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Oven-Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes

These easy Oven-Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes are tender with a sweet, buttery maple syrup and brown sugar glaze. They’re a must-have side dish for the holiday season (and beyond)!

One of the best things about Thanksgiving dinner is all the wonderful side dishes. Candied sweet potatoes are a classic, and roasting makes them even more delicious and easier too!

There’s no boiling, no extra pot to clean, and no waiting for them to cool off until you can handle them. Just peel, chop, put them in a baking dish, stir together and add a quick glaze, stick ’em in the oven, and give them an occasional stir.

With these baked candied sweet potatoes, the oven does most of the work for you, reducing and caramelizing that glaze until it’s thick, shiny and coats the sweet potatoes perfectly without there being so much that they’re swimming in it.

It’s sweet but not overly so, and I keep it very simple to let the flavor of those sweet potatoes shine through.

And roasting instead of boiling means all of that flavor stays put and concentrates rather than going down the drain with the water.

Sweet Potatoes or Yams?

Did you know that, here in the US, what we often call “yams” aren’t really yams at all but sweet potatoes?

Yep, it’s true. In fact, I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find true yams at your local grocery store because they aren’t widely available in this country.

Although we use the terms interchangeably, besides both being root vegetables, the two are neither related (they come from different plant families and continents) nor the same when it comes to appearance and taste.

Sweet potatoes originated in the Americas and have smooth, reddish or pinkish skin. The flesh inside is usually orange (although you can find other colors), and they are very sweet and creamy rather than starchy.

Yams come from Africa and have rough brown skin and flesh that is usually white (although older yams can be pink, red or purple). They’re much starchier and only slightly sweet, and they can grow to be very large.

But, hey, you can totally call these oven-roasted candied yams if you’d like. I won’t tell!

candied sweet potatoes in a white baking dish with a serving spoon on the side

Ingredients You Need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Fresh sweet potatoes
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Orange juice
  • Salt

Note: The above video is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe with detailed instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits:

  • Always use fresh sweet potatoes for this recipe. Because of the longer cooking time, canned sweet potatoes (which are already cooked) would get way overcooked and mushy.
  • Make sure that all of the sweet potatoes are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
    • The pieces should be large, about 1½ to 2 inches in size so that they don’t overcook in the time it takes for the glaze to get nice and thick.
  • Get the real-deal maple syrup. Pancake syrup isn’t what you want here.
  • I like to use freshly squeezed orange juice if I can, but bottled juice works just fine too.
  • The glaze will be very thin at first but will thicken up significantly towards the end of the cooking time. It will also become a little thicker once the dish is removed from the oven and it starts to cool a bit.
  • You can experiment and change things up by adding spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, or nutmeg (or even pumpkin pie spice) or a splash of vanilla extract to the glaze. You could even add mini marshmallows at the very end!
  • Need a bigger batch? Double the recipe and use a 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Cooking time should be roughly the same or just a little longer.
candied sweet potatoes in a baking dish with a serving spoon

Make-Ahead, Leftovers and Freezing:

  • Make-Ahead: Yes, you can make these ahead (although, as with a lot of dishes, I do think they’re best when freshly made). I recommend making them only a day or two in advance in case there are leftovers that you will want to enjoy for a few days.
    • After roasting, allow them to cool completely then cover the baking dish and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days.
    • To reheat, take the baking dish out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off, then bake in a 325°F oven just until the sweet potatoes are heated through.
  • Leftovers: Allow to cool completely; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. If you made them ahead, remember to take that time into account.
  • Freezing: These freeze rather well with only a very slight change in texture.
    • Once cooled, place them in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze. For best results, use within 1 to 2 months.
    • Thaw and reheat as directed above.
oven-roasted candied sweet potatoes in a white bowl

You really can’t go wrong adding these to your Thanksgiving and other holiday menus (or to any dinner menu). They’re sure to be a hit!

Need more holiday side dish ideas? My Side Dishes page has lots more, so be sure to check it out!

I hope you try this Oven-Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Recipes You Might Enjoy:

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

close-up of a spoonful of oven-roasted candied sweet potatoes being lifted out of the baking dish

Oven-Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes

These easy Oven-Roasted Candied Sweet Potatoes are tender with a sweet, buttery maple syrup and brown sugar glaze. They're a must-have side dish for the holiday season (and beyond)!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)
Estimated Calories: 348

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste (I use kosher salt)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large pieces about 1½ to 2 inches in size.
  • Place the sweet potatoes in an 11x7x2-inch baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, dark brown sugar, melted butter, orange juice, and salt until well-combined.
  • Pour the maple syrup mixture over the sweet potatoes in the baking dish; toss to coat.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes, or until the glaze has thickened and the sweet potatoes are tender.
    The glaze will be very thin at first but will thicken up significantly towards the end of the cooking time. Also, keep in mind that it will also thicken up a little more after the dish is removed from the oven and begins to cool.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Always use fresh sweet potatoes for this recipe. Because of the longer cooking time, canned sweet potatoes (which are already cooked) would get way overcooked and mushy.
  • Get the real-deal maple syrup. Pancake syrup isn’t what you want here.
  • I like to use freshly squeezed orange juice if I can, but bottled juice works just fine too.
  • Need a bigger batch? Double the recipe and use a 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Cooking time should be roughly the same or just a little longer.
  • You can make these a day or two ahead and reheat on serving day.
  • Allow leftovers to cool completely; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days (if you made them ahead, remember to take that time into account) or freeze for up to 2 months.
    • Reheat in a 325°F oven just until heated through (thaw first if frozen).
  • Estimated calories shown is based on 4 servings.
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