Appalachia Appalachian Food

The Easiest Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Easy sweet potato recipe for thanksgiving

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8 medium) peeled and sliced into 1 inch thick rounds
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup water

sweet potato recipe easy

Place sweet potatoes and enough water to cover them in a saucepot; heat to boiling over high heat; reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes or until potatoes are barely fork tender.

Drain; place potatoes in a 2-quart casserole.

Heat brown sugar, butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and water until butter melts-about 3 minutes stirring often. Pour over sweet potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 40 minutes stirring about half way through. Potatoes should be tender and slightly browned.

Easiest candied sweet potato recipe

When I was a kid every Sunday after church we’d make our way out Hwy 64 to Granny Gazzie’s house for Sunday dinner. The table would be loaded with all sorts of good things made by Granny Gazzie and my Aunt Fay, but the thing I looked forward to most was Granny Gazzie’s fried sweet potatoes and her biscuits.

Once I was a married woman with a kitchen of her own I wanted to make biscuits and fried sweet potatoes like Granny Gazzie did. I worked and worked and with the help of Granny finally came up with a biscuit recipe I was satisfied with, but the sweet potatoes eluded me. More than once I made Granny give me explicit details on how Granny Gazzie made her sweet potatoes yet I could never achieve success.

After more than a few pans of under-cooked or over-cooked sweet potatoes I gave up and told Granny I accepted defeat. She said “Well don’t feel too bad I could never make them like Mother (Granny Gazzie) did either.”

A few years later I came across the recipe above in either a Southern Living or Country Living magazine. It was close to Thanksgiving and I thought the recipe seemed really easy and convenient since you can do the first step of boiling the poatoes a day or so before you add the glaze and cook them. I gave it a try and I’ve been making it every since. Granny and I both adore it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say the recipe tastes as good as Granny Gazzie’s, but it’s for sure a close second.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    William J. Boone
    February 1, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    This is how Mom-Mom, and now I, made candies sweet potatoes. As you show, she peeled and slice the sweets about 1/2″ thick leaving them dry. She put a stick of butter to melt in her cast iron skillet over medium heat, added about a cup of brown sugar and some syrup, I use a little pure maple, and a little water and brought to a simmer. Each slice is laid flat side down to fill the skillet. After they cook a couple of minutes, the slices are turned over until just cooked through. Remove to a microwavable glass or ceramic bowl, preferably with a cover, and do batches until done. You probably will have to add more water occasionally as the cooking syrup will get too thick. Pour the syrup over the candied sweet potatoes and serve or do them a day or two ahead and re-heat them in the oven or microwave for the meal. I don’t add seasoning, but leave that to each diner’s taste at table.

  • Reply
    S. Taylor
    November 19, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Hi Tipper,

    As the primary T-Day cook, I will try the turkey roasting recipe. I am looking for a simpler, less time consuming roasting method. Since moving to Kentucky, I have become a real fan of sweet potatoes. Though not one to imbibe, I am especially fond of sweet potato casserole made with a touch of bourbon. It is very tasty and a favorite of our “adopted” Danish daughter, Kristine. When she returned to Denmark five years ago, she persuaded the cooks at the Danish boarding school where she teaches to make a classic Thanksgiving dinner for all the students and staff complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie. Sweet potatoes are hard to come by in Denmark so she makes a small casserole for herself and her closest friends. Because of her, we have added some Danish dishes to our T-Day menu. The beauty of Thanksgiving is sharing God’s bounteous blessings with friends and family across cultures and learning to appreciate everyone. May you and your readers have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    November 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I’m late in reading this, but I want to add some to the recipe. Slice up a lemon very thin and add to the dish. We fight over the candied lemon when we eat this. Also there is no need to boil the sweet potatoes before cooking. Slice potatoes and put in a casserole in layers with the brown sugar, spices and lemon. May cook a little longer but all my Yankee friends love it. They can’t believe how easy it is.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I may have told this story here before, but talking about 2 people making the same recipe differently:
    When I got married my mother-in-law gave me my husband’s favorite recipe for Texican Rice. At first, nothing I made was right but he later allowed as it was tolerable and even later would ask me to make it for a meal. Our kids enjoyed it as did their friends who were always stopping by hoping I had a bowl of leftover Texican Rice in the refrig.
    Then came the years of surgeries for my mother -in-law and one time as she returned from the hospital, I made the quick and easy go-to family meal: Texican Rice, corn bread, fresh corn, green beans, and a green salad to be followed by deep dish apple pie.
    She tentatively tasted the main dish and then said, I don’t believe I’ve ever had this before but it is delicious. May I have the recipe?
    After I reattached my jaw to my face and brought my eyebrows down from the heavens, I reminded her that she had given me the recipe and what she had told me about it. She was adamant that she couldn’t have given me the recipe.
    My husband didn’t say a thing. Just added more ketchup and kept on eating.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I’ll save this one to try, even though it means peeling the sweet potatoes! I didn’t used to bother with sweet potatoes much because peeling them always seems harder than regular potatoes. But then I learned you can wash sweet potatoes, poke a few holes in them, microwave for a few minutes, and the skins pretty much lift off! Now I buy them whenever I see nice ones at the market. (I see a lot of poor-looking ones – moldy, even. Yuck.)

