Vegan Candied Sweet Potatoes

Vegan Candied Sweet Potatoes

Lighter and dairy-free variation of the classic Thanksgiving side, candied to sticky perfection and still low-FODMAP and vegan! Created for Thankful in Texas Thanksgiving menu plan for peeps with food sensitivities.

By, variation of Aunt Jeanne's home economics teacher's, Mrs. Landers, recipe

Sweet potatoes, Texas, and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand-in-mouth! This variation of a classic home ec candied sweet potato recipe takes the sweetness down a notch and completely eliminates the butter, making it a great vegan side for your holiday table. Of course, I have subbed cardamom and chile for the requisite cinnamon and completely eliminated the coconut flakes and the marshmallow toppings...because it's sweet enough on its own, just like moi!

Sometimes I am perplexed at the tuber variety at the grocery store when it comes to "sweet potatoes" and "yams." Here's a quick low-down on the difference between these two seemingly interchangeable root veg.

  • True sweet potatoes are smooth-skinned with tapered ends; they appear in a variety of flesh colors from bright orange (which most stores label as "yams"), purples, and white (this is my favorite for its distinct flavor) and have a truly sweet flavor. This inherent sweetness also translates to higher-FODMAP, so go easy on these if you want to keep stomach aches away (limit to ½ cup servings).
  • True yams are rough in exterior texture with a dark colored skin, blond flesh, and a light flavor (read: less sweet). They look very similar to yucca. Bonus! You can eat more of these tubers if you are low-FODMAPping (1 whole cup). Due to their less sweet taste and dryness, they need a bit more oil to make them as smooth as the sweet potato.

For this recipe, we are using true sweet potatoes. Pick your favorite color, and let's get to cooking!

Curious about the history of these two gorgeous and delicious roots? Check out Real Simple and Bon Appetit.

Created for Thankful in Texas Thanksgiving menu plan for peeps with food issues.


  • 3 large sweet potatoes (I use three varieties to make the color and flavor interesting; you may use your favorite)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup oil (I use grapeseed or canola; coconut would work as well if melted)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a smidge of oil, coat the inside of a 9 X 13 inch glass casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Throughly wash potatoes.
  4. In large pot on stove top, add whole potatoes with skin on; cover with water. Add to pot 1 tsp salt. Allow to boil until fork-tender (this will take a while).
  5. Remove pot from stove; turn off stove. Drain potatoes. Allow potatoes to cool about 10 minutes.
  6. On cutting board, gently peel potatoes with back of spoon, discarding peel. Slice potatoes into ¼-inch slices.
  7. Arrange potato slices in a layered pattern in reserved casserole dish.
  8. In medium bowl, combine oil, sugar, syrup, cardamom, chile, ginger, and 1 tsp salt. Pour this sauce over potatoes.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and caramelized.
  10. Move oven rack to top position; turn on broiler. Transfer casserole dish to top rack and broil (keep the oven OPEN a crack) for several minutes or until the edges of the potatoes crisp up a bit.
  11. Turn off broiler, remove casserole dish, and serve piping hot!


  • I know this sounds strange, but smell your sweet potatoes at the grocery before you place them in your cart. If they have a strong scent, then don't get those. You are looking for potatoes that have virtually no odor at all.
  • Sweet potatoes will hold their shape better if allowed to boil in their skins before peeling and slicing.
  • Great dish for make-ahead prep. It can be assembled and baked (do not broil) up to 3-days in advance and refrigerated; reheat in oven and broil when ready to serve.
  • Store leftovers in lidded storage container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Sweet potatoes are low-FODMAP in ½ cup servings.