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The Most Delicious Candied Yams are a holiday table staple! Sliced yams are coated in a sweet sauce with the most amazing spices, and baked until caramelized. You’re going to love it!

Close up view of candied yams in a white baking dish.

Thanksgiving is a meal you can’t forget! Moist turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, homemade rolls, and candied yams. We are drooling just thinking about them. It’s amazing how we all keep on pretending that candied yams are just another side dish on the table, like potatoes or salad, when really, it is just pure indulgent dessert food. The sauce caramelizes and coats each slice of yam, and it is heavenly. This is one of those dishes that everyone fights over, and there is never enough. Take our advice and make twice as much for your Thanksgiving table this year!

Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams:

In the United States, the terms “Sweet Potato” and “Yam” are used interchangeably and refer to that potato looking thing with the red skin and orange flesh. Yet, you have probably seen something else in the grocery store labeled sweet potato with light yellow skin, while your orange flesh variety is labeled yams. Guess what? Both of them are sweet potatoes! The kind of sweet potatoes you think of as yams are simply dark-skinned sweet potatoes. You won’t commonly come across true yams in an American grocery store. True yams have brown or black skin and the flesh is either red, purple, or off-white.

We prefer garnet sweet potatoes, both for the flavor and the color! However, you can use either an orange or white flesh sweet potato.

Olive Oil vs. Butter in Most Delicious Candied Yams:

We have made this recipe dairy free by using olive oil instead of butter. However, if you prefer butter in your candied yams, feel free to substitute that in.

Can I use canned yams? 

Unfortunately, canned yams would just turn to mush in this recipe, and we cannot recommend them. 

Make Ahead Time Saving Tip:

If you want to prep this ahead of time, you can pre-boil your yams before tossing with all other ingredients. Once boiled until fork tender and coated in the sauce mixture, pour it all into your prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking. By pre-boiling the yams, you will significantly reduce baking time. Your candied yams are ready when everything has warmed through and the sauce has caramelized. 

Candied yams on a plate.

Storage and Reheating Instructions: 

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat single serving portions in the microwave, or large amounts in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, until warmed through. 

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious sweet potato recipes:

Candied yams in a baking dish.
The Most Delicious Candied Yams are a holiday table staple! Sliced yams are coated in a sweet sauce with the most amazing spices, and baked until caramelized. You’re going to love it!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • 4 yams peeled and cut into 1/4 inch discs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • sea salt to finish off
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a medium size baking dish.
  • In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the yams discs, orange juice, brown sugar, honey, olive oil, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss or shake to combine until all yams discs are well coated.
  • Pour the contents into the greased baking dish, cover with foil and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and stir, then cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Once yams are fork tender and the sauce has caramelized, remove from oven. Let cool and enjoy!


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 21417IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Candied Yams
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