  • Reply
    November 28, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I got a big can of Martindale Sweet Potatoes and I like to put them in a Cast Iron Frying Pan, sprinkle brown sugar on them and cook till almost all the juice is gone. Boy, your jaws will beat your brains out. I like ’em without bread.
    I didn’t use to like Sweet taters, baked or fried, but have acquired a taste for them again. …Ken

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    November 28, 2016 at 11:16 am

    This is very ‘inviting’ but I am ‘almost’ spoiled and likely to be lazy on holidays! But it is my daughter-in-laws fault! However with three long-legged sons, she has to plan ahead for the celebrations!
    Hope your season is just perfect!
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD, AUTHOR!
    “Fiddler of the Mountains” a PERFECT Christmas gift – if you like ‘REAL’ mountain MUSIC (“Fiddler” comes with a CD of Uncle Johnny’s music!) AVAILABLE on AMAZON.COM!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 28, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I used to live out near Hwy 64. I didn’t live on it but I was close enough that I could look out across the railroad tracks and watch traffic go by in the winter when the leaves were down. It was 64-70 then or 64 & 70 as some folks would said. I simply called it 64.
    In the early 90’s, I moved away (not like most people think of moving away, in fact I rode my lawnmower to my new house) and unbeknownst to me so did the highway. My path to work became shorter if I cut through the country so I didn’t travel 64-70 near as much.
    One day I was telling somebody asked me how to get somewhere. The first thing I said was “You turn right on 64.” I got a puzzled look and thought “Here is somebody that don’t know where 64-70 is!” “Well, do you know the road that runs in front of Lindy’s?” I asked.
    “Yeah, that is 70.”
    “No, it’s 64-70. Hwy 64 and 70 are combined.”
    “No it’s just 70, go look at the signs. 64 runs from Morganton to Lenoir.”
    “But that’s 18!”
    “Yeah, 18-64.”
    Lo and behold he was right! They had moved a whole highway without asking me! Or even telling me! Caused me to make a fool of myself! As if I needed help!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 28, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Well, as to replicating the way our Grannies fixed things, I have a theory. I think a fella is truly married when (unbeknownest to himself) he stops talking about how well his Mom or his Granny cooked and starts saying nobody makes better whatever than his wife. All of which says I guess that recipes are continually being re-made into each cook’s own.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I grew up eating sweet potatoes fried, stewed and baked, but never in a casserole. Mom mostly served them baked with plenty of homemade butter. She liked the white variety which seemed to be of a drier texture, requiring even more butter. I can’t wait to try your easy recipe using my huge bag of potatoes I got on sale right before Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 28, 2016 at 8:55 am


  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    November 28, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I have used a similar recipe for years but after boiling the potatoes I lay them on a cookie sheet, put the thick brown sugar and butter mix on top and put them under the broiler until the topping is slightly crisp. Delicious.
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. All we did was eat, rake leaves and sleep. Not a wonderful vacation but delicious food and lots of exercise.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 28, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Tip, I believe that when we make something with our own hands we put a bit of ourselves into it. You know that two people can follow the same recipe and make the same thing and it will be different because they are different.
    Your sweet potatoes were very good, they have a bit of Tipper in them!

  • Leave a Reply