Best Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

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the pioneer woman's candied sweet potatoes recipe

Caitlin Bensel

Candied sweet potatoes may just be the easiest Thanksgiving side you ever make (well, unless your cranberry sauce comes from a can!). These sweet potatoes bake in a warm spiced maple and bourbon glaze until tender and caramelized. The bourbon helps to balance the sweetness; you can substitute whiskey or skip it altogether. If oven space is in short supply on Thanksgiving day, go ahead and make this dish the day before. Cool completely, refrigerate in an airtight container, then warm in the baking dish at 350° about 20 minutes before serving.  

Is sweet potato casserole the same as candied sweet potatoes?

Both sides star sweet potatoes and are Thanksgiving classics. Traditionally, sweet potato casserole is a mash topped with marshmallows. Candied sweet potatoes are cut into thick slices and roasted with a sweet glaze. 

What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?

Though sweet potatoes and yams are often flip flopped in conversation (and cans labeled as yams are often really sweet potatoes), they’re actually very different veggies. Sweet potatoes are sweeter than yams and have orange flesh. Yams are starchier and have yellow, white, or even purple flesh. Stick to regular sweet potatoes for this recipe.

Should sweet potatoes be boiled before baking?

For candied sweet potatoes, casseroles, and mashes, roasting is the way to go: It makes the sweet potatoes taste even sweeter. No need to boil the spuds here—they’ll get nice and tender in the oven.

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sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds


unsalted butter, melted

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  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Whisk together the brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of water, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl, plus bourbon, if using. Add the sweet potatoes to the the sugar mixture and toss to coat. Pour into 13-by-9-inch casserole dish. Spread the sweet potatoes into an even layer and pour any leftover sugar mixture over them. 
  2. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender and the sauce thickens into a glaze, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

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