flavorful rosemary. Even better, they only take 40 minutes to make!

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A plate of candied sweet potatoes with a spoon holding one bite above the plate.

I love dishes that make my dinner spread look elegant, but in reality, are simple to make. That’s why I love this recipe for stovetop candied sweet potatoes. In less than 1 hour, you can serve up the best, most tender, caramelized yams that are bursting with spiced citrus and savory flavors.

This recipe for candied sweet potatoes on the stove top is super versatile, pairing well with practically any main dish.

These homemade candied yams add old fashioned Southern flavor to any meal, featuring the most tantalizing caramel sauce with brown sugar for sweetness. You’ll find no marshmallows here, making it naturally vegan if you use plant-based butter. 

Learn how to cook yams on the stove in one step — no pre-boiling or blanching necessary. Just mix together your caramel sauce, toss in and cook your potatoes, and you’re ready to serve!

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Ingredients needed to prepare candied sweet potatoes.

How to Make Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Combining butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and orange juice in a small saucepan..

STEP ONE: Peel the sweet potatoes, then chop into cubes about ¾ inches in length. The flesh should be firm and vibrant orange in color for the best quality.

Candied sauce ingredients for sweet potatoes combined and prepared in a small saucepan.

STEP TWO: Combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, and orange juice to a pot and simmer over low heat. Whisk until sugar has dissolved — constant stirring and low heat ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn, creating a well-formed sauce.

Adding cubed sweet potatoes to sugar mixture in saucepan.

STEP THREE: Add cubed sweet potatoes to the sugar mixture and stir until every piece is well coated. Place a lid on the pot and cook over medium heat until your stovetop candied sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Cubed sweet potatoes coated in sugar mixture in a saucepan.

STEP FOUR: Transfer the stove top candied yams onto a platter and serve warm. Garnish with chopped pecans, salt, and fresh rosemary if desired.

Candied sweet potatoes in a serving dish with a spoon drizzling sugar mixture on top.

What to Serve With Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes

Variations for Candied Sweet Potatoes on the Stove Top

  • Make a thicker caramel sauce. Cooking candied yams with the lid on is what creates that delicious caramel sauce to begin with. If you prefer a thicker consistency, remove the lid and cook candied sweet potatoes for an additional 5 minutes. Some of the liquid will evaporate, allowing the caramel to reduce and thicken.
  • Substitute orange with lemon. Acidity is the goal, so you can substitute the orange juice with 1 tbsp of lemon juice if needed — though the flavor will be slightly different. The same goes for substituting the zest, but use the same measurements in this case.
  • Add more savory flavor. Dried herbs like rosemary add a nice contrast to the sweetness of stove top candied yams, while chopped nuts add a nice crunch!
  • Swap out the spices. Instead of cinnamon or nutmeg, you can use similar warming spices like allspice, pumpkin pie spice, or ground cloves. Choose your favorite combo, as long as the total measurements are the same as listed in this candied sweet potatoes recipe.
A fork holding a candied sweet potato cube over the serving dish of candied sweet potatoes.

More Sweet Potato Recipes

Why Are My Stove Top Candied Yams Watery?

So many wonder how to cook sweet potatoes on the stove top that don’t turn out watery, and the answer is simple. Make sure to avoid undercooking! The caramel sauce needs time to develop and thicken with the water and starch released from the sweet potatoes. 

Check for doneness with a fork — it should easily pierce the center of the potato cubes without getting stuck (underdone) or breaking them apart (overdone).

Closeup view of candied sweet potatoes in a serving dish.

Is It Better To Peel Sweet Potatoes Before or After Cooking?

The peels are perfectly safe to eat and contain loads of vitamins and minerals. They are also an easy way to provide a little extra texture to your candied sweet potatoes. Just be sure to scrub the outside of the yams and rinse them thoroughly so you don’t end up with dirt in your dish!

So, this step is completely up to you! As you learn how to cook yams on the stove, you’ll get a feel for the texture you prefer.

Do You Poke Holes in Sweet Potatoes Before Boiling?

If you’re simply boiling them for a mash, then yes. But when learning how to cook sweet potatoes stove top for candied yams, this step isn’t necessary! The pieces are small enough that they will become nice and tender while simmering in the sauce. 

For larger batches of candied sweet potatoes on the stove top, or if your sweet potato chunks are larger than ¾ inch, it wouldn’t hurt to poke a few holes just to ensure they cook evenly.

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Yield: 6 Servings

Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied yams in a casserole dish

Stovetop candied sweet potatoes are cooked in a sweet caramel sauce with orange juice and topped with fresh pecans and flavorful rosemary. Even better, they only take 40 minutes to make!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into ¾ inch cubes. Set them aside.
  2. Place butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, and orange juice and cook it over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Incorporate cubes of sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Cover with a lid and cover over medium heat 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.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a serving dish and serve them warm.
  5. For optional garnishes, you can sprinkle some fresh rosemary, a pinch of sea salt, or some chopped pecan nuts on top. These garnishes will add extra flavor and visual appeal to the dish.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 473Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 8gSugar: 48gProtein: 5g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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