Thanksgiving Candied Sweet Potatoes

I mean, I’m pretty sure that no one except a Southern girl would have a recipe that starts out ‘boil potatoes in sugar water..’! Southerners do like sugar. For instance, we love tea, but tea is sweet and served over ice.

It’s a tradition with a lot of people to have sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know the one with the marshmallows on top? My sister-in-law was assigned to bring the sweet potato casserole to Thanksgiving one year. She didn’t have marshmallows so she topped it with chocolate chips! (what?!) It wasn’t a hit!

My family, on the other hand, always had Candied Sweet Potatoes instead of a casserole. Have you ever heard of Candied Sweet Potatoes? I call them Thanksgiving Candied Sweet Potatoes because it’s the only time of year we have them. Basically, you slice yummy sweet potatoes thinly and boil them in a simple syrup. It sounds like a dessert, but my family eats them with our meal.

When your choosing sweet potatoes for this recipes, look for medium to small ones about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter and 4 or 5 inches long. I’ve found this size overall tends to be more tender; I think you’ll agree with me. Most stores in my area have sweet potatoes in stock right now. I hope you can find them because I really want you to try this recipe.

Thanksgiving Candied Sweet Potatoes Thanksgiving Candied Sweet Potatoes #callmepmc w

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Thanksgiving Candied Sweet Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You can keep this dish warm on the stove or put potatoes in a casserol dish, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven until it's time to serve.
Serves: 8 servings
  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes (this will yield about 4 cups when sliced)
  • 1 and ½ c water
  • 1 and ½ c sugar
  • pinch of salt (about ⅛ tsp)
  • 3 T butter
  1. Slice potatoes evenly about ¼ inch thick. Try to get them all the same thickness so they'll cook at the same rate.
  2. Add sugar and water to a medium sized sauce pan.
  3. Heat on medium high until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add sliced sweet potatoes and salt to water.
  5. Cook on stove top at a simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and water has thickened. Your water should be thick like a maple or corn syrup.
  6. Add butter and stir until butter melts.
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I love potatoes. Here are more recipes with potatoes that you may enjoy!

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes from #callmepmc #potatoes #sides Bold Garlic and rich cream make these potatoes a must have recipe!

About Paula

Hi there, I'm Paula. I've always enjoyed cooking and sharing food with family and friends. As a mom, I'm always looking for shortcuts and time-saving strategies to make delicious and nutritious meals for my family. I particularly like to take familiar flavors and present them in new ways. I enjoy developing recipes, cooking (especially baking) and I sharing all my tips with you.

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  1. I make something similar, but your recipe looks much easier ! Pinned ;-)

  2. Looks lovely Paula! I’m a sweet potato fan here!

  3. I’m still laughing over the chocolate chips! :) We love candied sweet potatoes and that’s the way we have always had them, too. These look delicious!!! Thanks for sharing and pinning! Have a happy Wednesday!

  4. This is so neat, Paula! I had honestly never heard of doing sweet potatoes like this before. I am just slightly north of the Mason-Dixon Line here & we like our sweet tea- I always have a pitcher in my fridge. But I have never seen someone make sweet potatoes like that for Thanksgiving!
    I would love to try it, but I am slightly afraid of having a full-on protest from my family who LOVES the marshmallow topped casserole. ;)
    Pinned & sharing!

  5. I love sweet potatoes. they’re a staple around here. And those look delicious!

  6. Paula, My mother always had candied sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and Christmas and I’ve carried on the tradition. I love them. In our recipe we boil the potatoes first, then slice and add dark corn syrup. I’ll have to try your method which is how I make candied carrots. Thanks for sharing and have a good week.

    • Oh, I love candied carrots too! My dad always liked the potatoes sliced thin, so I guess that’s why we just boiled them in that mixture, they really don’t take long as thinly as he likes them sliced.

  7. Sandy Spence says:

    I really like your recipe for sweet potatoes, mine is a little different, but always willing to try something new. I make a sauce to go over the cooked potatoes. Orange juice, brown sugar and pecan pieces. It has become my sons favorite. Don’t have the exact measurements as I just add a little of this and that.

    • I had to measure and make this twice, because I wasn’t sure of exact measurements :) Your recipe sounds great, I trying it next time I make them! Thanks

  8. haha… what? Chocolate Chips instead of marshmallows… too funny! :) This recipe sounds delicious, love sweet potatoes. YUM!

  9. Debbie Caraballo says:

    We’ve done the Sweet Potato Casserole thing for many years now. (We’re from Texas). This casserole, and sweet potato pie, are the only way I’ll eat sweet potatoes. Of course, the casserole is a lot like pie, except it has a streusel type topping, and no crust!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  10. I love how easy these are and sweet potatoes are one of my favs – pinned! Great looking photos too!

  11. you know, we got into the habit of a sweet potato casserole but I also love candied sweet potatoes!

  12. These sound just delicious, Paula! We always do a sweet potato casserole, but I love the simplicity of these candied sweet potatoes. Pinning this to my Thanksgiving board…thanks for sharing! :)

  13. I love hearing about family traditions for the holidays. Being Italian we had both the traditional turkey dinner and a lasagna… isn’t that crazy? Thanks for sharing your sweet potatoes with us on Foodie Friday.

    • You know, I’m thinking about making lasagna for Christmas because my mom loves it but won’t make it for just her and Dad.

  14. Your candied sweet potatoes look delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe at The Pin Junkie. It was featured in the fall recipe roundup. Be sure to stop by to grab an “I was featured” button and stop by Thursday evening to share your best fall crafts!

  15. These are beautiful, Paula. I love sweet potatoes, so I know I would love this recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us at Saturday Night Fever :)

  16. These look so simple and so good! I am doing a Thanksgiving Round-Up Series next week on my blog and I would love to share this recipe. Please email me if you are happy for me to include this recipe (and any other Thanksgiving delights you may have to share!) Ruth x


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