Lightly spiced and slightly sweet, easy Stovetop Candied Yams are simple to make with just a handful of ingredients. The perfect side dish for any occasion whether it be the holidays or a casual Sunday dinner.

Candied Yams in a white serving bowl on a blue background.

Candied Yams

The holiday season is upon us and whether you’ll be traveling off to visit family or staying home this year, Candied Yams will surely be a request for dinner. They’re just a staple during the holidays in our house.

I’m not a big fan of overly sweet yams so I came up with a recipe that’s just lightly sweetened allowing the yams to shine in all their glory. No need for a TON of sugar, although I do use a bit. But we also add a hint of honey to give it a bit of earthy sweetness that’s a great match for the winter root vegetable.

A southern classic, Candied Yams are, basically, peeled and chopped yams or sweet potatoes that are cooked in a syrupy mixture until tender, caramelized and glorious. Their sweetness is a great contrast to a juicy brined turkey or savory glazed ham making them a common fixture at every holiday gathering.

Stove Top Candied Yams in a saucepan.

How To Make Candied Yams

Simple is the key to making Stove Top Candied Yams. And don’t worry if you can’t find actual yams…..sweet potatoes are a great standby for this recipe, as well.

  1. Peel and chop the yams into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  3. Add the yams and toss to coat.
  4. Whisk together the sugar, honey, spices and salt.
  5. Pour the sugar mixture over the yams.
  6. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until the yams are fork tender.
  7. Stir in vanilla (and bourbon, if you’re feeling it) and toss to coat with the sauce.
  8. Serve immediately.
Candied yams in a white serving dish on a wicker placemat.

What To Serve With Them

While we love serving Candied Yams during the holiday season, this recipe is so easy you can totally make it for an easy weeknight side dish or serve with your favorite roast chicken for Sunday Dinner.

They go really well with this Beef Tenderloin and we also love them with this simple baked chicken for an easier, yet cozy, dinner.

They’re also fantastic with this easy Turkey Roulade! Great for smaller gatherings.

How Long Will They Last

Stove Top Candied Yams will last up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I don’t recommend freezing candied yams, plus….they’re so good you won’t really have any leftovers to freeze.

Candied yams close up in a white bowl.

Candied Yams vs. Canned Yams

If you can only get your hands on canned yams, you can definitely substitute the fresh yams for canned. Although, I urge you to try fresh because it’s infinitely better.

To substitute with canned yams:

  • Drain and rinse the yams in a colander.
  • Pat dry and proceed with the recipe, skipping the peeling and chopping since that step is already taken care of.
  • Decrease the cooking time to 30 minutes because the yams are already somewhat tender and you don’t want to overcook them. Overcooking the yams at this point will cause them to break down and become mushy.

More Easy Sweet Potato Recipes

If you’re looking for a few more side dish ideas, we love this Southern Candied Yam recipe.…it’s great if you’re looking for a dish with sweet, toasty marshmallows on top.

This Sweet Potato Casserole is nothing short of amazing….it’s topped with a cornflake crust that’s buttery and fabulous.

Or try these easy Mascarpone Mashed Sweet Potatoes for something a little decadent but just as simple to make.

sweet potato casserole in a blue and white baking dish on a woven placemat.


Candied yams close up in a white bowl.

Get the Recipe: Easy Candied Yams Recipes

Easy Candied Yams made on the stove top are simple to make with just a few common ingredients.
No ratings yet


  • 6 large yams, or sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon bourbon, optional


  • saucepan


  • Peel the yams and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat and add the yams.
  • Whisk the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Pour the sugar mixture over the yams and stir to coat.
  • Cover the saucepan and turn the heat to low.
  • Cook the yams for 1 hour or until the yams are fork tender. (Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching from the sugar.)
  • Toss the yams to coat with the sauce.
  • Stir in the vanilla and bourbon, if using.
  • Serve immediately.


Candied Yams can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and heat them right before serving by warming in a large saucepan over medium heat.
You can add your favorite spices to make these yams more tasty. Add a dash of cayenne for some added heat. Or a pinch of curry powder. Smoked paprika adds a nice BBQ flair.
Calories: 354kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 280mg, Potassium: 1714mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 526IU, Vitamin C: 36mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg