Skip to content

Chef John’s Candied Yams

Chef John’s Candied Yams

Are you looking for a delicious and comforting side dish that will elevate your holiday feast? Look no further than Chef John’s Candied Yams! These sweet and savory yams will leave your taste buds dancing with delight. In this article, we will explore the secrets behind Chef John’s famous recipe and why it’s a must-try for any food lover.

The Secret to Chef John’s Recipe

What sets Chef John’s Candied Yams apart from other recipes is his unique combination of flavors and cooking techniques. He takes perfectly tender yams and coats them in a rich and sticky glaze made with brown sugar, butter, and warm spices. This glaze infuses the yams with a delightful sweetness that perfectly complements their natural earthy flavors.

But the real secret to this recipe lies in the cooking method. Chef John bakes the yams in the oven rather than boiling them. This allows the yams to retain their natural moisture and flavors, resulting in a dish that is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor.

The Perfect Balance of Sweet and Savory

One of the reasons why Chef John’s Candied Yams are so popular is their perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. The brown sugar and warm spices add a touch of sweetness to the dish, while the butter and natural flavors of the yams create a savory undertone.

This delightful combination of flavors makes Chef John’s Candied Yams a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. Whether you’re serving roast turkey, glazed ham, or even a vegetarian centerpiece, these yams will add a touch of sweetness and depth to your meal.

A Crowd-Pleaser for All Occasions

Not only are Chef John’s Candied Yams perfect for holiday feasts, but they are also a crowd-pleaser for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, a potluck dinner, or a casual get-together, these yams will be the star of the show.

Their vibrant colors and irresistible aroma will draw everyone to the table. And once they take their first bite, they won’t be able to resist going back for seconds. These yams have a way of bringing people together and creating lasting memories.


Q: Can I use sweet potatoes instead of yams?

A: Yes, you can! While yams and sweet potatoes are different, they can be used interchangeably in this recipe. The result will still be a delicious and satisfying dish.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

A: Absolutely! Chef John’s Candied Yams can be made in advance and reheated before serving. Simply cover them with foil and warm them in the oven until heated through.

Q: Can I adjust the sweetness of the glaze?

A: Of course! If you prefer a sweeter dish, you can add more brown sugar to the glaze. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle sweetness, you can reduce the amount of sugar. Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your taste.

Q: Can I make this recipe vegan?

A: Yes, you can! To make Chef John’s Candied Yams vegan, simply substitute the butter with a plant-based alternative, such as vegan margarine or coconut oil. The result will still be a delicious and satisfying dish.

Q: Can I add nuts or marshmallows to this recipe?

A: Absolutely! If you enjoy the crunch of nuts or the gooeyness of marshmallows, you can certainly add them to the dish. Simply sprinkle your favorite nuts or marshmallows on top of the yams before baking them in the oven.

Q: Can I freeze the leftovers?

A: Yes, you can! If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container and freeze them for later. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply thaw them in the refrigerator and reheat them in the oven.

Q: Can I use this recipe for other root vegetables?

A: Absolutely! While this recipe is specifically designed for yams, you can adapt it to other root vegetables, such as carrots or parsnips. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly, as different vegetables may require different cooking times.

Q: Can I double or halve the recipe?

A: Yes, you can! This recipe can easily be doubled or halved to accommodate your needs. Just make sure to adjust the ingredients and cooking times accordingly.

In Conclusion

Chef John’s Candied Yams are a true delight for your taste buds. Their perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors, combined with the unique baking method, make them a standout side dish for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a holiday or simply enjoying a family meal, these yams will bring joy and satisfaction to everyone at the table. So why wait? Try Chef John’s Candied Yams today and experience a culinary masterpiece!

Chef Johns Candied Yams compressed image1

Chef John's Candied Yams

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Vegetable Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 3 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 2 quarts of cold water
  • 3 pounds of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped pistachios , pecans, or walnuts for garnish


  • In a large pot, combine 2 quarts of cold water and salt. Stir well.
  • Add the sweet potato pieces to the pot and place it over high heat. Bring it to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the potatoes simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are almost tender (check with a knife tip).
  • Drain the potatoes once they are cooked.
  • In a skillet, combine brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and a pinch of salt.
  • Place the skillet over medium-high heat and stir until the glaze ingredients melt and start bubbling.
  • Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens, which should take around 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Transfer the drained sweet potatoes to the skillet.
  • Increase the heat to high and cook and stir the potatoes until they are well coated with the glaze and become very tender.
  • Let the glaze thicken further, which should take around 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving dish and garnish them with chopped nuts.
  • If you are using fine salt instead of kosher salt, use approximately 5 teaspoons of fine salt instead of 3 tablespoons of kosher salt.
Keyword and, Christmas, Collections, Dishes, fall, Fruits, Ideas, Potato, Potatoes, Side, Special, Sweet, Thanksgiving, Vegetables
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


Recent Recipes

Never Miss A Recipe!

Join thousands of subscribers and get our best recipes delivered each week!

Table of Contents