These Vegan Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes are packed with flavor! Coated in a spiced brown sugar glaze, they make a delicious Thanksgiving side.
Save time without sacrificing flavor with these Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes! Thinly sliced yams and crunchy pecans are coated in a dairy-free butter and brown sugar glaze that’s packed with warming spices. Plus it’s made with only 7 ingredients and takes around 30 minutes!
Bursting with fall flavor, this is one sweet potato recipe that you’ll want to make over and over again.
INGREDIENTS + INSPIRATION
I originally wanted to create this recipe as an alternative to a sweet potato casserole, but I will say that the notion of southern candied yams is nothing new. However, candied yams are (1) usually baked the oven, and (2) not very vegan-friendly, so I went off to make my own!
The cooking method for this recipe is also inspired by Daigaku Imo (大学芋), a popular Japanese recipe that features deep-fried Japanese yams that are then cooked on the stove-top in a caramel sauce. There is also a similar Korean version (Goguma Mattang, 고구마 맛탕) with a slightly thicker and crispier sauce. My friends Remy and Lisa both have vegan versions of this on their blogs, if you’d like to check them out!
This stovetop variation is made from really simple ingredients – sweet potatoes, vegan butter, sugar, pecans, and spices! The addition of warming spices only adds the the cozy flavor of this recipe, while candied pecans (made in the same pan!) add the perfect buttery crunch.
Plus sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin A, so this is basically a “health food”, right?! 😉
HOW TO MAKE STOVETOP CANDIED SWEET POTATOES
No need to turn on your oven (or fight over prized baking space) – these Candied Sweet Potatoes come together perfectly on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes! I chose to steam my sweet potatoes rather than boil them to prevent them from getting too soggy or water-logged. This version is also a lot lighter than deep frying, meaning I can eat even more of it 😉
- Peel your sweet potatoes and slice them into thin quarters.
- Steam until fork tender
- Melt some vegan butter on the stove, then whisk in the sugar and spices
- Sauté the sweet potatoes and pecans in the caramel glaze, until candied.
Fun Fact: did you know that what we commonly call a sweet potato here in the USA is actually a yam? True sweet potatoes originated in Central and South America, while true yam originates from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Sweet potatoes are considered to have a white flesh, while some yams are orange inside. Check out this article for more information!
Anyways, back to the recipe! You can serve this sweet potato side dish on your Thanksgiving table, but honestly it’s just as delicious alongside roasted vegetables with a standard weeknight dinner (or heck, serve it for dessert – you do you!).
These Vegan Stovetop Candied Sweet Potatoes are packed with flavor and totally fuss-free! Coated in a spiced brown sugar glaze, they make a delicious Thanksgiving side or festive fall dessert.
- 500 g sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter or high-heat oil
- 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (60 g) pecan pieces
- Optional: flaky salt, for serving
- Steam: prepare a steam bath for the sweet potatoes; I filled a large pot with 1/2″ of water and placed a metal sieve over top of it. Once the water starts to steam, add in the sweet potatoes and cover. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes, until fork tender. Once tender, remove from the pot and set aside; save 2-3 tablespoons of the steaming water for step 3.
- Make it Sweet: Melt the butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add in the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and whisk well, until a glossy syrup forms. Add 1 tablespoon of the steaming liquid to the pot and quickly whisk until the brown sugar has melted (add more water only if necessary).
- Time to Candy: Add the steamed sweet potatoes and pecans to the butter/sugar mixture, spreading them evenly across the pan. Use a spatula to flip or stir the mixture every 2 min, cooking for 10-12 minutes total. Potatoes are done when slightly browned and nuts are golden.
- Serve: Transfer to a serving dish and top with flaky salt, if desired. Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Sweet Potatoes: I used garnet yams for this recipe, which have a red skin and orange flesh. This recipe could work with other varieties of yams or sweet potatoes, but you may need to steam them longer, as they tend to me a little more firm and starchy. This recipe could also be made with butternut or kabocha squash for a fun twist!
- Substitutions: pecans can be replaced with walnuts, or pepitas for a nut-free version.