Sweet potatoes are a must for me for Thanksgiving dinner, and these Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorites! The fresh sweet potatoes really shine through with a little bit of butter, brown sugar, pecans, warm spices, and a marshmallow topping.
In the American South, sweet potato casserole is a staple. There are different ways to make it, and most people have a firm stand on the ‘great marshmallow debate.’ I grew up with toasted marshmallows on top of my potatoes at Thanksgiving, so I decided to add them to this recipe too. They’re definitely optional here but SO delicious! A match made in heaven if you ask me.
Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes are a simple yet delicious recipe. This casserole dish is an excellent choice for any holiday meal or Sunday dinner. It’s the perfect addition during the holiday season!
Another holiday side I can’t live without is an Easy Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board. With simple ingredients, it’s perfect for snacking before and after dinner! Even the night before when you’re preparing all of the other dishes.
If you love these candied sweet potatoes then you’ll love my Southern Sweet Potato Pie!
More Thanksgiving recipes!
- Homemade Au Gratin Potatoes
- Southern Sweet Potato Pie
- Perfectly Spiced Pumpkin Pie
- Glazed Shallots
- Dutch Apple Pie
- Southern Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
Can you make candied sweet potatoes ahead of time?
These Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to eat. The holidays are always busy and jammed packed with cooking. This can make things easier for you during that time.
Prepare the sweet potatoes recipe with the brown sugar mixture to make the candied glaze, but don’t add the marshmallows. When you’re ready to eat, just heat the oven to 350°F and bake the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes covered.
Give them a stir to make sure they’re hot, then add the marshmallows on top and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until brown. Serve the candied sweet potatoes hot.
Ingredients you’ll need
You can find these simple ingredients at your local grocery store.
- Sweet Potatoes – The star of the dish.
- Brown Sugar – For a sweet taste with a hint of molasses.
- Unsalted butter – Roasting sweet potatoes in butter adds a delicious depth of flavor.
- Kosher Salt – The salt will enhance the sweet flavor and bring out the sweet potato taste.
- Pecans – These are optional but add a nice crunch and flavor to the dish.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon goes so well with sweet potatoes and brown sugar.
- Cloves – Cloves add a nice little holiday flavor touch to the candied sweet potatoes.
- Marshmallows – For an extra delicious topping. These are optional.
These are the tools you’ll need to make this dish.
- Vegetable peeler – I use a peeler like this one.
- Baking Dish – I like to use a ceramic baking dish for my candied sweet potatoes. I have this set and love it!
- Oven – You’ll need to roast the sweet potatoes in the oven
Tips for the best Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes
Use these tips and tricks to make this casserole one of your favorite dishes.
- Make sure to give the sweet potatoes a stir 2 – 3 times while they’re roasting. This helps keep them evenly covered in butter and ensures they cook evenly in the brown sugar glaze.
- Don’t burn the marshmallow top for the best flavor. Keep an eye on the dish after putting it back in the oven because it can go from golden brown to black in an instant.
- Make these candied sweet potatoes a day ahead of time (without the marshmallow) then reheat them in the oven when you’re ready to eat. Add the marshmallow topping after reheating and bake for 3-5 minutes until marshmallows are puffed and slightly brown.
Here are some other options to make this easy recipe, depending on your tastes and preferences.
- If you don’t like pecans, you can leave them out or substitute walnuts.
- For a good sweet/heat combo, add 1/8 tsp chipotle chile powder or cayenne powder to these candied sweet potatoes!
- Try using real yams if you have access to them and want to change up the flavor a bit.
- Use large marshmallows rather than mini marshmallows.
How to make Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/4-inch rounds. Layer them into your dish.
Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with brown sugar, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Toss potatoes to coat, then dot with cubed butter. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes until they’re fork tender.
Remove candied sweet potatoes from the oven, then serve while hot if you’re not using marshmallows. If you’re topping with marshmallows, sprinkle them over the top then bake for an additional 5 minutes.
The marshmallows will be puffed up and slightly brown when done. Serve immediately.
How to store
Refrigerate – Store this Thanksgiving side dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Reheat – When you’re ready to eat Thanksgiving leftovers, scoop some of the potatoes onto a plate and heat in the microwave in 30-second increments until it’s warm all the way through.
Freeze – This is the perfect holiday side dish to make ahead of time and store for when you’re ready to eat. Cooking Christmas dinner can be chaotic, and having one (or more) dishes done ahead of time will take pressure off you.
Prep this delicious side dish, then cover the top with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. When you’re ready to cook the dish, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake them according to the directions.
Why are my sweet potatoes mushy?
If the tender sweet potatoes taste too mushy, you may have overcooked them. You should be able to slide a fork or knife into the potatoes without resistance. Once they reach that point, pull them out and allow them to rest on the counter with aluminum foil over the top.
Can I make candied sweet potatoes without marshmallows?
Yes, you can definitely make these old-fashioned sweet potatoes without adding marshmallows to the top. The brown sugar and butter do a wonderful job of creating a candied mixture that turns golden brown and delicious when baked.
Are candied sweet potatoes the same as yams?
Sweet potatoes and yams are different root vegetables. Yams have a rough tree bark-like skin, a white interior, and a more neutral flavor, like a regular potato. Sweet potatoes have reddish skin, orange flesh on the inside, and a sweet flavor. You can make this wonderful side dish with either option.
If you make my Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes please leave me a rating and/or review!
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Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Mix
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled, cut into 1/4 circles
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cloves ground
- ½ cup pecans rough chop
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup marshmallows optional
Prepping the Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes then layer them into a 10×7 baking dish
- Top sweet potatoes with brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and pecan. Toss to coat
- Dot sweet potato mix with cubes of butter
- Bake 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes
Top with Marshmallows
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, top with marshmallows if using and bake another 5 minutes until marshmallows are puffed and slightly brown
- Serve hot and enjoy!