Mother-In-Law Candied Yams have been passed down in our family for three generations. They are the yummiest way to mix dinner with dessert!
Mother-in-law Candied Yams are a holiday tradition in my home. This recipe came from, you guessed it, my mother-in-law, who got it from her mother-in-law. These super simple, three-ingredient candied yams are always a hit. They are the perfect holiday side dish or even go great on the side of a delicious oven fried chicken recipe.
MOTHER-IN-LAW CANDIED YAMS
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When my husband and I first started dating we spent Easter over at his mom’s house. I personally never cared for candied yams, but he insisted that I tried his mom’s recipe. From that day forward, I was a fan. Little did I know that I would be serving that same candied yam recipe all these years later to our own family.
MOTHER-IN-LAW CANDIED YAM INGREDIENTS
Baked candied yams are a favorite side dish of mine for two reasons. First, they are decadent, buttery, and delicious. Second, they are so easy to make! Literally, three ingredients are all it takes to create this favorite dish.
- 3 large Yams or Sweet Potatoes
- 1 cup Butter
- 2 cups Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YAMS AND SWEET POTATOES?
Yams and sweet potatoes are completely different- but you might be surprised which one you are actually buying! Though often their names are used interchangeably, when it comes to shopping and cooking you should know that the “yams” you are preparing are most likely sweet potatoes!
Yams tend to be dryer and more starchy than a typical sweet potato, with a tough brown skin resembling tree bark. They are also not orange inside. Sweet potatoes are what we often find in the grocery store. Sweet potatoes have a thinner, more reddish skin and that vibrant orange color we come to expect when we cut them.
WHAT ARE CANDIED YAMS?
Southern candied yams are simply boiled sweet potatoes baked in a brown sugar and butter glaze. This sugary syrup candies in the oven, enhancing the sweetness of the potato and delivering the most decadent and delicious side dish. They are the perfect sweet bite to complete any holiday meal.
HOW TO MAKE CANDIED YAMS?
- First, prep the sweet potatoes by scrubbing the skin clean and cutting them into 2 inch thick slices. No need to peel them!
- Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Then place the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Allow the pot to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender when you stick them with a fork.
- Next, drain the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool to the touch.
- Once they are cool enough to hand, remove the skin. The skin should peel off easily by hand without the use of tools.
- In a 13 by 9 baking dish, place the cooked sweet potato slices in an even layer.
- Next, melt the cup of butter in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, stir in the 2 cups of brown sugar until it is well combined.
- Allow the sugar glaze to boil for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.
- Last, pour the sugar over the top of the yams and place them uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The homemade candied yams will be slightly bubbling around the edges when they are finished.
These easy candied yams can even be made the day before and warmed up in the oven before being served.
- Once the cooked sweet potatoes are glazed, cover the pan in foil and allow the candied yams to cool before placing them in the refrigerator.
- When you are ready to serve them, simply remove them from the fridge, uncover them, and place them in the oven for 30 minutes at 35o degrees F.
ARE CANDIED YAMS AND SWEET POTATOES THE SAME?
The yam versus sweet potato question is complicated and simple at the same time. Yes, yams exist and are different than sweet potatoes. However, all the “yams” you have ever eaten were probably sweet potatoes.
Really though, what’s in a name? Homemade candied yams are guaranteed to be delicious no matter what you call them! If you fall in love with this candied yam recipe then you will also love this mini sweet potato casserole recipe!
TRY THESE OTHER HOLIDAY SIDE DISH RECIPES
- Green Beans with Honey Pecan Butter and Cranberries
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- Easy Balsamic Glazed Carrots
- Mamaw’s Rolls
- Syrian Rice
- More SIDE DISH recipes…
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS MOTHER-IN-LAW CANDIED YAMS RECIPE
Large Pot: This pot is a kitchen essential! I use it for everything from boiling potatoes to making large batches of homemade soup!
Baking Dish: This baking dish is a must-have for any home cook. I love that it comes with a lid for storing leftovers or taking your dishes on the go.
Medium Saucepan: I have had this saucepan forever and it is still as good as it was the day I bought it!
*This post originally posted on 11/06/2014.
- 3 large yams
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar firmly packed
- Scrub the yams clean and cut into 2-inch thick slices. Do NOT peel the yams!
- Place yams in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Allow yams to simmer until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Carefully drain the water and allow the yams to cool to the touch.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and remove the peels from the yams.
- Place yams into a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish in an even layer. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat
- Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Pour the brown sugar mixture over top of the yams.
- If making ahead of time: cover the baking dish with foil and allow to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. Uncover yams before baking.
- Place the baking dish in the oven for 30 minutes or until the yams are warmed through and the sauce is slightly bubbling around the edges
- Remove from oven. Be careful when serving and the sauce is VERY hot!