It’s crunch time for Thanksgiving menu planning, shopping, and cooking. We’re only one week away, so let’s get right into it: we’re talking candied sweet potatoes today, y’all. A lot of us call them candied yams but there’s actually a difference between yams and sweet potatoes, in case you didn’t know. That’s not the topic of today’s discussion, though. Candied sweet potatoes are not difficult to make and don’t take any special ingredients, either. That being said, everyone has their preferences so feel free to use today’s recipe as a guide or baseline. I’ve made candied sweet potatoes (along with many other Thanksgiving side dishes) at Thanksgivings and friendsgivings for the past five years and, let me be honest, they weren’t always stellar. Once I did get the proportions and process nailed down, I decided to try it in a slow cooker.

sweet potato chunks in slow cooker

Unlike other slow cooker recipes I’ve shared, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. You have to tend to these probably as much as traditionally-made sweet potatoes. The reason I make my candied sweet potatoes (aka yams) in the slow cooker sometimes is in order to free up stove top space. Because anybody who has made Thanksgiving dinner before knows a few things:

  1. You’ll inevitably forget something from the grocery store.
  2. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. Stove top and oven space is at a premium and must be managed strategically!

chunks of sweet potato, butter, and brown sugar mixture in slow cooker

Whether on the stove top or in a slow cooker, the steps are simple. Prep your sweet potatoes, add them to the pot then top with butter and a mixture of brown sugar and spices. This will all melt down into a sweet syrup that candies the sweet potatoes. The result is a pot of tender orange jewels that help to perfectly balance out all the savory elements of a Thanksgiving dinner.

scooping candied sweet potatoes out of slow cooker crock

These slow cooker candied yams are also easy to keep warm and will help relieve congestion in your Thanksgiving serving line. As you can see, I don’t even take them out of the crock pot! Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet? Do you have any hacks or tips to share? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Signature Dash of Jazz


P.S. More Thanksgiving help:

Southern-Style Slow Cooker Candied Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins

Classic candied sweet potatoes made easily in a slow cooker

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied yams, easy candied yams recipes, slow cooker yams, thanksgiving side dish recipes, thanksgiving soul food
Servings: 12 servings
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  1. Scrub and peel sweet potatoes. Cut into chunks about 2-inches in size and add to crock of slow cooker
  2. Mix sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar in a bowl then pour over top of sweet potatoes. Place pieces of butter on top. Cover and cook on low for about four hours.

  3. Periodically (about ever 30 minutes and more frequently toward the end of cooking time) check and stir sweet potatoes so that they are evenly coated with the syrup that forms from the melted butter and brown sugar mixture. Stir in vanilla extract about halfway through cooking.

  4. Serve potatoes once tender and slightly browned from brown sugar syrup.
Southern-Style Slow Cooker Candied Sweet Potatoes