Candied Yams

Candied yams (garnet sweet potatoes), glazed with a brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, orange sauce. Perfect for Thanksgiving and the holidays!

Candied Yams
Elise Bauer

Candied yams have always been something of a mystery to me. Growing up, we only ever ate them on Thanksgiving, which was strange because they are such a perfect kid food: sweet, rich and tangy from the orange juice. And even on Thanksgiving, its sweetness was befuddling.

Candied yams are like a little preview of dessert, a treat for the sweet tooth before the serious business of pies and ice creams begin in earnest.

As an adult, I now realize that candied yams properly occupy the middle position between the mashed potatoes and the cranberry sauce. Potatoes are starchy and rich with butter and cream, while the cranberry sauce is sweet and intensely tart. The yams borrow from each and by so doing bind the traditional Thanksgiving plate together.

Know that with a dish so classic as candied yams, there are as many ways to make it as there are cooks! If you have a favorite way to make candied yams, please let us know about it in the comments.

Candied Yams

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds garnet or ruby sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • Salt

  • 2 cups orange juice

  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 4 tablespoons butter

Method

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes 5 to 10 min:

    Place the cut sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt.

    candied-yams-method-1
    Elise Bauer

    Boil the sweet potatoes for 5-10 minutes, or until you can just pierce them with the tines of a fork, but not fully cooked (you will continue to cook in the next step). Drain and set aside.

  2. Simmer remaining ingredients:

    Mix the remaining ingredients (orange juice, brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, butter) in a shallow, wide sauté pan and bring to a boil on high heat.

  3. Add sweet potatoes, cook until sauce reduces to a syrup:

    Add the sweet potatoes and coat well with the sauce. Boil on high heat until the sauce reduces to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

    candied-yams-method-2
    Elise Bauer
    candied-yams-method-3
    Elise Bauer
Candied Yams
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
341 Calories
6g Fat
70g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 341
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 188mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 70g 25%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 44g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 64mg 322%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 974mg 21%
*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. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.